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Sports chatter: Josh Hamilton’s story keeps getting better

Texas Rangers outfielder hits 4 home runs, sets new American League record.

Need to know:

The Argentine Olympic Committee (COA) has apologized for a controversial advertisement and apparently punished the player who appeared in it.

The ad features field hockey player Fernando Zylberberg training on the Falkland Islands, running past various British landmarks, including a war memorial. At the end, a voice says “To compete on English soil, we are training on Argentine soil.”

That’s troublesome for a couple of reasons. First, England and Argentina fought a 1982 war over the islands that resulted in more than 900 deaths. Second, the two nations are still bickering over ownership of the archipelago.

On Tuesday, COA president Gerardo Werthein said the country would behave at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.

“Using the Olympic Games to make political gestures of any kind is not acceptable,” his statement read.

As for Zylberberg, he won’t be playing at an important warm-up event in Malaysia. Whether that’s a temporary move, or permanent, remains unanswered.

Want to know:

Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton hit four home runs on Tuesday night in a 10-3 win over the Orioles in Baltimore.

Only 15 other Major League Baseball players have accomplished the feat, and two of them played in the 1800s. When you include his double, he set an American League record with 18 total bases.

“It reminds you of when you're in Little League and a little kid, and just the excitement and why we play the game,” Hamilton told The Associated Press. “You never know what can happen. It was just an absolute blessing.”

Hamilton also drove in eight runs in a perfect 5-for-5 hitting performance. This is the same man who reached such heights as a former No. 1 draft pick, only to watch it all crumble because of drug addiction.

He’s recovered it all, however, known more now as a four-time all-star and 2010 league MVP.

Dull but important:

Steve Nash is approaching folk-hero status in his home and native land, Canada.

The Phoenix Suns guard – a two-time NBA most valuable player – single-handedly led Canada to its last Olympic appearance in 2000. So it’s no wonder Basketball Canada has come calling again, this time with an offer to administer the entire men’s national team program.

Nash, never shy from a challenge, has accepted the team’s general manager job.

“Maybe the timing of this will seem a little bit odd because I’m still playing (in the NBA), but this is about trying to impact a bunch of kids,” Nash told ESPN.com. “We have a lot of developing talent in our country and I’m excited to help them.”

So does that mean the 38-year-old father of three is ready to retire? No, the South African-born Nash is going to “do my research, dig in and see what opportunities fit me best” this summer, he told the Toronto Sun. Nash becomes a free agent on July 1.

Just because:

Russian President Vladimir Putin cut an impressive figure when he stepped on the ice Tuesday during a charity hockey game. Whenever he jumped over the boards, the defense melted and the goaltender simply crumbled.

Well, if they know what’s good for them…

Putin celebrated his inauguration Tuesday by leading his team of amateurs to a 6-5 shootout victory (no, not literally) over a team of retired Russian hockey legends. 

He scored a goal, an assist and converted the winning penalty shot before signing autographs and partying the night away with former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and ex-German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. A TV commentator noted Berlusconi was there to support his friend alongside a “blond female translator,” AFP reported.

Cameras often capture Putin’s more manly moments. The 59-year-old enjoys judo, bare-chested fishing, racing cars … He took up ice hockey just last year, enlisting some of those same Russian legends to coach him.

Strange but true:

Dereck Chisora is putting boxing back in the headlines, and at any cost.

The 28-year-old heavyweight will fight fellow Brit David Haye on July 14 in London, they announced Tuesday. Neither can get a license to fight in England, so their managers have organized the fight through Luxembourg’s boxing council.

How that can happen, exactly, is anyone’s guess. What makes this even more fascinating (i.e. car crash) is the two have already traded punches – after Chisora lost to Vitali Klitschko earlier this year in Munich, Germany.

Following that bout, a melee broke out during the post-fight news conference (Haye was working for a TV station). They also traded trash talk for 20 minutes, The Daily Mail reported, highlighted by this gem:

“I saw him in London, and guess what he picked up? A knife,” Chisora said through a steel fence trucked in for effect.

“I was eating a steak,” Haye countered, “in a restaurant.”

That’s not even half the dramatics behind these fighters. In Germany, Chisora spat in Klitschko’s face before their fight. Afterward, Chisora threatened to shoot or “physically burn” Haye, BBC said then. Haye picked up several tripods and launched them at Chisora, who police questioned at the airport the next day. Haye skipped the country before German police had the chance to talk to him.

What does this all guarantee? Probably a sell-out crowd of 35,000 this July. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/world-at-play/sports-chatter-josh-hamilton-s-story-keeps-getting-better

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