Location: New York, New York

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Who's Counting?

Tito Fuentes was a flashy second basemen for the SF Giants during the 1960's. That was the team of Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, Juan Marichal, Jim Ray Hart and other greats who managed to come in second from 1965 through 1969, usually losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Tito was a hot dog. His fondness for twirling his bat, strutting between pitches, and generally acting like a vaudevillian following a child or dog act, infuriated pitchers who would react by occasionally missing with a pitch and knocking Tito on his butt. That sort of thing was usually reserved for sluggers. Tito was very careful about his wardrobe and very much resented being sent sprawling in the dirt, much of which would cling to his erstwhile spotless uniform, and being deprived of his dignity. Occasionally a pitcher would miss so badly that Tito would get drilled between the numbers. After one such event Tito said to a reporter "The pitchers shouldn't throw at me. I'm the father of four.........or five children." Numbers can be confusing and most people forgave Tito for not being exactly sure of the number of children he had.

In the early 1980's I ran into a bachelor friend who was wearing a long face. I asked him what was wrong. He said that he had to pay a big penalty to the IRS for falsely claiming he had three children dependents. I asked him why he hadn't told the IRS he had just written the number down wrong. He said they might have believed that, but giving the fictitious children names was where he had really screwed up.

A Republican county chairman in Seminole County, Florida claims a false report about him cost him the election to head the state Republican party. Jim Stelling is seeking unspecified damages from Nancy Goettman. She sent a letter to Republican party executives shortly before the election. In the letter she mentioned that Mr. Stelling had been married six times. He narrowly lost to the election to a woman who's number of marriages was not made an issue. In truth Mr. Stelling has only been married five times. It would be big of Mr. Stelling if he forgave Ms. Goettman. He should realize that with number of marriages, like children, anyone can make a mistake. At least Ms. Goettman didn't make the unforgivable mistake of listing the names of his ex-wives.


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