Posted: Thursday March 1, 2007 11:28AM; Updated: Thursday March 1, 2007 3:15PM
1. A jokester at Topps photo-shopped President Bush and Mickey Mantle into the background of Derek Jeter's 2007 baseball card. The prankster reportedly considered putting A-Rod next to Jeter but figured nobody would buy it.
2. Barry Bonds says the reason he's standoffish with fans is because of death threats. You know, maybe I've been too hard on the guy. I'm not going to make fun of Barry again until I've walked a mile in his ever-expanding shoes.
3. Authorities have raided two Orlando pharmacies in an Internet steroids probe. They became suspicious when one user's mouse was bigger than his computer.
4. Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones must appear in a Georgia court later this month on obstruction charges from an incident with police last year. Until then Pacman is free on $100,000 bail, which he paid by showering the judge with singles. Make it rain!
5. Former Rangers goalie Mike Richter might run for Congress in Connecticut as a Democrat. It could be a nasty race. Republican operatives are already whispering that the butterfly-technique goalie was forever spreading his legs.
6. For me, the most interesting part of the Richter story is that former New York mayor (and current presidential candidate) Rudy Giuliani named his dog Goalie in Richter's honor. I actually met Goalie once; at least I think it was him. One Sunday night in the summer of 2001, shortly before 9/11, I was exiting an ice cream shop on Manhattan's Upper East Side. As I moved to push the door (which opened out), I noticed that a dog had put his face up to the glass, with his owner trying (somewhat fruitlessly) to pull him back. Thus began a slow dance as I edged the door open ever so slowly, so as not to knock the dog in the nose, while the dog owner tried to retreat. When I at last created an opening of a foot or so, I squeezed myself out. It was at that point I finally looked up at the apologetic dog owner -- I hadn't really seen his face yet because I was so focused on the pooch -- and noticed in a start that it was Mayor Giuliani. The big SUV parked in front of the shop flanked by a beefy gentleman wearing a suit and an earpiece completed the scene. I blurted, "Oh, hi!" and walked away. I was a half-block from the scene before I suddenly wished I had dropped the name of my godfather, Joe O'Neill, the president of the New York Cotton Exchange who has become friendly with Giuliani as a fellow alumnus of Manhattan College. But it was too late to head back then.
7. Celtics broadcaster Cedric Maxwell has apologized for saying that a female ref should "go back to the kitchen." Hey, he shouldn't have said it, but let's not kill the guy. Watching the Celtics every night would make anyone nuts.
8. O Say Can You Speed: After reading SI.com colleague Dr. Z for many years, I too have begun to notice how long the national anthem takes at sporting events. Dr. Z, who times the song on a stopwatch before every football game, has written that the shortest version he's ever recorded was from the movie Tora! Tora! Tora! That one clocked in at 38 seconds, but only because the band was in a hurry to get off the ship's deck as Japanese fighters approached Pearl Harbor. Well, maybe Dr. Z isn't a Slap Shot fan. I happened to catch the end of Slap Shot the other day on one of my 117 movie channels. This time, I decided to time the national anthem played by the band before the Charlestown Chiefs hosted the Syracuse Bulldogs in the championship game. It took just 15.04 seconds! Presumably, the band was as excited as everyone else in Charlestown to see the Chiefs slug it out (literally) with the Bulldogs' goon squad. In the name of full disclosure, though, we must mention that the band actually cut off about two-thirds of the song, going straight from the "twilight's last gleaming" to a pulsating three-note finale.
9. Marlins executives are angry at discovering that former manager Joe Girardi gave tips last season to Phillies pitcher Jon Lieber, a former teammate who later beat Florida twice down the stretch. The Marlins wish they knew of Girardi's actions a year ago so they would have had at least one decent excuse to fire him.
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