- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 21, 2002

I brake for Grand Prix cars.

If there are any photo-radar cameras near RFK Stadium, I hope they're deactivated before this afternoon's race. I'd hate to see Emanuele Pirro get a speeding ticket in the mail like some D.C. cops did.

For sale: Used Pontiac. Contact Joe Gibbs (whose NASCAR team is switching to Chevrolet).

Memo to Coach Joe: Joe Jacoby will give you a good deal on a Jeep or Chrysler if the Chevy doesn't work out.

Just wondering:
With Lance Armstrong busy pedaling through the French mountains, who's supplying the electricity at ESPN?
If Tiger Woods were leading the Tour de France today, would he wear the traditional yellow jersey or would he switch to red, his preferred Sunday color?
Shouldn't the Twins' Torii Hunter get charged with a hit batsman or something for firing the ball off the leg of Indians pitcher Danys Baez?

Here at the Sunday Column, we ponder the imponderable.

At no additional cost to you, the reader.

No disrespect to Ted Williams, but did you know there was once a major leaguer named Jake Freeze?

Yup, Jake played for the 1925 Chicago White Sox and pitched in a grand total of two games, earning no decisions in 3⅔ innings.

He was, from all accounts, a verycool customer.

Also on that White Sox staff was Sloppy Thurston one of my favorite sports names of all time who later spent a season with the Senators (1927, to be precise). In addition to Sloppy, the Washington rotation that year featured a Hod (Lisenbee), a Bump (Hadley), a Firpo (Marberry) and a General (Crowder).

Contrary to popular belief, the Teddy Ballgame situation isn't the national pastime's first experience with cryogenics. In the early days, Connie Mack is said to have refrigerated baseballs to keep them from going over outfielders' heads.

Should the White Sox fire Jerry Manuel this season, after the Indians axed Charlie Manuel, there won't be a single big league team that's Manuel-ly operated.

The 11 straight victories reeled off by the Angels' Jarrod Washburn got me thinking: What other obscure pitchers in major league history have put together long winning streaks? My findings:
Pat Luby Won 17 in a row as a rookie with the Chicago Colts in 1880. It was the only season he finished above .500 (20-9). Career record: 40-41.
Brooks Lawrence Following a 3-8 year with the Cardinals in 1955, Lawrence was traded to the Reds and proceeded to rack up 13 consecutive victories. After that, though, he went back to being Brooks Lawrence. Career record: 69-62.
Atley Donald In his first full season in 1939, Donald won 12 straight for the Yankees. Alas, "Swampy" never reached such heights again. Career record: 65-33.
Luis Arroyo A 23-23 pitcher before 1961, Arroyo notched 12 in a row for the Yanks the same year Maris slugged 61 homers (and the same year Whitey Ford notched 14 in a row). In his remaining seasons, however, the Puerto Rican lefty managed just two more victories. Career record: 40-32.
Bobby Witt Was headed for another losing season with the Rangers in 1990 when he suddenly ran off 12 consecutive wins. The hope was that the hard-throwing right-hander had finally turned the corner. He hadn't. Career record: 142-157.

A fond farewell to Rod Steiger, who died recently at 77. Rod was too serious a thespian to slum in sports films, but he did have a memorable role as a mob-connected boxing manager in "The Harder They Fall" (1956). (He played a similar character in "On the Waterfront," selling out fighter-brother Terry Malloy played by Marlon Brando for "the short-end money." Of course, that was all backstory. The subject of the movie was corruption in the docker's union.)

"The Harder They Fall" also happens to be the last film that Humphrey Bogart appeared in. (He was cast as an unemployed sportswriter, of all things.) Also in the movie were former heavyweight champs Jersey Joe Walcott and Max Baer.

I'd better knock it off. I'm starting to sound like Nick Clooney on "American Movie Classics."

Trust you noticed that the Western Conference coach in the WNBA All-Star Game last week was none other than Michael Cooper, the ex-L.A. Laker. It's funny. The '80s Lakers tended to be thought of as pretty boys and glamour pusses compared to the Celtics, anyway but a surprising number of them have gone on to be head coaches. I'm talking about Magic Johnson (Lakers, briefly), Kurt Rambis (ditto), Byron Scott (Nets), Eddie Jordan (Kings), Butch Carter (Raptors), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (USBL's Oklahoma Storm) and Orlando Woolridge (Cooper's predecessor with the L.A. Sparks). There are, after all, easier ways to make a living.

On the other hand, Norm Nixon is still married to Hollywoodite Debbie Allen.

Check out their recipe for Apple-Smoked Filet Mignon with ginger-snapped string beans on globalgourmet.com.

News item: 82-year-old man bowls perfect 300 game just 17 days after suffering partial stroke.
Comment: And to think bowling was a demonstration sport at the '88 Olympics.

It got the nod over shuffleboard, if memory serves.

If the Caps were going to hire a former Norris Trophy winner as an assistant coach, I would have figured it would be Rod Langway, not Randy Carlyle. (Not that there's anything wrong with Randy )

Lennox Lewis' talk of retirement at 36 reminds me that Riddick Bowe turns 35 on Aug.10.

Don't be surprised if the Redskins make a play for defensive tackle Darryl Gardener, who was cut loose Friday by the Dolphins especially if Sam Adams signs elsewhere. At 6-6, 310 pounds, Gardener isn't quite as wide as Adams, but he's an effective run-stuffer when suitably inspired. That's always been his problem, since his days at Baylor: his on-again, off-again motivation. Sometimes he plays like Darryl Gardener, and sometimes he plays like Chance the Gardener.

Now I'm really starting to sound like Nick Clooney.

It's official. With the retirement of Tennessee Titans center Bruce Matthews, Darrell Green has now played for his original team longer than anybody in professional sports. Darrell first suited up for the Redskins on Sept.5, 1983, the date of a Monday Nighter against the Cowboys. Matthews' career began a day earlier vs. Green Bay.
Exactly one month after Green broke in, the Detroit Red Wings' Steve Yzerman and the New Jersey Devils' Ken Daneyko made their debuts. They're currently tied for second on the list. Fourth and fifth are John Stockton (1984) and Karl Malone (1985) with the Utah Jazz. (Much thanks to the Redskins PR staff for digging up most of this information and including it in last year's media guide.)

And finally
Fearless prediction: Before the end of the NFL season, some team's front four will be nicknamed the "Eight-Legged Freaks."


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