"Mrs. McCreary," said the vet, "have you ever thought of having his front teeth taken out?"
Reprieved by the pliers, and missing his upper and lower incisors as well as his four big canine teeth, Cato is now home and happy, or apparently so. The McCrearys have been waiting for a psychological change, but the day after his de-dentition Cato was happily gumming his dog food and even playing tug-of-war, holding on to whatever had to be tugged with his back teeth.
Cato is still a closely watched dog. "I'm not about to test him on the neighborhood children," said Mrs. McCreary. "He could still bruise them."
Baseball has 24 big-league teams, football 26, yet baseball has far more trades between teams than football does. Oakland Raider Coach John Madden says, "Baseball does a lot of trading in order to give losing clubs a new image. Football has not had to do this. The new faces come along every year in the draft. And after the season you don't trade; you are waiting to see what you'll get in the next draft. Then you want to wait to take a look at the new people you drafted. And you want to see how they go under game conditions."
After all this Madden concluded, "But basically the lack of trading is because most clubs are afraid to take a chance."
AM I BLUE?
There has been considerable talk this spring in baseball circles about Dr. John Nash Ott, who does research into the effect of light on people and who has published a book on the subject called Health and Light. A year ago Ott advised the Cincinnati Reds to change the color of the underside of the bill of the team's uniform caps. Cincinnati's cloth caps used to be green underneath, the helmets red. Ott recommended medium gray, arguing that it reflects light in a more favorable manner. The Reds won the National League pennant, perhaps a coincidence. Now the Chicago White Sox have joined the trend to gray and claim they have gained happiness and better batting. They will have to wait on a pennant.
Earlier, Ott got the Kansas City Royals to persuade a cantankerous young player at their baseball academy in Sarasota, Fla. to switch from pink-tinted sunglasses to gray. The Royals wrote Ott, "It was amazing to observe how he changed from a hyperaggressive, helmet-throwing player to a relaxed, confident person. There was a great improvement in performance." Green and blue sunglasses are also on Ott's bad-for-you list, and so, apparently, are wild, disturbing colors. The Royals had another promising player whose skills retrogressed badly until psychedelic red lighting was removed from his room. He quickly returned to normal.
Ott claims he could have grown grass in Houston's Astrodome ("All they needed was ultra-violet transmitting plastic in the roof") but "nobody asked me and I didn't get around to writing them a letter." The death of the grass originally planted in the Astrodome led to the development of the artificial surfaces that have had such a pronounced effect on both baseball and football.