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The Inside Track | T.J. SIMERS

There's Something Else Annoying About Series

October 20, 2000|T.J. SIMERS

My younger daughter has a boyfriend. I tried getting him tickets for the World Series games at Shea Stadium and was going to pay his one-way air fare to New York, urging him to cheer loudly for Roger Clemens, knowing we would never see him again. Cheaper than paying for a wedding.

I've never understood what the younger daughter sees in this boy. I was kind of hoping she'd follow the example of the Seattle Mariners, who drafted him, got to know him, then cut him.

Come to think of it, the younger daughter has always dated baseball players--not an entire team, mind you, but several--and it appears I'm destined to be the father-in-law one day of someone like F.P. Santangelo. What a proud moment that will be.

Right now, she's stuck on this slug, however, and since he's still looking for just the right job, it means he's probably going to be hanging around more. And he's going to want to talk baseball with me, because if you told my younger daughter it's New York versus New York in the World Series, she'd still want to know who's playing.

I'm not sure I really care about a subway World Series, and making small talk between pitches of a four-hour game with someone who wears his baseball cap backward and starts meowing every time they play "Who Let the Dogs Out," is about as inviting as sitting through a Paul Hackett news conference.

Now that Clemens has been certified a chicken and won't bat at Shea, the only thing people seem to be talking about when it comes to this World Series is the guesswork about how many people actually will watch it on TV.

It's a real hot issue, like everybody owns Fox stock or wants the ratings to be bad so it can be rubbed into the arrogant faces of New Yorkers.

Some contend this will be great theater, New York families torn asunder by split allegiances, clever fans holding up signs that read: "Go Mets," and shots in the stands of actors who star in Fox TV shows.

Others say it's a sewer squabble taking place between subway stops on the other side of the country, that should begin--as a Cedar Rapids Gazette columnist suggested--with Bernhard Goetz (you remember the subway gunman) throwing out the first pitch. Explain that to your Little Leaguer.

I asked the boyfriend what he thought about all this, and he wanted to know if we had dip for the chips, while leaning across me to spit into a cup.

It's going to be a miserable week.

*

I WAS THINKING about all the excitement a Los Angeles-Anaheim World Series might generate, but then I got to thinking--I don't believe I have ever met an Angel fan.

*

MAYBE IF I said I was a prospective donor with lots of money for USC, President Steven Sample would return a phone call. I tried again Thursday, but I shouldn't feel too bad, I guess. He returned a call to our USC reporter, David Wharton, earlier this week. Wharton had placed that call to Sample the first week of August.

*

SOME REPORTERS in San Diego believe nice guy Mike Riley will be fired as Charger coach at season's end and, wanting him to land on his feet, have concluded that he would be the ideal replacement for Hackett.

He has the personality to be a terrific recruiter, they say and point to his previous work as a Trojan offensive assistant from 1993 through 1996. But would Mike Garrett go after a John Robinson disciple?

And how tough a sell would Riley be to the USC alumni after posting an 8-14 record at Oregon State, a mark of 8-15 with the Chargers, and a season that might end with San Diego going 0-16.

He sounds perfect, when you consider Garrett hired Hackett, who had Riley-like credentials--a 12-20-1 mark at the University of Pittsburgh.

*

I RUN INTO these gunslingers all the time. This one calls herself Kia. She's 11 and an Eagle fan, so she's having a tough childhood. Her father works here, picking out pictures for the sports page. He spent three hours selecting just the right apples to wear Yankee and Met caps the other day.

Well, Little Miss Braggart tells me she's the best pro football handicapper anywhere, and my first thought is to call the cops and have her sent to juvenile hall. But I figure I'll teach her a lesson, take her challenge and then send her home to play with her Barbies.

Little Miss Braggart's picks: Dallas minus 7, Minnesota minus 6 1/2, Philadelphia minus 6 1/2, Denver minus 10, Indianapolis minus 8 1/2, New Orleans minus 1 1/2, St. Louis minus 7, San Francisco plus 3 1/2, Tennessee plus 2, Pittsburgh minus 9, Oakland minus 7 1/2, Washington minus 4 and the Jets minus 3.

Mr. Football Expert--that would be me--disagrees in some cases, and takes Cincinnati, New England, Atlanta, Kansas City, Baltimore and Jacksonville.

*

I KNOW WHAT you are thinking--what if the Dodgers try to upstage the World Series with the announcement they are hiring Rick Down as manager. Teams, however, are under instructions not to make any announcements until postseason play has concluded, so there's no danger of the collective "Who?" drowning any of the World Series plays out.

*

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