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To Kevin, et al

Subject: Swimming odds and ends

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Seriously, my friend, we must have a chat. Sitting next to each other at the Water Cube each day seems to have given you a false sense of closeness. I'm going to have to kindly ask you, Kevin, to stop following me around with a camera. At the very least, in the future, please wait until I put my shirt on.

I want to update you on the standings for the Official Baltimore Sun and baltimoresun.com 2008 Beijing Olympics Swimming Pool Pool. (Complete rosters found at the link.) I don't think you're going to happy.

A quick reminder, Kevin, I have Michael Phelps on my squad. I've given this a lot of thought, and I'm pretty sure that choosing Phelps was simply move of a genius. Frankly, I'm not sure you've been giving me my full due for selecting Phelps. (Incidentally, not sure if this hit the wires or not, but Phelps was named team captain for Maese's Magical Merpeople; it's a great honor and he's very deserving.)

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At any rate, led by Phelps and his two gold medals, Maese's Magical Merpeople are kicking some serious tail, Kevin. Phelps has provided me 10 points already. In the dramatic 400 free relay, we each picked up 10 points. And with her bronze and silver medals, Katie Hoff, has brought you four points through two races. She has four remaining.

After two days of competition, here's how the standings look:

Maese's Magical Merpeople: 18

KVV's Chlorine Junkies: 17

When you consider that we're watching races that are decided by a just a few hundredths of a second, I gotta think that leading you by a full point is GIGANTIC. I can't speak for our readers, Kevin, but even though you're getting owned in the the Official Baltimore Sun and baltimoresun.com 2008 Beijing Olympics Swimming Pool Pool thus far, I will not question your swimming expertise.

We still need to figure what's at stake here.

(Photo: Associated Press)

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