I'm writing about women's basketball today, which tells you what I think about baseball players these days.
I hear Jeff Kent and Barry Bonds aren't in the lineup Saturday with the Giants battling to keep up in the wild-card race, and right away I'm jumping to the conclusion they're resting up to walk the picket line.
I hear Ross Porter on the radio talking about how the Dodgers will be playing the third, fourth and fifth games of the National League Championship Series in Dodger Stadium Oct. 12-13-14 and ticket information will be forthcoming, and I can already see the toll this labor unrest has taken on some people.
SO I went looking for something refreshing Saturday, only to run into a frightening bunch of women, and just so there is no misunderstanding here, I am not referring to crowd the Sparks draw to their games.
Let me explain: The Sparks were told they might play all three championship games in Staples Center if Washington advances, and obviously I was interested in this unusual development, because oh boy, I'd get the opportunity to go to three more Sparks' games. The MCI Center, where the Mystics play, has rented the building to the Benny Hinn Miracle Crusade, and Hinn's supposed to begin healing the afflicted Thursday night, the same night the WNBA Finals are to begin in the East.
"We don't care about saving people here, so we've told the WNBA we're available for the whole series," said Michael Roth, a spokesman for the money-making Staples Center. "I don't know anything about Benny Hill, but we don't have those events here."
Some people might look upon Benny Hinn's evangelical work and regard it as a Benny Hill skit, but a check of Hinn's Web site indicated there are scores of poor souls who are suffering, and who come to these events with the expectation of being cured. I wonder what he could do for someone with an ailing big toe who holds the key to the Lakers' championship hopes.
The Sparks dominate the WNBA like the Lakers do the NBA, so allowing them to stay home to win the title would be a pretty serious credibility flaw in the WNBA's effort to sell its game. It might even be enough to keep me away.
I asked a WNBA official about it, and she said the sick and dying will be removed from the MCI Center to make way for women's basketball, and I guess you have to have that kind of killer instinct if you're a league fighting for survival.
THE SPARKS trounced Utah on Saturday, and I was told there were two celebrities in attendance: Penny Marshall, who is apparently homeless and living in Staples Center, and Michael Clarke Duncan, who had the ability to heal in "The Green Mile." I wonder what he could do for someone with an ailing big toe who holds the key to the Lakers' championship hopes.
A COURTSIDE ticket to the Sparks' playoff game cost $110. A courtside ticket to the Lakers' championship series cost $1,750 because you might find yourself sitting next to Heather Locklear. I wonder what some of the Sparks' fans would pay to sit next to Heather Locklear.
THE SPARKS' Booster Club, and I only saw two ladies so I presume that's the club, auctioned off a ballot box used to accept All-Star ballots earlier this season. Lisa Leslie autographed the box, and below her signature, she added, "MVP."
When I told Leslie, "That would be like me signing my name: T.J. Simers, and then adding 'good looking,' "' she said, "But I am a MVP."
I have no idea where you would put a ballot box in your home, but someone took it for $350. Someone else bid $145 for a Sparks' media guide. I wonder what I could get for a Grocery Store Bagger who thinks the Sparks are cool?
A GOOD-looking blond by the name of Chris Wragge was doing the sideline reporting for NBC at the game, so I thought it only right to ask the male announcer if he has been approached to model in any women's magazines.
THERE ARE always constant reminders about what life could have been like had I not been married. I just learned, for example, that a few weeks ago the Sparks had a mixer for singles in the Staples Center Arena Club before a game, and a reporter from another paper said, "There were lots of women there."
LESLIE SAID if the Sparks win the title again, she'd like a parade. I asked if she had a better parade route than what I suggested a year ago--a Ralphs parking lot--and she looked at me like she shops at Vons.
"How about the same route as the Lakers?" she said. A year ago the Sparks had a celebration outside City Hall, and a number of the street people who sleep in the area turned out for the party.
SPARK COACH Michael Cooper sure does a good job. Too bad no one notices. "Staples seemed so empty," Leslie said, and I guess that's because most of the seats were not filled for the playoff game. They announced 10,000-plus, but that had to include bobblehead dolls for sale in the gift shops.
SPARK PRESIDENT Johnny Buss had a "spark" tattooed to his left wrist after last year's title.
This year he had a pearl implanted between his lower lip and chin to celebrate the team's first-round victory.
If the team wins another title, I presume he'll have the championship trophy surgically attached to his arm.
TODAY'S LAST word comes in e-mail from Paul Raffer:
"Don't be so sure the Chargers are going to be a joke this year. At least one can laugh in San Diego without choking.'
I'd like to see Phil Mickelson try that.
T.J. Simers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org