Sunday, July 18, 1999

A SECOND OPINION


Splendor in the grass

BY MIKE BALL
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Barry Larkin did it again. He said what he was thinking and then took the criticism.

        Larkin said he would leave the Reds after his contract expires next season to play for a team that has natural turf.

        And, of course, an uproar ensued.

        But this isn't about Larkin being selfish. It's about a grass field. And it's about time the Reds figured out what a difference one would make.

        The Reds shouldn't put grass in Cinergy Field because Larkin wants it. They should put grass in because it would make all the difference in the world.

        Have you seen the difference grass made in Busch Stadium? Or Kauffman Stadium?

        Put a grass field in Cinergy, and fans would think they were in a new stadium.

        The Reds have some momentum with their surprising success. They should build on it.

        The cost is prohibitive, they say? The Reds will play in the stadium for only three more years, they say?

        So what. What's $1.5 million or so in this day and age. Over three years, that's a utility player a year.

        What would be a better investment for the Reds, a grass field or three more years of Chris Stynes?

Just wondering
        Does Jack McKeon think that because Hal Morris is playing for Sean Casey he has to bat third? Hal Morris is a lot of things, but a No.3 hitter is not one of them.

        You can't get to Cinergy anymore without being hounded by scalpers. Wonder how those guys made a living the last couple of seasons.

        If the Women's World Cup soccer victory was such a blow for equality for women's sports, why was the photo that was plastered over every news magazine that of Brandi Chastain with her shirt off?

        What if you could eliminate only one of the following — Richie Phillips, Donald Fehr or Bud Selig?

        New Lakers coach Phil Jackson was most pleased that he was able to add longtime assistant Tex Winter to help teach their famed triangle offense. Let's see how it works with Kobe and Shaq instead of Michael and Scottie.

        The Tour de France escaped a near disaster this week when a fan jumped out to take a picture of the leader and knocked him to the ground. Maybe it would help if the riders were equipped with the horns and bells you had on your bike as a kid.

       



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