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Highs and lows

By JOHN C. COTEY, AARON GREENFIELD, BRUCE LOWITT, HUBERT MIZELL and JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times, published October 8, 2000


Highs

CHUCK LaMAR: He could have taken the easy, fan-pleasing fire-the-manager route, but the Devil Rays general manager recognized that much of what was promised to Larry Rothschild never arrived and that his decision to detour from the team's plan of development was a mistake. Season-long injuries to starting pitchers Wilson Alvarez and Juan Guzman and the unfulfilled promise of a Hit Show (the Rays were 12th in the league in homers) wrecked Rothschild's chance to prove himself. He's got one more chance.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: For showing Bucs fans that, yes, the season could be a lot worse than it already is.

THE OLYMPICS: They ended in pageantry. They ended with the United States winning most of the medals. Hey, they ended. Isn't that enough? We now return to our regularly scheduled (and live, and exciting) programming.

Lows

FEDEX FIELD: For freshmanesque attempts, a level below sophomoric, to fire up Redskins patrons. Before kickoff, a radio DJ bellows from field, using stadium PA with blabber more befitting an amateurish cheerleader at a high school game. When visiting team starters are announced, it's done in degrading, poorly timed fashion. Choosing demeaning over class. Finally, during play, as enemies face key plays, the PA erupts with a childish "Thirrrrrrrrrrd down!"

ALLEN IVERSON: John Rocker, but with a catchy beat.

PAYING TO PLAY THE NATIONAL ANTHEM: The Devil Rays should have paid the bands for even wanting to watch that team. At least the Rays realized the hit they were taking for the error they made and apologized.

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