- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 19, 2006

Can’t say I’m surprised the U.S. didn’t win the World Baseball Classic. I mean, our most successful pitcher in international competition wasn’t even on the roster. I’m talking, of course, about Chris Drury of the Buffalo Sabres, who hurled Trumbull, Conn., past Taiwan in the championship game of the 1989 Little League World Series.

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You can have Jake Peavy and Roger Clemens. In a game of planetary significance, I’m giving the ball to Drury.

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Speaking of moundsmen, Jon Rauch, the Nationals’ 6-foot-11 skyscraper, might not be the World’s Tallest Major League Pitcher much longer. The Twins just signed a 7-1 right-hander from the Netherlands named Loek (sounds like “Luke”) Van Mil. Amazingly, Van Mil claims “he never played organized basketball,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports, “only pickup games in his backyard.”

Hey, that didn’t stop the Pistons from drafting Darko Milicic.

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Can you imagine Van Mil and 6-10 Randy Johnson on the same staff? You’d have not one but two pitchers … for whom English is a second language.

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The Twins plan to assign Loek to their affiliate in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. Seems they’re still deciding whether he’s a starter, a reliever or an X File.

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Elsewhere in Minneapolis, a government committee reviewed the Vikings’ proposal for a $1.5 billion football stadium and retail and entertainment complex. Plans call for a 68,500-seat stadium with a retractable roof — in case Loek Van Mil wants to take in a game.

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One last dig at Barry Bonds and his reported use of trenbolone, a steroid for cattle: Who would have suspected that when Harry Caray said “Holy cow!” after one of Bonds’ moon shots, he meant it literally?”

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I couldn’t figure out why they cast Terry Bradshaw as the father in “Failure to Launch” — until I saw the scene where he saunters around in his “nude room.” Obviously, the studio needed somebody who knew how to run the naked bootleg.

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Yup, ol’ Terry, as they say in Tinseltown, “got a little behind in his work.”

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What’s next for the Fox NFL crew, Jimmy Johnson skinny dipping in a remake of “Day of the Dolphin”?

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The Broncos’ appropriation of the Browns’ defensive line continues. Last year it was Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, Ebenezer Ekuban and Michael Myers; this year it’s Kenard Lang. Memo to Michael Dean Perry: Stay by your phone.

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In last Wednesday’s Washington Times, David Elfin had a story saying Patrick Ramsey was close to being traded to the Jets “for perhaps a sixth-round choice in next month’s NFL draft and a future selection.” When Elfin crossed paths with VP Vinny Cerrato that afternoon, though, Cerrato advised him: “Your story’s wrong, Dave.”

Two days later, Ramsey was traded to the Jets for a sixth-round pick.

(Guess the team wanted to break the news first on its Web site. Still, it’s a curious way for an organization to behave, especially one that’s supposedly so concerned about accurate media coverage.)

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Seriously, didn’t club spokesman Carl Swanson complain about to Washingtonian magazine about the “level of frustration [in Ashburn] about getting out the complete picture of what we’re doing?” Isn’t that why the Redskins are using the Internet, Snyder-owned radio stations and team-sponsored TV programming to dispense “unfiltered” information about their activities?

Filtered information: “Going into the pivotal Week 13 match-up at St. Louis, the Redskins have won five and lost six.”

Unfiltered information: Going into the pivotal Week 13 match-up at St. Louis, the Redskins have won five.”

Filtered information: “The Redskins punted the first five times they had the ball against the Seahawks, failing to get a first down.”

Unfiltered information: “We move to further action in the third quarter …”

Filtered information: “Joe Gibbs probably could have gotten more than a sixth-rounder for Ramsey if he’d just been honest with himself last spring and traded the kid.”

Unfiltered information: “We appreciate Patrick’s contributions during his time here with the Redskins.”

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Let the record show that after all the grousing on Selection Sunday, George Mason manhandled Michigan State in the first round of the NCAAs despite the absence of Tony Skinn (suspended because of his well-publicized Andrew Golata Moment in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament).

Spurned Maryland, meanwhile, wasn’t even competitive against Boston College in the ACC tourney without flunked-out Chris McCray.

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The CAA, Missouri Valley, Mountain West et al. should get together and award a trophy every year to the mid-major that advances furthest in the NCAAs. They could call it the Billy Packer Award.

In other hoops news, Temple legend John Chaney retired after 34 seasons and 741 victories as a college head coach. Chaney said he wanted to spend more time stalking John Calipari.

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Forgotten fact about Wake Forest great Dickie Hemric, who J.J. Redick just passed to become the ACC’s career scoring leader: He scored more points in college (2,587) than he did in the NBA (863 in two seasons with the Celtics). Trivia question: Two other players on the conference’s top 10 all-time scoring list also scored more points as collegians than pros. Who are they? (Answer below.)

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Will Stewart of TechSideline.com on the ACC basketball tournament moving to Tampa next year: “That’s like holding World Cup soccer in Des Moines, Iowa. It just doesn’t belong there.”

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Answer to trivia question: Rodney Monroe, the fifth-leading scorer in ACC history, and Jeff Lamp, No. 8, also scored more points in college than in the pros. Monroe scored 2,551 at North Carolina State and 131 in his one NBA season. Lamp scored 2,317 at Virginia and 1,395 in the NBA.

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And finally …

The Sunday Column has learned the real reason Martina Hingis disappeared from the women’s tennis for several years. No, it wasn’t injury or ennui — the usual suspects. Three words, folks: Grunting Management therapy.

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