Archive for April, 2001

Sports Briefs

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Ben Cortopassi

By the Associated Press
Major League Baseball
BALTIMORE-The Iron Man will be allowed to rust a little this season, Orioles manager Mike Hargrove has decided.
Third baseman Cal Ripken, who set the Major League record for consecutive games played, will play between “two to five times a week,” to give more time to backup Mike Kinkade.
Ripken was not in the starting lineup for the second time in three games Tuesday night as the Orioles opened a three-game series against Detroit.
“There are going to be some weeks when he’s going to play three times, some weeks when he might play five times, and some weeks when he plays two times,” Hargrove said in Wednesday’s editions of The (Baltimore) Sun.
Ripken has gotten off to a horrible start, batting .154 with six RBIs in 52 at-bats. Ripken got a late start in spring training because of a fractured rib-he only had 25 at-bats in camp.
There has been speculation this could be the last year for Ripken, who signed a one-year contract after last season. In February, he did not rule out the possibility that he could retire during the season if he struggled.
Hargrove said the move wasn’t related to the slow start.
“We’ve got to find out about our younger guys,” Hargrove said. “If we look up this summer and these guys haven’t played, what we’ve done has gone for nothing.”
“It’s not performance-related on Cal’s part … It’s all predicated on what Kinkade has showed.”
Ripken said he wasn’t surprised by the decision.
“I guess it would be a surprise if I had 20 hits in my first 40 at-bats,” Ripken said. “The irony of this is that I’m feeling better now than at almost any time I can remember in the past few years… I need at-bats on the field to get going.”
Hargrove said he didn’t consider Ripken a part-time player.
“Not in the true sense of it,” he said. “If you took out a dictionary, the definition might fit. But I don’t consider Cal a part-time player. He’s not a full-time player, but he wasn’t a full-time player last year.”

National Basketball Association
SALT LAKE CITY-John Starks was hospitalized Tuesday and missed Game 2 of Utah’s first-round playoff series against Dallas after undergoing what the team called “a minor medical procedure” for recent groin pain.
Starks, 35, was listed as questionable for Game 3 on Saturday in Dallas and probable for a possible Game 4, which would be played on May 1, if necessary.
Citing liability concerns, team owner Larry Miller refused to discuss Starks’ health.
“It’s not a basketball-related matter, so I’m afraid I can’t say anything about it,” Miller said shortly before tipoff.
Jazz vice president Kevin O’Connor said the procedure was unrelated to abdominal pain that put Starks in the hospital overnight earlier this week. Starks complained of cramps after eating ice cream on Sunday.
O’Connor said Starks was in good spirits Tuesday night at an undisclosed Salt Lake City-area hospital.
“I just talked to him a while ago on the phone and he’s doing good,” O’Connor said. “He sounded good. He was watching the Indiana-Philadelphia game on television.”
After leaving Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful on Monday, Starks attended practice but didn’t work out. He missed Tuesday’s shootaround leading up to Game 2 because of the groin procedure.
O’Connor said Starks would need three to four days to recover from the procedure but was expected to return to the team by this weekend.
“The main concern is for John to get healthy,” O’Connor said. “Any time you have a medical procedure, that’s the case.”
Starks scored four points in 13 minutes in Utah’s 88-86 victory Saturday in Game 1. The 12-year veteran from Oklahoma State averaged 9.3 points, 2.4 rebounds and 2.4 assists during the regular season after signing with the Jazz as a free agent last summer.

MIAMI-Miami Heat guard Tim Hardaway, hobbled by a bruised left foot, will not play the rest of the Heat’s first round playoff series against the Charlotte
The Heat trail the series 2-0 and the injury to their starting point guard will make their chances for a miracle comeback even tougher.
Hardaway has been ineffective in the series, scoring a combined five points in 37 minutes in the two playoff games. The Heat have been outscored by 11 points when Hardaway is on the court.
Heat coach Pat Riley tabbed point guard Anthony Carter to start in Hardaway’s absence.
National Footbal League

NEW YORK-The Xodus has begun.
At least eight XFL players have signed NFL contracts, and as much as 100 could follow as NFL teams follow up the draft by acquiring free agents to fill their training camp rosters.
Even before last weekend’s XFL championship, in which Los Angeles beat San Francisco, players from the fledgling league sposnored by the World Wrestling Federation and the NBC broadcasting network had signed with NFL teams.
Among them are Memphis tight end Mark Thomas, who signed with Kansas City; defensive backs Tawambi Settles of the New York-New Jersey Hitmen and wide receiver Corey Nelson of Las Vegas, who went to Seattle; cornerback Hurley Tarver of Las Vegas, who signed with Green Bay; and tackle Jon Blackman of Las Vegas and linebacker Ron Merkerson of the Hitmen, who signed with Carolina.
Safety Kerry Cooks of Chicago and linebacker Joseph Tuipala of Las Vegas signed last Friday with Jacksonville.
Many NFL personnel privately welcomed the XFL as another venue for players who had failed to make the NFL to get additional experience. NFL teams scouted the XFL all season.
Among those who most likely will be signed are two former first-round quarterback busts-Tommy Maddox of Los Angeles and Jim Druckenmiller of Memphis. Another XFL quarterback, Jeff Brohm of Orlando, actually was on the Cleveland roster for the final game of last season even while under contract to the XFL.
But Maddox might have trouble getting back with the man who drafted him for Denver in 1992, Dan Reeves, who took him to the New York Giants and Atlanta, where he now coaches.
The Falcons just traded up to take quarterback Michael Vick with the first pick in last weekend’s NFL draft and also have veteran starter Chris Chandler and Doug Johnson, who showed promise as a rookie last season.
Maccabiah World Games

CLEMSON, S.C.-Southern Cal forward David Bluthenthal and former Oklahoma State guard Doug Gottlieb will lead the U.S. men’s basketball team at this summer’s World Maccabiah Games.
Clemson coach Larry Shyatt is heading the team. He announced the selections Wednesday.
“We feel we have assembled a group of quality young men and outstanding basketball players who will represent the United States with class, dignity and professionalism,” Shyatt said.
Bluthenthal, 6-foot-7, led the Trojans to within a game of the Final Four last month. He scored 27 points as Southern Cal upset Kentucky 80-76 in the round of 16 before his team fell to eventual NCAA tournament champion Duke, 79-69, in the regional finals.
Gottlieb, a 6-foot-1 point guard playing professionally in Russia, helped the Sooners to the NCAA regional finals in 2000, where they lost to Florida 77-65.
Shyatt said two other professionals will take part for the American team: 7-3 center Eric Gingold, formerly of Williams (Mass.) College who is playing in Belgium, and 6-5 swingman Gabe Frank, formerly of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and now in the Continental Basketball Association.
The rest of the team is made up of collegiate players.
Guard Tamir Goodman, a former Maryland recruit often referred to as the “Jewish Jordan” during his high school days, was chosen as an alternate.
The World Maccabiah Games, held every four years, will take place in Israel from July 16-26. Competitors, coaches and staff members must be Jewish to take part.
Shyatt says the team will meet at the end of June for a week of practices. They will leave New York for Israel on July 7.

Fantasy Land

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Ben Cortopassi

The AL East has arguably the three best teams in the American League, while the NL East has two of the early surprises of the year in Montreal and Philadelphia. Within these two divisons are fantasy players you should add to your team.


Boston Red Sox: Pedro has been brilliant as usual, but what has gotten into the rest of the staff? The Red Sox as a team have a 2.19 ERA, highlighted by Pedro and his 1.61 ERA and 23-year-old Paxton Crawford, with a 1.83 ERA. Manny Ramirez is healthy and hitting the ball like a man possessed. He’s batting .417 with six home runs and 21 RBI, including three home runs and seven runs batted in against the hated Yankees.

Toronto Blue Jays: Center fielder Jose Cruz Jr. currently has a 17-game hitting streak. During the streak Cruz is 24-for-65 (.375) with five homers and 13 RBI. Carlos Delgado continues to prove worthy of the $68 million the Blue Jays the spent on him. Delgado has 10 home runs, 19 RBI and an impressive .472 on-base percentage. Despite the loss of David Wells, the Blue Jays are 12-7 thanks in part to Esteban Loiaza and his 3-1 mark.

New York Yankees: Experts and fans argued all offseason that the world champion Yankees should acquire a new right fielder. Paul O’Neill apparently took note. O’Neill has seven home runs and 16 RBI. This is the most home runs that O’Neill has ever hit in one month during his entire career, a sign that he is not finished quite yet. Another aging veteran, third baseman Scott Brosius, is also playing great. Brosius has a .347 average and 8 RBI.

Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles are terrible. Former Cy Young winner Pat Hentgen has been the only consistent pitcher, posting a 2.59 ERA in four starts. The team as a whole has an average of just .221, which explains why they have scored only 66 runs. Catcher Greg Myers leads the team with two home runs and 8 RBI. Greg Myers?

Tampa Bay: A youth movement has begun in Tampa Bay. Vinny Castilla has been benched for the promising Aubrey Huff, who is just 2-for-24 on the season. Rumors of trading Fred McGriff to make room for Steve Cox and his .300 average have arisen. Starting pitcher Albie Lopez leads the AL with a 1.45 ERA.


Philadelphia Phillies: Rookie SS Jimmy Rollins is off to a great start. Rollins is hitting .304 and is playing excellent defense. The Phillies are in first place thanks to their pitching staff and its 3.11 ERA. Bruce Chen leads the starters with a 2.45 ERA while reliever Wayne Gomes has given up just one run in 12 appearances.

Montreal Expos: Second basemen Jose Vidro is out to prove that last year was no fluke. So far this year he leads the NL with 27 hits. Newly acquired Britt Reames has been the Expos best starter, posting a 2-1 record. Opponents are hitting under .200 against him. Ugueth Urbina regained his 1999 form and has recorded four saves in four chances.

Atlanta Braves: It’s 20 games into the season, and the Braves are already four games out of first place. Just what has gone wrong? Atlanta hitters have just a .227 average. Starting pitching has been no problem. Tom Glavine leads the staff with three wins while Greg Maddux tops all of baseball with a 0.67 ERA. Closing games continues to be a struggle, with Rocker having blown two saves already.

New York Mets: New York’s starting outfield production is the main reason the Mets are in 4th place in the competitive NL East. Benny Agbayani and Timo Perez have spent time on the DL, while Darryl Hamilton, Jay Payton and Tsuyoshi Shinjo have combined to hit .201. Rick Reed has been incredible. In four starts he has given up just seven runs and one walk.

Florida Marlins: SS Alex Gonzalez is back. After hitting .200 last season, Gonzalez is up to .328 this year. Cliff Floyd is healthy and producing with a .320 average and he has scored 17 runs in only 18 games. Jason Grilli leads the young pitching staff with two wins and a 3.06 ERA.

Young Stars Begin To Shine

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Joel Gluskin

Here’s a look at five up and coming major leaguers who are off to hot starts in 2001 and have the makings to become future big league stars.

Doug Mientkiewicz, Minnesota Twins, 1B: Up until this year, Mientkiewicz was known more for his last name than his play, but he has been the offensive spark in the surprising start from the Twins. Mientkiewicz actually played with the Twins in the 1999 season, but he landed in manager Tom Kelly’s doghouse and played 2000 for Triple A Salt Lake. However, Mientkiewicz was the offensive hero for the 2000 Olympic Team, as he hit a key home run against Cuba, which led to the gold medal. In the offseason, Mientkiewicz was given the first base job for 2001, and he has yet to disappoint Twins fans. He currently leads the team in batting average, is second in home runs and RBI’s, and he has come up with many clutch hits in the ten come-from-behind victories that the Twins already have. His .362 batting average is currently tied for 7th in the American League.

Josh Paul, Chicago White Sox, C: From Buffalo Grove, Illinois, Paul first made an impact in September last season during the White Sox’ improbable run to the Central Division title. Paul was a September call-up, and the White Sox soon found out that Paul has amazing speed for a catcher. Thus, he pinch-ran for Charles Johnson during late innings whenever the Sox needed to push one more run across the plate. Paul even beat out Mark Johnson, the White Sox backup catcher throughout the season, for a spot on the White Sox postseason roster. He beat out Johnson again this spring to be Sandy Alomar Jr.’s backup catcher. Paul has only started four games so far and has appeared in three more as a late-inning replacement. He is currently hitting .313 and is one of the most valuable assets on the White Sox bench.

Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals, 1B/3B/OF: Pujols is only 21 years of age, and wasn’t even supposed to make the Cardinals roster out of Spring Training; instead, he was supposed to go to Triple A. However, Pujols played so well that manager Tony LaRussa had no choice but to keep him on the roster. So far, Pujols has made LaRussa look like a genius and has given Cardinal fans something to think about besides the injury to Mark McGwire. As the Opening Day leftfielder, Pujols collected his first major league hit. His first major league home run came just three games later. Pujols recently put together a 13-game hitting streak and currently leads the Cardinals team with seven home runs, 22 RBI’s and 16 runs. Last Sunday against the Astros, Pujols was the team’s sole source of offense, accounting for all three Cardinals runs with a solo homer and also a two run shot. Pujols’ .375 average is currently third in the National League.

Alfonso Soriano, New York Yankees, 2B: Before the season started, Soriano was better known as Chuck Knoblauch’s replacement at second base; however, his play thus far has allowed him to make a name for himself. Soriano has been thought of as the Yankees’ top prospect for a few years, and he is showing why with his stellar play as a 22-year-old rookie. Soriano can fly on the bases-already stealing four bases this season-and he is an outstanding defensive second baseman. Soriano’s best game this season came against the Kansas City Royals, as he went 4-for-4 with 3 RBI’s. Soriano also hit his first career home run, which turned out to score the game-winning run. As a rookie, Soriano’s patience at the plate will be one of the keys to the Yankees’ success this season. So far, Soriano has 90 at-bats and has yet to receive a walk.

Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle Mariners, OF: Ichiro, as he is better known, came to the Mariners last offseason after sparking a bidding war between many major league ballclubs. So far, he has gotten the Mariners off to an amazing start, and has given fans a reason to forget about A-Rod’s quarter-of-a-billion-dollars departure. He is a fan favorite in Seattle, as the fans at Safeco Field wave Japanese flags in honor of him every time he steps up to the plate. On Opening Day, Ichiro became the first Japanese position player ever to play in the major leagues, when he hit leadoff for the M’s. Currently, Ichiro is the leading candidate for AL Rookie of the Year, and he’s already set a Mariners rookie record by hitting in 15 consecutive games. Another asset to Ichiro’s game is his defense, as he has already thrown out two runners at the plate trying to score on sacrifice flies. Ichiro is hitting .355 and bringing new excitement to baseball in the Pacific Northwest as the Mariners currently have the best record in the major leagues.

The Link: Can You Figure It Out?

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | John Randall
Web Master

Charles Bronson has a death wish. Chuck Norris was a Texas Ranger just like Rafael Palmeiro, but he never played for Johnny Oates. Phil Jackson coached Michael Jordan, but not any other White Sox like Jose Valentin. Rick Adelman is an NBA coach as well. Let’s do a big string of Yankees so we can get them out of the way: Dave Winfield, Ron Guidry, Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and someone who served them both as a player and a coach, Billy Martin. Vince Coleman once played for a New York team (the Mets) until one day when his career went “Pop!” Speaking of pops, why not the late-great Willie Stargell? Another member of the 500 home run club is Mike Schmidt. Wade Boggs never hit many home runs (his career high was 24 in 1987), but he did have 200 hits seven years in a row. Bernie was a dead guy in the smash eighties hit, “Weekend at Bernie’s.” Former speedster Davey Lopes is currently managing the Milwaukee Brewers. Robin Yount, a member of the Hall of Fame and the 3,000-hit club, is perhaps the most famous Brewer. Phil Garner, a.k.a. Scrap Iron, used to manage the Brewers until he got fired and went east to work for the Detroit Tigers.
John Travolta had a very small part as a military man on a gunboat in the far east in the vastly underrated movie “The Thin Red Line”. As good as “TRL” was, Pierce Patchett peddled high-class hookers in an even better movie, “L.A. Confidential.”
Barry Bonds is by no means the best hitting left-fielder of all time. There’s no way Donnie Brasco could have been a rat. Doyle Alexander was an all-star with the Tigers in 1988. Stuart Scott says, “Boo-yah.” Abner Doubleday invented the darn game (well, he didn’t really.) Dan Quisenberry dropped down low and went by the nickname “The Quiz.” Randy Johnson is better known for his mullet. Jamie Foxx has come a long way since “In Living Color.” Terry Bevington skippered the Sox in the nineties, to no avail. Jayson Stark, you’d better straighten up, buddy. Wilford Brimley is the oatmeal guy but he managed the New York Knights in “The Natural.” Jeff Reboulet wants to be a big league manager one day. John Franco wears a New York City Sanitation Dept. T-shirt under his jersey. Leo Mazzone rocks back and forth and back and forth. Cliffy Claven might share a beer at Cheers with Boston Red Sox reliever Rod Beck.
William Howard Taft was the portliest president this country ever had. I heard he once got stuck in the presidential bathtub. While we’re on the topic of world leaders, let’s take a swing at Yasser Arafat, Teddy Roosevelt, Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein, and someone who once tried out to make baseball’s Cincinnati Reds, Fidel Castro. General George Armstrong Custer wasn’t a world leader, but he was the leader of an army. Captain Hook was a dangerous guy. So was Dick Butkus. Dan Dierdorf.less so. With a good back, Larry Bird could have taken virtually anyone. In this department, Rollie Fingers was practically second to none.
Bruce Bochy took the Padres to the World Series in 1998. Jim Leyland stole a smoke in the visitors’ dugout. Groucho Marx was a funny man. Wait! You mean that was Bobby Valentine in the dugout that day? Don Baylor leads the majors in career hit by pitches. Bill Buckner once played for the Cubs, but people should remember him as the leftfielder who watched number 715 soar over the left field fence in Atlanta. David Crosby and Arlo Guthrie look a little bit alike, don’t they?
Keith Hernandez was held accountable for a spitting in one of the best television shows of all time. Remember Frank Costanza? Tom Selleck starred in that classic hardball film “Mr. Baseball”. The Iron Sheik used to give Hulk Hogan fits, but that was a long time ago. Phil Esposito’s one of the few hockey players eligible for this list. Pat Hentgen’s here, which says something. Ned Flanders comes all the way from Springfield, Whatever. Charlie Chaplin’s here as is Weird Al Yankovic.
I can’t believe that Tim “Rock” Raines is back in baseball, much less with the Expos. Cecil Fielder played north of the border with the Blue Jays and west of the border in Japan before making his name by hitting 51 homers in 1990 with the Tigers. Joe Carter, though, will always be remembered as a Blue Jay. Kirk Gibson played with the Tigers for a while, but his dinger off of “Upper Deck” Eckersley makes his trot in a Dodgers uniform quite memorable. Ron Cey, a.k.a. “The Penguin,” played in LA for 12 years before joining Andre Dawson, Leon Durham, Greg Maddux, and the rest of the Cubbies. Evander Holyfield is the 50th best fighter in the world. No, scratch that, in the state of Georgia.
Lightning round: ESPN’s Joe Morgan and Harold Reynolds, old timers Cap Anson, Dan Brouthers, John Clarkson, Buck Ewing and King Kelly, Tony Eusebio, The Ken Griffeys, Terrence Long, Derek Bell, Jeff Nelson, Shawon Dunston, “The Professional Hitter” Matt Stairs, Players Union guy Marvin Miler, Dale Earnhardt, Thurman Munson, Richard Pryor, Kevin Greene, Jesse Jackson, Eric Clapton, Cito Gaston, Todd Jones, Cary Elweis, Richard Ruland, Joel Kerrigan, Sean Penn, Willie McGee and Joe Mama.

Can One Man Change Memories of Years Past?

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Eric Silverstein

The Atlanta Falcons have been a dismal franchise for a very, very long time. Make no mistake about it. How many franchises can say they traded away Brett Favre? Every once in a while they stray from their usual selves and make it to the playoffs. Yet, usually the Georgia Dome remains the stomping ground for NFC-West rival San Francisco. In his days as a 49er, Steve Young took care of business before the local band performed at the halftime show. Falcons fans were left to see incumbent back-up Elvis Grbac mop up the rest of the victory. Grbac not only played, but he looked like a star against the hapless Falcons defense. Young, and every other opponent of the Falcons in the 90’s, circled the date they played the Falcons. Why? Because the lowly Atlanta franchise has an underachieving reputation. It was not a game. It was a scrimmage against a team that nobody cared about.
The “Dirty Birds” teased fans in 1998 when they made the franchise’s only Super Bowl run, going 16-3. Although the Denver Broncos handily defeated them, most believed the Falcons were there to stay at the upper echelon of the NFL. The real Falcons returned in 1999 and were met face-on with disaster. In their season opener against the Minnesota Vikings, oft-injured quarterback Chris Chandler was knocked out late in the contest. With time winding down, Morten Anderson missed a 40-yard field goal, a kick that would have tied the game. The season finished in a downward spiral. Pro-Bowl running back Jamal Anderson tore his ACL in a gruesome injury against Dallas on a Monday night affair, the team’s second game of the season. Anderson, who sat out the rest of they year, never reached his Pro Bowl form in 2000. So goes the tale of the Falcons: a 5-11 season in 1999 followed by a 4-12 season in 2000. Attendance dropped to an average of a generous 40,000 fans a game. The Falcons were again drowning in their own sorrows.
Then came Friday, April 20th,, 2001. The Atlanta Falcons did the unthinkable: they made the right move. The Chargers agreed to deal the No. 1 pick of the 2001 NFL Draft to the Falcons in exchange for their first and third round picks of 2001, their second round pick for 2002, and speedy return man Tim Dwight. Although Dwight was a fan favorite, he was a small price to pay for the #1 player in the draft, quarback Michael Vick. Vick is more than just a talented QB for Atlanta fans. He is hope. A savior. The franchise reborn. While Vick will most likely sit and learn during his rookie season, his potential for years to come is endless. The former Virginia Tech Hokie has athleticism unlike anything the NFL has ever seen. Couple that with an accurate deep ball and a strong build, and Atlanta sealed its future on Saturday.
Vick made every Falcon fan forget the drafts of the past, which were mediocre at best. In 1997, the Falcons traded down and drafted cornerback Michael Booker with the eleventh pick in the draft. Booker was just released in 2001. The extra pick they received in exchange for moving down, a second rounder, was running back Byron Hanspard, who also was waived in 2001. Nathan Davis, the second of the Falcons’ two picks in the second round, was inactive for all of the 1997 season. Reporting to training camp overweight for the ’98 season, the defensive tackle told head coach Dan Reeves he no longer wanted to play and quit the team. It couldn’t get any worse, right? Atlanta’s third round draft pick, tight end O.J. Santiago, was traded during the 2000 season to Dallas for a conditional fourth round draft pick. None of the Falcons top four picks in 1997 made it past the 2000 season. Seattle, who moved up via Atlanta, picked Pro Bowl cornerback Shawn Springs.
The 1998 draft yielded sub-par results as well. While first-round pick Keith Brooking has shown promising signs, second-rounder Bob Hallen has failed to live up to expectations. Drafted as a guard, he has been switched to both center and tackle. Third-rounder Jammi German, who was a questionable draft pick coming off an injury-plagued college career, has seen time merely as a third and fourth-string receiver. The lone steal in the draft, Tim Dwight, was traded to the Chargers.
Reeves’ worst draft, however, is arguably the 1999 draft. Defensive end Patrick Kerney registered only 2.5 sacks his rookie year. The Falcons also dealt away their 2000 first-round draft pick for their second-round pick in 1999, Reggie Kelly. Kelly, who caught only a handful of passes in his first two years as a Falcon, is still a developing player. The Ravens, who traded for the 2000 pick, took Jamal Lewis with the fifth pick. Lewis eventually helped the Ravens to a Super Bowl championship.
Vick alone will not take the Falcons to a Super Bowl. However, with a supporting cast, he and the Falcons can compete with the best the NFL has to offer. While a risk can raise the franchise to new heights, it can’t lower them anywhere they haven’t been before. Vick has opened eyes in Atlanta. Falcon management has told the city of Atlanta they are willing to make moves to succeed, something they have not done in their 35-year history.

More Colorful Than Their Socks

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Renee Hires
Web Master

Q: One might imagine the baseball team is a rather humorous group. If so, what makes this team enjoyable and sets you apart from others?

Junior third baseman, Mark Glover: It’s definitely an interesting group of people. I guess there are just a lot of different guys with extremely different personalities. So you get these two different types of people together, who normally wouldn’t be together, and some funny stuff happens.

Sophomore right fielder, Joe Kelly: At some point someone is always doing something wacky, something that is off the hook. We’ve just recently picked up this game called shoe golf. You put your shoe on your foot and kick it as far as you can. So William Wooten decided that he’d kick one and put a little extra effort into it, and it landed on top of the gas station. So he lost his shoe, and instead of trying to figure out a way to get it he just threw the other one up there. Maybe the best part about the baseball team is when it’s time to play baseball we play baseball, but we never stop having a good time. Even when we play poorly, it’s all shits and giggles.

Q: Word on the street has it that each baseball player has an impeccable sense of style that enhances his own unique personality. What validity is there to that statement?

Kelly: We all know what certain guys are going to wear to the airport when we go to Florida. Like Graham [McBride] is going to wear something silly. He’s got this shirt – it’s got this crazy looking dog on it. Graham always has something that is like a little off the wall to get a laugh. Someone like Nate Hadsell is going to be all GQ. Like this year he wore capri pants. We railed on him for a long time on that one.

Q: I can’t say I’ve seen those fashion statements taking off here at WU, but at the same time I can’t help but notice the word boot seems to be spreading across campus. Do you have any idea how that term originated?

Kelly: That came straight from the baseball team. There was a guy from a junior college that had a boot tied to a rope, and any time a guy made an error they’d throw the boot out. Then they’d pull it back in. So boot became a word for an error. So this guy transferred and brought this over from another school. We picked it up, and now it has become a phenomenon at WU. I’ve heard people at this school say boot. If somebody pukes, we boot it. Say you’re in Center Court and you see somebody drop his tray, yell ‘boot!’ If there is any lasting effect that the baseball team has had on the community at large, it’s definitely the boot.

Q: Several other WU teams, which shall go unnamed, have claimed to make their lasting mark on the school through being by far the best-looking squads at the school. Where do you think you guys fall in the rankings, if at all?

Sophomore pitcher Damien Janet: Oh, well, I mean it’s not really a competition. I mean, have you seen the baseball team? I think we’re definitely the best looking team.

Q: Yeah, rumor has it that there are actually a lot of eligible studs on the team. Is that right?

Kelly: Baseball players play too much baseball during the spring semester; so a lot of them are single. You don’t have that much time for girls. There are a lot of eligible bachelors on this team. Notables: definitely Noah Valentino, William Wooten for sure and Bobby Collins Jr. Now, Tony Bianco, I don’t know why he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Trevor: he’s an animal! And Damien: Damien can get girls; he just has problems going out with them. So for young ladies who are looking for boyfriends, definitely look up some of these baseball players because they are a hot commodity. They will go fast once baseball ends.

Q: So you think you’re all studs, but surely you’ve heard girls refer to tall, dark and handsome as the paragon of attractiveness. Even with the looks and the suntans, what about the height factor?

Janet: There are quite a few short people. [Coach] says short people have no reason to live. But think about it, short girls need short guys. Tall, dark and handsome is overrated.

Q: You guys never seem shy to joke about your teammates. Are the players close in the sense that they like to hang out or party together outside of practice and games?

Kelly: Not so much. We’ve had occasional parties, but for the most part we each have our own group of friends. But see, practicing is like a social experience anyway. Doing batting practice we go out in the outfield and shag baseballs as other people are hitting them. We socialize. And, occasionally coach lets us take off our shirts and get funny tans.

Senior pitcher John O’Connell: We’ll go out together occasionally. There are several baseball parties organized by the freshmen, and we get together for the Super Bowl every year.

Q: Have lasting nicknames developed for many of the players?

Janet: Yeah, Mullet Mark. That one was just given to [Glover]. Someone on the other team was making fun of him.

Kelly: Mark Glover is also G-love. Moonlight Graham: that’s from Field of Dreams, and it’s a really good name for him because it’s kind of out there. Tony the Bronco Bianco: it just sounds right. Nate Liberman’s nickname is Nate Bitterman because he argues about everything. Noah Valentino’s nickname is Goober. He’s just a big goober. Will Wooten: his name is Will Wooten, but he says Wheel Wooten or Weeyam Wooten.

Q: Moving on, could someone please point out what the deal is with the tarp, meaning: why all the hard feelings?

O’Connell: It causes us to get up early, and we end up doing it like four or five times a days at times. And it doesn’t even work because it’s got holes in it and leaks.

Kelly: It’s really a half-ass system, but it also gives coach a reason to get us up at 7:00 a.m. or at 10:30 in the night.

Q: Well, about Coach Lessmann, what do you make of him and the advice he offers?

Janet: He’s very unpredictable. One moment he’ll be very laid back and then he’ll have some comment and he’ll be yelling at you from the dugout. He’ll say, ‘You’ve got a home run swing but you can’t hit home runs;’ ‘I’ve seen better pitchers of beer,’ or ‘You look like nine Russians out there.’ Every day he’ll come up with a new one.

Glover: He definitely adds to the interesting mix on the baseball team. And he basically tells us that we’re horrible, which is true, and he tells us we can’t play baseball. Oh, and he tells us to hit home runs.
Q: Have you been building any relationships with those living in the dorms by the field?

Kelly: Oh that’s for sure. We look up there and start yelling. All of a sudden this girl’s head pops up.

Q: Can you recall any time when a baseball hit a student from the dorms?

Janet: We’re just waiting for the day a window gets broken. I think it happened two years ago. But last year, I know some girl got hit on the head. She was sunbathing and she got hit in the head off a home run that bounced.

Q: Have any home runs or foul balls hit cars passing by?

Janet: If you knock a ball over the fence it will bounce onto Forsyth and hit a car.

Kelly: No one has ever really crashed or anything. We had one hit a Volvo going by, and when we see cop cars, we do often aim at them.

Q: Surely hitting students or their cars is not the best way to gain spectators. However, you must have some faithful fans, correct?

Kelly: We have five fans per game. And, that includes mommies and daddies because Mr. and Mrs. Deschamp come to every game. People ask us, ‘When’s your next home game? I really want to stop by.’ No they don’t. People who don’t care about baseball: Don’t ask because it just makes us feel bad.

Q: You will play at home once more, 3 p.m. Tuesday May 1, in a doubleheader against Webster. Why do you hope to see more fans in the stands that day?

Kelly: I play better, everyone plays better, when there are more fans. So everyone wants to have fans and be recognized for their physical prowess, but it just goes to show that at 1:00 in the afternoon when we’re playing baseball, other people have better things to do. I don’t know, study? If people spent as much time studying as complaining about studying then they would have plenty of time to see a baseball game. I would assume that girls would show up just to see us in the white pants! So you can tell all those girls they can skip the swim meet and the water polo match and come see the baseball players in the white pants. Because those things are sexy! Baseball is America’s favorite pastime. Maybe it’s that we don’t serve beer and hot dogs. I guess there is really no incentive here.

Saving the World

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Peter Hegel

I recently read a book about saving the world called Ishmael. While I do not agree with all of it, much is worth thinking about.
We seem to be destroying our world. Socially, the rate of teen suicide has tripled in the last 40 years. Violent school shootings occur with frightening frequency. Our population is expanding. Our prisons are overflowing. Environmentally, our world’s rain forests, whose function in global air production is not fully understood, are shrinking.
Worldwide, civilization works in an environmentally unsustainable way, and also in a psychologically unhealthy way. America is one of the richest and most environmentally destructive countries in the world, yet other nations strive to be more like us. Is the world we live in fundamentally flawed? Is it our fate to struggle to find happiness in a uncaring world?
Many believe that we need to improve people themselves-if people would only love each other, or be less greedy, everything would be perfect. Our system of laws and punishments is set up to “make people be better,” yet often it does not work. Human nature seems to be fundamentally destructive. Some religions believe that we are a “cursed” race, perfect except for a tendency toward evil that ruins whatever we touch. One of the insidious things about this perception is that we as individuals are blameless, because if we fail, we are suffering from a flaw in human nature. As part of a flawed race, our mistakes are inevitable
Not all people are destroying the world. Our culture, however, which spreads across the developing world, does not know how to live sustainably. People of our culture can be identified by their perception of humanity as flawed. Often we are not surprised to be living in poverty, corruption, toxicity or pollution, with corrupt rulers and uncaring neighbors.
Who are these people who live in a healthy and sustainable way? Are they super-environmentalists, who live in trees, eating only recycled cardboard? Of course not. We humans once knew how to live well. We must look for what we’ve lost where we last had it.
People have been living tribally for hundreds of thousands of years, and they have been content and happy living that way. By tribalism, I am not talking about living in caves and foraging but rather a more communal and egalitarian way of living, thinking and working. Tribal peoples would often fight to the death to defend their lifestyles, and the rates of suicide and depression appeared to be almost nonexistent in unmolested tribes.
Unfortunately for us, our way of life is destroying us. The idea that there is one right way to live and that we are innately flawed are the cause of our problems. What is the solution?
Tribal people may still know things about dealing with each other and the world, that we, despite all of our technical innovation, do not. Just because we do not want to live like so-called “primitive” peoples does not mean we can not learn about why their lifestyle works.
I don’t know if living in a way that would enable us to be healthy and happy would require that we give up all of our “fabulous” riches. No one knows. I do know that we are not a rich people. We are desperately poor in basic human wealth; safety, mental health and acceptance. In comparison, the mere fear of losing our pagers seems like a rather silly reason to not look for other ways of living.
Besides looking for alternative ways of thinking and living, every single one of us must realize that there is more than one right way to live. The government of our country has historically been extremely harsh to any group which attempted to live outside of its jurisdiction. I do not presume to pass judgment upon what has happened in Waco, Texas, or to the Native Americans, yet it seems that if we deny others’ attempts to try new ways of living and allow our government to crush nonconformists, we will render the world uninhabitable.
We will be the future lawmakers and policy implementers of this country. If we choose to follow the trend set in eliminating nonconformists, we will be destroying the good with the bad in the name of homogeneity. Only through tolerance and exploration can we save ourselves. Better recycling policies, emission standards and psychiatric medication are all band-aid like “adjustments” of current practices. They slow our destruction without changing the culture that is destructive.
Why should we care? We are attending one of the best universities in one of the richest countries in the world. Yet many of us are depressed. Many of us are without direction or without a dream for a better world. Violence in our society effects us all. So does hopelessness. We are all pathetically poor in basic human wealth-security, mental health, respect-the list of what we don’t have goes on and on.
I do not know what tomorrow holds, but now I know some of the places to look for solutions. We do not have to live like this. Malcolm X says, “You have an opportunity to change history.” It seems to me that we have everything to gain and nothing to lose, from trying.

Professors Have Feelings, Too-W.I.L.D. Dates Change

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Allison Carmichael

Although the metal monstrosity destined for vandalism that darkens the otherwise pleasant-looking entrance to Mallinckrodt has driven me to many verbal tirades condemning this aesthetic insult, I’ve decided to keep such thoughts to myself so as not to shock and perhaps frighten the Student Life readership. I think I can safely say that the entire WU community agrees that the bunny is, in fact, the ugliest thing to grace this campus since Eliot Hall. I’ve said my piece-now I can rest.
Rather than dwell on problems that can’t be helped (unless there is a student somewhere with a blowtorch, a sledgehammer and a wish for expulsion), I’ll now discuss another, more immediate matter-W.I.L.D. The semiannual campus-wide hoedown of hedonism is nearly upon us, complete with not the usual one, but a whopping two bands some people have heard of. Perhaps they’ll spend their time on stage performing as opposed to scolding the crowd for crowding itself. Hopefully Crazytown will have something more to offer than gratuitous tattoo display, and Eve 6 will simply have something to offer.
Rumor has it (as does fact) that this year it won’t be necessary for fights to break out on Monday in the Audio-Visual library over who gets to watch the chemistry videos first because W.I.L.D. is to be held on Saturday, excluding it as an excuse to skip class. Reactions to this change of date have been varied. Those who are especially academically driven and/or prone to guilt are grateful for the change, whereas people with minimal Friday classes are aggravated by the delay. Professors are pleased that students will have no real reason to miss class-especially beneficial in small discussion classes. It is understandable that professors might take offense if half the class fails to appear. I’m sure they know not to take it personally, but I’d imagine it would be difficult nonetheless to compete with the irresistible allure of kegs and giant floaty toys which have not only seized in their clutches the absent sixty percent of the class, but have the die-hard survivors gazing longingly out the window. It’s hard enough to engage students’ attention on warm spring days. Tack on popular bands and free food, and the professors don’t stand a chance.
Another legitimate reason for the change is maintenance of relations with the Clayton/University City community. If I were an elderly woman tending my daffodils in a house off of Millbrook, I would be chagrined and offended to have my atmosphere invaded by the tinny echoing of amplified guitar music. To elderly women, the modern rock music most college students swear by would be classified as “noise” rather than “music.” After all, Eve 6 is no Tom Jones. I would be equally chagrined if I were a mother living in the area trying to put my two-year-old to sleep, his daily Ritalin dosage waning and his mother’s nerves doing the same. Our neighbors, I’m sure, consider us a passel of punks as it is. College students are not a particularly reputable species, especially in the eyes of the peace-loving Claytonians. Their plight is understandable, as it is much easier for us to hold our boisterous festivities during waking, daylight hours than it is for everyone else in the neighborhood to move. Mutual respect within a community is important, and we must remember that mothers and little old ladies have rights, too.
Although skipping class and making noise are not crimes, we must remember that it hurts our professors when they think we don’t care about what they have to say. Purposeful disturbance also doesn’t help our fragile relations with the community when compromise can easily be reached. Holding W.I.L.D. on Saturday is a compromise, and for the sake of others, we should keep our complaints to a minimum.

Where Have All The Pregnant Students Gone?

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Audrey Slayton

A few weeks ago Students for Life sponsored a Pregnancy Resource Forum, which was hosted by Feminists for Life of America President Serrin Foster. This program was a wakeup call for us as a group in examining the status of resources on campus for students who wish to give birth and/or parent children. One out of 10 college-age women become pregnant each year. One would be a fool to deny that a similar trend does not happen on this campus. Yet, as Foster challenges us to ask, where have all the pregnant students gone? We challenge this campus to face this question, and the role we play in the answer.
At this forum we had representatives from Health Services, Financial Aid, St. Louis Pregnancy Resource Centers, and a current student raising a child. We learned that Financial Aid will work with individual students’ situations. We learned that the new insurance covers most of pregnancy and pediatric care costs with certain providers, but not medications. We learned that there is no day care on campus for students, but that Washington University is eligible to receive federal funds to start one. We learned that the St. Louis community has an overwhelming amount of resources, but students have no way of knowing about them all. Without a representative from Residential Life, we could only guess as to what the policy is for parenting students and housing, which we shouldn’t have to do. Most importantly, we learned that parenting students do exist here.
On one hand, the administration has good intentions, and they will work one on one with students to meet their needs. We applaud that. Yet, there is a bleaker side of the story. Looking around, you would think there is no other choice for a pregnant student but to have an abortion. Women don’t see other pregnant students, they don’t hear about pregnancy resources, and they think: I guess nobody else can do this, so why should I be able to? Regardless of a person’s stand on abortion, all can agree that a woman should not be forced to choose between her child or her academic career. A student facing enough emotional stress from an unexpected pregnancy should not have to dig around campus red tape to find what they need in order to stay in school. Also, not everyone attends college in a traditional way, but many students may come here with families already.
We should abandon our archaic attitudes about pregnancy and parenting during college and realize that, with the right support, it is very realistic. Some things that have been successful at other schools include: cooperative or volunteer day care, pregnancy resource staff members, and interactive distant learning technology for women who need to stay with their young babies. There are probably many students on this campus that would benefit from resources like these. We believe that once WU starts employing resources like these, more parenting students will step out of the woodwork, and lives will be positively changed. In the meantime, Students for Life will be taking the first proactive step by opening its Pregnancy Resource Center sometime next fall. Our goal is to solidify all that is available, so that no woman will be driven to abortion by fear or doubt of her ability to succeed as a parent/birthparent and student. We will work with students who are interested in meeting other WU parents, counseling, adoption, classes, arrangements with WU services, or just someone to talk to about their pregnancy. When deans say they can’t attend a forum on pregnancy resources because they “don’t know anything about them,” something is wrong.
When WU women are made to feel that pregnancy is a disability instead of a great ability, and there are no real choices here but abortion, pro-life and pro-choice alike should be demanding something better.

The New Racist

Friday, April 27th, 2001 | Petrice Gaskin

The new racist now wears a mask of conservative intellectualism, while hissing words like “reverse discrimination” and maliciously and frivolously applying the word “racism” to wherever they see fit. To those masked marauders, I say speak to me of racism and “reverse discrimination” when you live in a society that appropriates your culture for a novelty. Speak to me of racism when you know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by the emotion of helplessness when you watch those like you be persecuted for simply daring to be. Speak to me of racism when your friends, sisters, brothers, fathers, and mothers, are targeted, harassed and murdered because of the color of their skin.
I take offense that individuals who will live and die with the luxury and comfort of knowing that discrimination affects “the others” and only in the uncanny occurrence of “reverse discrimination” will they even feel discomfort to use the word “reverse discrimination.” The very term “reverse discrimination” implies that discrimination is not working in the proper manner. When the new racist drops the phrase “reverse discrimination” what s/he really means to say is “Discrimination should only be used on those minorities, once white males begin to be effected, events have simply escalated too far. Programs like affirmative action, practice `reverse discrimination.’ Get rid of it, so things can be white and male, as usual.”
The new racist smiles at me and clasps me on my back while saying “Why don’t African Americans move past slavery?”
It is quite simple for those who live at the top of the social hierarchy to request that an institution which created the social system that placed minorities at the bottom rung and hoisted them to the top, be forgotten. I would not ask Japanese Americans to forget Japanese Internment. I would not ask the Jews to forget the Holocaust, and I will not ask African Americans to forget that they built the richest nation in the world and have oh so little to show for their sweat and blood. That crime against humanity should never be forgotten, lest we try to deny that evil has and does exist on American soil. The new racist loves to gloss over history and points to the civil rights movement to say, “Look how far minorities have come in 40 years.” Yes, we have progressed, but one can only progress so far in one lifetime. My mother was born into a land of Jim-Crow; I now live in a world that claims to be color blind, yet allows white policeman to kill black men and walk free. Yes, we have come a long way, but not far enough, and sometimes, I fear it will never be far enough.