Bud The Spud Was A Dud

btswdOnly a Pollyanna would say baseball isn’t lurching toward another impasse. These foolish, stubborn men are more interested in battling each other than preserving the grand old game, which explains why it’s now the national past-its-time. “I can’t say that I’m optimistic.” says Fay Vincent, the last independent commissioner, ousted back when the sport was much better. And if a tense off-season follows previous form–a lockout that leads to a work stoppage next season, the ninth in three decades–you know what that spells.

Doom.

Simply, baseball’s role in America would slow to a crawl. Any remaining smidgen of consumer trust would vanish. There’s an adage that the game’s recovery powers are almighty, that the scab always heals no matter the wound.

Not this time, not after so much bleeding and heartache. The public has come to view the owners, players and negotiators with zero tolerance and considerable disdain. Either the parties figure out how to divide a caviar pie, or

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Notes On This Season

notsBobby Cox, going for his 10th straight division title as Braves manager, was nearly as distraught as Bowa as he tried to fix his team’s woeful offense. After putting 43-year-old Julio Franco at first, Cox stuck Chipper Jones in left so that Ken Caminiti’s bat could be in the lineup. This was the same Caminiti who had one hit over a recent nine-game stretch and was batting .225 as a Brave. Moving its best player to a new position in September does not seem like a move a team thinking about the World Series would want to make. But Jones told Cox he was willing to try and with Golden Glove winner Andruw Jones in center, Chipper promised “to man that hundred-foot area from the foul line to straightaway medium left field. I’ll let him have the rest.”

The Diamondbacks have the edge

The way Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson have pitched, the Diamondbacks are not likely to suffer any

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Kickin’ It Amish Style

kiasLittle has changed in the rolling hills of northeastern Ohio since the early 1800s, when word of inexpensive acreage in this fertile firm country first lured members of Pennsylvania’s well-established Amish community to move west. Today nearly 37,000 Amish and Mennonites call the region home, with the highest concentration–some 17,000 strong–in bucolic Holmes County, a 424-square-mile oasis south of Cleveland.

The Amish, whose religious beliefs mandate that they eschew many modern conveniences (including automobiles, electric appliances, and telephones), continue to live much as their forebears did two centuries ago. This lack of 21st-century trappings and the slower-paced lifestyle it engenders now attract a new breed of traveler–visitors who seek out the area because of its unspoiled scenery and gender ways. Word has gotten out, though, and the growing popularity of the region at times threatens the very tranquillity that makes Holmes County so special. Since tour buses have been known to monopolize main thoroughfares and attractions during peak travel seasons

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