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|| News Item: Posted 1999-10-22

Leading Off: Baseball Playoffs- Midnight Madness!!!???
By Robert Hanashiro

It's a familiar theme this time of year: sports columnists, parents and little leaguers all complain that post season baseball ends too late. Well too bad ... you're going to hear it from me too!

It's inconceivable that NBC (NoBody Cares), Fox (Fools Only Executives) and ESPN (Extra SPecial Numbskulls) force these late night games on baseball fans and poor unsuspecting photographers with small bladders.

I remember sneaking a transistor radio into school to listen to games starting at 10am (California time) and my 4th grade teacher rolling a portable tv into the room so everyone could watch the World Series... yada-yada-yada.

While most fans rant that Major League Baseball is denying the youth (and future of the sport) the opportunity to watch playoff games that all invariably end well after midnight .... my complaint is more personal. It wrecks havoc with newspaper deadlines and I hate getting back to my hotel room at 2 am!!!

Until Baseball stops letting the "tail wag the dog" and instead of paying lip service to all the baseball fans, saying they sympathize with parents who say it's too late to let their childern watch the games, we'll have situations like Game 6 of the NLCS.

The Braves' 10-9 victory was a classic, it had everything: pitching, home runs, comebacks, great managing and something not seen before ... a bases loaded walk deciding the NL champ. But who was up watching the Braves celebrate as Gerald Williams trotted in from third with his fist in the air after midnight?

Certainly not the execs from NBC (rich executives have to sleep too) or Braves owner Ted Turner (who's been known to nap as early as the 5th inning). And certainly not my 6-year-old daughter.

So we continue our rants about baseball with the Sports Shooter feature "What Blows and What Glows" from the baseball playoffs:

Photo by AP

Photo by AP
What Glows:

- The Turner Field "digital stills" workroom that has a restroom.
- The large photo boxes at Shea Stadium.
- Food: Daddy Dz BBQ in Atlanta; the Mets' post-game hospitality (especially the softshell crab sushi rolls!); Ted's GIANT shrimp at the Braves' post-game bashes.
- John Rocker... great jube after strikeouts and wins. (So what if he flipped"the bird" to the Mets fans...I wish I had the balls to do it.)
- The diamond lanes on Atlanta freeways.
- Great isolation shots during the network broadcasts. (The foul ball call that eventually got Mets' 3rd base coach Cookie Rojas suspended for three games after he pushed an umpire arguing the call is a good example.)
- Brandford Marsalis playing the National Anthem in New York.
- Ozzie Smith's class and patience with two women who mistook him for Joe Morgan while he was awaiting a flight to LaGuardia.

What Blows:

- 15 inning, 6 hour the rain.
- A New York photographer who stood up and blocked several shooters at the end of Game 5 of the NLCS.
- Media box lunches (sandwiches made a week ago don't taste any better just because you tie a ribbon around the box!!!).
- 55 minute waits for your car out of the valet parking at the Manhattan Sheraton & Towers.
- Mets fans yelling "SUCKS" during the Braves' intros and throwing their garbage from the front row at the players as they entered their dugout.
- Too many TV cameras taking away space from stills.
- A former WCW wrestler singing the National Anthem in Atlanta.
- The two women from MasterCard who went up to Ozzie Smith at Hartsfield International and asked "aren't you Joe Morgan?" And after informed that he was Ozzie Smith one replied, "Yeah, I thought your name was Ozzie or Dizzy or something like that."

* * *

With the start of the "Fall Classic"this weekend, Sports Shooter v.13 takes on a decidedly baseball theme, leading off with a recap of the Arizona Diamondbacks' fast rise to the playoffs by the Arizona Republic's Paul Gero. This issue also marks the debut of a periodic column from The Count (Eric Risberg) on cigars.

The conclusion of Sam Mircovich's informative first installment on keeping in shape rounds out v.13.

So sit back, adjust the brightness on that monitor, tell the kids to turn down the volumn on that "Pokemon" video and enjoy Sports Shooter v.13.

Robert Hanashiro
Editor/Publisher Sports Shooter

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