Thoughts from a guy sitting in a traffic jam on I-270

October 05, 2003|by MARK KELLER

It's amazing the things you think about when you spend 45 minutes on a Saturday afternoon parked on I-270.

  • How long will we have to hear that what the Florida Marlins did to Barry Bonds was a crime?

    Somehow, people (and likely Bonds himself) will whine about how the Marlins took the bat out of his hands and didn't allow him to play.

    You're Marlins manager Jack McKeon. What do you do?

    You do what it takes to win. And if that means walking Bonds every time he comes to the plate, so be it.

    Sure, you'll take some criticism. But isn't the idea to get to the next round? That's just what the Marlins did.

  • So much for that Cubs-Red Sox World Series.

    At least the Cubs are trying to do their part in making it happen. The Marlins should be very worried about having to face the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

    If the Cubs have the chance to set their rotation properly, the Marlins could end up facing Kerry Wood and Mark Prior twice each.

    If you saw either of them pitch in the Divisional Series, you know that doesn't bode well for any opponent.

    All of a sudden, the prospect of facing the Atlanta Braves pitching staff doesn't seem quite so daunting, does it?

  • There's been a lot of talk about the new expanded high school playoff format in Maryland, in which four teams in each region will face off to decide a regional champ. That champion moves on to the state semifinals.

    It sounds like a good idea, and the fact that the state did double the number of teams that qualify for the postseason is good.

    But those looking for the downside - and you know who you are - need look no further than Class 2A West.

    Francis Scott Key, North Hagerstown, Walkersville and Fort Hill all were unbeaten at the start of the weekend and occupied the top four spots in the region. South Carroll was fifth with one loss.

    South Carroll gave FSK its first loss of the season Friday night, ensuring it stays right in the thick of things.

    Granted, there's still half a season to go. But the way that region is so stacked at the top, expect one of those five teams to finish 8-2 and on the outside looking in at the regional playoffs.

    It took the state 18 years to expand from eight playoff teams to 16 in each class. I hope it takes much less than that to change from the regional platform employed this year to a straight 16-team statewide bracket in each class.

    It works in West Virginia. It can work in Maryland, too.

  • Mark Keller is sports editor of The Herald-Mail. His column appears every Sunday. He can be reached at 301-733-5131, ext. 2332, or by e-mail at

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