- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 19, 2005

PINEHURST, N.C.

I knew this U.S. Open would have its share of bloodshed, but I wasn’t prepared for quite so much Gore.

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It can’t help but be an exciting final round, though. I mean, you’ve got Retief Goosen, going for his third Open championship, and you’ve got Jason Gore, winner of the 2002 Albertsons Boise Open.

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As an added bonus for the latter victory, I’m told, Gore got to keep all the groceries he could stuff in a shopping cart in five minutes.

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So who’s going to walk away with the U.S. Open title today? To divine the answer, I went to the most reliable source available — the Internet Anagram Server at wordsmith.org. My findings:

One of the anagrams for “Jason Gore” is “Joe Sarong.”

One of the anagrams for “David Toms” is “Dad vomits.”

One of the anagrams for “Retief Goosen” is “teenier goofs.”

Yup, looks like a runaway for Retief.

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One of the anagrams for “Tiger Woods,” by the way, is “id ego worst.”

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Actually, I’d like to revise my prediction. I still think Goosen will finish first, but I’m picking Gore to win the popular vote.

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Chris DiMarco on the steamy weather in Pinehurst early in the week: “It couldn’t be any hotter than it was last week [in the Booz Allen]. I think I drank a bottle of water a hole last week — and I didn’t go to the bathroom once.”

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News item: Football analyst John Madden will move to NBC in 2006, completing his cycle of working for all four major networks.

Comment: What’s next for Big John, MAD(DEN)tv?

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Old friend Fred Smoot, now with the Vikings, is negotiating with Corey Chavous to buy Chavous’ No.21 jersey number. Talks are progressing slowly — Corey has already turned down an offer for $10,000 — but Fred understands why.

“When you’re messing with an older vet,” he told the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald, “the vet doesn’t want anybody else in the NFL to think I came in and ‘Bogarted’ his number. It’s a pride thing.”

Smoot figures to sweeten the deal a little, but he’ll only go so far. “Ain’t nobody getting 40 grand from me for a number,” he said. “We won’t get it to the Clinton Portis and Ifeanyi [Ohalete] level.”

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Interesting that Freddie is so attached to the number. After all, he didn’t start wearing it until he joined the Redskins. In high school he was No.1, in college No.2. (He combined the numbers, cleverly, in the pros.)

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A second R-rated 49ers video has reportedly surfaced, this one — from 2003 — featuring “bikini-clad women,” a lap dancer performing for a team staffer and other “objectionable content.” By “objectionable content,” I assume they’re talking about highlights from the ‘03 season.

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It must have been a touching scene last week when the Dolphins’ Ricky Williams was welcomed back to the NFL — the NFL drug program, that is. Wonder if anybody made cupcakes.

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If Ricky can’t crack the lineup in Miami, he’s hoping to get traded to another team with a grass field — if you catch my drift.

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Did you see that poll of baseball players in Sports Illustrated that had Frank Robinson tied with Buck Showalter for “worst manager” in the big leagues? All that means, of course, is that Frank served as Bud Selig’s Dispenser of Suspensions before taking over the Expos/Nationals.

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I’m not sure what Buck’s excuse is.

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Speaking of Robinson, he now has the distinction of being the first former discipline czar to be disciplined, suspended by MLB (for his face-off with Angels manager Mike Scioscia the other night). Think it’s too late to add that tidbit to his Hall of Fame plaque?

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Robinson was at his crotchety best out on the West Coast. He also got in a run-in with Los Angeles Times agitator T.J. Simers, after which Simers made fun of the eye patch Frank was wearing (following recent eye surgery), referring to him as “the Cyclops” in his column.

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But Simers, typically, didn’t stop there. Later in the same column, he noted with glee: “The Angels [went] on to pound the Nationals [11-1] under the watchful eye of Robinson.” Brutal.

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Saw the Orioles’ Miguel Tejada played in his 823rd consecutive game recently to move past Gus Suhr and into eighth place on the all-time list. Little-known fact (courtesy of BaseballLibrary.com): Suhr’s streak “ended June4, 1937 when he attended his mother’s funeral.”

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Suhr broke the National League record (then 619, held by “Glass Arm” Eddie Brown) in 1935 and held it for 22 years — until Stan Musial passed him in ‘57. Then Billy Williams (1,117) broke Musial’s record (895), and Steve Garvey (1,207) broke Willliams’.

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I ask you: Where but the Sunday Column can you read about Gus Suhr and “Glass Arm” Eddie Brown?

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On the subject of amazing feats, Roger Clemens has yet to allow a run on the road this season — a span of 32 innings. I have no idea where his streak ranks in history, but I do know this (because I looked it up at retrosheet.org): When Orel Hershiser threw 59 straight scoreless innings for the Dodgers in 1988-89, 401/3 of them were on the road.

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Trivia question: Who scored the run to snap Hershiser’s streak in the ‘89 opener? (Answer later in column.)

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The Red Sox have named Fenway Park’s left field foul pole Fisk Pole — in honor of the famous home run by Carlton Fisk that plunked off the pole to win Game6 of the ‘75 World Series.

Just goes to show the differences between organizations. When George Starke retired from the Redskins, as I recall, they named a bathroom stall after him. (Or rather, somebody put his nameplate on one of the stall doors at old Redskin Park.)

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Boston College hoopster Akida McLain pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct last week to avoid more serious charges for passing counterfeit $20 bills.

Memo to the Cameron Crazies: Get the Monopoly money ready for when the Eagles come to town.

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Elsewhere in jurisprudence, a former University of Alabama football booster was sentenced to six months in prison and six months home confinement for bribing a high school coach to steer a top recruit to the Crimson Tide.

The ‘Bama zealot, one Logan Young, apparently took the verdict well. In fact, he’s looking at it as a redshirt year.

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Young’s lawyer was none too pleased, though. He said his client could have been given a number of lesser punishments — a fine, probation, house arrest or, worst-case scenario, a couple of renditions of the Auburn fight song.

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Answer to trivia question: The player who scored the run to break Orel Hershiser’s 59-inning scoreless streak was none other than Barry Larkin — then a shortstop for the Reds and now a special assistant for the Nationals. Larkin crossed the plate on a single by Todd Benzinger.

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Best of luck to Tim Army, ex-coach of the Capitals’ top minor league affiliate, as he assumes command of Providence’s hockey program. It’s only a matter of time, I suppose, before they rename the team’s booster club Army’s Army.

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How bad are things going for the No Hockey League? So bad that the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, who reached the Stanley Cup finals two years ago, were just sold for $75million.

That’s $2million less than the contract the Caps gave Jaromir Jagr in 2001.

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And frankly, I don’t think Jags would stand much of a chance against the Ducks, one on six.

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Heck, $75million is barely more than the Mighty Ducks grossed in ‘92. I’m not talking about the hockey club, I’m talking about the movie starring Emilio Estevez.

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And finally …

NHL teams are looking into all sorts of ways to cut expenses this season. To save on gas, I hear, they plan to experiment with hybrid Zambonis.


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