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May 15, 1997

Letter from the Editor

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By Jerry Patterson

This next little piece of advice is for all those soreheads out there
in the 25-to-40 year age bracket who are always heard complaining about
there's "never nothin' not ever to do in Monahans."
Well, as this weekend will prove, that's a buncha bull... as in red
meat... as in fajitas, buddy!
The Knights of Columbas will be hosting their Seventh Annual Fajita
Cookoff this Saturday at the Million Barrel Museum with jumpin' Tejano
music, food and cold beverages.
While Mayor David Cutbirth will be digging into his first day in Red
China, I'll be digging into to my fourth red meat fajita. Enjoy
yourself, Mister Mayor, because I know I will.
As you probably know, the mayor is sometimes prone to givin to rather
elongated discourses on matters of public policy. Tuesday's City Council
meeting was no exception as Hizhonor outlined the reasons he and EDC's
Charlie Walker needed to go to China.
In a nutshell, Mayor Cutbirth is going to change the course of the
world's most populas continent. He is determined to show China that
though democracy and capitalism are not without their inherent faults,
the Monahans system is the workers' utopia... especially when it comes
to shrimp farming.
Good luck and may God speed the Monahans Trade Delegation on its
journey as it attempts to bring home some much-needed investment to Ward
As for those of you who have pooh-poohed this trip since its
inception, I remind you, "It's better to shoot for the moon and hit a
stump, than to shoot for a stump and miss."

I was going to be sure and wait until he was out of the office before
saying anything nice about him. Of course, I'm talking about Richard
Acosta, the Monahans News' sports editor and scapegoat.
Richard will be leaving for the summer so he can do his full-time
class schedule at UTPB. Although "Little Ricky" will be the first to
admit that he is still a rookie in this business, he had the weight of
the this town's sports community put on his young shoulders unexpectedly
with the passing of A.G. Adair last October.
Although he knows Jerome Curry and I are his harshest critics, we are
proud of the job he has done and have no qualms whatsoever about his
returning next fall for his second rookie season.
However, three little pieces of advice for Richard; (1) Study hard;
(2) Make your parents proud; and (3) Turn the music down and get off my

At the same time, we are happy to have Ms. Erin Attwood on the News'
staff. She will be wearing many hats for us this summer. She is a
freshman at TCU and is smart enough to know she doesn't want to study
journalism. Welcome aboard Erin, and don't worry, we won't scream at you
like we do at Richard.

money, ask questions. When questioned by taxpayers, answer. When in
doubt about depository contracts, ignore the number of pre-printed
checks. Free advice is what I'm paid for.

Monahan's Well

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By Jerry Curry

The following story is true.
It shows why high school, UIL, college, ABC certified umpires absolutely
do not referee youth baseball and softball if they can avoid it. And
sometimes they simply cannot avoid it. The reason they can't is the
high-up officials of baseball umpire and referee organizations like to
do public relations. Therefore, every year unlucky real umpires (as
opposed to unreal and Youth League umpires) wind up umpiring kids
There are at least two things wrong with this.
One is real umpires are supposed to be paid to umpire, which most youth
league officials apparently don't know. Kids baseball leagues don't even
hand out what one would call a stipend. Paying an umpire $15 to umpire
a kids game is not payment for professional services. It isn't enough
to cover the doctor bills much less the Kevlar you have to wear.
Given a choice between a HALO into a Central Highland jungle and
umpiring a Little League baseball game, I choose the former every time.
And the reason is at least in the Highlands, I also am armed which I
wasn't that time in Texas three years ago.
There was this young gentleman who played for one of the two teams
contending that day. Little did my partner and I know that this young
gentleman's daddy packed and pistol and his mother was partial to knives
about 12 inches long.
Now umpiring youth baseball is bad enough all by itself and it gets
tight when you throw a pistol and a blade into the equation. Then you
add an adult little league official and you have potential death to the
Youth league officials think its great to make up new rules between
games (even innings) and force the umpires to enforce these flights of
fancy. Usually these rules are announced because the team on which the
adult official's kids are playing is losing or has lost. I was ordered
once by an adult officials to count every home run a certain team hit as
an out. I stupidly misunderstood. I thought that meant every ball hit
out of the park in this certain game was to be declared an out. So I
proceeded to try and do what I was told. The adult official's kid hit
one over a scoreboard. So I called him out. Between innings, this
official told me the rule did not apply either to his son or his son's
team. I excused myself, went to the concession stand, got my $15, my
free Coke and left. One of these rule aberrations involves the strike
zone. In real baseball, a strike zone involves home plate horizontally
and vertically from the bottom of the armpits to the top of the knees.
Youth league games sometimes actually start out with the standard strike
zone rule. But it hardly ever lasts through the whole game. Somewhere
around the third or fourth inning, some league official is going to call
the plate umpire over and tell him to maybe expand the strike zone a
little - you know nose to toes, batters box to batters box.
That is the reason the shot was fired and the first base umpire was
knifed. The kid mentioned earlier is at bat and the ball sails in about
ear high on the inside line of the batter's box and slams the kid in the
So I call a strike, which with the new adult official strike zone it
was. But of course no one told the parents so the daddy with the pistol
stands up and fires and I dives. The wife runs screaming on to the field
and cuts the first base umpire a little.
Before I rise, a Highway Patrolman in the stands has taken the pistol
away from the daddy the woman's friends in the stands are screaming that
the momma has cut the wrong umpire. I should have been the target. My
partner and I run with him bleeding all over everything.I still don't
know if that kid survived that strike.

Copyright 1997 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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