Why are vacations like this?

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

If the days building up to a seven-day hiatus away from the office were any more hectic, shoot, I’d better off staying here and working this week.

Suffice to say there’s nothing like preparing people to do your job when you’re gone and not having the first thought about what’s going to be in tomorrow’s paper. It’s all about tying up every loose end imaginable, many of which you had no idea was loose or an end.

All that, just like anything else, has to get done.

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It’s a chance to really clear off the desk, file cabinets and anything else for things that deserve ink that don’t get it sometimes. The boss keeps reminding me to do so, anyway.

4Some people shake their head at why we give summer coverage to youth baseball and softball and the All-Star tournaments. If you think we’re doing it for the sole reason of needing something to do, you’re just like Bobby Boucher’s momma &045; wrong again.

It also gives us a chance to break from the mold of covering the same teams, interviewing the same players and coaches and writing virtually the same stories on teams winning or losing again.

At last week’s coach-pitch sub-district tournament in Vidalia, all you had to do was ask somebody there about that little shortstop from Ferriday to get a story of something impressive by an 8-year-old.

If they had given out an MVP award in that tournament, Dillon Smith would have been well worthy. He made plays up the middle you don’t find in the two leagues above him &045; once he dove to his right, sprung back up, fired to first base and would have gotten the out had it not pulled first baseman Dylan Jones just an inch or so off the bag for the split-second the runner reached first.

Like many other kids this summer, he will make some high school coach’s job easier in a few years.

4The state of pro sports right now must be operating in some parallel universe. How else would you explain the Lakers not winning a NBA title with Shaq and Kobe, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays going on a huge win streak, 40-year-olds dominating baseball on the mound and Mike Krzyzewski thinking of leaving Duke to coach the Lakers?

The Devil Rays are actually playing like a real baseball team. The saga of the Lakers has enough twists and turns to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy. And what’s this report that Kobe is actually considering playing for the Clippers?

Whatever it is that’s going around, the Saints need to catch it.

4Interleague play needs to go the way of Rick Ankiel. If you’re going to have it, just schedule the rivalry games played this weekend &045; Mets-Yankees, Cubs-White Sox, Astros-Rangers and Angels-Dodgers.

Leave those Astros-Mariners games for the Grapefruit League.

4Steve McNair is really a nice guy. Man, do those folks at Alcorn think the world of him.

Makes you think what would have happened if he would have told State, &uot;Sure, I’ll go play defensive back for you. I never enjoyed playing quarterback in high school, anyway.&uot;

Have a good week.

Adam Daigle

is sports editor of The Natchez Democrat. Reach him at (601) 445-3632 or at