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Bill Kwon

Sports Watch

By Bill Kwon

Thursday, June 29, 2000

Sammy’s distracting
two teams

SAY it isn't Sosa. Even if I'm taking a sabbatical leave as a Red Sox fan and rooting in the interim for the Yankees, I'm appalled that George Steinbrenner wants Sammy Sosa for his New York ballclub.

Can't George spell? Doesn't he know there's no "I" in team?

Doesn't he realize team chemistry -- which his Yankees have enjoyed in winning the World Series three of the last four years -- counts for something?

Well, I could be wrong. Maybe that chemistry's gone as is that old Yankee magic, considering the way Joe Torre's boys are limping along this season.

Suddenly, the not-so-Bronx-like Bombers aren't only having to keep an eye on Boston, they've got to keep their ears open for the screeching of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Torre has told the Yankee management to make the deal or move on. Don't let it linger. It would be too disruptive for the team.

As if acquiring Sammy Sosa wouldn't be equally disruptive.

Right now, Chicago is a team in turmoil and the Sosa Watch is taking more of a toll on the Cubs than the Yankees.

Cubs manager Don Baylor is also pleading for a resolution.

"It's taking its toll on this team, and it's probably taking its toll on the team they're talking to," Baylor told the Associated Press. "It's a huge distraction. It's gotten to the point where something has to happen. We can't continue to play like this."

All this followed the protracted talk about the Yankees trading for Detroit's Juan Gonzalez. It turned out to be full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The only Gonzalez who proved to be newsworthy was young Elian, who finally went back home to Cuba.


IT'S like going from the sublime to the ridiculous. Or political correctness strikes the nickname game again.

Don't laugh, but the organization PETA -- People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals -- has asked the Green Bay football team to change its nickname because "Packers" symbolizes a profession that promotes bloodshed and cruelty to animals.

"It's time to send the Packers packing and make the team's name reflect a kinder profession," Bruce G. Friedrich of PETA said in a letter to Green Bay team president Bob Harlan.

Packers, Friedrich wrote, is a euphemism for "slaughterhouse workers, which is nothing to be proud of."

Being the vegetarian that he apparently is, Friedrich suggests changing the team name to Pickers, as in vegetable pickers, I guess.

PETA has already offended Mothers Against Drunk Driving with a campaign urging college students to dump milk and drink beer instead.

So guess what's another nickname Friedrich suggested for Green Bay? Six-Packers.

His rationale?

"Notably, Wisconsin has the highest percentage of people who consume alcohol, according to the Center for Disease Control," he wrote.

Boy, talk about making MADD more mad.

Not to worry. "We're going to stick with the Packers," Harlan told the Green Bay Press Gazette.

How did Green Bay's NFL team ever get to be called the Packers anyway?

It seems that the Packers received their first financial support back in 1919 from a local meat-packing company, yes, a slaughterhouse.

Which reminds me. There's nothing like a big juicy steak for me, right now.

Ruth's Chris, anyone?

Bill Kwon has been writing
about sports for the Star-Bulletin since 1959.

E-mail to Sports Editor

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