Sunday, June 1, 2003

Very special pen pals


For when times are tough

By Ryan Ernst
The Cincinnati Enquirer

rernst.jpg
Nine U.S. Senators from Big East Conference states recently wrote letters to school officials of Miami, Boston College and Syracuse - schools considering leaving the league for the Atlantic Coast Conference - asking them to stay put.

The letter was signed by Sens. Joe Lieberman and Christopher J. Dodd D-Conn.; Sens. Frank Lautenberg and Jon Corzine, D-NJ; Sens. Robert C. Byrd and John D. Rockefeller IV, D-W. Va.; Sens. George Allen and John Warner, R-Va.; and Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.

"What message do we send to student-athletes when decades of history can be destroyed as a sole result of economic considerations?" the letter asked. "The wrong one."

Well, Top of the Second says Amen. We applaud the effort of politicians to try to set sports figures straight, and we'd like to see more of it. In fact, we've taken the liberty of drafting letters from politicians to others in sports. Here are some excerpts:

Former Sen. Strom Thurmond to Rickey Henderson

"... There comes a time in every man's life when he has to hang it up. Now I know that I am not the man I was at 90, or even at 95 years of age. But you are a 44-year-old minor-leaguer. I mean, c'mon..."

Former President Bill Clinton to Mike Price

"... The moral of the story is deny, deny, deny..."

Former Rep. James Traficant to Darryl Strawberry

"... So, anyway, I'll help you with your taxes if you tell me how to make a shank. Deal? Beam me up ... to solitary confinement!"

Sen. Jim Bunning to Jeff Austin

"... The first three guys of the game take you deep, and you don't plunk the fourth? I'd send you down, too. ..."

Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell to LeBron James

"... The key to the city just isn't enough. You can have my car keys, my house keys, the code for my voicemail. Come to think of it, LeBronville has a nice ring to it. ..."

Former President Jimmy Carter to Jim Harrick

"... Let me get this straight: You ruined their basketball program and the people of Georgia love you. What's your secret? I was the President of the United States of America. And they love you?"

Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura to Randy Moss

"... One more screw-up, pal, and you and I are gonna meet on the lawn of the Governor's Mansion. And it will not be pretty. One more arrest, one more play taken off, and "The Body" is comin' after yoooooouuuuuuuu!!!!"

Sen. Carl Levin to the Detroit Tigers

CC: Detroit Lions

"... I'm not mad; I'm disappointed. ..."

Sen. Ted Kennedy to Larry Eustachy

"... So then I say, 'How come none of you speak English? And where are my pants?' "

Former Vice President Walter Mondale to Bob Boone

"... Sometimes, it's just better not to say what you're thinking. Trying to explain sitting Griffey after his two-homer game last week worked about as well as me telling the American public I would raise their taxes if elected president. ..."

---

E-mail rernst@enquirer.com




BENGALS
Smith packs as Matthews signs
Bengals Q&A

REDS
Marlins 3, Reds 2
Reds notebook: White move is the right move
Baseball fans can't resist the mystique
Draft preview: Future's at stake this week
Reds zero in on 14th overall pick
Worldwide draft would rob wealthy teams of monopoly
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A

MORE BASEBALL
NL: Pirates on top on streaky day
Struggling Sosa drives in winner
AL: Jays beat Red Sox to cap 21-8 May
This ol' left-hander isn't quite ready to head for home
MLB power rankings
Clemens tries again for 300th win

U.C. BEARCATS
C-USA scrapping two-division alignment

PREP SPORTS
Groeschen: Baseball all-star game is today
Schmidt: Odd pair to coach football all-stars
Division I baseball: Milford 16, Hamilton 1
Division I baseball: St. Xavier 14, Reynoldsburg 12
Division I softball: Northwest 3, Hamilton 0
Thomas, Compton put Cincy stamp on singles
Middletown lacks depth but still has individual strength
Turpin ignores cold to win regional title
St. Henry star Danks wins 3 titles
Brossart dynasty now over
St. X wins first state title in volleyball
Saturday's results
Tournament brackets

GOLF
Still Perry, Perry good
Daugherty: Don't hold breath for Singh to talk
Bad weather? Then it must be Jack's tourney
Q&A with Kevin Hall
Leader Sorenstam closes with 5 birdies

HORSE RACING
Funny Cide goes for sweep

BOXING
Siler eyes 3rd Golden Gloves title in a row

AUTO RACING
Dow: RCR leaves Green feeling unloved
Nemechek wins Busch series race from pole
Jourdain wins chilly CART night race

NBA
Duncan praises Martin's defense
Despite division wins, Pistons fire Carlisle

NHL
They're no longer sitting Ducks

TENNIS
Two-set leads evaporate in heat

TOP O' THE SECOND
Very special pen pals
Tale O' the Tape: ACC vs. AC/DC
Sollmann gets Irish up for NCAA Tournament
Page Two power rankings

ON THE AIR
This weekend's sports on TV, radio