Where will the future home of the SEC baseball tournament be? Scott Rabalais breaks down the five contenders _lowres

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- Zephyr Field

For all of May and most of June, my readers labored long and hard to come up with a new name for the New Orleans Zephyrs baseball team.

Now the Zephyrs have announced their seven finalists for the new team name — and I have to say I think my readers did better.

The names submitted by some 2,000 fans, according to the Zephyrs, have been pared down to seven: Baby Cakes, Crawfish, King Cakes, Night Owls, Po’boys, Red Eyes and Tailgators.

Only two of these names were among my readers’ choices: Barber Bob Irwin picked “Po-Boys” (different punctuation but same name), while two submitted variations on Crawfish: Alison Schenk’s “Crawfish Batters” and Rick Bryant’s “Crawdads.”

Other names from readers that I like include Sazeracs, Buccaneers, Cabildos, Wild Tchoupitoulas, Sinners, Second Liners and Beignets.

Of the seven finalists picked by the Zephyrs, Baby Cakes is probably the worst — although it has a pleasant association for me, since it’s the name of the dance troupe that charms and delights the crowds at Baton Rouge’s Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade

But while it’s a fine name for those adorable young ladies, it just doesn’t seem right for a bunch of hairy, sweaty, spitting guys.

So I’ll have to go along with Barber Bob and his Po-Boys…

Yogi was right

Speaking of baseball:

Advocate sports writer Ross Dellenger’s Saturday “Where were you?” story about the dramatic Warren Morris home run that won the College World Series for LSU brought back a sad memory for me.

On that fateful day in 1996 I was attending the annual conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in some city, I forget where, and had the TV on in my hotel room as I prepared to go to the group’s awards dinner.

Miami was a run ahead, with LSU batting and two out in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Figuring the game was over, I cut off the TV and went down to the ballroom for dinner.

I was chatting with some fellow columnists at the cash bar (being newspaper people, they were standing around waiting for somebody to buy them a drink) when in came my buddy George Smith, columnist for the Anniston, Alabama Star. George is a former sports writer and a big fan of all sports, especially those involving SEC teams — even those not called “Crimson Tide.”

“Did you see that?” he asked me. “What a dramatic, unbelievable ending!”

“What? What ending?” I asked.

He went on to tell me of the Morris home run, expressing amazement that I had missed it.

It was then that I recalled Yogi Berra’s admonition, “It ain’t over till it’s over,” and wished I had listened to Yogi…

Mary Drake Bell says, “Many years ago, while a Peace Corps volunteer living in a mountain vi…

Our hero!

Carl Spillman says if statues of Confederate leaders come down throughout the South, “I think they should be replaced by ones of Willis Carrier” — the gent credited with inventing the modern air conditioner.

The veggie option

Marsha R. says, “Mulling over Marvin McConnell’s skepticism of classifying eggs as dairy (in the Saturday column), I submit that the only other choice is declaring them produce — with the eggplants.”

Special People Dept.

Evelyn Beauchamp, of Clinton, celebrates her 92nd birthday on Tuesday, June 28.

Leo Scallan celebrates his 90th birthday on Tuesday, June 28. He is a World War II veteran, serving as a Navy radioman in the Atlantic and Pacific.

Carl and Mary Ann Mistric celebrate 64 years of marriage on Tuesday, June 28.

Thought for the Day

From Marvin Borgmeyer: “Women spend more time wondering what men are thinking than men spend thinking!”

What birdbrains?

Ray Schell says, “The rather humorous story by Nobey Benoit (in the Thursday column) of crows warning each other by calling out ‘Car, car, car!’ brought to mind my own experiences with birds.

“Living in a subdivision in Prairieville that is loaded with birds — everything from a barred owl to doves and crows — I have noticed many times a bird flying across the road right in front of my vehicle, but a complete lack of roadkill.

“In fact, while having driven about 20,000 miles a year for over 60 years. I don’t remember ever having hit a bird.

“What I think is happening is we have underestimated the IQ and reflexes of the average bird.”

Crash course

Pat Alba, of Metairie, tells this automotive tale:

“In the ’40s, when all cars were equipped with standard transmissions, our friend Martin bought an Oldsmobile with the newfangled ‘Hydra-Matic drive,’ a feature that shifted lower gears automatically.

“One day the battery was down, and his neighbor offered to give him a push.

“He explained to her, ‘You have to get up to 35 miles per hour for my car to start.’

“Then, as Martin watched helplessly in the rearview mirror, the lady’s car approached his rear bumper — at 35 mph.”

Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.