Jim Austin's Vermonter at Large
Jim Austin
Jim Austin
is a freelance writer from Putney, Vermont.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 09.04.02


Sports shorts

Who's game to tell Serena the truth about her new "cat suit?"

Number One tennis queen Serena Williams showed up for her U.S. Open first round match in a form-fitting self-described "cat suit." What kind of cat are we talking about here? Garfield? The announcers wouldn't say it but I must:

"Serena, half the stadium can't tell who you are playing until you change ends. Your butt is blocking the view, sweetie. We're talking twin biospheres. Serena, baby, go back to the skirt, we're begging you."

Did they strike? At this writing it's Tuesday with the strike date set for Friday. Greedy thieves on both sides have destroyed our national pastime. The owners have always been a slimy bunch of money-grubbing tycoons. In the past they paid a pittance to players who they kept in virtual slavery and now the worms have turned. A-Rod's salary is an obscenity.

Anyone who watched the Little League World Series knows that there is an alternative to steroid-laced creeps who want to squeeze baseball fans for every last cent. The 12 and under team from Kentucky, behind stellar pitching, beat former champions Japan last Saturday night in a thrilling 1-0 pitcher's duel.

Japan's pitcher hung one fastball over the plate instead of the inside corner and the opposing hurler Aaron Aley parked it over the fence in left center.

In the U.S. national championship game the second baseman for Worcester MA was 4'4" tall and weighed 75 pounds. He swung the bat like a champ and had a strike zone about the size of a shoebox. Kids from both teams showed great fundamentals, sportsmanship and competitive fire. 35,000 fans attended the nationally televised games.

Tickets for the series? Free. Hot dogs were $1.25 and sodas a buck. Congrats too to ESPN and ABC who broadcast all of the games with the same fanfare, color commentary, and gravitas as they do with the MLB series.

We found out that in Little League players cry when they lose unlike the majors where players only cry when the Dow drops under 9000 points. Great credit should go to our local boys from Worcester MA who were whupped in the consolation game by Curacao, a Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela.

At the other end of the baseball spectrum, we saw the conclusion of the inaugural CRVBL league at Tenney Field in Brattleboro. CRVBL (Connecticut River Valley Baseball League) was the idea of several geezers who refused to give up and join the "girls of summer" (softball).

Four over-30 teams including several AARP members competed over the summer at Dummerston Field every Sunday. In the finals the team from C&S emerged victorious by a score of 9-3 over the team from Saxton's River, which had only dropped one game all year.

Mark Fillion pitched 8 innings giving up only 1 unearned run. He worked out of a bases loaded no outs jam in the 4th, hit a 2 rbi double to break up a 0-0 tie in the 3rd and hit a solo home run in the 8th. Sounds like the MVP to me. Filion had the only trot-around-the-bases homer of the season as he blasted a fastball over the fence at Tenney Field. Dummerston field has no fence so all homers there have to include a tendon-popping dash around the bases and at least one throwing error.

The Putney Fossils managed to defeat the Brattleboro team for third place in an 8-2 victory. There aren't too many 5-4-3 double plays in CRVBL games and the only steroid use is for treatment of arthritis but the players haven't forgotten why they are there.

Well, some of them have but chalk that up to early Alzheimer's.