HILL: Intraleague play returns

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Randy Hill

Veteran columnist Randy Hill is a frequent contributor to FOXSports.com.
Baseball as God (who, coincidentally, looks a lot like Bob Costas) intended it to be played is returning to your TVs, radios and box scores. Consider this your declaration of interleague independence. Oh, some of it was fun, but National vs. American just didn't conjure the caliber of disregard that provoked to contribute the year's best open-mouth tackle. While bending backward during this interleague limbo, Major League Baseball fans were treated to a few peculiar crises. Not the least of these was credited to the L.A. , who attempted a blockbuster trade that would have secured the services of a temporary designated hitter. Jose Canseco had been considered for part-time hire, but wrecked his opportunity by testing positive for stupidity. Anyway, intraleague play returns this week and is digging in as the marquee attraction for today's episode of The Weak in Preview. Several seemingly crucial series are ready to roll. Leading off, in terms of sidebar potential, is the Chicago ' visit to Philly. I'm not sure how the actual series will unfold, but do foresee a fan going over the wall for a visit with right-fielder . But instead of the expected and ironic cork chucking, this harried fan will prevail upon Sammy for directions to the men's room. Sosa, whose media boycott may still be in play, decides you can't be too careful and issues a terse, "No comment." The will move from Philly to St. Louis, where the boycotted media should be satisfied to chat with . Pujols is the lightning rod in a lineup that offers more tough outs than The Village People. Another team to watch is the Arizona , who will haul a franchise-best, 11-game winning streak into Colorado. The D-backs have managed to slither back into the NL West race despite the gaping absence of superstar pitchers and , the greatest 1-2 punch since Halle Berry went for the bonus check while filming Swordfish. Arizona will open the week in Colorado and finish it vs. the in L.A. The continue to receive stellar pitching, but seem incapable of scoring in the visitation hall of a women's prison. Considering the weakness of their lineup, FOX should consider selling this team to UPN. The American League's capacity for feud should be well represented in Oakland, where the Seattle begin the week against the . Among the various competing stars are two superb leadoff men — Seattle's and of the A's. Byrnes continues a fine tradition of Oakland table-setters that was defined by the great Rickey Henderson. However, if Byrnes goes the Rickey route and begins speaking in the third person, his relative anonymity might prevent anyone outside Oakland from realizing it. Another key series will occur this weekend in New York, where the are scheduled to meet the Boston . Even though Sox fans usually travel well, you won't hear the war cry "Yankees suck!" unless blows a save and you happen to be sitting in the owner's box. But if you believe sweet spot is a term better suited to tennis, please check my look at Wimbledon located in the Eastern time zone of this page. For the rest of the Weak in Preview, keep scrolling down yonder.


  • According to a protest lodged by the NFL Players Association, lovely Lisa Guerrero, the new sideline employee for ABC's Monday Night Football, will cause 43 percent of the injuries she reports.
  • The Big East remains a viable football league when University of Miami president Donna Shalala turns down the ACC's controversial league-hopping offer. Related news indicates that Rick Neuheisel claims to have forgotten he had "Miami stays put" in an office pool.


  • HBO offers Roy Jones Jr. $5 million just to ask Mike Tyson for his autograph.
  • In tribute to the NBA's free-agent shopping derby, the L.A. Clippers open at 7 a.m.


  • David Beckham's prime-time introduction as Real Madrid's latest superstar is preempted by Beck's displeasure with his current hairstyle. According to soccer insiders, it's the first time a Beckham-related press conference has been stopped on cuts.
  • Eighty-five percent of moviegoers surveyed believe the animation of Arnold Schwarzenneger in Terminator 3 is just as lifelike as that of the title character in The Hulk.


  • exercises a "no medium rare" clause in his contract that allows the Texas slugger to reject a steak three times.
  • A recent survey revealed that — when given color and length options — American men are more attracted to long-haired brunettes. The survey was conducted at Florida State University, where it also is discovered that brunettes are two-touchdown favorites.
    The Big Ticket
    In the shocker of this tennis season, the Daily Mirror reported that one of its employees went undercover and landed a security job at the All-England Club. For the record, I used to hear "All-England Club" and think of a sandwich with a level of bacon you wouldn't care to encounter in a dark alley. Anyway, a spokesperson from the official venue of Wimbledon explained that the aforementioned security snafu resulted from the club's attempt to replicate the hard-core surroundings at Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field. With this security issue hanging over the tennis world, Wimbledon must regroup and go screaming into its final weekend. As an unbiased journalist, I don't give a rip about who wins. However, I am predicting that English hero Tim Henman bows out prematurely yet again, with this year's nationwide disappointment escorted by a questionable line call. The resulting hullabaloo makes the rage-virus rampage in the film 28 Days Later seem like some misunderstanding at a department store exchange window. Just in case there's not much on TV this week, I'm hoping Serena Williams and Andre Agassi are involved in compelling situations. Not necessarily with each other. It also would be kind of cool to see Serena and her big sis meet in Saturday's final on NBC, which — due to an unfortunate protocol adjustment — will not considered Must Curtsy TV.


  • William "The Refrigerator" Perry's bid to win the 86th annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July hot dog eating contest ends when the former Chicago Bear is disqualified for a false start.
  • ESPN's Jim Gray, who re-broke the Kobe Bryant-will-become-a-free-agent story last week, reports that the L.A. Lakers guard is the son of former NBA player Joe "Jellybean" Bryant.


  • After a 4-for-4 performance enables to hit his weight for the season, the L.A. third baseman ruins everything by ordering dessert with his post-game meal.
  • International relations become even more strained when French cycling officials detain American Lance Armstrong prior to the start of the Tour de France. A spokesperson admits that before Armstrong is allowed to compete for his fifth consecutive Tour victory, he must be tested for weapons of muscle mass construction.


  • Mariah Carey's threat to create a signature line of provocative women's golf clothing is ruined when experts determine that these duds could add at least one stroke for each round. Randy Hill can be reached at his e-mail address: rhill@foxsports.com.
  • Tagged: Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, Mariners, Rangers, Cubs, Dodgers, Phillies, Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mariano Rivera, Ichiro Suzuki, Kyle Farnsworth, Adrian Beltre, Albert Pujols

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