It's quite a world we live in. I really wonder how we've come so far in some areas and regressed so much in others. Our technology is way ahead of our common sense. Examples? Here are a few:

nÊA sausage race in Milwaukee. Pittsburgh's Randall Simon thinks he's being funny and takes a mild swing at the foamed head of one of the racing sausages Ñ people inside big rubber suits. The young woman inside the costume falls, and another trips over her fallen buns.

Well, you know the rest. People go nuts; Simon is suspended for three games and fined by the Milwaukee Police Department, which apparently doesn't have a lot to do these days.

Folks, it was a stupid move, but nobody was hurt. Newspaper reports continue to say the woman inside the wiener suit suffered 'skinned knees,' but on TV she showed no sign of it. To her credit, she said it was no big deal Ñ and it wasn't.

Players have been messing with costumed mascots for years. Haven't you seen how often Charles Barkley punched them and pushed them? And you ought to see what the players in Miami do to that silly Marlin.

It was obvious the woman's head wasn't at the top of the costume, where Simon swung the bat. But the way of the world now is usually to overreact. A simple apology and an autographed bat from Simon should have been ample punishment. And that should have been the wurst-case scenario.

nÊDid we say overreact? Well, not always. Some people get a free pass. That's what Dusty Baker got when he talked about African-Americans' ability to withstand heat because of their skin color. Nobody demanded that he be fired, and Baker was neither fined nor suspended by baseball.

But it's a good thing a white man didn't make the same statements. And seriously Ñ I'm not lobbying for Baker to be punished. In my opinion, it's an American right to be ignorant. And being dumb isn't the same as being racist.

nÊA few people probably believe that all those Rose Quarter layoffs were decisions made by Erin Hubert or Steve Patterson. Yeah, right. Fact is, it's all coming out of Seattle, and Hubert gracefully took the heat for boss Paul Allen. There will be another wave of layoffs, I'm told, and they will hit an even higher level of management. And Patterson probably will have to take the heat for those. Paul doesn't like to get his hands dirty.

nÊPeople are saying that the NBA Players' Association is challenging the Blazers' right to fine Damon Stoudamire a quarter of a million bucks. That's not quite correct. If anyone is mounting a challenge, it's the team. There is no way, under NBA rules, the Blazers are allowed to levy such a penalty. 'Either they haven't read the collective-bargaining agreement or this was a dog-and-pony show,' said a source close to the situation.

Contact Dwight Jaynes at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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