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Stubby Clapp to Play in Olympics After All

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You might remember

last week’s post on Stubby Clapp

, the hitting coach for the Houston Astros Single-A Lexington Legends, who was denied permission by the Astros to play for Team Canada in the upcoming Summer Olympics.

I come to you this week with good news. On Friday, the Astros relented, and Stubby is on his way to the Olympics. This is a big change from what the Astros were saying as late as Thursday, when Astros assistant GM Ricky Bennett said the Astros "support baseball as an Olympic sport and are allowing two of our players, Jimmy Van Ostrand and Danny Klassen, to participate for Team Canada," but with Clapp as "a valued minor-league staff member, it is equally important for Stubby Clapp to remain with our organization to continue to teach and instruct our players..."

I guess the Astros discovered it was as equally important to let Clapp live his dream.

What really made the Astros sound like even bigger pricks was that Clapp’s contract was expiring at the end of the season, and he didn’t want to lose his job. “I told them that if my job is in jeopardy if I go that I wanted to stay,” Clapp told the Canadian media. But should a career really have to be risked to represent one’s country in the Olympics?

It doesn’t matter now. Stubby’s going to Beijing. But someone really needs to sit Drayton down and have a little chat with him, stressing the importance of that God and Country thing he likes to spout off about.

And I’ll say this, also. I was told that some of you out there sent e-mails to the Astros and told the team how disappointed you were. I don’t know if that had any effect on Drayton, but seeing as how the Chron totally ignored this story, I’m hoping that not being able to hide the story from the fans had a little something to do with the team’s change of mind.

So good work. And Drayton, thanks for finally doing the right thing. – John Royal

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