However, several of the 16-pound weights landed in the outfield without a warning, so Sortino pulled her team after one inning. Wisely, the officials called the game for "unsafe playing conditions."
When the Detroit Tigers acquired outfielder Billy Beane from Minnesota this spring, they created confusion because they already had an outfielder named Billy Bean. The Tigers temporarily eliminated the problem when they later sent Bean down to the Class AAA Toledo Mud Hens, who have an outfielder named Pete Rice. Last week Detroit sent Billy Beane down to Toledo. On Sunday the Mud Hens had an outfield of Bean(e)s and Rice.
A BABE IN FOOTBALL'S TOYLAND
His journey began some 40 years ago when he left his hometown of Rochester, Pa., riding on a casket in a boxcar to Lexington, Ky., to show his arm off to Kentucky coach Bear Bryant. The rest of Vito (Babe) Parilli's quarterbacking career reads like an extended train schedule: Lexington, Green Bay, Cleveland, Green Bay, Ottawa, Oakland, Boston and New York. Then he became a coach and went from Pittsburgh to New York to Charlotte, N.C., to Denver to Foxboro, Mass., to Denver and now to Providence, as the coach of the New England Steamrollers in the Arena Football League, the indoor, miniaturized version of pro football now in its second season.
Parilli, 58, is probably the only man who can say he has been associated with the National, Canadian, American, World, United States and Arena football leagues. "Every time I think I'm finished with this crazy game, something happens to bring me back," says football's most famous Babe.
At Kentucky, Parilli set an NCAA record with 23 touchdown passes his junior year. In the NFL he never quite lived up to his potential, so Parilli tried the CFL and then the AFL. In 1963 he led the Boston Patriots to the AFL title game, which they lost 51-10 to the San Diego Chargers. When the New York Jets won Super Bowl III, he was the backup to Joe Namath, another quarterback from western Pennsylvania who played college ball for Bryant.
Parilli's last coaching job was as an assistant with the Denver Gold of the USFL. "I was settled in Denver and all set to take a p.r. job," he says, "but then Gino Cappelletti, my old Patriots teammate and a friend of the Steamrollers' owner [Frank J. Russo], gets on the phone and asks me to come back to New England."
Parilli says Arena football takes some getting used to, what with the small fields, the eight men on a team and the weird rules on substitution. In Parilli's season opener Friday night in Providence, the Chicago Bruisers bruised the Steamrollers 60-35. "Basically we lost because we couldn't snap the ball or play pass defense," said Parilli. "But the fans had a great time. I think Arena football has a 1,000 percent better chance of making it than the WFL or USFL."