Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008 | 2:59 p.m.
Baseball was better when I was kid because back then, the eccentric woman hanging out in foul territory was Morganna The Kissing Bandit.
Now it's Andrea Mallis, the baseball soothsayer.
I saw Andrea Mallis at the Baseball Winter Meetings at the Bellagio Tuesday. She was hanging out just across from the entrance to the media room, which means she probably didn't have a credential. But a printout of a New York Times story on the New York Mets' biorhythms she had charted made its way inside, where it was being distributed along with those about maple bats that break when you so much as look at them the wrong way.
She said she was was waiting to speak with Joe Torre.
I also heard one of the Internet bloggers refer to a utility infielder as "disgruntled," which, at the end of the day, seemed even more outrageous than a baseball soothsayer.
My favorite utility infielder off all time was Mick Kelleher, because he once answered a letter I wrote to him with an autographed picture, even though I didn't ask for one.
My second-favorite utility infielder was Chico Ruiz of the Reds, because he wore white spikes made of kangaroo leather when everybody else wore black ones. Plus, he once stole home with Frank Robinson, the team's best hitter, at the plate in the sixth inning of a tie game.
That took even more guts than wearing white spikes.