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Original Issue

Reel Personal Customized highlights have arrived, courtesy of Major League Baseball's revamped website

Whether you're Woody Allen or a baseball fan with cinemagraphic
impulses, if you want to make a movie, you need a vision. Perhaps
you want to show a tale of raw power, like the story of the Reds'
home run barrage that helped beat the Dodgers 7-4 last Thursday.
Or something more artistic--say, a montage of double plays turned
by the Indians' slick shortstop, Omar Vizquel (right). Or how
about a police drama in which Blue Jays outfielder-sheriff Raul
Mondesi guns down runners trying to take an extra base? Such
visions can become reality in Custom Cuts, a do-it-yourself
highlights feature launched last month by

Custom Cuts auteurs need a RealPlayer plug-in and a modem with a
speed of at least 56K. The site provides a video database of the
2001 season. Users can search for any player or any team in the
categories of batting, pitching, fielding and baserunning and
even refine the search according to specific circumstances, like
strikeouts with the bases loaded and bunt singles. Clips can be
played individually, or five can be meshed into an extended
piece--for instance, the Mariners' Ichiro Suzuki swiping third
five times.

For now Custom Cuts is free, but soon plans to charge a
flat fee (around $15). The fee will cover a daily e-mail
delivering video highlights of selected players. "It'll be just
like getting the morning paper," says Bob Bowman, CEO of Major
League Baseball Advanced Media.

Plagued by incorrect scores and malfunctioning features,
got off to as bad a start this season as the A's. Like Oakland,
though, the site is righting itself, and with Custom Cuts, it
has hit a big home run.

--John O'Keefe