"Irreverence is the champion of liberty and its only sure defense."
- Mark Twain

"Anyone who combines politics and baseball is an idiot, because everyone knows that ping-pong is the greatest sport. Oh, and I'm really a Communist who hates NASCAR and listens to Joan Baez in the dark.
-- Glenn Reynolds

About the author
Andre Vladimir Sebastian is a figment of your imagination. Honestly, you really could have done better than him, now couldn't you? Next time, put a little effort into it.

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Hiatus, Changes
Sorry for the unanounced absence. The World Series and a friend's wedding have kept me from posting. I'll be taking a few more days off while contemplating some big changes to the site. Back soon.

  posted by AVS @ 28.10.03


The reason the Florida Marlins are NL champions:

Ivan Rodriguez is The Incredible Hulk.

  posted by AVS @ 16.10.03


Goosing Manny
Former Yankees Goose Gossage and Craig Nettles comment on the Yanks/Sox series to, and they unload on Manny Ramirez and Pedro Martinez.

"Manny Ramirez is a (coward). I hope he reads that," Gossage said Monday. "If he pulled that stuff in the old days, he would've gotten back in the box and I guarantee you he would've had the next pitch in his earlobe. The guy is a one-dimensional player. He can hit -- a little. But he can't even hit when it counts."

You want to bring a bat to the mound? Let him try," Gossage said. "Ramirez might've gotten one of us (pitchers), but he wouldn't have gotten all 10. You wouldn't have seen him the rest of the series, I promise you, because we would've put him in the hospital.

"I saw what he did (in Game 5 of the ALDS against Oakland), pointing into the dugout after he hit a home run. Someone should've put him right on his butt for that. That made me sick. He hardly ever hits when it counts, and he has the (guts) to do that? Give me a break."

When people say the game isn't the same today as it used to be, they're right. It used to be more violent. Even the pitchers from yester year are badasses.

  posted by AVS @ 14.10.03


Pedro, Out Of Control
Pedro Martinez is what happens when a team's coddling turns a star athlete into a prima donna, says Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy. Here's a bit:

Sox fans don't like to hear this, but Pedro was an embarrassment and a disgrace to baseball Saturday. He gets away with it because he's Pedro. And the Sox front office enables him, just as they do Manny Ramirez. Just as they did with Roger when he was here and Yaz when he was here and Ted when he was here.

The tail still wags the dog around here. The Sox have no control over their stars. That's the way it was for Clemens when he was here. Roger had to go elsewhere to grow up. And we all know it took a while.

Everyone in baseball knows what Pedro was doing in the fourth inning. He'd blown a 2-0 lead. The Yankees were kicking him around Fenway. The old magic was gone and no doubt he was frustrated. It can't be fun knowing your team is 9-15 when you start against the Yankees. So what did he do? With first base empty and a righty on deck, he threw a pitch behind Garcia, grazing him in the shoulder.

Then it got worse. After Garcia's slide into second baseman Todd Walker, and angry words with Pedro, the Yankees and Sox started coming out of their dugouts and Pedro made his outrageous threats. (Oh, I forgot, it wasn't a threat. He was actually telling Posada he needed a haircut.)

No. This was: You're next. I'll hit you in the head, too.

Pretty brave stuff when you never have to bat. Pretty good way to take the attention away from the fact your skills are declining and you have trouble beating this team.Notice how none of Pedro's teammates have rushed to his defense? When he puts that tape around his locker, it's as if he's putting himself on his own island in his own clubhouse.

  posted by AVS @ 13.10.03


Rejoice. Steve Guttenburg is back.

  posted by AVS @ 11.10.03


Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez should be fined, suspended, and made to pay the Social Security taxes for the entire membership of the AARP for grabbing 72-year-old Yankees coach Don Zimmer by the head and throwing him to the ground. I've never seen a less defensible act by a baseball player.

  posted by AVS @ 11.10.03

SHOWCASE: I vote for Madfish Willie.

  posted by AVS @ 11.10.03

Woman Drives Car Onto Runway Toward Air Force One
A woman drove her car onto the runway and headed toward Air Force One at Manchester Airport today as President Bush was at a speaking event here, his first in New Hampshire this year. Security officers -- it's not yet clear whether they were Secret Service or airport security -- rammed her car to stop her, then leapt out and arrested her on the spot. It's not yet known why she drove onto the runway, but I know that airport well, and I can tell you that it is a newcomer's nightmare. The combination of abundant construction and few directional signs makes it very easy to get lost. A friend of mine jogs there daily and is constantly stopped by lost drivers asking directions. It is very possible she just got lost and veered onto the runway by accident. However, some witnesses said she was driving very fast, so maybe she was trying to ram Air Force One, as the Secret Service apparently suspected. I'll update as more news becomes available.

UPDATE: She was going about 75 mph and claimed to be "radioactive",

She was stopped by two airport employees.

Police unlikely to press charges.

  posted by AVS @ 9.10.03


SHOWCASE: The vote goes to Another Rice Grad.

  posted by AVS @ 5.10.03


Red Sox v. Oakland in game 3 last night was one to remember for a long, long time. What a GAME!

  posted by AVS @ 5.10.03

Resort University
The New York Times has a belated but great story on the amenities "arms race" among American colleges and universities.

In the abstract, Kathy Anzivino believes there must be some pinnacle of amenities that universities simply cannot surpass, some outer limit so far beyond the hot tubs, waterfalls and pool slides she offers at the University of Houston that even the most pampered students will never demand it and the most recruitment-crazed colleges will never consent to put it on their grounds.

She just has a hard time picturing what that might be.

"There's got to be one, but what it is, I don't know," said Ms. Anzivino, director of campus recreation at the university, which opened a $53 million wellness center this year.

Beyond its immense rotunda stands a five-story climbing wall that looks as if it was transported straight from Arches National Park, while boulders and palm trees frame the leisure pools outside.

"Everyone says it looks like a resort," she said.

Whether evident in student unions, recreational centers or residence halls (please, do not call them dorms) the competition for students is yielding amenities once unimaginable on college campuses, spurring a national debate over the difference between educational necessity and excess.

Critics call them multimillion-dollar luxuries that are driving up university debts and inflating the cost of education. Colleges defend them as compulsory attractions in the scramble for top students and faculty, ignored at their own institutional peril. And somewhere in the middle sit those who have only one analogy for the building boom taking place.

"An arms race," said Clare Cotton, president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts. "It's exactly the psychology of an arms race. From the outside it seems totally crazy, but from the inside it feels necessary and compelling."

Washington State University has a jacuzzi that holds 53 people.

The University of Pennsylvania has room-sized golf simulators.

Ohio State University is building "a 657,000-square-foot complex featuring kayaks and canoes, indoor batting cages and ropes courses, massages and a climbing wall big enough for 50 students to scale simultaneously."

The University of Mississippi is building a full-sized water park.

And amidst all of this, university administrators have the audacity to call for increased federal student aid and increased state tuition subsidies because, they whine, college costs are rising too rapidly for students from moderate-and-low-income families to afford them.

  posted by AVS @ 5.10.03

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