- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 13, 2003

People sure are upset about that incident involving the Pirates’ Randall Simon. The Milwaukee sheriff’s department fined him $432 for whacking one of the Brewers’ sausage mascots with his bat, and the league docked him another $2,000 for ignoring the “take” sign.

• • •

So I’m watching the replays of the sausage race — a nightly event at Miller Park that pits Polish and Italian sausages against a hot dog and a bratwurst — and I’m thinking: Is this a promotion, or are we taking a journey through William Perry’s subconscious?

• • •

Let’s not be too hard on Simon, though. After all, it was a perfectly executed hit and bun.

• • •

Neal from Gaithersburg was greatly disturbed by Dusty Baker’s comments about black and Latin ballplayers being better suited to play in the heat than whites.

“What insults me the most,” he e-mails, “was how Dusty neglected to include the Jewish players. Sure, there aren’t that many, but how can you overlook the fact that here is an ethnic group that comes straight from the desert, for crying out loud. And what about wandering for 40 years under a hot sun? You’d think that would count for something.”

• • •

The Yankees’ David Wells has been getting a lot of attention for walking only six men in his first 127 innings. But what’s even more amazing is this: He currently has more hit batsmen (seven) than walks. Has any pitcher ever done that for an entire season?

• • •

By the way, the modern record for fewest walks in a season (minimum: 250 innings) is 18 in 263 innings by Babe Adams of the 1920 Pirates. Babe went 17-13 that year with a 2.16 ERA and a league-leading eight shutouts. (The year before, he walked just 23 in 263⅓ innings.)

• • •

What a lineup the Lakers are putting together in L.A. At the moment, their starting five looks like this: Shaq, the Mailman, Gary Payton, Kobe and Kobe’s bail bondsman.

• • •

And Jerry Buss may not be done yet. In fact, I hear he’s flying Dolph Schayes in for a physical.

• • •

Payton and Malone are taking a combined pay cut of $25.5million to don Lakers uniforms. Just as a frame of reference, Network Associates Coliseum (formerly Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum) was built in 1966 for $25.5million.

• • •

Also, Indian Wells golf course, home of Bob Hope’s tournament, sold at auction in ‘94 for $25.5million.

• • •

Three current athletes whose contracts are worth $25.5million: Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte (three years), Pittsburgh Steelers guard Marvel Smith (five years) and New York Rangers defenseman Darius Kasparaitis (six years).

• • •

You had to love the package the Mystics offered for their recent game against the Los Angeles Sparks. For $36, they gave you: four tickets (upper level), two kids meals (small hot dog, chips and soda) and one Stacey Dales-Schuman mini -bobblehead for the two kids to fight over.

• • •

Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t mini-bobbleheads be reserved for the likes of Earl Boykins?

• • •

Calling Lamar Odom a former Rhode Island Ram — as Sports Illustrated did in a section on sports in the state — is like calling Lisa Marie Presley a former wife of Michael Jackson.

• • •

Congratulations to Mike Dunleavy, the latest to coach/manage two different professional teams in the same town — first the Lakers (1990-92), and now the Clippers. Some of the company he keeps:

• Fred Lake — Boston Red Sox (1908-09), Braves (1910).

• Branch Rickey — St. Louis Browns (1913-15), Cardinals (1919-25).

• Johnny Evers — Chicago Cubs (1913, ‘21), White Sox (1924).

• Rogers Hornsby — St. Louis Cardinals (1925-26), Browns (1933-37, ‘52).

• Gabby Street — Cardinals (1930-33), Browns (1938).

• Leo Durocher — Brooklyn Dodgers (1939-46, ‘48), New York Giants (1948-55).

• Marty Marion — Cardinals (1951), Browns (1952-53).

• Sid Gillman — Los Angeles Rams (1955-59), Chargers (1960).

• Yogi Berra — New York Yankees (1964, ‘84), Mets (1972-75).

• Red Miller — Denver Broncos (1977-80), USFL Gold (1983).

• Dallas Green — Yankees (1989), Mets (1993-96).

• Joe Torre — Mets (1977-81), Yankees (1996-present).

• • •

Alvin Dark managed the San Francisco Giants (1961-64) and Oakland A’s (1974-75), but that’s not quite the same thing, is it?

• • •

Ditto Willis Reed, who coached the New York Knicks (1977-78) and the New Jersey Nets (1988-89).

• • •

Who’s the only coach/manager to direct three pro teams in the same town? (Answer below.)

• • •

Headline of the Week (from the First Church of Tiger Woods Web site):

“Tiger Holds No Major Titles for the First Time in This Century”

• • •

If you’re looking for a dark horse in this week’s British Open, try Bernhard Langer. In the three previous Opens at Royal St. George’s, Langer has finished second once (1981) and third twice (‘85 and ‘93). He’s finished in the top three in the British six times in all, including last year at Royal Lytham.

• • •

Little-known fact: The ‘81 Open is historically significant because it was the last time Arnold Palmer kept up with Jack Nicklaus in a major. They both tied for 23rd that year, Nicklaus overcoming a first-round 83 with scores of 66, 71 and 70. (The last time Arnie actually beat Jack in a major was the year before at the Masters; he tied for 24th, nine places ahead of the Golden Bear.)

• • •

With “Seabiscuit” about to hit the theaters, turf writer Rick Snider of The Washington Times sends along word that the first Seabiscuit movie, “The Story of Seabiscuit,” is now available in DVD. Says Snider: “It’s the answer to a great trivia question: What sports movie starred Shirley Temple as an adult?”

• • •

Shirley was 21 when the film came out in 1949. She played Margaret O’Hara, the niece of Seabiscuit’s trainer (and future wife of the horse’s jockey, Ted Knowles). Interestingly, ol’ Curly Top made only one more movie — “A Kiss for Corliss” (alternate title: “Almost a Bride”), also released in ‘49.

• • •

Listed in the credits of the original Seabiscuit flick is one Sugar Foot Anderson, who was cast as the horse’s walker. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the same Sugar Foot Anderson who — along with another actor, Woody Strode — was one of the first black players in pro football after World War II. Anderson, a strapping 6-foot-4, 215-pound end, played in 1947 for the Los Angeles Dons of the All-America Conference, catching three passes for 24 yards.

• • •

Sugar Foot also appeared in “I Was a Communist for the FBI” in 1951, a film that isn’t available in DVD.

• • •

Answer to trivia question: Casey Stengel is the only coach/manager to direct three different pro teams in the same town — the Brooklyn Dodgers (1934-36), New York Yankees (1949-60) and New York Mets (1962-65).

• • •

And finally …

News item: Man arrested in connection with identity-theft case affecting NHL players Brian Leetch, Keith Tkachuk and Jeremy Roenick.

Comment: Police are also investigating whether the man might have impersonated Jaromir Jagr in this year’s playoffs. That couldn’t have been the real Jags out there, could it?


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