The twos have itWhat do LSU's 7-foot-1 sophomore center...

Off the beat

February 24, 1991

The twos have it

What do LSU's 7-foot-1 sophomore center Shaquille O'Neal and Columbia's 6-5 sophomore forward Buck Jenkins have in common? They are the only two players to score more than 40 points in a Division I game this season and not have a three-pointer. Neither, in fact, attempted one.

Politics in the fast lane

An effort to name part of a Texas highway for Nolan Ryan has some politicians playing hardball.

Some Democratic state senators are balking on the proposal to name a stretch of Texas 288, which runs by Ryan's hometown of Alvin, the "Nolan Ryan Expressway."

"It could set a bad precedent if we start naming highways and buildings for politically active individuals," said Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, referring to Ryan's affiliation with the Texas Republican party. "A couple of members have expressed concerns about his political aspirations."

Last year, Ryan considered running on the Republican ticket for agriculture commissioner and made some radio commercials for the party.

Astronomical thoughts

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Neal Heaton says he can't get over baseball's sky-high salaries.

Just last season, he signed a paltry three-year, $3 million contract. At the time, the amount seemed dazzling, according to Heaton.

"That's dog meat now, dog meat," he said.

He quoted rumors that salaries might not stop with the moon, but could proceed to Mars and Jupiter if baseball turns to pay-per-view TV in the late 1990s.

"If pay-per-view gets involved, forget it," Heaton told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "My agent [Dick Moss] told me an agent friend of his said if pay-per-view comes in that by 1999 there could be a player making $70 million a year.

"Can you believe it? One player?"

Mariners a two-family team?

Now that the Seattle Mariners are bringing veteran catcher Bob Boone to camp, it sets up the possibility of two father-son combinations in the Kingdome this year. Seattle already has Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey Jr., and Bret Boone is a highly regarded infielder in the Mariners system. Not only that, the Boones have a chance to become the first three-generation family in baseball history. Ray Boone, Bob's father and Bret's grandfather, had a 13-year career in which he batted .275 with six teams.

The quote

Houston Rockets' Larry Smith, who has been substituting for Akeem Olajuwon, who is recovering from eye surgery: "I'm getting more playing time and I feel good about that because it means the coach has confidence in me. But I know my role. The Dream [Olajuwon] is our main man, and when he comes back, I know my role, and it will be coming off the bench."

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