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April 04, 1994 | Volume 80, Issue 13

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Mike Piazza Cover - Sports Illustrated April 04, 1994

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
Ah, things were back to abnormal with the reds this spring. Owner Marge Schott forced her front-office personnel to drive their own cars from Cincinnati to Plant City, Fla., in order to save on...

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
The sign above the locker-room door in Kissimmee, Fla., reads THROUGH THESE DOORS PASS CHAMPIONS. Actually, through those doors pass comedians.

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
Congratulations, Joe Torre. You are the manager of the reigning National League Central champion St. Louis Cardinals. "Thanks," says Torre, "but that carries a bigger asterisk than Roger Maris...

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
Why all that raucous cheering coming from behind the closed doors of the clubhouse at HoHoKam Park one day last month? Was union honcho Don Fehr giving a fire-and-brimstone speech? Had the Cubs...

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
THIS SCENARIO IS NOT OUT OF THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY: Pirate broadcaster Bob Walk is describing a trip to the mound by Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland when suddenly he says, "Wait a minute. The...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci
Mark Portugal is a pitcher known to throw hard and live harder. He has never been the sort of physical specimen to be approached about doing a workout video. "My workout?" he says. "Eat, drink and...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci
Dodger General Manager Fred Claire has searched so long and far for lefthanded pitching that he likes to say, "I can tell you every lefthander on every 40-man roster in baseball, or pretty darn...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci
On the list of the most hazardous jobs in sports, right up there with cliff divers and figure skaters, is pitching coach of the Colorado Rockies. Currently that would be Larry Bearnarth, the...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci
Phil Plantier was running late for a spring training TV interview and needed a game jersey. Someone fished one out of a trunk and handed it to the Padre outfielder. He quickly buttoned it and...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
Oriole Manager John Oates was a major league catcher with five different teams during 11 seasons, and he says, "I hated every minute of it." Too many moves, too few at bats, too much time away...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
The Blue Jays can win without Joe Carter for a couple of weeks, they can win with a catcher in leftfield, and they can win with wobbly starting pitching. But the two-time defending world champions...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
In the city that never sleeps, it seems somehow fitting that the Yankees have no closer. They didn't re-sign free agents Lee Smith or Steve Fart after the season, and they pursued but didn't land...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
The most surprising quote of the spring came from Blue Jay pitcher Dave Stewart, who, when asked how Toronto's competition stacked up, said, "The most improved team in this division is Detroit....

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
Red Sox catcher Bob Melvin was a rookie with the Tigers in 1985 when Detroit manager Sparky Anderson went to the mound and made a pitching change in a game against Boston. With a Red Sox runner...

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
QUESTION: What rightfielder whose last name begins with a J and ends with an n was the most intriguing story in White Sox camp this spring?

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
The Yankees of the early '60s had the M&M boys, namely Mantle and Maris. The Tribe of '94 has the M&M&M Boys, although it's something of a stretch to call three 38-year-olds "boys."...

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
"Hey, Vince, got a match?"

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
Coach Holtz thinks that the team looked very good in spring practice and that with seven returning starters on offense and a new receiver from Minnesota, the outlook for the '94 season is 10,...

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
Starting with 1987, the twins have finished first, second, fifth, seventh, first, second, fifth. What about this year, Kent Hrbek? "If we finish seventh," says Minnesota's big first baseman,...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci
For all those not quite sleepless in Seattle, the Mariners will rebroadcast their Opening Day game in Cleveland later that same night. With every pitch included, but all the stalling and...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verduccci
There are no Gimmes for someone like Kenny Rogers—not when you play one year of high school baseball as an outfielder, then get drafted by the Rangers in the 39th round and told you are a pitcher;...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verduccci
The athletics were a different team without Mark McGwire. Just how much they missed him was obvious when he returned to the clubhouse one day last month after back spasms had kepi him out for a...

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci
Raking Dirt and Tending Tarpaulins is not generally a recommended career path to running a big league baseball club. Yet here are the Angels being run by a former grounds-keeper, whose four-year,...

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
A son found a heartfelt—if secret—way to put his father in Cooperstown

April 04, 1994
Jordanna FraibergMONTREALFraiberg, a senior history and literature major at Harvard, beat Margo Green of Franklin & Marshall 9-8, 9-0, 9-7 to win the intercollegiate women's singles squash...

April 04, 1994 | Mark Mandernach
Based on a 1936 series, these small cards honor the game's legends

April 04, 1994 | Robert Horn
Jeweler Phil Valentino Sr. makes the trophies that gird the great

April 04, 1994
The puck captured here in mid-flight between the stick of Los Angeles King Wayne Gretzky and the Vancouver Canuck net scored the goal with which the Great One broke Gordy Howe's NHL career record.

April 04, 1994 | Edited by Jack McCallum

April 04, 1994 | Edited by Jack McCallum
In response to scuffles between opposing players at several recent high school basketball games, the Marmonte League in Southern California has outlawed postgame handshakes.

April 04, 1994 | Edited by Jack McCallum
Horace GrantChicago Bull forward on Madonna's statement that she wants to own an NBA team: "There would be a lot of girlfriends saying, 'No way you're going to that team.' "

April 04, 1994 | Alexander Wolff

April 04, 1994 | William F. Reed
Not to say that Big Nasty is a big phony, but Arkansas forward Corliss Williamson cheerfully admits that his on-court persona is mostly an act. The Nasty side of the 6'7", 245-pound sophomore will...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Layden
Last Thursday evening, long after his team's 59-49 NCAA Southeast Regional semifinal victory of paper Marquette, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski sat at the back of his locker room scanning a wrinkled...

April 04, 1994 | Austin Murphy
Turns out the best guard in the Final Four is a bit of a mama's boy. Nothing wrong with that. When you grow up in New York City, as Arizona senior Khalid Reeves did, a protective parent is...

April 04, 1994
"Dick Vitale makes college hoops fun. Dick Vitale makes life fun for those he touches. Keep talking, Dicky Vee!"JOHN FANCHER, CHAMPAIGN, ILL.

April 04, 1994 | Hank Hersch
As the son of a postal carrier, Florida guard Craig Brown should he able to keep his cool when a dog is in hot pursuit. Bui growing up in Steelton, Pa., Brown once eluded a yapping mutt by jumping...

April 04, 1994 | Phil Taylor
After refusing the job for more than a year, Magic Johnson agreed to coach the Lakers—at least for now

April 04, 1994 | Rick Reilly
Greg Norman ripped into par in scoring a ridiculously easy TPC victory

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci

April 04, 1994 | Tom Verducci
What if the eight best ballplayers no older than 25 went on to careers that would average almost 20 years: win nine Most Valuable Player awards, 10 batting titles, 13 stolen base titles and 15...

April 04, 1994 | Franz Lidz

April 04, 1994 | Steve Rushin

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
In pulling off a rare one-for-one trade of young talent, Delino DeShields for Pedro Martinez, the Expos and the Dodgers showed guts and guile

April 04, 1994 | Steve Wulf
Baseball people—and that includes myself—are slow to change and accept new ideas. I remember that it took years to persuade them to put numbers on uniforms.—BRANCH RICKEY, 1954

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
It's amazing now four 1993 playoff losses and one off-season dirt-bike accident can raise doubts about a team that has won 296 regular-season games and three division titles in the last three...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
Manager Felipe Alou, outfielders Moises Alou and Larry Walker, and pitcher John Wetteland shot a print ad this spring for the Guess? clothing line. In that spirit. Guess...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
This spring the Phillies didn't look or laugh like the Phillies who let the good times roll all the way to the National League pennant last year. The agitator, Mitch Williams, was gone to the...

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
As Archie Bunker once said, "patience is a virgin."

April 04, 1994 | Tim Kurkjian
The Mets have done a nice job of rebuilding their image, which was blown up, bleached and Bonilla-ed last year. "We're more accessible, more fan-friendly," says general manager Joe McIlvaine....