THIS and that to chew on over lunch:
Long gone Juan has
his beef all wrong
Poor Whine, er, Juan Gonzalez.
He doesn't get voted to start in Major League Baseball's All-Star Game so he decides he doesn't want to play at all.
And then, he throws a little hissy fit about Cleveland fans stuffing the ballot box.
After all, how could pikers such as Kenny Lofton, David Justice and Manny Ramirez be better than me, he apparently wonders.
Never mind that all three of those players have actually played in the World Series. Or that all three are all-star-caliber outfielders.
Or that Lofton leads the league in runs scored and Ramirez leads the league in RBIs.
Well, here's the deal, Mr. Gonzalez. The All-Star Game is for the FANS.
They get to vote for whomever they like most. Cleveland's fans are loyal. They pack Jacobs Field every night. And every night, they vote for their guys.
Your fans, on the other hand, aren't as trustworthy as Cleveland's. Your team is in first place, but The Ballpark at Arlington isn't sold out every night. Most of them must be sitting around, waiting for the Dallas Cowboys to start training camp. Or maybe they'd just rather listen to the Chan Gailey show.
Or maybe they're watching videotapes of the Stars' Stanley Cup victory.
Or they're at the Mesquite Pro Rodeo.
Or they went fishing.
My point is, your fans haven't turned out in the same numbers as Cleveland's and they haven't voted for you as faithfully as Cleveland's voted for the aforementioned.
So, it's not Indians fans who are to blame for your perceived snub, big fella. It's your own lousy Cowboy-loving, Ranger-shrugging fannies who didn't get you to the All-Star show in Fenway Park.
If it's any consolation, I didn't vote for Ramirez, Lofton or Justice. On the other hand, I didn't vote for you, either. My votes went to Ken Griffey Jr., Bernie Williams and Shawn Green.
Now, on to poor Mark McGwire.
Seems Major League Baseball is thinking about sending the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Mets to Tokyo to open the season next year.
That's not right, according to McGwire. In fact, it's practically un-American.
"I'm absolutely against it. Major league baseball belongs in the United States," McGwire told the Associated Press yesterday.
"The Japanese have Japanese baseball, so there's no reason for us to go over there. I have nothing against the way they play baseball. It's not the travel. As a player, I just don't like it. The game belongs here."
Hmmmmm. So much for the Montreal Expos, I guess.
Oh, and how about the Toronto Blue Jays? They won two World Series earlier this decade.
Do you suppose it would be a bad idea to write to McGwire and see if he'd like to go out for some sashimi next time he's in Hawaii?
The Women's World Cup soccer team has been the delight of the summer, don't you think?
They're throwbacks to how men's sports used to be, only better.
They play hard, they play well and they actually seem to enjoy themselves.
What a concept.