- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 22, 2001

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor smoke from a train fire near Camden Yards will keep the Sunday Column from the swift completion of its appointed rounds.
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News item: Orioles considering taking legal action against company that owns derailed train.
Comment: By the time he's done cross-examining the engineer of the train, Peter Angelos will have him looking like the captain of the Exxon Valdez.
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As you're watching the players grind it out in the final round of the British Open today, remember what Raymond Floyd once said: "They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken."
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I don't know about you, but I like the fat Colin Montgomerie more than I liked the (temporarily) skinny Monty. I'm hardly consistent on these things, though. For instance, I preferred the thin Elvis to the blubbery Elvis when the Postal Service was conducting that stamp referendum a while back.
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How many more chances to win a major does David Duval want?
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Ten years from now, who do you figure will be the most famous No. 68 in Washington sports history, Russ Grimm or Jaromir Jagr?
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I find it interesting that Jagr decided he wanted out of Pittsburgh not long after Grimm joined the Steelers' coaching staff. The town must not have been big enough for the two of them.
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Never mind Deion Sanders. Marty Schottenheimer should try to sign Sanders' Syracuse SkyChiefs teammate, Cole Liniak, who made an unbelievable open-field tackle on a fan who ran on the field the other night (and was heading in Deion's direction). Shades of Mike Curtis if you know what I mean.
* * *
Deion sounded kinda rattled that some nutcase spectator was running toward him but then, we all know how averse the Neon One is to physical contact.
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Did you see Brad Johnson on the cover of the Sporting News, flanked by new Tampa Bay buddies Warren Sapp and Keyshawn Johnson? Dan Snyder has probably canceled his subscription.
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If I read one more newspaper story lamenting the fate of unemployed Trent Dilfer, I'm gonna scream. They usually begin like this (in fact, one did begin like this in the San Francisco Examiner recently):
"Somewhere in the Central Valley farming community of Fresno, Trent Dilfer is sitting by the telephone waiting for a phone call that has yet to come. And barring unforeseen circumstances like an injury to a quarterback presently on an NFL roster Dilfer's wait will last through the dog days of summer.
"This for a man who led his team to Super Bowl XXXV glory, who a day later was granted a free, 24-hour pass to Disney World? A man whose adopted hometown sponsored a parade to honor the Fresno State grad? … Certainly, Dilfer couldn't see this coming."
Yes, let's break out the violins for poor old Trent. After all, he got such a tough break last year. He had to play quarterback for a team with one of the best defenses in NFL history, and he came away with a Super Bowl ring despite finishing with the 20th-best passer rating in the league. If that isn't a reason for pity, I don't know what is.
Come on, folks. During the 2000 NFL season, Dilfer was the luckiest man of the face of the earth. Don't worry, he'll resurface somewhere and bring his particular brand of mediocrity to bear on the situation.
* * *
Football tailgaters might want to check out Washington Times staffer Rick Snider's latest opus, "Secrets of Caveman Cooking" ($6.95, Golden West Publishers), which just hit the bookshelves. Rick, who knows more about cavemen I mean cooking than any sportswriter I know, includes some fascinating recipes in his book, including "Beer-Can Chicken," "Barbecued Squirrel" and my own personal favorite, "Yabba-Dabba-Do Ribs."
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Roger Clemens' emergency start for the Yankees last week on three days' rest sure got a lot of attention. Just shows how times have changed in this, the era of the five-man rotation. Heck, Sandy Koufax pitched in the seventh game of the '65 Series on two days' rest and threw a three-hit shutout. How long did Clemens last, 5?? I'm underwhelmed.
* * *
I wandered back to Mudville, Tom, when you and I were boys,
And where we drew in days gone by our fill of childish joys;
Alas! The town's deserted now, and only rank weeks grow
Where mighty Casey fanned the air just twenty years ago… .
The diamond is a corn patch now; the outfield's overgrown
With pumpkin vines and weedy plots; the rooters have all flown.
They couldn't bear to live on there, for nothing was the same
Where they had been so happy once before that fatal game.
From "Mudville's Fate," Grantland Rice's second sequel to "Casey at the Bat"
* * *
Remember when sporting good stores used to carry … sporting goods? Well, I went to a Galahan's the other day and couldn't find a single major league-quality baseball. Not one. All they had on hand were some softballs, a few of those cheapo hardballs that lose their shape after a couple of batting practices and a selection of Reduced Injury Factor balls (what I call "weenie baseballs"). The shelves were well-stocked, of course, with all the other accouterments of the game bats, gloves, helmets, catcher's equipment, pitching rubbers, etc. But what good are they without a ball (unless you play in a league for mimes)?
The situation at Sports Authority was almost as bad (three or four major league balls, in tattered boxes, was all they had left). And people wonder why baseball is slowly dying in this country …
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Look at it this way: The Wizards traded Mitch Richmond (who just signed with the Lakers) for Tyronn Lue (who just left L.A. for Washington).
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With his move to the Orlando Magic, his third team in three years, Patrick Ewing has officially entered the Willy Loman phase of his career.
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And finally, maybe Tina Thompson, the punchy Houston Comet, could be Laila Ali's next opponent.

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