THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS
NHL president John Ziegler finally surfaced on Tuesday of last week, two days after the Devils-Bruins officiating fiasco (SI, May 16), during which he had been mysteriously—and conspicuously—absent. Ziegler refused to say where he had been while 1) NHL executive vice-president Brian O'Neill announced he was suspending New Jersey coach Jim Schoenfeld for Game 4 of the Bruins-Devils playoff series for verbally abusing referee Don Koharski and blocking his exit from the ice; 2) the Devils got a restraining order allowing Schoenfeld to continue coaching; and 3) the Game 4 officials, seeing Schoenfeld coaching, refused to work, delaying the start for more than an hour and forcing the recruitment of three amateur refs. Ziegler said only that he had needed a couple days off and had been on a "personal errand"; The Toronto Star reported that he had been trying to help his son, allegedly involved in an unidentified "cult" in an undisclosed location.
Ziegler did finally exercise some authority in the Schoenfeld matter. He forced the coach to sit out Game 5 Tuesday night and fined him $1,000 and the Devils $10,000. "It's not a nice thing," said Ziegler. "It's not a pleasant thing. It's one of those things you wish would never have happened. But the league will survive it. It won't affect the attendance. It won't affect the ratings on television."
Speaking of Schoenfeld, music lovers will recall that 16 years ago, when he was playing for Buffalo, he recorded a cover version of a Beatles song. The title: You Can't Do That.
In a Philadelphia Catholic League baseball game, St. James High centerfielder Warren McIntire was chasing a fly ball off the bat of St. John Neumann High's Bill Eiser when he sensed a pit bull charging across the field at him. "I heard the dog's chain jangling," McIntire said later. "I looked and saw him about five feet away."
McIntire headed for the 12-foot-high chain-link outfield fence and climbed up out of the dog's reach. "I was thinking about it before the ball was even hit, when I first saw the dog out there at the beginning of the inning," said McIntire, who was only too aware that dogs are attracted by motion. "I said to myself, 'If that ball is hit out here, I'm going for the fence.' "
The dog's owner quickly rescued McIntire by leading away the pit bull, but the damage had been done. The umpire ruled McIntire would not have caught the ball in any event and awarded Eiser a ground-rule double. St. John Neumann went on to score three runs in the inning and win 7-2.
SI's Ralph Wiley reports from Tokyo on the JAL International Track and Field Meet: