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Between the surprises of urban planning and the surprises of backfield performances, Jason still has plenty to share as his time in Arizona winds down.

Day 30, 8:00 AM
Patricia, before arriving at the Spring Training facility each morning, Roommate Jason and I cruise the main drag in Surprise, Arizona looking for hot coffee from below-average gas stations. You might wonder why going out for coffee is a necessity when we have a coffee maker at the house, and why gas station coffee is the preference when a Starbucks is only a half of a mile farther down the road from the complex, but I’d suggest just letting it go. We all make mistakes, and some of us make a habit of making mistakes. This is a prime example of the latter. The thoroughfare in question is called Bell Road, and it’s probably the most dangerous stretch of road in the modern world. Traversing Bell Road multiple times a day shows the devolution of society, with each near automotive accident and each ten-minute trip that inevitably turns into a twenty-minute trip; however, the road itself is merely a victim of the incompetence of design, as the city expanded from a one-horse-town to a growing sprawl of chain restaurants, ubiquitous examples of chain retail consumerism, and all things cookie-cutter America. The sprawl was allowed to sprawl directly off of this main road, which is ill-equipped to support it.

Bell Road was the spine of this dusty little town, which worked fine when the town was dusty and little. But when the Rangers and Royals decided to build a beautiful baseball facility and make the town attractive for at least one month a year, the city reacted to this economic boom with the efficiency of a dial-up connection. This ghost-town that is now all grown up has yet to adjust to the resulting sprawl by allowing drivers to actually reach that sprawl from the main road. U-turns and complicated maneuvering through parking lots are almost always required to reach your consumer sprawl destination of choice, and even when you are lucky enough to locate a consumer sprawl off a stoplight, the consumer sprawl in question is almost always designed so that you can’t enter the parking lot without first negotiating the parking lots of another sprawl, in which you might have to halt your vehicle at one of the numerous stop signs contained within the larger parent sprawl, which are de facto duck crossings for the elderly, and trust me, there are a lot of really slow, elderly people that like to walk across the parking lots of the consumer sprawls, and their pace is somewhere between ice melting on a cold day and Calvin Pickering’s metabolism. 


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August 21, 2006 12:00 am

The Ledger Domain: Contents Under Pressure

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Maury Brown

Maury tracks unstable situations in South Florida, U.S. District Court, the Bronx, and his e-mail inbox.

Jeffrey Loria v. Jeffrey Loria

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A Hall of Fame catcher is happy in his new digs, a Yankee speaks out about his marijuana usage, and a former first-rounder returns to the game after an extended absence.

"You reach a point in any career where you get more philosophical and enjoy different things."
--Padres catcher Mike Piazza, on getting older (San Diego Union-Tribune)

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