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  • Bill Chastain

TOYS AND GAMES: Why Not Build the Ballpark Along Bayshore?

While the powers that be are searching for the right property to build the new ballpark in the Tampa Bay area, I’m curious when they’ll stumble across a gold mine: Bayshore Boulevard.

The outfield wall is already in place. Hitters would hit toward the water. Home runs would splash once they cleared the wall. Balls that got stuck in between balusters would become ground-rule doubles just like balls stuck in the ivy at Wrigley Field. Let’s see, just clear a swath of land between Bay to Bay Boulevard and Howard Avenue. Now that would be a sweet venue.

Speaking of Bayshore, while walking along the “World’s Longest Continuous Sidewalk” I came upon one of the not-yet-picked-up Port-O-Lets from the Gasparilla Parade. Written on the side of the blue structure: “I Love Nathan.”

I’m a dinosaur. Can somebody please tell me if this is how modern lovers profess their devotion.

Finally, I felt sadness observing parts of National Signing Day on ESPN U. One kid announced he had decided to play his football at Such-and-Such U before taking his game to the next level in three years. Completing his education didn’t seem to register with him. The odds of starting in college are stacked against most any recruit, much less the odds of “taking his game to the next level.”

The silliness of National Signing Day continues to grow. Said Kentucky coach Mark Stoops about doing whatever he had to do to sign high school players: “At some point we do things we’re not real proud of. … Sometimes you have to put your pride aside.”