Preempted The managerial aspirations of Bob Costas, who guided the Oakland Athletics to a 7-5 exhibition loss to Seattle on his 40th birthday. The NBC broadcaster, who once served as the Toledo Mud Hens' third base coach, arrived at the ballpark in Phoenix expecting to watch the game from the stands. But A's manager Tony La Russa handed Costas a birthday card and designated him manager-for-a-day. Nattily attired in uniform number 13, Costas hit grounders to infielders before the game, then consulted with La Russa on every decision. "Had we won, I might have had him back tomorrow," La Russa said. "But not now." Quipped Costas: "I now have the same managerial record as Ted Turner."
Crowned As the NHL'S regular-season champions, the New York Rangers. With a 49-24-5 record al week's end, the Rangers were assured of having the league's best record for the first time in 50 years. It has been 52 since they last won the Stanley Cup. "You're only as good as how far you go in the playoffs," said defenseman James Patrick. If there are any playoffs. NHL players were expected to go on strike this week.
Migrated To Las Vegas, Philadelphia Eagles Keith Byars, Keith Jackson, Fred Barnett and Calvin Williams, for workouts with quarterback Randall Cunningham. A knee injury caused Cunningham to miss nearly all of last season. To speed his comeback, he paid his four teammates $5,000 each to attend the private, week-long mini-minicamp. It was not exactly the Bataan Death March. "Basically," said Cunningham, "we're golfing, the guys are going to shows, and my aunt is going to cook us a good soul food dinner."
Fouled out The University of Bridgeport basketball program, which died with dignity after the Purple Knights (28-7) lost the NCAA Division II championship game to Virginia Union 100-75. Financially ailing Bridgeport, which introduced Manute Bol to America, announced in February that intercollegiate athletics would have to go. The adversity "just made us stronger," said senior All-America Lambert Shell.
Sold At public auction, Calumet Farm, America's premier racing stable. The winning bid was from Henryk deKwiatkowski, an aircraft magnate and horseman who bought the farm for $17 million. Calumet, which had been staggered by $127 million in debts, produced a record nine Kentucky Derby winners, including Whirlaway in 1941, Citation in '48 and Strike the Gold last year. Addressing a cheering crowd at the farm near Lexington, Ky., deKwiatkowski pledged to protect the Calumet name and tradition of success. "No blade of grass will be changed," he said.
Accelerated The career of NASCAR driver Bill Elliott, who steered a Ford owned by Junior Johnson past the checkered Hag in Darlington, S.C., on Sunday in the Tran-South 500. It was Elliott's fourth consecutive Winston Cup victory, tying a record set by Cale Yarborough in 1976 and matched by Darrell Waltrip in '81, Dale Earnhardt in '87 and Harry Gant in '91. Waltrip and Yarborough also drove for Johnson, whose team Elliott joined this year.