•No sensitivity training. Memo to Ford's and Sutter's successors: Be nice. Neither coach reminded anyone of Stuart Smalley. They barked at veterans and rookies alike and never sent flowers to a player for just doing his job. Unnamed Celtics went to Carr with their gripes about Ford, while unnamed Bruins went to the newspapers to complain about Sutter.
•Seats to fill. Capacity in the teams' new home arena, the Fleet Center, will be about 2,700 more for the Bruins and 3,500 more for the Celtics than in Boston Garden. Both teams need someone who can stir interest and sell tickets. As Ford and Sutter learned, not many of their former players are worth the price of admission.
Augusta Fresh Air
Augusta National Golf Club will soon pull the tarps over the greens of the most famous course in America for its annual summer hiatus, marking the end of the 62nd consecutive season in which no professional or amateur women's event has been held there.
Every year Augusta National hosts the Masters, the most prestigious event in men's golf. But since the club opened in 1933, only a handful of female pros have had the opportunity to play the storied links. Many, though, have walked them as spectators. And most of them have left Augusta with the same feeling of reverence for the cathedral of American golf. "I quake when I watch the Masters," says Val Skinner, a six-time winner on the LPGA tour who has never played Augusta. "I'm one of those people, like Ben Crenshaw, who is really into the tradition and history of the sport, and it doesn't get any richer than Augusta."
True, the Augusta suits have always been a bit choosy about who walks among the azaleas. But not that choosy. On the Monday following the Masters, 40 sports-writers, some of them with handicaps well into double figures, are chosen via lottery to tee it up. Women pros like Skinner, at a minimum, deserve that same opportunity. Would it be a one-day invitational? A 36-hole event? It wouldn't matter to Skinner, who says, "I'd feel like I should play in velvet spikes."
Yankee commentator Phil Rizzuto received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Iona College during Sunday's commencement exercises. According to the college's entirely serious press release, Rizzuto is being awarded the degree "for expressing, through his manner on the field and his commentary from the booth, the Judeo-Christian tradition of brotherhood and of respect for the individual; for illuminating the truth about baseball, that its history discloses not merely a sport but the very essence of our human experience; and for reminding us, with his characteristic honesty and exuberance, that life, like baseball, is to be treasured."
Any chance Ken Burns is ghostwriting press releases over there at Iona?
Kids in a Sandbox
With the final stateside Olympic beach volleyball qualifying event scheduled for mid-July in Hermosa Beach, Calif., the most resounding volleys continue to be fired off the court. Eleven potential Olympians, all members of the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP), which runs the top beach volleyball circuit in the U.S., have vowed not to participate in events sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball until FIVB alters its Olympic qualifying rules.