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Come play in our Dome

So what's the delay in bringing the San Francisco Giants to St. Petersburg?

According to some North Shore Elementary School pupils, there's no reason good enough, and they have put their passionate endorsement of the Tampa Bay area on paper in a booklet that may eventually be sent to the Giants.

Heart-shaped and titled The Giants Will Love Tampa Bay Because . . ., the booklet was a response to negative stories from the San Francisco news media, including a list of reasons why the Giants should not move to Florida.

The children responded with 67 reasons for the Giants to come.

"We don't have earthquakes to ruin the game," wrote Amanda Kinnas. She accompanied her statement with a drawing of terrified San Francisco fans quaking and saying, "Not again." That scene is contrasted with a peaceful scene of smiling St. Petersburg baseball fans. The weather angle was popular.

"We have plenty of time if a hurricane comes," wrote an anonymous pupil. "California doesn't have warnings if an earthquake comes."

"Tampa Bay isn't as windy as San Francisco," wrote Kyle Watts.

Some other reasons:

"There are a lot of attractive women here."

"You will have nice uniforms."

"You will get new shoes."

"We have a lot of neat buildings, like The Pier."

"It doesn't get freezing cold."

"We won't throw food at you."

The booklet eventually may be sent to the Giants, said Diane Leheup, a reading and language arts teacher who organized it.

"I read an article (with negative comments from San Francisco) to them and we brainstormed ideas," said Leheup, who worked with teacher Jodee Dyer on the project. "They came up with what they liked about Tampa Bay."

Angela Nedella and Jessica Grimshaw, both 9 and in fourth grade, are best friends. They combined talents and drew a rainbow that ended, not in a pot of gold, but in the Florida Suncoast Dome.

"It's better to play inside," said Jessica, citing the popular Dome versus Candlestick Park argument. "It gets kind of windy there and it can get cold. If it gets hot down here, we can turn on the air conditioner."

"Yeah," agreed Angela, "and in San Francisco, they don't do anything to support the team."

Everything is just right for a baseball team, said Jessica. "The Vinoy just opened up and they could stay there . . . and if they're good, maybe they could help the Bucs."

The Bucs?

"Yeah," Jessica said. "I went to the Bucs game last Sunday. They didn't play that well and, toward the end, they started tripping."

Chad Lux, 11, wrote that Florida has more oranges than California. Chad shows promise as a political speech writer. Does Florida really have more oranges? "I don't know," he said. But he wants the Giants to come so he can root for them and his favorite team, the Atlanta Braves.

Brant Phillips, 10, promoted the fact that "There is a lot of Gatorade" in the Tampa Bay area.

"I know they'll play in the Dome, but they'll still get sweaty," Grant said.

Other contributions to the booklet emphasized fan support, the beaches, the malls and the natural beauty.

But one writer, who did not sign a name, knew that baseball people really look at the bottom line. The drawing included a $5 and and $1 bill, with a simple fact.

"We have lower taxes."

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