Politically incorrect
By Tim Keown
Page 2 columnist

If Pete Rose were smart, he would have placed a call to the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame this week, proclaiming himself as Republican as he needs to be. And, if necessary, even more Republican than that.

The president, Dale Petroskey, has decided that baseball can be politicized, as long as it's the right brand of politics. He canceled a 15th anniversary celebration of the film "Bull Durham," because co-stars Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins are vigorous anti-war protesters.

Bull Durham
The enforcement of the Geneva Convention didn't come up much in "Bull Durham."
On the lighter side, it's the kind of thing you simply couldn't make up.

On the heavier, it's another indication that questioning the Current Administration means you're either a closet terrorist or a Saddam sympathizer.

(By the way, can someone please retrieve David Robinson? We're ready to return the cyborg now. How can a Naval Academy graduate with his generosity and apparent intelligence actually say the things he's saying? To paraphrase, he said anyone who doesn't support our President should think about leaving the country. Please tell us the Annapolis profs taught the Constitution a little better than that.)

Petroskey claims comments by Sarandon and Robbins "ultimately could put our troops in further danger." Is this guy for real? The words of a couple of actors could really put our troops in danger?

Can't we all just agree that actors who force-feed their political beliefs -- regardless of their persuasion -- are nothing more than dilettantes who have no real currency with the public? Robbins and Sarandon have been at this a long time, long enough to become eminently ignorable self-parodies.

A Load of "Bull"
Jim Caple was initially appalled by the comments from the Baseball Hall of Fame president about Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. But after reviewing his "Bull Durham" DVD, Caple discovered the movie was a little heavy-handed in its political statements.

You'd have to guess this kind of publicity provides them with the kind of legitimacy they can't get from the weighty profundities of "Access Hollywood." Petroskey -- we call him "Mr. Baseball" around our place -- didn't want politics to become an issue, so he went out of his way to make it an issue.

Besides, if I remember the film correctly, "Bull Durham" didn't spark much heavyweight political discourse. It did, however, spawn a litter of Kevin Costner baseball movies, which provides a much better rationale for not only canceling the tribute but never scheduling it in the first place.

This Week's List

  • It all comes down to instinct, angles and those little men who live in your ear: Pam Ward missed a great opportunity to ask Pat Summitt about the North Carolina opening after Tennessee lost the national title game to Connecticut.
  • If nothing else, we would have learned just how many swear words Roy knows: Bonnie Bernstein should have followed up her UNC questions with, "And as for that Pittsburgh opening "
  • Quick -- if it was your money, your team and your future employment at stake, which one do you pick: LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony?
  • That's what I thought: It's not that easy, is it?
  • From the no-stone-left-unturned school of journalism, a question: Anyone asked Michael Jordan about that UNC opening yet?
  • They're all good, of course, but it's always easier to get up for the biggest games: When it comes to the NBDL, FAY vs. MOB always draws me in.
  • By the end of the weekend, we'll all wish we'd never heard the following words: Hootie Johnson.
  • For those with short attention spans, a synopsis of Hootie's Wednesday press conference: Hootie don't care, folks.
  • Look-alikes: Hootie Johnson and Trent Lott.
  • And by the way: That's got to be more than a coincidence, doesn't it?
  • Not to get too deep, but of all the recent changes in the world, there's one that's particularly difficult to digest: A clean-shaven Vlade Divac.
  • With Maddux and Schilling struggling, a hearty welcome to the new breed: Javier Vazquez and Mark Prior.
  • And one more: Kurt Ainsworth, Giants (2-0, 1.93).
  • Just for the heck of it: Lynn McGlothen.
  • Forget Opening Day or the snowouts or Sosa's 500th, because here's the true sign that baseball season has begun: Tony La Russa got himself all hot and bothered over a breach of baseball protocol -- the Rockies' Preston Wilson stealing a base with a five-run lead.
  • Not that he's thinking this way, but any future double-date with Chris and Tyra figures to bolster Phil's Q rating exponentially: The London Daily Mail reported that Phil Maloof, the youngest of the brother/owners of the Sacramento Kings, has been seen keeping company with Britney Spears.
  • That'll teach those Canadiens fans to disrespect our song, won't it?: At Wrigley Field on Tuesday, "O, Canada" was booed with significant force by a large number of super-patriots who attended the Cubs' home opener.
  • I saw Scott Rolen -- the best in the business -- fail to barehand a bunt the other day, and one name flashed in my head: Scott Brosius.
  • Attention Martha Burk: Your 15 minutes are up.
  • Unfortunately, the question may not have an answer: After all that, who's going to beat the Lakers?
  • You know, of course, the operative adjective is "Frozen": A Final Four game Thursday matched New Hampshire against Cornell.
  • Best headline of the baseball season: "Boston Bullpen Collapses by Committee"
  • And finally, think of it this way -- you're holding a pair of twos and pushing all your chips to the middle: The WNBA players are holding out for more dough, and the whole thing just might blow.
  • Tim Keown is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine. E-mail him at tim.keown@espn3.com.



    Tim Keown Archive

    Caple: What a load of "Bull"

    Nuke and Annie's war stance means no 'Bull'

    Keown: Time out

    Keown: Bad seed

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