By Marc Campos

Hey Amigo, Learn To Steal Signs

A few days ago, in Massachusetts, during a little league baseball game, a coach was communicating to some of his players in Spanish. The coach from the opposing team complained to the umpire and the umpire ordered the team with Spanish speaking ability to speak English only. Needless to say a controversy erupted. The offices of National Little League regret the incident and issued a statement saying the umpire had overstepped his authority. During the game, the non Spanish speaking coach was obviously frustrated because the other side had taken giving signs, i.e., bunt, steal, pickoff .... to another level. (Sergio alerted Commentary to this story.)

Along the same lines from Al: "I'm reminded of a story. When the early Latino ball players first came up to the majors, they encountered the same discrimination as black players. Adding to their difficulties was their total lack of knowledge of English. Making matters tougher; some managers even enacted " English only" rules for the clubhouse. Once in a game in the early sixties between the Giants and the Reds, Orlando Cepeda was on second and Jose Pagan was on third. They began chattering to one another in Spanish. The Cincinnati pitcher became irritated, turned to Cepeda and called out 'Why don't you speak English?' Cepeda shouted back - 'Why don't you kiss my a__ - is that English enough for you?'

I'm glad that guy is in the Hall of Fame."

More baseball. It can't get much better than Brad Lidge facing Carlos Beltran in the top of the ninth this past Saturday evening with two out. Lidge prevailed with a K. Looking for a change of pace in food at Minute Maid. Try Nine Amigos restaurant behind centerfield. They have takeout. Order your food from fajitas to quesadillas and take it to your seat. Different and pricey, heck, what ain't pricey at the ballpark. Also, there is a kiosk behind the Conoco Terrace that sells St. Arnold's beer.

Carole King at The Woodlands this past Friday evening on her "Living Room Tour." Made my list of top five concerts I've ever attended. Two and a half hours of tunes from the past 42 years. Her baseball connection - she wrote the opening song from "A League of Their Own" - "Now and Forever."

August 1, 2005, 9:00AM

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