Best Chron Columnist San Francisco 2003 - Ray Ratto
In the time it takes Rob Morse to stroke his chin, the Sporting Green's Ray Ratto will have written two columns about the Giants, another about the Sharks, tapped out 600 words on the Niners for ESPN.com, and gofered stats for a graphic about pitchers. The guy's prolific: A Nexis search on his name nets about 200 hits for the past year. (Morse turns up 180; Scott Ostler, 170; Joan Ryan, 120. Jon Carroll clears 270, but that includes a column called "How to meet real women," in which he writes, "I have met many women in my life.") Ratto can be nasty, cranky, and bemused, and his best columns read like smart dispatches from Bay Area fandom. On one glorious Sunday during the NFL post-season he wrote, "Forty Niners-Bucs at 10, Jets-Raiders at 1:30. As for church, family obligations or just lifting your bloated and ever-widening seater off the couch, you're on your own."