Tuesday, November 06, 2001


So I see that Michael Bloomberg will be the next mayor of New York City. I have a great idea. He's got billions. New York needs rebuilding. He should pay for it. All of it. Heck, he gets free housing in one of the most expensive cities on the planet. What would he need money for?


Bank of America runs a commercial with a blind martial arts student. That's wrong so many ways I can hardly enumerate them.


Man, I'd hardly hit the "send" key when Major League Baseball nuked itself. Owners today voted to remove two teams from their number. As usual, they did it unilaterally; as usual, they did it after suckering municipalities to be their friends, then kicking those towns right in the kneecaps.

Baseball clubs are franchises. You get the MLB franchise in Cleveland, in Houston, in Phoenix, in Seattle, in New York. You pay a lot of money for that... in 1998, Arizona and Tampa Bay's franchise fees were something like $130 million. Now MLB is saying that it's happy to take your money, but don't expect us to keep you around.

Rumor has it the franchises likely to be yanked are the Montreal Expos and the Minnesota Twins. The Expos were an expansion club born in 1969. They made the playoffs once, in 1981... in a year that had an odd playoff format invented just to make up for games lost midseason to a player strike. This past year they averaged between seven and eight thousand spectators per game in a year when it seems just about every other franchise drew 3 million. They also have one of the very best players in the game today, Vladimir Guerrero, who would be like the second coming of Ken Griffey, Jr. and Mark McGwire if he played in a market like New York or Los Angeles. And they've always been a city no major leaguer from the USA wanted to play, having to deal with multiple tax situations, high taxes, and exchange rates. Minnesota used to be the FIRST Washington Senators franchise -- owner Calvin Griffith moved the club because there were too few white faces in the seats at Griffith Stadium -- and actually won two World Series, the last time just 10 years ago in a set that was every bit the match of the series just concluded. This year they finished second, and led for much of the year.

But MLB apparently isn't doing away with its four-year-old franchise in Tampa Bay, a team that has been nothing but horrible since its inception and plays in a domed stadium that makes the Kingdump (excuse me, the Kingdome) look like Camden Yards. Florida, which tore itself apart seemingly even as Craig Counsell scored the World Series-winning run in 1997, looks to stay. Kansas City, which hasn't competed since the mid-1980s, looks to stay. So why Minnesota? Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says it's leverage. Because Minnesota has been successful, it's a good town to threaten to move to. So one day it might be the Minnesota Marlins.

Dumber still? There'll have to be some switching of leagues and divisions. The plan I heard puts -- get this -- the world champion Arizona Diamondbacks in the American League West. You'd think winning the World Series would let you play in your league the following year. The irony? Arizona owner Jerry Colangelo practically pulled out a 2-by-4 to force his way into the National League when expansion came around.

Sunday, November 04, 2001


To the Arizona Diamondbacks, who have won, in stirring and gut-wrenching fashion, the seventh game of the World Series, congratulations... and let's not pull a Florida Marlins and dismantle the team by next Sunday.

There are a lot of reasons why it would have been nice for the Yankees to have won... this is going to be one more thing that will make 2001 a bad year to be a New Yorker (though there are about 4,800 people who'd gladly trade a Yankees World Series loss for a do-over of September 11th). It says nothing but bad things about how Major League Baseball has prostituted itself that a team that won 116 games -- the Seattle Mariners -- and one that won 102 -- the Oakland Athletics -- weren't even IN the World Series. And it's bad that a team only four years old can go out and buy itself the players to go out and win the Series... but then again, if such a team had to win, the Yankees are the team to have beaten, since they built themselves the same way.

I'd have given the MVP award (didn't it used to be called the Babe Ruth Award?) to Randy Johnson alone, but Curt Schilling was tough, too, so I can't complain too much.

Now comes the bad news... don't expect a baseball season, much less a World Series, in 2002. Because Major League Baseball Commissioner (and former used-car salesman) Bud Selig will make baseball owners try to force the wrong things down the throats of the Major League Baseball Players Association -- and because the players' union will insist on its own stupid demands -- major league baseball will grind to a halt. Despite terrorist attacks, despite war in Afghanistan (and probably two or three other fronts by spring), the millionaires and the billionaires will have a spitting fit and make us miss one of the things that help us forget people like Osama bin Laden.

Congratulations, Arizona... now let's reinstitute the draft and start with our most fit Americans, professional athletes.

Saturday, November 03, 2001

Saw a story on Space.com the other day that offered the helpful advice, "How To Put Humans On Mars By 2035."

As amazing as science is, I suspect that, NASA being NASA, we're going to send the WRONG people. And nobody is going to talk to ME to get my opinion.

So, since NASA probably isn't going to drop me an e-mail, may I make some suggestions?

1. Dan Rather. Where would he be if he hadn't been in Dallas in 1963? Unless, of course, he, too, was part of the coup plot that put fellow Texan Lyndon Johnson in the White House. Am I the only human on the planet who found his performance on Late Night with David Letterman to be apalling, embarrassing, and the sole reason why he should have retired at 65 like Walter Cronkite did?

2. Seattle Mariners Broadcaster Dave Niehaus.

3. Madonna.

4. Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson or Christina Aguilera. (Who are all the same person, anyway, aren't they?)

5. Boy bands. All of 'em.

6. Howard Stern.

7. Bud Selig.

8. Kathleen Harris.

9. The US Supreme Court.

10. Trent Lott

11. Tom DeLay

Tuesday, October 30, 2001


I was able to post when accessing via my work connection, but I haven't proven I can post from home, yet.

Let's see.

Friday, October 26, 2001


Two days ago Jay Zilber, my longtime friend and writing partner, told me about this site.

Yesterday, I tried to start an account.

Today, I'm trying again.