Whirled Series

In a spin over baseball overload and other annoyances.

Stuff that happened recently:

· The Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series. That's in case you missed it when it was on the front page of every section of the daily newspapers, the lead story on every TV newscast and the topic of conversation on every radio show. It's a big deal, but it's not that big a deal.

They should use tapes of local newscasts to teach journalism students how not to do things. At a time when our nation is virtually at war, there is an upcoming municipal election that could nudge our city in a really ugly direction and budget shortfalls are threatening our education and transportation systems, they start out the news with some dorky young woman standing in front of Bank One Ballpark in Phoenix, wearing lots of Diamondbacks stuff and saying really important things like, "Oh, and the chili cheese dogs they sell are definitely World Series quality." To which the talking head back in the studio replies, "Yum."

I'm a sports fan, but that's really embarrassing. As Emil Franzi says, "Example No. 237 as to why local TV news sucks."

· Now that the spectacular season is over, there's a whole lot of ugliness right around the corner. First off, somebody needs to be held accountable for the violence at Tucson Electric Park when World Series tickets went on sale. Many people showed up more than a half-day in advance and patiently waited in line for the chance to buy a ticket. But then, just before the ticket windows were to open, a throng of drunken thugs and bullies pushed their way to the front of the line, committing several felonies along the way.

They knocked people aside and were able to purchase tickets without any challenge. When the TEP folks saw a long line forming, they should have called for law enforcement to help keep things orderly and fair. It shouldn't have to be that way, but we live in a time when a few crappy people can ruin it for everybody else. And these crappy people need to get smacked upside their heads hard and often until they come to the realization that their crappiness has immediate and painful consequences.

· As it stands now, the Diamondbacks might have to move to the American League next year because major-league baseball is kicking a couple money-bleeding teams to the curb. So instead of continuing the already-classic rivalries with the Giants, Dodgers and Rockies, they'll have the Anaheim Angels, Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. Ugh! If they thought attendance was bad this year ...

Might not matter, because there'll probably be a strike/lockout, anyway. After September 11, people were saying that baseball would try to avoid such a self-destructive thing. But that was two months ago and greed has a way of superseding other things.

· I know we named him one of the Best of Tucson and even gave him a pretentious Greek name and all, but boy, do I disagree with Greg Hansen on something. Early last week, a couple days after the Arizona Wildcats had suffered a second consecutive gut-wrenching, last-minute Pac-10 loss, Hansen explained that the Cats are going through a time of transition from one coaching regime to another and that they must stay the course. He ended by saying that it's better to lose in a (Coach John) Mackovic way than to win in a (Dick) Tomey way.

Poor Greg must've hit his head with an errant backswing while playing golf on one of Tucson's many upscale courses. Please remember this: As long as your team is playing within the rules of the game, it's better to win in a Hitler way than to lose in a Gandhi way. Here's the progression: Losing is better than not playing at all; winning is better than losing. You can clip that out and put it on your refrigerator in case you're prone to becoming confused if proper names are placed in the vicinity of "winning" and "losing."

· The UA basketball team plays Maryland tonight. I love basketball. I played it in high school and college and I coach it today, but (non-NBA) basketball on November 8 is just plain wrong. I don't care if it's the Black Coaches Association, Coaches Against Cancer or Coaches Adding to Their Pension Funds, somebody needs to get slapped for having a college basketball game on November 8.

This is why college presidents start sticking their noses into things, and we all know how wrong those people can be. They see a relatively easy problem and they start flailing about. They're already trying to kill those Thanksgiving tournaments in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. They're cutting back on the numbers of games and scholarships. And now you're serving up college basketball a week after Halloween. I almost hope they get mad.

I've always loved Thanksgiving week because you've got great football all weekend, along with high-school tip-off tournaments and the offshore college tournaments. Let's keep it that way, huh?

· Sex and the City won the Emmy for Best Comedy Series at the twice-postponed Emmys Sunday night. Finally, the people who picked The Monkees for a similar "honor" back in 1966 can go to their graves knowing that they've been let off the Biggest Blunder of All Time hook. Heck, even the idiots who tabbed Ally McBeal a couple years ago seem levelheaded by comparison.

I'm not a prude. I don't mind the nudity and the sex talk. What I mind is that it's not funny. (I saw Bridget Jones's Diary, which was similar in topic, except that the writers remembered to make it funny.) You could have a talking breast on TV and I'd probably tune in to watch it at least once. OK, I'd for sure tune in to watch. But, if it's on a show that's nominated for an Emmy for Best Comedy Series, that breast had better be funny or I'm watching Malcolm in the Middle.

Sex and the City is just plain bad. It's shrill and man-hating and not funny. (Even man-hating can be funny if it's done right.)

I get more laughs watching Channel 4 open their nightly newscasts with World Series coverage.