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FROM an eternal optimist (and an addicted...


FROM an eternal optimist (and an addicted fan) comes this bit of advice on the sad saga of baseball's ridiculous strike:

"Baltimoreans miss baseball. They miss watching it and talking about it. They even miss complaining about it.

"That's not to say Baltimore isn't complaining.

"Fans have one thing to say to both sides of the issue. Owners and players, wake up! Get your act together!

"Hey owners, what more do you want? Fans are willing to pay astronomical ticket prices for their baseball, $5 for hot dogs and $4 for cokes -- if you come back soon.

"Hey players, crazed fans will still take your pictures, beg for autographs, and shower you with adoration -- if you come back soon.

"What more could both sides want?

"Give Baltimore reasonably comfortable seats and a good show in the coming season and fans will forgive and forget. All they want is another summer of sitting in 90 degree weather, doing the wave, and yelling 'O' in the middle of the national anthem. Is that too much to ask?"

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JUSTICE, California-style: Judge Lance Ito certainly isn't in any hurry to lose his moment in the public spotlight. He has now cut the O.J. Simpson jury's work week to 27 hours. Of course, that cuts his work week to 27 hours, too.

At that pace, this trial could still be grinding along come this time next year. The judge, it appears, knows a good deal when he sees it. Not many people can find good-paying jobs that require only 27 hours a week of work. And the kicker is that on Fridays, court recesses at 12 noon. This gives the judge plenty of time to squeeze in a round of golf, or an afternoon at the beach.

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