* Don’t believe the story about Mickey Mantle blasting a 565-foot homer — right here in D.C. — off the Senators’ Chuck Stobbs. “Physicists estimate the farthest a man can hit a ball at sea level, without help from the wind, is about 475 feet.”
* ”The maximum bat weight before swing speed drops is about 41 ounces. But a pro player’s ideal bat weight is lighter — in the 31- to 32-ounce range.” In other words, Alfonso Soriano’s 35-ounce telephone pole might not be such a good idea.
* And my personal favorite: “The average pro swing imparts enough force to the ball to stop a Mini Cooper, rolling at 10 mph, in its tracks.”
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If Rolaids can sponsor an annual award for relief pitchers, why can’t Kaiser Permanente sponsor one for “best performance in a rehab assignment”?
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Seriously, is it just me, or are these assignments multiplying? Curt Schilling, for example, has one more start scheduled at Pawtucket before rejoining the Red Sox — his 11th rehab appearance since 2003. Kerry Wood’s next outing with the Peoria Chiefs, meanwhile, will be his ninth since ‘04 (with more to come this season, the Cubs hope). Has any pitcher ever won the Cy Young and Minor League Player of the Year awards in the same season?
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Elsewhere in sports, 33 cheerleaders from two Texas high schools got into a dormitory scuffle at a camp at Texas State University last week. The Fox network is already planning a special on the episode — “When Cheerleaders Attack.”
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And finally …
Fearless prediction: The Tour de France will be won today by a clown on a unicycle.