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Oct 14, 1983, 2:06:36 AM10/14/83

The problem with ABC's baseball coverage goes much
deeper than Howard Cosell, I'm afraid. Everyone knows
that Cosell is not very knowledgeable about baseball,
but consider this: he is surrounded by three *excellent*
baseball people. Al Michaels is a first-rate play-by-play
announcer, Reggie Jackson may be a hot dog, but he really
knows the game, and I've heard that Earl Weaver has won a
game or two in his career.

It seems that ABC has made a high-level decision to cover
baseball as if they were a video PEOPLE magazine. By this,
I mean that they pay almost no attention to the game itself,
the pitches, ebb and flow of the action. Rather, we get
incessant chatter about the personalities of the players,
the managers, and even the owners. It is as if ABC has
decided that the average viewer neither knows about the
game nor cares, and will only stay tuned in if a lot
of non-technical noise about PEOPLE is provided. It is
this fundamental disrespect for the game itself that
bothers most baseball fans, I think. Contrast NBC--
whatever you may think about Garagiola's stale jokes and
witticisms, he and Scully do pay attention to the GAME.

The other thing that ABC has not realized is that three
people in the booth just doesn't work. They should let
Al Michaels and Weaver do the play-by-play (and I mean
good old fashioned play-by-play), and use Reggie and
Howard (if they must use him at all), for before and after
"color" stuff.

Please, if you're a baseball fan, write to ABC Sports and
*complain*. Maybe they'll listen......

-Tim Smith (...!laidbak!tsmith)

Russ Finn

Oct 17, 1983, 6:11:52 PM10/17/83
I couldn't agree more with the comparison between ABC's World Series
coverage and People magazine. Two things that stand out in my mind
about the first game (the only one I was able to watch) were:

- during the final innings, instead of showing the action
on the field (which, considering the closeness of the score,
was certainly exciting enough), we kept seeing pictures of
the ballplayers' wives. (And only of the Phillies' wives!
Weren't there any Oriole wives at Memorial Stadium?)

- between innings, seeing the last two faces I wanted to see
on the screen at the same time (Humble Howard and Ronnie
Raygun) was enough to make me leave the room -- and by the
time I got back, McGregor had given up the game-winning
home run. * sigh *

It's a shame that the intelligent commentary of Earl Weaver had to be
overshadowed in this way.

(Incidentally, I'm quite pleased by the way the series turned out.)

-- Russell Finn
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From: pa...@kpno.UUCP
Subject: d and d dispel magic
Message-ID: <2...@kpno.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 17-Oct-83 18:16:42 EDT
Article-I.D.: kpno.253
Posted: Mon Oct 17 18:16:42 1983
Date-Received: Wed, 19-Oct-83 20:36:51 EDT
Organization: Kitt Peak Natl. Obs. Tucson, AZ
Lines: 57

A few days ago, I sent a letter out asking for help in saving dragons
from the nefarious and wicked minions of humanity. This concerns that
in a sideways fashion. As this is a question dealing --entirely--
with AD&D, you patrons of a more reasonable gaming system may feel
free to pass over the rest.

One incident I mentioned had a magic resistant creature. A spell had
been cast on the ceiling above him, turning the rock to mud. The mud
buried him, and he could not resist. It was my belief that since the
spell was not cast at or on him, he couldn't resist it. When the
magical mud did strike him, he could resist it but this would only
have the effect of turning the falling magical mud back into (now
falling) normal rock.

Others felt that magic resistance would have worked entirely
different. The spell could never have been used to attack if he
resisted it (even though it was never cast at him), or the falling
(magical) mud would not have hurt him.

It gets worse. The creature (a shy, retiring dragon) was now deep in
magical mud. A dispel magic was cast, changing the mud to rock and
trapping him.

Well, can you resist a dispel magic? When the magic is dispeled,
does the rock return to the ceiling, as several people thought?

Finally, many people had a **radically** different view of the
"dispel magic" spell. The spell description says the spell is
permanent. I always assumed that this was like curing wounds, it
worked once and the magic was gone. Spells were dispeled and that
was it. Not one, but several people said that a dispel magic is an
area of effect that lasts permanently. It creates a zone where spells
are naturally dispeled.

If dispel magic is permanent, it radically alters my universe. How
do you get rid of a dispel magic? Why, by casting another one, of
course! The darned things proliferate. Pretty soon, most of the
world is in a dispel magic field (say hello to the real world). This
cuts down the power of wizards tremendously, since magic suddenly
becomes much more unreliable. Who knows where one of these old
dispels might be lurking around. And what foolish wizard is going to
cast one? After all, a dispel has a chance (roughly 50%) of negating
somebody else's magic, but it AUTOMATICALLY dispels the caster's
magic!! What wizard in his right mind is going to let one of those
things loose?

To say the least, I thought these ideas a bit odd, but after several
different people came up with the same interpretation, I began to
wonder. Any opinions out there? Can the laws of the universe be
decided by voting on them? Is there a game system anywhere which is
so concise that everyone agrees on the rules? These questions, and
many others will be answered in the next episode of soap. . .

From my ivory tower,
Jay Parks
(hey, where did all these suds come from? oh no! it's raining!)

Steven Bellovin

Oct 17, 1983, 6:34:10 PM10/17/83
Some of the best coverage I've heard of any baseball games has been by
Steve Zabriskie (sp?) and Tim McCarver, who do the TV coverage for the
NY Mets. They spend a fair amount of time explaining some of the more
obscure strategic decisions, and are willing to call a mistake a mistake,
even if it's committed by the Mets. Of course, they sometimes get so
wrapped up in what they're saying that they forget to do the play-by-play,
but it's on TV, so you can see for yourself....
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