A Kinder, Gentler

Battle of Trafalgar

* Seventeen ships from five nations yesterday reenacted the Battle of Trafalgar, the 1805 encounter in which the naval hero Horatio Nelson defeated a combined French and Spanish fleet and saved Britain from invasion.

The restaged battle, which used 10 tons of gunpowder and modern pyrotechnics, was witnessed by thousands of sailors and dignitaries aboard more than 160 ships and hundreds of smaller craft. Thirty-six nations participated, making it the biggest international naval assembly in history, one official said.

Admiral Nelson, already missing an eye and an arm from previous battles, lost his life at Trafalgar, but not before he knew victory was his.

Yesterday's reenactment differed from the original in several ways. First, it was staged off the southern coast of Britain, not southwestern Spain. Also, the timing was a bit off: Trafalgar was fought in October. Finally, in an effort not to ruffle any nation's feathers, yesterday's fleets were simply called Red and Blue.

Nelson's great-great-great-granddaughter dismissed that revision as a "pretty stupid" idea. "I am sure the French and Spanish are adult enough to appreciate we did win that battle," she said.

Too Much of a Good Thing

* Is it possible to be too good in sports?

A baseball team of 11- and 12-year-olds in Canal Winchester, Ohio, has been booted from its league for one reason -- it's too good.

The Columbus Stars were running up scores of 13-0, 18-0 and 24-0 -- discouraging other teams, which began canceling their games.

The head of the league refunded the Stars' $150 entry fee and suggested the team find somebody better to play. It did, losing its first game of the season, 5-4, last week.

Starting pitcher Josh Dameron said the Stars learned from their defeat: "We don't care about the loss. The next time we play them, we hope we win."

The tall ship Grande Turk is among 160 ships marking the Battle of Trafalgar. Sailors on the Colombian tall ship ARC Gloria salute from the rigging.