© St. Petersburg Times, published October 27, 2002
DEVIL RAYS: The team is on the verge of making its biggest move ever. It's the kind of commitment for which fans have longed. If the team follows up by building a winner, we'll see if the fans hold up their end of the bargain.
GRANT HILL, CHRISTIAN LAETTNER: The NBA players and former Duke standouts donated $50,000 each to St. Anthony High after reading a newspaper article about the Jersey City, N.J., school's need to raise $500,000 to keep its doors open. Now if only the Knicks could funnel all those Latrell Sprewell fines to the school, it would have money to spare.
C.T. YOUNG: The football coach at Pretty Prairie (Kan.) High suspended two-thirds of his team, then canceled the season because of code of conduct violations: three players said they chewed tobacco and eight admitted to drinking. Parents and school board members thanked the coach as the town of 600 returned to the business of farming. No lawsuits, no backlash, no waffling, no coach's spin, no capitulation. Simply support for following rules and doling out punishment when they are broken. That's the kind of fresh air the college and pro ranks could sure use.
BUD SELIG: Just when they Devil Rays have something to crow about -- a substantial offer to make Lou Piniella their manager -- Commissioner Contraction clamps down on a gag order for anything not related to the World Series. Funny, Bud didn't have anything to say last year when the Astros hired Jimy Williams as their manager and the Rangers added John Hart as GM on the day of Game 5.
MLB: Officials threatened to ban Giants pitcher Jason Christiansen from the dugout during the World Series because he had the number and initials of deceased teammate Darryl Kile written on his cap. Many have questioned the intelligence of the sport's hierarchy. Add sensitivity to that question.
BUCS: Let's start thinking playoffs when they beat a team that's not sub-.500.
-- Bruce Lowitt, Anthony Perez, Mike Stephenson