2024-06-22 2:19 AM

Picking Splinters: Mailbag Time Again

Sports columnist Mike Hume delves into his magical mail bag, fielding questions from all quarters of the country.

With regards to The Player, will “The Circus” ever stop?

Big Tuna
Beset By Reporters, Tx


Sorry to say that with T.O., the circus is always in session and this latest episode has truly proved it. Whether it’s his sheer athleticism, his personality or simply his unparalleled capacity to generate gossipy news stories completely and utterly devoid of importance, the media is drawn to Owens like a moth to a flaming Electrolux. This alleged suicide episode just proved it. Never once was there a pause to check the story before headlines were posted across the country of Owens’s attempt to kill himself. Heck, there was even a story about his apparent depression in San Francisco.

Owens is always going to want to grab the headlines and so long as the media around him proves this anxious to break a story more fit for US Weekly than Sports Illustrated, I’m afraid the Big D will seem more like the Big Top. Might want to grab a whip, Bill.


I am growing weary of defending myself from these steroid allegations. Don’t the fans know that I’ve never used a performance enhancing substance? Isn’t it obvious?

The Rocket
Nokindalineupville, Tx.


No, Roger, it’s not obvious. You and your collective bargaining buddies can thank Bud Selig for that. And you can thank yourselves too. To be honest, I have no pity for you. Until baseball puts forth a comprehensive drug testing policy, the reputations and achievements of every Major League player will be called into doubt. Without it, no one knows what’s actually fueling the Rocket and your impressive achievements and record un-retirements will go underappreciated. If you and your boy Andy started pushing for tougher testing, maybe you wouldn’t have to deal with these allegations at all.


What do you think our chances are to get out of the first round against your Yanks? What about the rest of the playoffs? And do you have a light?

The Marlboro Man
Detroit, Mich.


Sorry, Smokey, fresh out of fire. The news won’t get any more encouraging for your boys, the Tigers, either. In a way, the five-game series is your best chance to beat the Yanks, as you only have to beat them three times instead of four. That said, I’m not sure you’re going to beat them at all. Keeping in mind I’m answering my mail on Wednesday morning here, the Yankee lineup is just ferocious. In case you haven’t heard, their No. 9 hitter contended for the batting title. Yes, your starting pitching was great this year, and the back of your bullpen is spectacular, but your kids are still inexperienced. I firmly believe that experience comes into play in the postseason, particularly when you toe the rubber in Yankee Stadium. With Robertson in the loss column, you’re looking to a rookie, albeit a rookie of the year candidate, to even the series. That’s a tall order.

As for the rest of the series, I liked Minnesota to beat the A’s until Santana lost in the opener, but now with Bonser and Radke in the next two games for the Twins, I’m starting to think Billy Beane’s boys could pull it out, so long as Jeremy Giambi slides in Game Five.

I still like the Padres to top the Cardinals, even after losing the opener. St. Louis was running on fumes at the end of the year, and their staff is not what it was in 2004 or 2005. My prediction is that people are going to learn Chris Young’s name this postseason, as the Padres advance to the World Series over the Dodgers. Yes, Mets fans, that’s right, you’re out in the first round. Yes, your lineup can slug with anyone, but now you have Tom Glavine and … Tom Glavine. Where’d the rest of the staff go? I’ve seen more arms on a digital watch! So, yes, Mets fans, that sound from Flushing is exactly what you think it is.

Yanks beat the Padres in five to return to their former glory and everyone still hates A-Rod.


We scored 36 on the Jags! We can score on anybody at will now!

Every Skins Fan
For Miles, Around


Look, a week before the Jags victory, all you guys and gals were whining about how, just because Jacksonville blanked Pittsburgh they had suddenly become these Super Bowl-favorite darlings of the media. Then, once Washington beats them in overtime, they’re suddenly like 1972 Dolphins. Consistency people. That’s all I’m asking for.

Yes, the Skins looked good, but maybe the Jags weren’t as good as people thought after shutting out a quarterback in his first game back from abdominal surgery, who was also battling a fever. Impressive, yes, but were the Jags built up a little too rapidly after the win? Does our media display knee-jerk tendencies?

P.S. If you’re having trouble answering the rhetorical question, re-read the first letter.





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