- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 24, 2004

My 14-year-old, the Red Sox fan, says, “Sox in six.”

His reasoning: “They’ve got the cruddier helmets.”

• • •

I couldn’t agree more, by the way. This will be the first World Series, I’m convinced, that will be decided by batting helmets. (It’s just that kind of year.)

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The last time the Red Sox and Cardinals met in the Series, in 1967, Bob Gibson threw three complete-game victories, and Jim Lonborg fired a one-hitter and a three-hitter. A free Ballpark Frank to any starting pitcher in the current Classic who lasts past the seventh inning.

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How Quickly We Forget Dept.: The RBI leader in the ‘67 Series wasn’t National League MVP Orlando Cepeda or American League Triple Crown winner Carl Yastrzemski, it was Cardinals right fielder Roger Maris, who drove in seven runs. Yaz was next with five, followed by Julian Javier with four.

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Trivia question: Who made the last out for the Cardinals in both the ‘67 and ‘68 World Series? (Answer below.)

• • •

My favorite rip job on a Yankee in the aftermath of the Big Collapse: “[Alex Rodriguez] is the guy who fled Seattle and the Mariners got better, forced his way out of Texas and the Rangers improved, and joined the Yankees and the Curse ended. He said afterward that it is a team game, and he is ‘just one out of 25 players.’ But that surely was not his negotiating strategy when he got $252million, was it — I am just one of the guys?” — Joel Sherman in the New York Post

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Speaking of the Yanks, Kevin Brown pitched so badly in Game7 that he would have had trouble getting That Little AOL Guy out.

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The Red Sox’s comeback was miraculous, no question. But the 1975 New York Islanders trump everybody, for my money, in the never-say-die department. The Islanders rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Penguins in the Stanley Cup quarterfinals, then rallied from a 3-0 deficit to force a seventh game against the eventual champion Flyers in the semis. Little wonder the Isles later won four consecutive Cups (1980-83).

• • •

After much deliberation, I’ve decided Washington’s new baseball team should be named the Leftovers (since that’s about all that remains of a once fine Expos club).

• • •

The mascot could be a giant Tupperware container. Tuppy, we could call him/it.

• • •

Another possibility: the Washington Claymores.

(After all, the Scottish Claymores, who just folded up their kilts in NFL Europe, won’t be needing it anymore.)

• • •

News item: China’s Liu Xiang, gold medal winner in the 110-meter hurdles, signs an endorsement deal with a cigarette maker.

Comment: What’s next, Ricky Williams doing an ad for medical marijuana?

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Then again, Charley Conerly, the old Giants quarterback, was the original Marlboro Man.

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Relax, Redskins fans. The team has never lost — not once — during bye week.

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Michael Sneed, the Chicago Sun-Times’ gossip columnist, asks, “So how cum Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder, who was at Alex Dana’s Rosebud on Taylor [restaurant] over the weekend, had a private security check conducted the day before — including the washrooms — and then had the place checked out again when he came in? Unusual.”

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That’s why they call him Dan the Man Unusual.

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Checking out the washrooms … What, was he afraid one of his dinner companions was going to pull a Michael Corleone on him?

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Try the veal, Dan. It’s the best in the city.

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Interestingly, the item in the Sun-Times made no mention of food tasters.

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Just wondering: When they were done checking the washrooms, did Dan’s security detail case out Al Capone’s vault?

• • •

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s time for another Snyder Poll (an utterly subjective ranking of the various Snyders in the world of sports):

1. Nate Snyder, soccer, Susquehanna College — Nate, a sophomore forward from Catawissa, Pa., has scored 15 goals for the Crusaders — one off the school record set in 1965 — with four regular-season games left.

2. Kevin Snyder, motorcycling — Having already won Amateur Dirt Tracker of the Year honors for the second straight year, Kevin is now up for the American Motorcycle Association Sports Veteran/Senior Rider of the Year Award.

3. Earl Snyder, third baseman, Pawtucket PawSox — Broke the club record with 104 RBI this season and tied the club mark with 36 homers.

4. Adam Snyder, offensive tackle, Oregon — The 6-foot-6, 320-pound bruiser is one of the top-rated tackles in the upcoming NFL Draft.

5. Dan Snyder, owner, Washington Redskins — Record-setting payroll (plus the return of Joe Gibbs) has yielded only a 2-4 record. And the toughest part of the schedule is still to come.

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Bellyacher Jerry Rice gets traded from the Raiders to the Seahawks.

Holdout Keenan McCardell gets traded from the Bucs to the Chargers.

Malcontent Antonio Bryant gets traded from the Cowboys to the Browns.

(All of them deadline deals, which are rare in the NFL.)

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, folks: Receivers are the biggest problem children in pro football.

• • •

Hysterical column by Dave Hyde of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last week on how the 0-6 Dolphins have helped the other 31 teams in the league “in ways big and small.” For instance:

“7. Philadelphia. You look at the 33rd overall draft pick while A.J. Feeley looks at the clipboard.

“13. Oakland. You realize why former Dolphins offensive coordinator Norv Turner couldn’t get out of town quickly enough — and at least your new coach has two wins this year.”

“26. Denver. Reuben Droughns has rushed for 193 and 176 yards the previous two weeks and his kick returning earned him the NFL’s special teams player of September [award]. Oh, he was on the Dolphins’ practice roster in 2001.

“31. Washington. Derrius Thompson allows you to see that Steve Spurrier got at least one personnel decision right.”

• • •

Did Frank Beamer’s Virginia Tech team really go for it on fourth-and-one against Florida A&M; last Saturday with a 62-0 lead?

Indeed, it did. Fittingly, though, the Hokies wound up losing the ball when Justin Hamilton was stopped for no gain at the Tech 48.

• • •

The Rattlers ran a no-huddle offense against the Hokies — for all the good it did. None of A&M;’s first 11 possessions lasted longer than 2 minutes, 24 seconds, and the Rattlers’ outmanned defense got precious little rest.

“We weren’t taking time off the clock,” A&M; coach Billy Joe said. “We’re about trying to win. If they beat us 200-0, that’s only one loss. Let’s have fun.”

• • •

Of course, none of Tech’s first 13 possessions lasted longer than 3:36, but the Hokies had an excuse: They kept running into the end zone.

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Answer to trivia question: Tim McCarver. He bounced to short for the Cardinals’ last out in the ‘67 Series and fouled to the catcher for their final out in the ‘68 Series. (He also made the next-to-last out in the ‘64 Series when he got caught in a rundown between third and home.)

• • •

And finally …

Elsewhere in football, the NCAA has decided not to punish former University of Washington coach Rick Neuheisel for gambling in a college basketball pool. This clears the way for Neuheisel to appear on “Celebrity Poker.”

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