While Brenner was the only clear-cut loser in the case, King, who had been named as a co-conspirator but not a defendant, didn't fare too well, either. He was never called to testify, and court transcripts revealed why. They disclosed that during two days of pretrial depositions taken in March, King had repeatedly declined to answer questions posed by one of Brenner's attorneys, Pamela Ostrager, a fact Metzner alluded to when, in his chambers, he told Ostrager, "I gather from my law clerk that [ King] took the Fifth Amendment over 350 times in that two-day period. Based on this and the representation by his counsel that he would reassert the Fifth if he appeared [in] the trial, I directed that he not be put on the stand to go through the same charade." Metzner also saw fit to mention King on another occasion. Referring to testimony that, he said, indicated that King may have altered a contract without the knowledge of one of the parties, Metzner said that while no conspiracy had been proved to exist between King and Sulaim�n, King had been shown during the course of the trial to be "a pretty bad stinker."
The San Diego Padres have gotten off to a poor start this season—they were 6-11 as of Sunday—and the strain may be showing already. Preparing to leave the office the other day to go to lunch, the club's president, Ballard Smith, bravely joked, "I won't be back until we get to .500." To which his secretary, Rhoda Polley, replied, "Do you want to leave a forwarding address?"
Now here's one about the Texas Rangers, who mailed out ticket-order forms on which customers were asked to specify a choice of dates and prices as well as a preference for one of the following locations: home, first base or second base. The Rangers quickly caught their mistake and had the form reprinted, but not before several "smart-alecky" fans, as one ticket-office aide described them, requested the seats at second.
JAPANESE TOWN, CLASS OF '76
Apart from a few words like "fantastic," "thanks" and "good," Toshihiko Seko, the 24-year-old Japanese runner who won this year's Boston Marathon in 2:09.26, the fastest marathon ever run in the U.S., speaks no English, which may seem strange, considering that he once studied at USC. The son of a well-to-do steel-foundry owner in Kuwana, Japan, Seko, then essentially a middle-distance man, arrived in Los Angeles in the summer of 1975 and took an accelerated English course for foreigners before enrolling at USC that fall with plans to join the Trojan track team. But Ken Matsuda, an assistant USC track coach, notes that Seko arrived on campus with two other Japanese athletes and that "they spent all their time together or down in Japanese Town and never used the English they were taking in class." Seko remained at Southern Cal until the following spring, when his father became ill. He dropped out of school and returned home.
USC's loss was Waseda University's gain. Seko received a degree in education from that prestigious Japanese university and became a distance man under the tutelage of Coach Kiyoshi Nakamura. He encouraged Seko to meditate at a Zen temple, explaining, "In the end it's matters of the mind that enable the athlete to outdistance his rivals." After winning Japan's Fukuoka Marathon in 1978, Seko was runner-up in the 1979 Boston Marathon to Bill Rodgers, who said at the time, "He's only 22. In a few years I'll probably have to step out of his way or get run over." The 5'6�", 141-pound Seko, who has unusual speed for a marathoner—he ran the 800 in 1:51.8 when he was in high school—has since won the Fukuoka twice more. This year's impressive victory in Boston over runner-up Craig Virgin and third-place finisher Rodgers enhances his prospects for returning to his old L.A. stomping grounds as one of the favorites in the 1984 Olympic marathon.
Still tied 2-2 when it was called at 4:07 a.m. after 32 innings, the now-famous game that began in Pawtucket, R.I. on April 18 (and will resume on June 23) between the Rochester Red Wings and the Pawtucket Red Sox is already the longest in organized baseball history, having consumed eight hours and seven minutes and produced 59 strikeouts, 49 stranded base runners and such oddities as a first baseman, Rochester's Dan Logan, handling 43 chances and committing one error for a one-game fielding average of .977. The marathon also produced the following remarks:
?Jack Lietz, the chief umpire, bragging about the staying power of his three-man crew: "We went the whole game without going to the bathroom."
?Bill McCourt, press-box steward, on why amplified music in McCoy Stadium was turned off at 3:15 a.m.: "We figured that whoever was left had heard enough."