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Five Spot / Quick hitters on the light side

1. WILL BAT FOR FOOD

St. Louis is the country's No. 1 city for cheapskates, in the estimation of Kiplinger magazine. "No kidding," said one Albert Pujols apologist. "Can you believe they only offered him $23 million a year to play there?"

2. UPON FURTHER REVIEW

With negotiations going nowhere, the NFL has locked out its game officials. So which is now the most fearsome sight in football: a 4-3 defense with Ray Lewis in the middle, or a picket line headed up by Ed Hochuli?

3. WITHDRAWAL PAINS

Running back Herschel Sims has been kicked off the Oklahoma State football team for allegedly taking $700 from a teammate's bank account. Probably not what his coaches had in mind when they described him as a money player.

4. GLAZED OVER

Last Friday, in case you missed it, was National Doughnut Day. St. Louis Cardinals hitters, a little too caught up in the moment, celebrated by going 0 for 27.

5. WHAT HE SAID

"If you are a person who whines, 'C'mon, refs, let the players decide the game,' next time you are the victim of a crime, don't call the cops," wrote Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle. "Work it out with the criminal."

-- Dwight Perry, Seattle Times