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BASEBALL, POLITICS NEED TO MAKE BETTER PITCHES

The baseball strike is over? Not so fast. We the fans are calling a strike for April 26. United in solidarity, we are seizing our moment to jerk the owners and players around for seven months.

We want more home runs, more triple plays and more games tied in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded.We realize that the owners will attempt to break our strike by bringing in replacement fans who probably don't even know the words to the national anthem and who put mayonnaise on a hot dog.

- A balanced budget with a tax cut is possible only if Congress slashes the budget every year by one third - that's $300 billion. You start by abolishing those cabinet departments whose secretaries are currently under investigation.

I worry about cutting the Department of Transportation's budget by one-third. You'd have a six-lane interstate highway - with white lines painted between only four of them.

- A new wrinkle in presidential campaigning is the pre-announcement announcement. The not yet candidate calls a press conference and declares: "Let the word go forth from this time and place - I am giving it some thought."

The maybe-announcement is a seductive tease - the shameless lust for money by someone to whom the campaign finance laws do not yet apply.

- Regarding Bob Dole's announcement for the presidency - I will be convinced that he has mellowed only if he refrains from suggesting that Phil Gramm's campaign song ought to be, "The Lies of Texas are Upon You."

Ross Perot supporters are considering a third party for '96. I fear the party's contract with America - guaranteeing that Ross will speak nonstop for 100 days.

A unique feature of such a contract is that it will seem like 200 days.