- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 16, 2003

News item: Billionaire B. Thomas Golisano signs an agreement to buy the Buffalo Sabres.
I wouldn't be surprised if the Sabres made him a millionaire.

After reading of yet another athlete's gambling woes this time Jaromir Jagr's Neal from Gaithersburg writes, "Don't these guys ever win?"

What do you suppose the NHL record is for the quickest goal by a player just acquired in a trade? It took a mere 17:05 for Sergei Berezin to score for the Capitals the other night.

Of course, the Caps probably passed him the puck because they thought he was playing for the other team.

In honor of Bob Uecker's selection to the baseball Hall of Fame (broadcasters' wing), the Sunday Column brings you some of the Best of Ueck:
"I signed with the Milwaukee Braves for $3,000. That bothered my dad at the time because he didn't have that kind of dough. But he eventually scraped it up."
"I was only in the majors two months before I got a raise. The minimum went up."
"Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. But to be able to trick people year in and year out the way I did, I think that was a much greater feat."
"If a guy hits .300 every year, what does he have to look forward to? I always tried to stay around .190, with three or four RBI. And I tried to get them all in September. That way I always had something to talk about during the winter."
"People don't know this, but I helped the Cardinals win the pennant in 1964. I came down with hepatitis. The trainer injected me with it."
"The highlight of my career? In '67 with St. Louis, I walked with the bases loaded to drive in the winning run in an intrasquad game in spring training."
"The average age in Sun City, Ariz., [where the Brewers used to train] is deceased."

My favorite Uecker line, though, might be the one he delivered in "Major League 2" as play-by-play guy Harry Doyle. He talked about an Indians hitter being "oh-for-the-century" against a certain pitcher, then added, "but he does have several foul tips."

The real highlight of Uecker's career, by the way, came Sept.1, 1964, when he had a homer and a game-winning single in the Cardinals' 5-4 victory over the Braves. He also "owned" Ray Sadecki, according to "The Home Run Encyclopedia." Two of his 14 major league dingers came off the southpaw.
The Giants' Ron Herbel served up Uecker's only grand slam, in '67. "When his manager, Herman Franks, came out to get him," Ueck once cracked, "he was bringing Herbel's suitcase."

The nightmare continues for Bob Knight. Last year Indiana made the Final Four, and this year the Texas Tech women might.

As the UConn women discovered last week when their record 70-game winning streak was snapped by Villanova Stall Ball is the bane of every great basketball team's existence. Five other famous slowdowns in college hoops history:
1966 UCLA 40, Southern Cal 35 It was Lew Alcindor's (that is, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's) first year on the varsity, and in the opener against the Trojans he scored a school-record 56 points in a 105-90 victory. So when the teams met again later in the season, USC tried to put the Big Fella to sleep by playing keep away. It didn't quite work.
1971 Maryland 31, South Carolina 30 In just his second year as the Terps' coach, Lefty Driesell showed he'd do anything to win by stalling the second-ranked Gamecocks into submission. Maryland recruits Tom McMillen and Len Elmore attended the game, joined the program the next season and the rest is history.
1982 North Carolina State 54, Houston 52 After watching Phi Slamma Jamma explode past Louisville in the national semifinals, Wolfpack coach Jim Valvano said, "We'll try to handle their team by playing, shall I say, a slower tempo." N.C. State stuck to its plan and pulled off the upset when Lorenzo Charles stuffed home Dereck Whittenburg's airball at the buzzer.
1983 Kentucky 24, Cincinnati 11 The Bearcats had nowhere near the talent the Wildcats did with Sam Bowie, Mel Turpin and Kenny Walker, so they sat on the ball, attempting only 12 shots. Kentucky had nearly enough points at halftime (11) to win.
1984 Georgetown 37, SMU 36 The Mustangs made the top-seeded Hoyas sweat out their second-round NCAA tournament game with an extremely deliberate offense. SMU center Jon Koncak outscored Patrick Ewing 13-10, but Georgetown prevailed and went on to capture the championship.

On the subject of women's basketball, I heartily recommend going to the Fresno Bee's Web site (www.fresnobee.com) and checking out the March12 story and photo of Fresno State coach Stacy Johnson-Klein. What a looker. And she can coach! She took over a team that finished ninth in the Western Athletic Conference last season and has guided it to the final of the WAC tournament.
My favorite Johnson-Klein quote: "So I'm 6 feet tall. So I put on 4-inch heels [and] stand 6-4. So what? I enjoy that. I like that. Who doesn't? Does it attract attention? Absolutely. But people remember you. The thing is, I don't want to be remembered at the end of my life for just that. But it gets your foot in the door sometimes."

Tiger Woods Note of the Week: The next cut Tiger makes will be his 100th in a row.

Imagine how much better he'd be if he didn't have "inferior" equipment.

Researching a column on Jim Bouton and David Wells last week, I came across something in "Ball Four" I'd completely forgotten. Bouton, you may recall, took a lot of heat for disclosing that the Yankees, to entertain themselves on the road, would go up on hotel roofs and peek into people's windows. Well, it turns out the Shoreham Hotel, right here in D.C., was one of the preferred Peeping Places.
"The Shoreham is the [peeping] capital of the world," Bouton wrote. "You could win a pennant with the guys who've been on that roof. [What makes it such a prime peeping place is] the way the hotel is shaped a series of L-shaped wings that make the windows particularly vulnerable from certain spots on the roof. The Yankees would go up there in squads of 15 or so, often led by Mickey Mantle himself. You needed a lot of guys to do the spotting. Then someone would whistle two or three wings away … and there'd be a mad scramble of guys climbing over skylights, tripping over each other and trying not to fall off the roof. One of the first big thrills I had with the Yankees was joining about half the club on the roof of the Shoreham at 2:30 in the morning. I remember saying to myself, 'So this is the big leagues.'"

How bad is the NBA's Eastern Conference? This bad: The Memphis Grizzlies, who started the season 0-13, are 13-10 against it.

In the space of three years, Marty Schottenheimer has gotten rid of Deion Sanders and now Junior Seau. He must be disappointed that he got to San Diego too late to cut Lance Alworth.

Seems like Seau would be a perfect fit for Bill Parcells in Dallas a Pepper Johnson-type pickup.

And finally, here's hoping Stephen Davis is in good running condition when the Redskins visit Carolina next season. You know, just to add some spice to the game.

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