Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket newcomers Nazareth Primary, out of Manchester, dethroned defending champions Hastings, from Trelawny, on Friday at the cricket festival at Sabina Park, where the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final were held.In the final, Nazareth made 144 for four off their allotted 10 overs while Hastings replied with 133 for 5 in their 10 overs.The Scotiabank Kiddy Cricket competition is a modified version of the game, where each team plays ten overs on a smaller field and shorter pitch (18 yards). During the game, every player bowls, fields and bats. The fielders are rotated after each over. All teams must include at least four girls.Nazareth’s coach Dean Lalor was very elated to win the competition despite the challenges along the way. He pointed to the challenge of teaching the sport to the girls and including them in all the matches.Yanique Forbes-Patrick, vice-president of marketing at title sponsor Scotiabank, was very pleased with this year’s staging of the festival. She said that the fact that newcomers topped the competition showed that the programme works and that the kids are learning the sport well.Several players got awards after the final.The best bowler (female) award went to Kade Wilmoth of New Works and the male award went to Chrismar McDonald of Priory.BEST PLAYERSBest batter (female) was Annalese Johnson of Priory and the male awardee was Ethan Henry of Hastings.Best fielder (female) was Janeil Deer and the male, Jordane Morrison. Both players hail from Hastings Primary.The parish champions are St Mary – Goshen; St Catherine – St John’s; St Elizabeth – Barbary Hall; Westmoreland – New Works; St Ann – Priory; Clarendon – Brandon Hill; St Andrew – Duhaney Park; Portland – Windsor; St James – Cambridge; Hanover – Church Hill; Kingston – St Benedict; St Thomas – Middleton; Trelawny – Hastings; and Manchester – Nazareth.
It also didn’t hurt that Texas batting coach Rudy Jaramillo coached Sosa in the Rangers’ minor league system two decades ago and stayed close to him since. Or Sosa agreed to leave his boom box at home and check his entourage at the clubhouse door. That left only two questions and, as Texas general manager Jon Daniels told SI.com last week, Sosa aced the final part of the exam. “We wanted to make sure he wasn’t coming back just to hit 12 home runs,” Daniels told the magazine. And steroids? “He said it was flat-out a non-issue for him,” Daniels added. Sosa has managed to make it a non-issue so far by deflecting questions this way: “Let me make the team first, and then let me worry about this.” It’s not much of an answer, but at least it shows Sosa has his priorities in order. Maybe taking a big risk comes easy to someone who started out playing baseball in the streets with bundled rags for balls and tied-together milk cartons for shoes. And who could forget Sosa in the early days of the steroids scare, calling reporters over to his locker and holding up a bottle of Flintstones vitamins as the source of his considerable power? Or the time he got caught using a corked bat and swore with a straight face that it was just for batting practice, “to put on a show for the people”? This one could turn out to be a show, too, or more likely, a sideshow to Barry Bonds’ gloomy pursuit of Hank Aaron’s cherished mark. Either way, it’s an audacious dare. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! If you don’t think that stings, then you don’t know Sosa. “I’ve missed the fans. I’ve missed crowds of 40,000, I’ve missed hitting,” Sosa said. “I’ve missed doing what I do.” No sooner had Sosa hit his second home run of the exhibition season – out of the appropriately named Surprise Stadium in a win Wednesday over the Diamondbacks – a lot of people sounded convinced he still can do what he once did. The Rangers’ risk in this is minimal. As if the contract didn’t prove they’re no longer in the charity business, know that owner Tom Hicks parted with even that piece of change only after sitting down to dinner with Sosa and sending his scouts to the Dominican Republic to confirm Sosa was working as hard as reports said he was. Judging by his appearance this spring – a taut 225 pounds – Sosa was. But money, at least as one measure of how far his star has fallen, does matter. Mike Piazza, who’s also 38, is getting $8.5 million to be a designated hitter in Oakland, and he trails Sosa on the career RBI list by almost 300. The guy Piazza replaced, 38-year-old Frank Thomas, just signed for two years and $18 million in Toronto, and he’s 101 home runs behind Sosa on that list. Sammy Sosa didn’t come out of hiding and amble into baseball for the money. He’s got plenty. Even if Sosa earns a spot with the Texas Rangers as a designated hitter and triggers every bonus clause in his contract during the regular season – the final frontier: 600 plate appearances – he still makes only $2.8 million. That might sound like a lot, but not to a guy who banked eight-figure checks nearly every year for a decade.