The Sports Sermon

By the

April 19, 2001

The ivy at Wrigley Field is still brown, and until the clorophyl kicks in, don’t take baseball too seriously.

Take the Twins. There’s no one on this team named Puckett, Viola or Hrbeck, so the playoffs might just be a tad out of reach. Heh, heh. Hrbeck. Say it out loud to yourself. Hrbeck.

One team that should be able to maintain their current tear is the Reds, who are exceeding all pitching expectations. They lost Scott Williamson, but it’s cool?they dug around the minor leagues and found some new Nasty Boys (question: Did you know Norm Charlton is pitching for the Mariners? Isn’t he 61 years old?).

Alfonso Soriano shows the Yankees’ knack for developing talent, proving they didn’t just buy those World Series rings. Knoblauch is just goofy.

And why were the Padres wearing camouflage last weekend? Were they trying to hide Tony Gwynn, hoping fans would forget that he hasn’t had a hit since 1998?

Staying out west, can we ask just how good the Ichiro guy is? Besides being undeniably cool with those blue shades, the guy can gun down any baserunner from as far out as the right field bleachers. Plus he can hit. Ichiro’s much better than that Shinjo guy who plays for the Mets, but not as funny looking. The Mariners, in short, are going to be “off the hizook.” A-Wad will be pretty upset once the Mariners make the playoffs and he’s stuck in Dallas getting fat with Ken Caminiti.

The only good thing about the Rangers is, obviously, Ivan Rodriguez. But he should be nicknamed “Johnny Bench” instead of “Pudge” since he’s such a good hitter. Don’t try to steal on him; leave that for Mike Piazza and Eddie Taubensee.

Barry Bonds just hit 500 homers the other day, showing everyone that he really is that good. Did you know that Buck Showalter once intentionally walked Bonds with the bases loaded? That’s respect. Giants win the NL West again.

But don’t take these games too seriously. The best is yet to come. Instead, take some time and watch Iverson destroy the Pacers.

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