"I am very happy to be back," Porter began, hands trembling nervously. "Six weeks ago God gave me the strength, courage and determination to face my personal problems and to seek professional help. I went to [Royal General Manager] Joe Burke and advised him that I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. My whole life was being affected. I have hurt my family, my friends, the great baseball fans of the Royals, my teammates, and I almost destroyed myself."
Porter said he had spent six weeks undergoing treatment in a rehabilitation clinic and had "graduated" earlier that same day. Then he said, "I'm sorry for what I've done and hope and pray that others will benefit from my bad experience." Porter finished by asking the writers to try to forgo personal questions and confine their interviews with him to baseball, which seemed like a fair enough request. Then his teammates crowded forward and hugged and kissed him.
THE MAGIC EYES HAVE IT
At Wimbledon this year, Ilie Nastase, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe will kindly direct their complaints to a couple of tiny electronic boxes. The boxes, each about the size of a car radio, emit a light beam that helps officials decide whether a serve is in or out. These "magic eyes" are lined up on both sides of the court in such a way that the beam is broken if a served ball hits the ground within six inches on either side of the service line. If a serve hits beyond the line, the linesman, outfitted with earphones, will hear a beep indicating a fault; and he and the umpire will see flashing red lights on boxes affixed to their chairs. If the ball hits inside or on the line, there will be no beep, only a flashing yellow light, signifying a good serve.
The magic eyes, which will be installed only on the Centre and No. 1 courts, are of limited usefulness because the beam could be broken by, say, a foot as readily as by a served ball. Because the partner of a player receiving service in doubles could, depending on where he is positioned, break the beam, the magic eyes are used in singles only. And even in singles, a disgruntled receiver could use a racket or a foot to break the beam on purpose. Partly for that reason, Wimbledon officials say that the linesman will have the right to overrule the device. To prevent spectators, in turn, from trying to overrule the linesman, the panels on which the lights flash will be carefully shielded from public view.