Dave Reardon

Points East

By Dave Reardon

Monday, September 27, 1999

For once,
a column about
why to be nice

HERE'S one of those stories about why you should always be nice, even when you think you're not going to get anything out of it.

(Wait, come back ... it's just a few paragraphs, and then we return to the regular programming of negativity, sarcasm and cynicism. Deal?)

My buddy Karl Takauye moved from Honolulu to Seattle a few months ago. Karl is one of those guys who has a general interest in all sports, but isn't a fanatic; he saves his obsession for audio/video equipment, which comes into play in this little story. (Bear with me for the sports angle, there really is one.)

Anyway, the manager at Karl's condo learns of his technical expertise, and one day asks him if he can come to the community rec room and help fix the VCR. Karl - like that one kid in high school who was the only person on campus (including the teachers) who knew how to work the overhead projector - gladly obliges.

So Karl fixes the VCR, and his neighbor's kids get to watch the latest Disney video. The neighbor, a wiry little guy, thanks Karl profusely, and says, "Anytime you need Mariners tickets, let me know."

Now, unless you follow baseball very closely, you've probably never heard of Rafael Bournigal. Karl certainly hadn't, but because he's a genuinely good guy, he'll never have to pay his way into Safeco Field, at least while Rafael continues to hold down his utility infielder's job with the M's.

OK, we've got the tenuous local angle out of the way, along with a good-things-happen-to-good-people moral, no extra charge, folks.

So that means it's time to segue into the life-sucks-and-then-you-die part.

Now, bless Rafael Bournigal and his .249 career batting average, but how often will Karl want to cash in on his freebies if free-agents-to-be Ken Griffey Jr. and/or Alex Rodriguez are no longer with the team?

Mariners mismanagement has become a classic Seattle cliche to go along with grunge rock, designer coffee and never-ending rain. The M's could earn the dubious distinction of letting three future Hall-of-Famers slip away (Randy Johnson was the other) within the space of two years.

Chances are, the Mariners will keep one or the other. Who do you let go? A guy who will probably end up the all-time career home run champ (and forget about that stuff about Safeco being safe for pitchers; remember Junior plays half his games at other American League bandboxes)? Or A-Rod, who has a legitimate shot at being the best all-around shortstop ever (sorry Honus and Cal)?

Bottom line? Sadly, it's become no money, no championships.


EURO THRASH: A few words on the Mercenaries vs. Stuffed Shirts at the Ryder Cup, and Our Boys' refreshing reaction at No. 17 yesterday: Those snooty Euros act like they invented the game. Wait a second ... they did, didn't they? And isn't Tiger always moaning about loud galleries?

So Colin Montgomerie might have a point about etiquette and sportsmanship. Then again, the Old World oaf needs to remember sports-related boorishness doesn't run along national or continental lines.

Some of those Brits do like their bloody soccer, don't they? Or would that be their soccer bloody?

Dave Reardon, who covered sports in Hawaii
from 1977 to 1998, is a sportswriter at the
Gainesville Sun. E-mail

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