Lady Thatcher.

"There are too many people who imagine that there is something sophisticated about always believing the best of those who hate your country, and the worst of those who defend it."
Just read it. Why are the British so much better at public speaking than we are? [Via the American Scene, 5/16.]


Eric Idle not quite dead yet.

In fact, he's writing and directing a Merchant-Ivory parody, "The Remains of the Piano", which has a fairly impressive cast in addition to Idle: Geoffrey Rush, Anjelica Huston, Patrick Stewart, Catherine O'Hara, Orlando Bloom, Alfred Molina, Neve Campbell, Billy Connolly, Tim Curry, Michael York, Julian Sands, Will Kemp and Jim Piddock.

So Julian Sands isn't dead either. Good to know. [Hat tip to Paula for the heads up.]
We can all relax now.

Bernadine alerted me that Mo has checked in; he was just running around getting fourth and fifth opinions on his knee and trying to disassociate himself from the on-field disaster that is the Mets. Best line, though:
The Post reported exclusively yesterday that Vaughn probably would not return to action in 2003, according to someone familiar with his situation. Team officials refuse to speculate publicly.
Exclusively, yet. Like the idea that he probably won't play again hadn't occurred to anyone else. Pfffft.


The show that never ends.

Mooo Vaughn is missing. Even his parents claim they don't know where he is. What the hell is wrong with this team?


Oh, just shut the hell up.

Gary Carter wants Piazza to move to first. This is because Gary Carter is insanely jealous of Piazza, a likely first-ballot HOFer due to his prodigious offense as a catcher.
"I can't think it would be any worse or any different if he agreed to play first base," Carter said. "He made one throw that hit in front of the mound. There was a game against the Marlins where they stole six bases. Is that worse than missing one or two grounders at first base?"
Ok, Gar, you tell me: would you rather give up a base or an out?
You can expect we have some kind of plan.

NY Post (it was the best of coverage, it was the worst of coverage):
Mike Piazza took about 10 minutes of grounders at first base before 2 p.m. yesterday as part of the Mets' early workout group. Manager Art Howe, wary of his previous comments on the subject, downplayed the event, however.
Inference: he looked like shit.
Piazza wouldn't comment before the game and after the 9-6 victory repeatedly answered three or four questions about it with, "We'll get back to you on that one."
Translation: I looked like shit.
There was tension in the visiting manager's office as reporters asked Howe about the subject, and media relations vice president Jay Horwitz later said Piazza would not speak about it. The decision to take grounders was up to Piazza, Howe said.

"Nothing to make out of it," Howe said. "Just the first day."
Translation: he looks like shit.
Added infield coach Matt Galante, who hit the grounders, "It wasn't a big deal. It wasn't a question of how he looked."
Translation: he looked like shit.
Howe said there was no timetable on the situation and added, "He's a long way from ever getting at first base in a game. I'll let you know when he's getting close to playing in a game there."
Translation: he looked like shit.
Assistant GM Jim Duquette, on the trip instead of Steve Phillips, was slightly more forthcoming.

"You can expect we have some kind of plan," Duquette said. "The first step is we'll see if he can play first base before we put him over there."
And then we'll put him over there anyway. Even though he looks like shit.

For the record, re moving Piazza to first, if Joel Sherman's for it, I'm against it. Period.