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

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 04.29.02



You know, it's exhausting trying to sort out the problems in the Middle East. Despite writing a barge-load of pure truth and reason, there are still those who would disagree with me.

That's why I'm talking sports today. I need a break.

You may have seen the small article in the Sports Section of the Brattleboro Reformer wherein the Connecticut River Valley Baseball League (CRVBL) has been posted. CRVBL is the brainstorm of Richard Bissell, ace 40-year-old junk-ball pitcher for the Putney Fossils. He was having so much fun with our on again off again old guy baseball team that he decided to put the word out for more teams. We got four.

The "Fossil record" (sounds like I'm going to prove something out of the Jurassic period doesn't it?) so far is 2 - 1. We hammered Landmark College then were hammered by Saxton's River and dealt harshly with the Brattleboro team.

Saxton's River is pretty good. Okay, very good. They are all built like fireplugs and seem to be able to hit our pitching. The Fossils may have to start lifting weights if we can find some light enough.

The Reformer on Friday wasted more ink on the Salt Lake City ice-skating scandal than they did on this column. What could be more tedious than ice-skating after the Olympics is over? Ice-fishing, maybe.

Well, didn't a big fat tear roll down your cheek when Arnie staggered to the 18th hole in his final round at the Master's? Give me a break. Here is a guy who has spent his entire life doing what every golfer dreams of doing --making obscene gobs of money playing around on the golf course.

In his latter years he pimped for an oil company and a golf club manufacturer who sells illegal clubs and had the brass to say that Casey Martin, despite his handicap, shouldn't be allowed to compete in a golf cart. This from a geezer who has been getting exemptions into tournaments he doesn't deserve to play in for years.

Envy? Maybe. Admire? Nuts.

Tiger screwed up this year's Master's for everyone. He scared Retief Goosen so badly he couldn't have hit a bull in the butt with a grain shovel during the final round.

Ernie "perfect swing" Els looked like a chimp killing snakes with a garden implement while the unflappable Vijay Singh had a seizure on the back nine and carded a nine. Mickelson will obviously never win a major.

You know why don't you? He carried a beeper during the playoff round of the 99' U.S. Open against Payne Stewart. He claimed that if his wife went into labor he would quit the round and rush to her side. Besides barfing at the sight of the afterbirth, what did he think he was going to do?

The golf gods do not countenance that type of disrespect. Mickelson will have to content himself with winning the Milwaukee Opens of the world.

Could this be the year for the Sox?

Every sports writer in New England has that phrase on their computer "paste" function so they don't have to type it out every year. Got to admit though, with Pedro looking good and the Yanks looking human(ish), maybe this could be the one.

I have much more hope for Boston in the NBA playoffs. Paul Pierce and Co. are handling Philly and their wonder-boy "Poison-Iverson" with ease. It is certainly the first time in years that there has been some interest in NBA around this household.

I'll go back to work on the Mid-East problem next week. To date, Yassir, Ariel, and Colin have been ignoring my advice. Maybe I should dumb it down a bit.