For a month and a half, Cleveland Indians manager Mike Hargrove has resisted snuff, which he has used for more than a decade. "When I tried to stop before, it felt like my eyes were sinking into my head." says Hargrove, who has found abstinence less taxing this time. "It was like I was looking through a tunnel."
Because of baseball's long stretches of nerve-jangling inactivity, those close to the game often turn to tobacco to help relax them, even though it can cause various forms of oral cancer. Then they're hooked. The Twins' Paul Molitor didn't chew until six years ago, when he became a full-time designated hitter and got bored sitting on the bench. He recently appeared in a public service announcement with his 12-year-old daughter, Blaire, who says. "If you can't quit for yourself, quit for someone else."
Molitor hasn't quit yet.
The best soccer player of his time, Diego Maradona, 36, has made more headlines in recent years for battling cocaine addiction, shooting an air rifle at reporters and lecturing at Oxford than for footballing. Still, after a stint in drug rehab last August, Maradona was poised to make a much-anticipated comeback with Argentina's beloved Boca Juniors, with whom he won the league title in 1981.
At the club's behest the pudgy Maradona had agreed to train rigorously, to refrain from insulting team officials and to undergo psychological testing. But when he realized that Boca Juniors are sponsored by Nike and that their traditional blue-and-gold uniforms now bear Nike-mandated white stripes, Maradona bowed out. "It's just that I hate the Americans," Maradona said in announcing that he would not return. "I realized that while I was eating a steak at home."
He Left His Mark
Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke, who died of heart failure on Sunday at 84, was known as the Squire. A self-made multimillionaire, he lorded over the politicians and power brokers he invited to his box at RFK Stadium. In 23 years of owning the Redskins, Cooke built three Super Bowl champions. He collected antiques, fine wines, real estate, wives—he married five times—and sports franchises: in addition to the Skins, he at various times owned minor league baseball's Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers and the NHL's Los Angeles Kings. Driven, arrogant and erudite, Cooke always made an impression, as SI's Tim Crothers recalls.
I spoke to Jack Kent Cooke only once, and I will never forget him. On Dec. 7, 1991, I was factcheeking an SI story about Cooke and needed to confirm some sensitive anecdotes. Since Cooke had chosen not to speak with SI for the story, I believed my chances of getting him to come to the phone were nil.
I dialed the number of Cooke's estate outside Washington and a man answered who sounded as if he might be Cooke's butler. I asked if I could speak to Cooke, and he informed me that I already had. For the next 90 minutes. I rather unsuccessfully attempted to confirm the stories about Cooke's life. Those he thought flattered him, like the tales of his early days selling encyclopedias, he embellished colorfully. Any anecdote that hinted at his legendary thrift, talked of his excessive vanity or otherwise cast him in a bad light, he brushed away with antique phrases like "Dear boy, that's folderol." Cooke seemed to relish our conversation, and soon he began to interview me. I realized that he was no longer treating me as a fact-checker but as a protégé.