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Eye Openers: Add cup stacking to your list of up-and-coming sports

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Teams from the U.S. and Korea compete against one another in the World Sport Stacking Championships last week in Orlando, Florida.

It seems as though almost anything can be considered a sport these days.

If you go online, you can find information about such sports as shin kicking, cheese rolling, egg throwing and something called sepak takraw, which is similar to volleyball accept you can’t use your arms and it is played with a ball of dried palm leaves.

If you check out today’s Big Story in the Times, you can read all about esports, which basically is competitive video game playing and which may be considered as an Olympic sports some day.

Here is another one that apparently is getting to be big: Cup stacking.

We actually have had cup stacking competitions in the Quad-Cities in recent years, and hundreds of kids from 18 different countries competed in the World Sport Stacking Championships last weekend in Orlando, Florida.

This is a sport that "challenges participants to stack specially designed cups in predetermined sequences as fast as possible, a challenge in fitness, agility, concentration and quickness."

There are individual events and team relays. From looking at the video, the competitors are amazingly quick and efficient.

I’m not sure it ever will be as big as esports or sepak takraw, but it’s sort of interesting.


Interesting comments by Pittsburgh Pirates manager Clint Hurdle this week. He started out saying that Cubs’ second baseman Javier Baez is one of the most exciting players in baseball right now because he has a flair for the dramatic and he plays with emotion.

In his next breath, Hurdle bashed Baez for angrily flipping his bat in the air following a popup.

So which is it? Do you like the fact that he plays with emotion or not?

Like him or not, Baez plays with tremendous hustle and has some of the most remarkable instincts both in the field and on the bases of any player in the game.

Yes, he occasionally shows some emotion. Then again, that’s more easily tolerated than a utility man who beats up water coolers when he’s angry or a left-fielder who gets suspended for half a season for using steroids.


We’re all accustomed to seeing the New York Yankees have one of the largest payrolls of any team in baseball, but this season the Yankees have dropped all the way to seventh place on the list of how much major league teams are paying their players.

Their payroll of $167 million is their smallest since 2003.

The Boston Red Sox are No. 1 with a payroll of $223 million, followed by the Giants ($203 million), Cubs ($183 million), Dodgers ($180 million), Nationals ($180 million) and Angels ($170 million).

While the Cubs and Giants are near the top of the list, their municipal neighbors are at the bottom. The White Sox and Oakland A’s are tied for having the smallest payrolls at a paltry $71 million.


The University of Iowa sent out a news release Friday proudly proclaiming that it spent only $1,744,997 to send its football team, band and official party to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl last season.

It was budgeted $2,225,000 for the trip by the Big Ten so it came away with a surplus of $480,003.

Still, it doesn’t sound like the Hawkeyes cut a lot of corners. According to the breakdown, they spent $307,679 on airfare for the team and staff and another $272,373 on air transportation for the 260-member marching band. Lodging and meals just for the football team came to $707,639.


Here is something you don’t see every day: An American basketball player named David Simon got kicked out of the Korean Basketball League for being too tall.

Seriously, this happened. The league recently passed a rule that foreign-born players cannot play in the league if they are taller than two meters. That would be 6 feet, 6.74 inches for those of you who are metrically challenged. The rules also stipulate that if a KBL team has two overseas players, one of them must be shorter than 6-1.

The 35-year-old Simon, who is established as one of the stars of the league, has always been listed at 6-9 but apparently is closer to being 6-7. Either way, he doesn’t qualify.

Simon shouldn’t have any problem landing somewhere else. Since his college career at Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne, he has played professionally in the Philippines, Kazakhstan, France, Bulgaria, Serbia and with several other Korean teams. There still are a few corners of the globe he hasn’t checked out yet.