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Age does matter, lapel pins don't


April 22, 2008

Generally, when I’m talking to friends, it’s a tossup between sports, entertainment and politics. Some days I can decide on one, but most days I can’t.

With this in mind, let’s take a quick shot at all three:

Sports: Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada has come clean about his age.

Tuesday night, ESPN aired its “E:60” news show, which showed Tejada walking out of an interview when he was shown a copy of his birth certificate dated May 25, 1974.

The problem? Tejada’s birthday is listed in the Astros’ media guide as May 25, 1976.

Tejada said he told the Oakland Athletics he was 17 instead of 19 when he signed with them in 1993.

“I was a poor kid,” Tejada told the Houston Chronicle last week. “I wanted to sign a professional contract, and that was the only way to do it.”

Well, Tejada’s not poor anymore, and he’s certainly not a kid. Tejada has had 15 years to come clean, but honesty wasn’t a priority when he signed a six-year, $72 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles.

I’m also disappointed with the flippant way the Astros have handled it.

“Fact of the matter is that he plays like he’s 25, so I don’t think it really matters a whole lot,” Houston general manager Ed Wade said.

Since professional sports careers are by nature brief, age is a hiring consideration. I wonder what Wade and the Astros would do if they found out some guy in their finance office making $40,000 a year lied on his resume about getting a degree in accounting. Would the Astros say, “Fact of the matter is he balances books like a college graduate, so I don’t think it really matters a whole lot,” or would they fire him? Too bad the standards are lower for somebody making 300 times as much.

Entertainment: Leonardo DiCaprio is the latest to make his feelings on global warming known. He created a documentary called “The 11th Hour,” basically explaining global warming and how we can prevent it by not being wasteful.

Now that technology is catching up, I’m wondering if future films on global warming could be less wasteful. True, “The 11th Hour” is packaged with biodegradable plastic and recycled paper, and “An Inconvenient Truth” was sent out with limited packaging, and those efforts are to be commended.

I just hope if DiCaprio or others make more films about conservation, they could reduce their consumption by only offering the movie online as a digital file. That way, we wouldn’t use plastic on millions of DVDs, then ship them across the country in gas-guzzling trucks.

Politics: After last week, I was convinced we’d had enough Democratic debates. Sure, ABC asked Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton about Iraq, but that was after 45 minutes of asking about flag lapel pins, pastors and how much each candidate loves America.

Then, Saturday, MSNBC piled on by showing a photo that gave the impression Obama made an obscene gesture toward Clinton during said debate. Of course, they never bothered to show an alternate-angle photo that disproved the story.

I think I’ll start a rumor about a vending machine in Pittsburgh that had a Milky Way bar hanging on the rail. Once word gets out that Obama paid for one candy bar, but received two, we’re sure to hear about his sense of entitlement and why he’s unfit to be president.

Can it be any worse than stories about how patriotic it is to wear flag lapel pins made in Taiwan?

Kevin Wilson is a columnist for Freedom New Mexico. He can be contacted at 763-3431, ext. 316, or by e-mail: [email protected]


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