Clemens showed no strain from what has been a troublesome off-season. Earlier last week he was in New York for an appeal hearing before American League president Bobby Brown, who suspended him for the first five games of next season and fined him $10,000 because of his tantrum in the ALCS. Still hanging over his head is an assault charge stemming from an altercation with an off-duty police officer in a Houston nightclub on Jan. 20.
Clemens's new image as a hotheaded troublemaker bothers him, and he has promised to be more open in the future. Indeed, he could not have been more gracious than he was at the alumni game. "I don't want to be a superstar," said Clemens. "I just want to be a regular person. But it's getting harder and harder to do that. So I get angry inside. I'll just try to stomach it and show it's not bothering me."
At one point on Saturday, Clemens chatted with Ryan, a fellow Texan as well as a fellow fireballer. The Red Sox can only hope a little of Ryan rubbed off on the Rocket.
According to the "1990-91 Clell Wade Coaches Directory," Kearsley High School in Flint, Mich., has the following coaches: Flora Exercize, girls' gymnastics; Jim Knastic, boys' gymnastics; Birdie Shuttlecock, badminton; Joe Blackendecker, girls' drill team; Rick Hardslide, boys' softball; and Jane Krossbow, archery. Athletic director Mickey Hamilton submitted the phony names to get catalogs in many different sports.
Not Bad Sports
CBS's new sports sitcom lacks a spark
It was bound to happen. First there were televised sports, followed by sports-spawned sitcoms, then all-sports cable networks. Now comes a sitcom about an all-sports cable network. In CBS's Good Sports, Ryan O'Neal and his real-life companion, Farrah Fawcett, are co-anchors on Sports Central. Sound familiar? Even the set looks suspiciously like you-know-who's.
O'Neal plays "Downtown" Bobby Tannen, a former NFL star with a quick temper and a slow wit. Fawcett is Gayle Roberts (a hybrid of Robin Roberts of ESPN's SportsCenter and NBC's Gayle Gardner?), a onetime SPORTS ILLUSTRATED swimsuit-issue cover model with a journalism degree from Michigan. And here's the rub. It seems that while Roberts was a coed, she had a tryst with Tannen, who was playing for the New York Jets. Tannen's lack of class (he didn't even call Roberts the day after) and the fact that he was handed the SportsCentral job with no prior experience provide Roberts with loads of ammo. This love-hate relationship serves as the show's central theme, so much so, in fact, that "Farrah Fawcett vs. Ryan O'Neal" is flashed in the opening credits. Oddly enough, for a program relying on the chemistry between one of Hollywood's hottest couples, there doesn't seem to be much.
The strongest performance on Good Sports is delivered by Lane Smith, who portrays Mr. Rappaport, the network's Ted Turner-like owner. He dominates many of the funniest scenes, as in the first show when he introduces the notion of hiring O'Neal: "He's nostalgic. Harks back to a carefree time. Woodstock. The Jets win the Super Bowl. The Mets win the pennant. Love Story."
The writing is uneven, but it does have a knowing quality, as when Roberts rattles off the names of a few of Tannen's old girlfriends, among them Mamie Van Highland, a coy reference to expitcher Bo Belinsky's romance with actress Mamie Van Doren. Touches like that may keep viewers rooting for Good Sports. But it won't click until Farrah and Ryan (or Farrah vs. Ryan) do.