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THE FINAL FOUR
1. William Shakespeare was one of the first English writers to use the word nemesis. It appears in Henry VI, Part I: "Is Talbot slain...Your kingdom's terror and black Nemesis?"
2. The UCLA basketball team beat Cal in 52 consecutive games from 1961 through '85.
3. Andrew Toney of the Philadelphia 76ers is known as the Boston Strangler for the job he does on the Celtics.
4. Don Sutton, who has 321 career victories, started his Dodger career 0-13 against the Cubs.
One current struggle bears watching. It began in 1983, when Jim Gott, then pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays, faced second baseman Tim Teufel, who had just been called up to the Minnesota Twins. Teufel hit his first major league homer off Gott. Later in the same game he singled off Gott. In German, Gott is God and Teufel is Devil.
Theologians should not lose heart, though. In an exhibition game the next spring, Gott hit Teufel with a pitch. They didn't face each other again until last summer, when Teufel, playing for the Mets, grounded out twice against Gott, who was pitching for the Pirates. So far, the Devil is 2 for 4 against God.
Says Gott, "You know, as a Mormon, I feel a tremendous amount of pressure facing Teufel. Just kidding. Actually, Tim and I kid each other a lot about it. His name may mean the Devil, but he seems like a great guy."
Says Teufel, "I don't know about Gott being God, but he does have a great fastball. To tell you the truth, though, my nemesis is Steve Carlton. Struck me out four times in one game at the end of his career. My god, what was he like in his prime?"
Carlton was pretty good, but Rafael Landestoy, a .237 career hitter, beat him like a drum.