- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 13, 2007

Just when they need it most, the Nationals have banned alcohol from the clubhouse.

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The Brewers, however, will continue to let their players have a brewski in the locker room after a game. They might eventually come over to the P.C. side, of course, but not when they’ve got the best record in the National League. As Crash Davis put it in “Bill Durham”: “Never [mess] with a streak.”

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From Cy Young’s Rules for Pitching Success (1908):

“Let liquor severely alone. … A player should try to get along without any stimulants at all. Water, pure cool water, is good enough for any man.”

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Which means, basically, that if Denton True Young were alive today, he’d be doing commercials for Aquafina.

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Did you see Barry Levinson has come out with a re-edited version of “The Natural” that is “closer,” he says, “to the intention of the original”?

Maybe the Red Sox will hire him to re-edit their ‘86 highlight film so Mookie Wilson’s grounder can end up in Bill Buckner’s glove.

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Idle thought: When Jason Bay makes an error for the Pirates, does the scoreboard say, “E-Bay”?

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The worst statistic in sports has to be the hold in baseball. Heck, a reliever can be credited with a hold for making a situation worse.

Consider John Parrish’s performance for the Orioles on Friday night in Boston. Summoned in the sixth to protect a 5-2 lead with two out and Julio Lugo on first, he ended the inning by picking Lugo off. In the seventh, though, after fanning David Ortiz, he ran into all kinds of trouble, giving up a walk to Manny Ramirez, a double to Kevin Youkilis, another walk to Mike Lowell and another walk to Jason Varitez, bringing home Ramirez.

Exit Parrish (with one run in and the bases loaded), enter Corey Bradford (who, along with Jamie Walker, pitched out of the jam).

For this nifty bit of hurling, Parrish “earned” his sixth hold of the season.

If that’s a hold, then — to borrow Jack Nicholson’s famous line in “Five Easy Pieces” — I want you to hold it between your knees.

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Six things Queen Elizabeth did not say at last week’s White House dinner:

To Tim Hasselbeck: “Back home, they’re still talking about the game you had for the Berlin Thunder against the Scottish Claymores in ‘02.”

To Jim Nantz: “If you were any more understated, I’d knight you.”

To Arnold Palmer: “Our boys used to do so much better in the [British] Open before your Congress deregulated the airline industry.”

To Peyton Manning: “You wouldn’t believe the quid you cost me in the ‘03 AFC title game. I almost had to sell one of my tiaras.”

To Robin Roberts: “Have you ever done any polo play-by-play?”

To Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel: “Finally, somebody I can talk down to!”

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Love the idea of the NFL adding a 17th game — not only because it will eliminate a meaningless exhibition game, but also because nobody will ever finish .500 again (or at least, hardly ever). That’s right, folks, it will mark the end — and good riddance, I say — of the “non-losing season.”

• • •

That might have been the best part about the ‘82 (nine games) and ‘87 (15) strikes. You were either a winning team or a losing team in those years, no in-between.

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Until his suspension is up, Pacman Jones might want to confine his driving to the Autobahn.

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While in Germany, he could work on his backpedal with the Frankfurt Galaxy — much as exiled Ricky Williams did last year by renting himself out to the CFL.

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In case you missed it, Nashville police pulled Pacman over Monday — four days before his second meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell — for going 79 in a 55 mph zone. According to reports, he was driving a 2004 Cadillac XLT he bought at a police auction.

A police auction? Who did he outbid for it, Elwood Blues?

• • •

In indoor football, a former player for the minor league Colorado Ice claims he was let go because he objected — on religious grounds — to an uncut version of “Wedding Crashers” being shown on the team bus. Naturally, the Ice tell a different story. They say they released wide receiver Troy Vermillion because his 40 time was only slightly better than Vince Vaughn’s.

• • •

The whole world seems to be militating against Athletes Being Athletes. I mean, you’ve got baseball clubs turning off beer taps in clubhouses, Vermillion lobbying for Disney movies on team bus trips. It’s getting so you can’t tape a rookie to the goalpost anymore.

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Number of the Week: 11.

Minutes between two own-goals scored by the Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake in their 1-all tie Thursday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, “it was the shortest span between own-goals for each side in an MLS game” and “the first of those games to end 1-1.”

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By the way, Colorado’s Pablo Mastroeni and Salt Lake’s Jack Stewart are now tied for the league lead in oops with one each.

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Elsewhere in offensive futility, the Pistons became just the second NBA team since the inception of the shot clock to win a playoff game after scoring fewer than 30 points in the first half (81-74 in Game 3 against the Bulls after being down 44-28 at the break).

“Since the inception of the shot clock” — now there’s a phrase that’ll send a shiver down your spine. It’s like the cops appearing at your door at 3 a.m. with “some bad news.”

Seriously, has any sentence containing the words “since the inception of the shot clock” caused basketball lovers anything but consternation?

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OK, Google just turned up one “since the inception of the shot clock” that isn’t too bad. Seems when Dwayne Wade led his team in scoring and assists in his first postseason (2004), he “joined the ranks of Stephon Marbury, Billy Ray Bates and Michael Jordan as the only rookies to have done so since the inception of the shot clock in 1954.”

I don’t know what the shot clock has to do with it, but there it is — a Great Moment (Sort of) in “Since the Inception of the Shot Clock” History.

• • •

And finally …

So I’m seeing Sarah Lee’s name atop the LPGA leader board this weekend, and I’m thinking: How funny would it be if she won the Kraft Nabisco?

That would just take the cake, wouldn’t it?

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