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Front Page » August 13, 2002 » Sports » The Sports View
Published 4,367 days ago

The Sports View


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By DONALD KAUL
Contributing writer

I generally write about politics which is a pretty easy gig if you want to know the truth, because you don't really have to know anything so long as you have an opinion. Every once in a while, though, I feel moved to write about something of real social significance, something people care about.

Unfortunately I can't stand pro football so I have to make do with baseball, which is something people used to care about.

It looks increasingly as though there is going to be a strike by Major League baseball players, probably before the end of the season, making it problematic that we'll have a World Series.

There was a time when news like that would have brought a collective national sob, but now it's more of a yawn. The once majestic national pastime has been brought to its knees by a combination of greed and stupidity that rivals that of ancient Babylon.

I blame the fans. We sat there passively while the yokels in charge completely screwed up the game. When they began putting artificial turf in outdoor stadiums we should have stood up and yelled. When the American League dreamed up the designated hitter, we should have stormed the barricades and demanded a return to sanity. When they started allowing National and American League teams to play each other during the season, thus cheapening the World Series and rendering the All-Star game an absurdity, we should have kidnapped baseball owners and held them hostage.

Having done none of that, we reap what we sowed. The egomaniacs who run and play baseball think they own the game and can play with it exclusively for their own amusement.

It is important to note that none of the things I talked about will be addressed by the coming strike. The owners are interested only in making sure that even the most inept among them will be able to turn a profit as they run their teams into the ground and the players are interested mainly in insuring that they will continue to be overpaid without regard to performance.

I don't know about you, but I do not have a dog in that fight. Either way, you still get the designated hitter. Let the strike begin, or not. I couldn't care less.

Golf is a sport that strangely enough, some people care about. Tiger Woods suffered a seemingly inexplicable meltdown at the British Open last month. I can explick it.

The tournament was played at a private club in Scotland that does not admit women as members. Some feminist-minded commentators complained about the policy and suggested that if prominent golfers like Woods boycotted the event, they could be instruments of change. Woods said something to the effect that it wasn't any concern of his.

A few days later when he walked out onto the course the skies opened, the wind began to howl and he played like a complete dog. The weather was bad; he was worse. He shot an 81, the highest he'd ever scored as a professional.

I can't prove this, but I'll bet that if one rummaged around Gloria Steinheim's closet, they would find a Tiger Woods doll with pins sticking out of it. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Religion which, while not actually a sport, is more exciting than soccer. Much of the country is being visited by a drought of Biblical proportions, one that parches the crops and sends forests up in flames. Have you noticed which states are hardest hit? Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas.

And what do these states have in common? They all voted for George W. Bush in the 2000 election.

Which brings us to the question, does this prove there is a God? The answer being, no, but it points in that direction.


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