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Friday, October 17, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Major League Baseball

Playoffs notebook: Cubs fan's NLCS Game 6 foul play inspires movie

CHICAGO — Boy, that was quick.

Steven Bartman has inspired a movie.

Trade publication Daily Variety reports that Revolution Studios has accepted a pitch for a movie tentatively titled "Fan Interference." The movie is expected to star TV sitcom star Kevin James of the CBS show "King of Queens." Variety said it would tell the story of a fan who screws up an easy out, and then has to deal with the ramifications.

Bartman, reviled by many Cubs fans who felt his reaching for a foul ball in Game 6 led to the Cubs' ultimate demise in the National League Championship Series, had to be escorted out of his seat for his own safety. Bartman apologized Wednesday, and yesterday the Cubs released the following statement as an attempt to ease the vitriol aimed at him:

"We would also like to remind everyone that games are decided by what happens on the playing field — not in the stands. It is inaccurate and unfair to suggest that an individual fan is responsible for the events that transpired in Game 6. He did what every fan who comes to the ballpark tries to do — catch a foul ball in the stands."

And if that bit of bizarreness isn't enough, ESPN apparently landed an interview with Bartman and spoke with him by phone for the 3 p.m. "SportsCenter." Anchor Dan Patrick asked the questions and ESPN put a still photo of Bartman on the screen.

At one point, Patrick asked Bartman if he was seriously going to have to leave Chicago. The voice on the other end of the phone made a crude reference to Howard Stern. The call was disconnected and an embarrassed Patrick paused and said to the audience, "We've been had."

Note

• The groundskeeper involved in a fight in the bullpen at Fenway Park expects to sue New York Yankees Jeff Nelson and Karim Garcia, his lawyer said.

Paul Williams, 24, was involved in a fight Saturday with reliever Nelson and right fielder Garcia in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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