- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
With all the foot-racing allusions that have been trotted out, you'd think the Democratic presidential primaries were a track meet. "When the campaign began," said Walter Mondale late on Super Tuesday, "it looked like Walter Mondale doing a 100-yard dash. Then it looked like Gary Hart doing a 100-yard dash. But tonight that's all changed. It's going to be a marathon all the way to California." Actually, it would be an ultra-marathon, but why be picky?
Jesse Jackson, who seems to prefer point-to-point courses (e.g.: "from the courthouse to the statehouse to the White House"), announced: "This race is not a 30-yard [30 yards?] dash; it's a decathlon struggle."
The only real runner in the original pack was Alan Cranston, a Masters Division sprinter who dropped out after an early heat. But, then, sprinters tend to fade over the long haul.
ITCHING FOR BETTER NEWS
Under the rules of the Major Indoor Soccer League, a player must sit out a game after amassing 20 penalty minutes. Going into a recent match with the Kansas City Comets, Paul Child, a star forward for the Pittsburgh Spirit, had 18 penalty minutes. He and coach John Kowalski agreed that he'd draw a two-minute penalty during the game if he could do so without hurting the team. Their reasoning: The Spirits' next game, with the lowly New York Arrows, was one Child could miss, while the next game was a critical encounter with the St. Louis Steamers.
With play stopped, two seconds left and the Spirit leading the Comets 8-5, Child saw his chance. Without provocation, he began mercilessly cursing referee Herb Silva. Silva assessed a penalty, with an air of genuine puzzlement. Child said afterward, "He was wondering what I was screaming at." Walt Chyzowych, the league's supervisor of officials, said that Silva would have had to call the penalty even if he'd realized what Child was up to—which he didn't. "The refs don't know who has 18 minutes or who has 16." Spirit coach Kowalski was somewhat sheepish: "It seems comical, but those are the strategies of the game."
A COUPLE OF LEMONS
A couple of Hall of Famers were talking contracts the other day at an A's-Indians exhibition game in Phoenix. Bob Lemon, now a scout for the Yankees, playfully accused his old Indians general manager, Hank Greenberg, of shortchanging him in their 1955 negotiations. Lemon had won 23 games in '54, but Greenberg offered Lemon the same $50,000 he'd been signed for after the '53 season, when he'd won only 21 games. Then, after much bartering, Greenberg agreed to sweeten the deal with a car.
"Fine," said Lemon. "What kind of car?"