May 24, 2002

BALLPARK FIGURES: The day I've

BALLPARK FIGURES: The day I've been waiting for since 1996 has finally arrived- Gov. Jesse Ventura today signed a bill for a $330 million, outdoor ballpark for the Minnesota Twins. The battle has been underway for five years, with literally dozens of failed legislative efforts and numerous financial schemes that all failed- a whole book was even written two years ago about the effort (that blamed the entire debacle on a botched press conference held by the Twins in January of 1997 which, as an intern for my state representative, I attended). Now the question is whether the park will be built in Minneapolis or St. Paul, and whether or not the team will be sold. Memo to Minnesota lawmakers- don't mess it up! I've considered moving back to the Twin Cities when I have kids, but I can't see myself living in the area if I can't take my son to a ballgame.

IRON McCAIN: Every time I hear President Bush talk about the war, I can't help but wish John McCain was president. But alas, now that the senator has finally managed to pass his long-gestating Campaign Finance Reform bill, he's going after another special interest menace- the boxing industry. In a welcome move, McCain has introduced legislation to impose federal control over the sport, which for years has been dominated by WBC, WBA, and IBF bureaucrats, the cable networks, and Don King, the notorious crook who has bilked countless fighters out of countless fortunes. Were I a senator I would try to attach a rider to the bill stipulating that McCain gets winner of next month's Tyson-Lewis fight. We already know that the senator could kill BinLaden or Saddam with his bare hands; do you think he'd be afraid of a sociopathic man-child like Tyson?

BUT ON THE OTHER HAND...: Participating in McCain's press conference was The Greatest of All Time, Muhammad Ali. While Ali is the sport's greatest ambassador and still commands a gravitas unlike any other athlete in history, it's clear that at this point the Champ is so ravaged by Parkinson's that he has no idea where he is, and I have a big problem with his constantly being trotted out in support of political causes which he obviously knows nothing about. I've seen this happen a half-dozen times, and every time his much-younger wife "translates" for him; it's obvious that she's the one with the agenda and she's just dragging the Greatest along for the ride. (And it's his fifth wife! Did you know Ali and George Foreman have had ten wives between them? That's more wives than Holyfield has illegitimate children...)

ACHAD, SCHTYIM, SHALOSH, ARBAH!: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Shawn Green today hit four home runs in a 16-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers. Hank Greenberg never did it, Rod Carew never did it, and Sandy Koufax was a pitcher, so unless "Hard Hittin'" Mark Whiten had some kind of conversion that I don't know about, Green is the first Jewish player ever to go yard four times in a game. I unfortunately was unable to draft Green to my fantasy baseball team, just as I failed to land Mike Lieberthal or Gabe Kapler (whose name appears to be a combination of "Gabe Kaplan" and "Gabe Kotter"). Though I was able to pick up Brewers pitcher and Brandeis alum Nelson Figueroa (who did not surrender any of Green's homers today).

ANOTHER EXCELLENT BLOG: If you like mine, you'll love Asparagirl. Another twenty-something New Yorker who loves Israel, check her out, and tell her I sent ya.

ON A PATH TO GREATNESS: I've been trying to think of nicknames for the PATH, the train I take to work every day (connecting New York and New Jersey, it's an acronym for Port Authority Trans-Hudson). There's "The PATH of Least Resistance," "The Shining PATH," "HaDerech" (Hebrew for "The PATH"), "Off The Beaten PATH," and of course "The PATH of the Righteous Man." I personally prefer the last one, because it's "beset on all sides by the tyranny of evil men" The PATH was certainly beset on one side as it had a whole terminal destroyed in the World Trade Center attack. Contact me with any other ideas...

Posted by Stephen Silver at May 24, 2002 12:32 AM
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