New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 22, 1982, New Braunfels, Texas
4 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung Friday, October 22,1982OpinionsHerald-Zeitung
Dave Kramer, General Manager Robert Johnson, EditorAndy RooneyWorld Series awash in nostalgia, tobacco juice
The World Series is over, the better team lost, and now, if they don’t end the strike of professional football players, we’re all going to have to watch the freaks in short pants rush from one end of the gymnasium to the other trying to put the round ball into the steel ring with string hanging from it.
The most surprising thing to me about this year’s World Series was how few of the baseball players I’d ever heard of before. There wasn’t a Hank Aaron, Pete Rose or even a Reggie jackson in the bunch. Most of them seemed like awfully good baseball players, though, and I kept watching for signs that one of them
might become well-known and for more than a year or two in his own city. I didn’t see a baseball immortal emerge, but, of course, I’m not a good critic of baseball.
Tony Kubek, the old player, now an announcer, kept saying that the St. Louis shortstop, Ozzie Smith, might be one of the best shortstops of all time. I didn’t think so from what I saw of him. He did some amazing things with his body but he didn’t always come up with the ball. He made anything that came near him look like an impossible play to make and then, of course, he usually made it.
That reminded me of the best remark anyone ever made about a
baseball player. Someone said of Joe DiMaggio, “He never made a tough catch in his life.” That’s high praise. I guess the reason I wasn’t as impressed with Ozzie Smith as I should have been was that all his catches were just the opposite. He never makes an easy catch.
Baseball fans must have a bigger appetite for nostalgia and statistics than any other group in the world. The television and radio announcers feed them endless amounts of the stuff. If the federal government kept statistics on all of us the way announcers keep statistics on baseball players, we’d revolt.
There is almost no play made, no hit, no catch, no pitch, no run that isn’t a new record. If it doesn’t break the record, it almost certainly ties it. When someone comes to bat who is able to swing from either the left side or the right side of home plate, depending on whether the pitcher is left-handed or right-handed, the announcers give the batter’s lifetime hitting average three times. They give you his average hitting lefthanded, his average hitting right-handed and his combined average.
This seems like a lot of bookkeeping. It strikes a non-fan as funny, but I don’t notice that the announcers are doing it with any idea
that it will make people laugh. They’re dead serious about it. As a matter of fact, one of the outstanding things about baseball announcers is how deadly serious they are about the game. If I were a real fan, I’d want some silence from the announcers while I enjoyed figuring out what might happen next.
The television directors who put the pictures on the air are very good at getting the action shots, but there’s one area in which they fail. They like to punctuate the action on the field with reaction shots of the players and particularly the managers in the dugout. Television directors have got to get better at anticipating when a
manager is going to spit. Of the 243 times the cameras showed Harvey Kuenn, the Milwaukee manager, they caught him spitting 197. He spit to the left 84 times and to the right 113. He’s a switch spitter.
If American children follow the examples they see being set on the shows they watch on television, the World Series could breed a generation of tobacco chewers. If I were the commissioner of baseball, I think I’d write all managers and ballplayers a friendly note:
“Hey fellas. Spitting is a disgusting habit. Let’s either swallow the tobacco juice or stop chewing it.”
Chemical weapons and wasted money
The Pentagon’s multimillion-dollar chemical warfare program is turning into a gigantic stink bomb.
Poison gas was used with such horrible effect in World War I that no nation dared to unleash it in World War II for fear of devastating retaliation in kind. Yet research in the deadly field went on, and scientists developed ever more lethal chemical warfare weapons.
Alarmed by reports that the Soviets had made great strides in perfecting nerve gas and other chemical (biological killers, Congress and the Reagan administration listened sympathetically to the generals’ pleas to close the “gas gap.” Over the past two years, hundreds of millions of dollars were appropriated to build up our chemical arsenal.
Ifs debatable whether the Untied States needs to achieve the capability of retailiating on an exact, tit-for-tat basis against whatever weapon the Soviets may decide to develop. Critics see no reason why the threat of nuclear weapons, for example, couldn't deter the first use of poison gas.
But on one point there is no argument: defending our front-line troops against a sneak chemical attack. Unfortunately, the Pentagon's chemical warfare defense program has turned into an expensive boondoggle that has wasted millions without developing the needed protective measures.
Quite simply, the protective gear intended to nullify the effects of an enemy gas attack are almost as dangerous as the enemy’s chemicals. If it weren’t so potentially tragic, it would almost be laughable.
The uniform designed to protect soldiers from poison gas mask, boots, gloves and coveralls, can incapacitate or even kill the wearer.
An internal Army manual states that the outfit is so bulky and airtight that it “could cause significant numbers of heat casualties” if worn in hot weather. Soldiers encased in the protective garment “may experience heat exhaustion (dizziness and fainting) at any time,” the report warns.
Being rendered even temporarily helpless on the battlefield is bad enough. But the protective gear can even cause heat stroke, which the Army report notes “has a 50 percent mortality rate.”
Still, the Army concluded, after weighing “heat casualties versus chemical casualties,” that the protective outfit should be worn after all. “Reduced chemical protection of troops should not be permitted unnecessarily,” the Army warned, “because the risk of heat stress or even exhaustion normally involves only a brief illness, whereas chemical casualties can be much more serious...”
The gas mask is also a problem. The Defense Department recognizes the possibility of “breathing difficulty caused by the mask,” as well as an understandable impairment of the ability to hear and make oneself heard.
There has even been trouble with the antidote developed to counteract nerve gas. The original antidote was atropine, but that is so dangerous itself that the Army spent $1.4 million on a drug known as TAB (no relation to the soft drink).
But sources told my associate Lucette I^agnado that the new antidote contained a hallucinogen. Soldiers taking it would be “high” for hours. They might be protected against nerve gas, but they’d be helpless against other weapons — just as, in World War I, laughing gas was sometimes used to render enemy soldiers incapable of defending themselves against cold steel or lethal gas.
After this expensive false start, the armed services developed another, non-hallucinogenic antidote, and largely scrapped TAB.
Footnote: A team of invetigators for the House Defense Appropriations committee, chaired by Rep. Joseph Addabbo, D-N.Y., is now scrutinizing the Pentagon’s chemical warfare expenditures more closely. A Pentagon spokesman said the Defense [department will use the increased funds to improve outdated protective gear.
NOW THAT THE MOKI&AGE RATES HAVE HE SAYS Hi CAN AFFORD TD BWA HOMS,,,
Reagan eyes Moscow punishment
By WALTER R. MEARS AP Special Correspondent
WASHINGTON — Facing political and diplomatic problems over its trade sanctions against the Soviet Union, the Reagan administration is looking for a better way to punish Moscow — something that will work without offending voters at home and allies abroad.
The goal is allied agreement on a framework of economic measures
and restrictions to be applied to the Soviet Union.
“We’re trying to study relationships between the West and the East ... as far as economics are concerned," said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition that his name not be used. “This involves financial terms, it involves items that we’re selling to them, it involves the whole philosophical question as to whether we should be doing it and, if so, to what extent and what products.
"And the idea is that if you can reach general agreements on all this, you wouldn’t have to bother with individual sanctions then,” he said. “What you’re trying to do is establish a whole new type of relationship.”
That kind of economic framework has been under discussion by western foreign ministers. The administration acknowledges that it is an elusive goal, given the differing philosophies and concerns of American allies.
The administration trade sanctions
deal with technology and equipment for the 3,700-mile natural gas pipeline the Soviet Union is building from Siberia to western Europe. President Reagan imposed sanctions on American export of supplies for the pipeline last December, and stiffened them in June, in response to the Soviet role in suppressing the free trade union movement in Poland. The United States tried unsuccessfully to get western European nations to follow suit.
The sanctions have cost business — and jobs — in some sections of the United States, and where they have, it is an issue in the congressional election campaign.
One such area is Peoria, IU., where Reagan campaigned on Monday for House Republican leader Robert H. Michel. Democrat G. Douglas Stephens denounces the trade sanctions daily, pointing to their impact on the district’s biggest single employer,
Caterpillar Tractor Co.
The firm has laid off about 8,000 workers, in part because the sanctions barred it from filling more than $90 million worth of orders for pipeline equipments. Another area firm that lost pipeline business has shut down entirely.
Part of the problem is that every trade restriction has its down side, since what the Soviet Union is not allowed to buy, American firms cannot sell.
Reagan said Monday that the United States is exploring alternatives to the sanctions, talking to allies “about some other things that we believe could be more punishment to the Soviet Union...
“We couldn’t get agreement on them, but we’re trying again,” he said. “If we can get a better set of restrictions, other than the sanctions, we will be willing to lift those sanctions.”
State Sen. W.E. Snelson
Sen. John Tower
Rep. Tom Loeffler
United States Senate
P.O. Box 12068
Room 142 Russell Bldg.
Austin, Texas 78768
Washington, D.C. 20510
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Gov. William P. Clements Jr.
Sen. Lloyd Bentsen
State Rep. Bennie Bock ll Texas House
United State Senate
Room 200 State Capitol
Room 240 Russell Bldg.
Austin, Texas 78701
Washington, D.C. 20510
P.O. Box 2910 Austin, Texas 78769