Chinese might not realize there's no tying in baseball

The Baltimore Sun

News item: The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres played to a 3-3 tie in the first of their two historic exhibition games in Beijing.

My take: Great. Now the Chinese think the object of the game is for both teams to score the same number of runs. Does anyone know the Beijing Mandarin translation for "Didn't the same thing happen at the historic 2002 All-Star Game in Milwaukee?"

News item: Baseball commissioner Bud Selig said the thought of two major league teams playing a game in Beijing "takes my breath away."

My take: Actually, Bud, that was the carbon monoxide. Beijing is affectionately known around the globe as the air-pollution capital of the world.

News item: New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi was fined and three players were suspended for their roles in a brief fracas during last week's game between the Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays.

My take: Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't one of the last signs of the coming apocalypse the development of a real rivalry between anyone and the Tampa Bay Rays?

News item: Yankees general partner Hank Steinbrenner jumped into the controversy Friday, telling the New York Post that small-market teams ought to show more respect to the high-revenue clubs that help subsidize them through revenue sharing.

My take: No wonder Girardi was mad at the Rays for playing too hard against the Yankees this spring. What a bunch of ingrates.

News item: The Maryland men's basketball team has refocused on the National Invitation Tournament after blowing several chances to lock up a berth in the Big Dance.

My take: Can't blame them. What self-respecting Atlantic Coast Conference bubble team would want to play in the NCAA tournament if they're going to let in teams like UMBC, Mount St. Mary's and Coppin State?

Bonus take: Sarcasm isn't pretty sometimes. Congrats to the Retrievers, Mountaineers and Eagles.

News item: No. 3 UCLA held off Southern California in the semifinals of the Pacific-10 tournament Friday night.

My take: Enjoy it while you can, Neuheisel. Your day is coming.

News item: The Yankees released 60-year-old comedian Billy Crystal soon after his appearance in an exhibition game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

My take: In a strange karmic twist, Julio Franco has just signed to host next year's Academy Awards.

News item: The St. Louis Cardinals signed right-hander Kyle Lohse to a one-year deal worth $4.25 million.

My take: I'm hearing Lohse could have commanded at least $6 million from the New York Mets, but only if he agreed to immediate rotator-cuff surgery.

News item: The Houston Rockets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats to win their 21st consecutive game, passing the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks for the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.

My take: Yao who? The Rockets are 9-0 since the big guy went down with a season-ending foot injury, even though fill-in center Dikembe Mutombo is averaging just 2.8 points per game as a starter.

News item: Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella said Tuesday that he's "a little concerned" about some of his team's struggling hitters.

My take: We've got this guy named Roberts who might help, but it's going to cost you.

News item: NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has proposed a rule change that would make it easier for him to crack down on spying.

My take: President Bush has vowed to sign the bill if it gets to his desk, but only if it allows wiretapping.

News item: The Rays announced yesterday that pitching ace Scott Kazmir will not be the Opening Day starter against the Orioles because of persistent elbow soreness.

My take: If Kazmir is really hurt, you can scratch all that positive preseason buzz that the Rays are ready to make a big move up the standings.

News item: Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz is dating Penthouse Pet of the Year Erica Ellyson.

My take: Well, at least we don't have to worry about any long scoreless streaks this year.

Listen to Peter Schmuck on WBAL (1090 AM) at noon most Saturdays and Sundays.

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