The 2014 TSL Season in Sports was another action-packed, multi-layered experience with athletics once again crossing over into national news and sparking social and political conversations on race, wealth privilege and homosexuality in pro sports. Conversations that are offspring of the emotionally-charged fabric of athletic competition and our country's dependence on it.
Records were broken on the field and revelations were made off of it, as the changing dynamics of a far-reaching sports landscape forced Americans to look into the mirror and evaluate their morals, beliefs and character.
A volatile and tense racial tea kettle brewing between America's citizens, urban jungles, police force, billion dollar industries and instigative media machines has relied on the world of sports as an expression of growing frustration and a tool of medication and mediation.
Here are the TSL pieces I wrote that I consider must-reads as we reflect on the most important sports stories that we covered with our bold, culturally unique, eloquent and impassioned flavor.
Bud Selig retired in 2014 after serving as acting MLB commissioner from 1992-1998. He was named the ninth official commissioner in '98 and is credited with seeing baseball through the 1994 strike, the introduction of the wild card and interleague play and for the financial come up baseball enjoyed during his tenure.
The 400 percent increase in revenue tends to blind fans from the fact that he was also the driving force behind the proliferation of PED use. Instead of admitting that it was a necessary evil in a desperate time and needed to revitalize fan interest following the strike of '94, Selig attacked the very superstars who helped the game flourish under his watch.
While he will always have to live with the stain of the PED ERA, Selig should be commended for his initiatives aimed at honoring and preserving the memories of African-American baseballers whose vast MLB contributions are historically undervalued.
That's an aspect of Selig's legacy that new commissioner Rob Manfred-- Bud's former deputy dawg -- should continue. Manfred is well-known throughout baseball's underworld and has huge shoes to fill. Selig's retirement and the low-key, mysterious search for a new commish was definitely one of the biggest sports stories of 2014.