3 days ago
As the Senate heads toward a showdown over the rules governing judicial confirmations, Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, has agreed to join a handful of prominent Christian conservatives in a telecast portraying Democrats as "against people of faith" for blocking President Bush's nominees.
Fliers for the telecast, organized by the Family Research Council and scheduled to originate at a Kentucky megachurch the evening of April 24, call the day "Justice Sunday" and depict a young man holding a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other. The flier does not name participants, but under the heading "the filibuster against people of faith," it reads: "The filibuster was once abused to protect racial bias, and it is now being used against people of faith."
Some parents of Stephens's players wanted her gone. Craig Hale, who owns an oil company, said he does not want a lesbian teaching his children and possibly influencing the way they think. His daughter, Kaitlyn Cornelius, played for Stephens last season and said she felt uncomfortable around the coach, though she said Stephens never did anything inappropriate.
"I had nothing against her as a person," Hale said, but if he stood up for "one lesbian" that would mean he was "for them adopting kids, and my morals and the Bible doesn't allow that."
After the last basketball season, Stephens resigned as coach and took a full-time teaching job at the school.
While 25 girls played basketball at Bloomburg in the 2003-4 season, only seven ended up on this season's team. Many quit because Coach Stephens was gone.
Still, the debate about her continued. Stephens said that she was blamed when one of her former players, now in college, revealed she was a lesbian. That player's parents insisted that the superintendent, Jerry Hendrick, fire Stephens because she had "converted their daughter," Stephens said. Hendrick and all but one of the six school board members did not return phone messages seeking comment on the controversy.
Byers said in the deposition that another board member, Ronnie Peacock, told him that Stephens "doesn't deserve to work here" because she is a lesbian. In that deposition, Byers recalled Peacock saying: "We're bonded or insured for a million dollars apiece. We ought to fire her and see what happens."
In a telephone interview, Peacock, denied making that statement although he favored Stephens's dismissal. "I liked Coach Stephens personally and I thought she was a great coach and teacher, but we had reasons to fire her that I can't tell you," he said.
"Manager Joe Torre made multiple references to a fan coming onto the field, but though the fans were close to Sheffield, none left their seats and went on the field in a game the Red Sox won, 8-5.
Still, Torre, who had not watched a replay, said: "These people shouldn't be allowed to walk the streets, much less come to a ballgame. The sad part about it is, it's a handful of people who screw it up for everyone."
"I was trying to get his hand out of my face where I could continue with the play and then I threw the ball and I was getting ready to react, but I held my composure," Sheffield said.
Sheffield said that the fan hit him in the jaw and that he thought his lip had been cut. As Sheffield and the fans in right field shouted at each other, a cup of beer toppled near Sheffield. An alert security guard jumped in front of the fan and stayed between him and Sheffield.
"It could have been worse if I didn't hold my composure," Sheffield said. "I almost snapped, but I thought about the consequences."
While Sheffield said he did not throw a punch, a videotape replay of the incident shows Sheffield swinging at the fan with his glove.
The day began with Kline (1-1) doing a little damage control inside the visitors' clubhouse, a meeting held at his request to explain comments he made in a St. Louis newspaper about regretting his decision to sign with the Orioles.
Bullpen coach Elrod Hendricks hugged Kline and said, "Daddy still loves you." A teammate, also finding the whole situation amusing, said, "Unlike Kline, I'm happy here. Cut me, and I bleed orange."
"I figured, if I screw up right now, they may as well shoot me," Kline said.
Said Mazzilli: "That's what he's supposed to do, go out and do the job. And he did it in a tough situation. I didn't expect anything less from him."
Players waited in front of the dugout to congratulate Kline.
"You can see how good we can be, and I feel guilty for two of the three losses we have," Kline said. "My team picked me up big-time. They showed me a lot of love. I'm happy about that.
"We had a good talk today. They told me, 'Don't worry about it, big boy. Just go out and throw your game and bring us home some victories.'"
Your apology to your teammates and your employers yesterday down in St. Pete has been duly noted. But your apology to your new city might need some work. Nice of you to throw some bouquets to your fans from your Cardinals days, but did you really have to fling the fertilizer in the other direction?
"It came out wrong" won't cut it. You might find out how much it doesn't cut it as early as tomorrow night at Camden Yards. As you so thoughtfully put it in yesterday's St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the paper in the town for which you obviously still carry a torch, "There's nothing worse than getting booed at home."
Thanks, by the way, for adding, "St. Louis fans are too good for that. They understand the game more than most people." Meaning, we assume, people who can read and can get Internet access. Apparently, you figure that did not include Baltimore people. We got computers, ee-leck-tricity and ever'thang.
Oh, and feelings. I'm not even from here, and that entire out-of-town diatribe hurt my feelings. Almost as much as watching those two gag jobs in the late innings last week.
Bronson Arroyo popped a CD of his vocals into the stereo in the Boston Red Sox' weight room about two months ago, turned up the volume and waited anxiously for a reaction. This was Arroyo's anonymous audition for his teammates.
No one noticed. No one asked Arroyo to change the disc. As his covers of Pearl Jam, Goo Goo Dolls and Stone Temple Pilots songs filled the room, the Red Sox were oblivious to the fact that one of their pitchers had done a slick job of morphing into Eddie Vedder, Johnny Rzeznik and Scott Weiland.
Arroyo has a distinctive speaking voice, a bit of a Southern twang with a gritty edge. When Arroyo sings, that edginess becomes more pronounced. When he sings a Pearl Jam song, he sounds like Vedder. When he sings a Goo Goo Dolls song, he sounds like Rzeznik. It is clear that Arroyo can emulate famous vocalists. But as an artist, he wants to develop his own sound, not become a karaoke king.
"I think he's being true to the song," Harriet said. "He's not trying to imitate them. I think he's respecting the song and giving it his own style."
When a visitor listened to a handful of Arroyo's cover songs and told him they sounded like the originals, Arroyo did not disagree. Damon, who sings backup on the Boston staple "Dirty Water" by the Standells, said Arroyo was talented enough to be a full-time singer if he had the desire.
"I'm jealous of him," Damon said. "Baseball players want to be rock stars, and rock stars want to baseball players. He's both."
The teammates who once questioned his courage are mostly gone, replaced by those who share his Hispanic heritage. The desolate hotel room has also been replaced by a bustling home where his parents plan to stay all season, his father watching Mets games and his mother cooking her son's favorite Dominican specialties.
The Mets are starting to understand him better, perhaps because so many of them speak the same language. Reyes banters in Spanish with Martínez, dresses like him, even carries a handbag like him.
As for an analysis of Mr. Bush's playlist, Mr. Levy of Rolling Stone started out with this: "One thing that's interesting is that the president likes artists who don't like him."
Mr. Levy was referring to Mr. Fogerty, who was part of the anti-Bush "Vote for Change" concert tour across the United States last fall. Mr. McKinnon, who once wrote songs for Kris Kristofferson's music publishing company, responded in an e-mail message that "if any president limited his music selection to pro-establishment musicians, it would be a pretty slim collection."
Nonetheless, Mr. McKinnon said that Mr. Bush had not gone so far as to include on his playlist "Fortunate Son," the angry anti-Vietnam war song about who has to go to war that Mr. Fogerty sang when he was with Creedence Clearwater Revival. ("I ain't no senator's son ... Some folks are born silver spoon in hand.") As the son of a two-term congressman and a United States Senate candidate, Mr. Bush won a coveted spot with the Texas Air National Guard to avoid combat in Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Mr. Levy sized up the rest of the playlist of the 58-year-old president. "What we're talking about is a lot of great artists from the 60's and 70's and more modern artists who sound like great artists from the 60's and 70's," he said. "This is basically boomer rock 'n' roll and more recent music out of Nashville made for boomers. It's safe, it's reliable, it's loving. What I mean to say is, it's feel-good music. The Sex Pistols it's not."
- Eat Peanut Butter Crunch and Pop Tarts for breakfast everyday.
- Never become one of those people that laments how much better things used to be.
- See Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back at least once a year.
- Mow the lawn and shovel snow myself rather than hiring a neighborhood kid.
- Beat the shit out of Ricky Schroder
- Never stop reading my favorite Lloyd Alexander books.
- Meet Erin Gray
- Stay up to watch Saturday Night Live every week.
- Watch as much MTV as I can.
- Keep making lists.
Mr. Choi, who has never been to America, attributes his popularity to the attractions of Major League Baseball itself. "There are so many teams and famous athletes, so many spectators in the stands," he said. "Then there's the style of play; it just seems so colorful and varied. There's a special charm to Korean baseball, too, but maybe you have to be a Korean to enjoy it."
His favorite team is the Minnesota Twins. "They have a solid outfield, and although they aren't the most powerful hitters, they can score when they have to," he said. "It makes for entertaining games." His fellow Koreans, he says, generally go for the bigger teams; at the moment the World Series champion Boston Red Sox are especially popular. "Each Red Sox player seems to have his own tough individuality, and Koreans like that," he said.
And that team from the Bronx, where the Red Sox will travel tonight for the first game of the new season? "The Yankees are big here too," Mr. Choi said. "But on the other hand, a lot of people can't stand them."