With Softball Season '03 fast approaching, Coach Brian Ebbs - recently appointed to the Flyers' hot seat - called a press conference to outline his plans for his charges this season.

The opening questions concerned the circumstances surrounding the appointment of the new coach. Ebbs refused to be drawn on the subject, saying only that Coach Betty wished to focus on family affairs, and that he had taken over as a favour to the man who had taught him (and everyone else) so little about the game. However, sources close to the team say that the reshuffle was the result of a deal hammered out during an intensive 48-hour session of talks. The source - named as Gene O'Dorman, and therefore unreliable if his softball is anything to go by - said that in return for Betty entering the controversial Breed-A-Flyer program, Ebbs agreed to "lay off the pies and leave the rest of the team more than just ****ing chips" at post-victory banquets.

Coach Ebbs proceeded to talk about the Flyers' roster for the new term. After declaring his optimism for the forthcoming season and stating that he has the support of senior squad members, he went on to thank his hardworking but absent assistant for the moves made to secure a number of new female recruits during the offseason. At this point the Flyers' Press Secretary, Anne Tunney-Burns, apologised on behalf of the missing Big Gay Hand, but informed the massed press corps that he was likely to put in an appearance in the bar later.

The composure of El Nuevo Numero Uno, as Boozesports editor Maria-Anna Dolano of the Barcelona Bleater has already dubbed Coach Ebbs, was tested once more when the turban-wearing correspondent from the Tashkent Tattler, Cobra Urke, put voice to one of the more persistent rumours in Irish softball. She suggested that, like the IBSF, Betty had just gotten a bit bored of his former post, and was taking the piss in appointing the journeyman thirdbaseman to the position while he got his own shop in order. At this point the new supremo reddened and dismissed the question with a terse "No comment".

Attempting to remain upbeat, The Big E - a name he has been anxious to leave behind with his competitive baby-eating days - tried to move on and discuss how he expects the team to fare over the next few months. Unfortunately, Garry-Sue Evans of the Dallas Daily had failed to read the underlying mood of the apparently already-under-pressure Ebbs, and pushed further.

When he put it to the new boss that Coach Betty's resignation was a ploy to quietly rebuild his own popularity behind the scenes, and that he hadn't completely removed himself from day-to-day running of the team, a now furious Ebbs spat "I am 100% in control of the team. This situation is not going to change" before storming out of the room and bringing an abrupt end to proceedings.

Questions remain unanswered; the winter moves, unexplained. Flyer followers can only hope that Ebbs' hunger - for the game, that is - is transferred to the team before the Leinster Softball League resumes at a diamond somewhere near you.
- Clare Keane, CFOX, the Voice of Vancouver.