5. Ingrate Clemens didn't realize that Cooney was just trying to save him from eighth consecutive loss to Dave Stewart.
4. Review of videotapes reveals Clemens not only made physical contact with the umpire, but also stole his wallet.
3. Umpires union chief Richie Phillips threatened to hold news conference and prattle on for days if decision were reversed. Even Clemens didn't want that.
2. Reversing decision would just encourage others to question authority of umpires, which would hasten moral decline of entire country and shake the very foundation of Western civilization.
1. Vincent would not accept excuse that Clemens merely mistook Cooney for off-duty police officer.
The Cubs opened spring training with two front-line catchers -- Damon Berryhill and Joe Girardi -- vying for the starting role. Now the club has only one front-line catcher, and it isn't either of them.
With Berryhill struggling at the plate (.130) and behind it and Girardi on the disabled list, reserve Hector Villanueva recently emerged as the starter and got instant results with the bat. In one stretch of five at-bats last week, he had three home runs, a double and a single against the Houston Astros.
Villanueva has 10 home runs and 25 RBI in 135 major-league at-bats, dating to the beginning of last year. The other two catchers had two home runs and 38 RBI in 472 at-bats last year.
The Kansas City Royals offense has floundered since George Brett and Kevin Seitzer went down with injuries, and it has been particularly apparent with right-hander Bret Saberhagen on the mound.
Saberhagen has given up four earned runs over 21 innings in his past three starts, but he is 0-2 with a no-decision in those %J games, and the club has scored one run in those 21 innings.
"You can't just feel sorry for the pitcher," Saberhagen said. "You have to feel sorry for the whole team. A whole lot of guys are putting pressure on themselves."
I goofed dept.: Dwight Evans does not rank second on the all-time outfield assist list, as was reported in this space a week ago. Evans' 153 assists rank second on the active list, behind Dave Winfield. Mistakes happen, but how often can you turn last week's error into this week's trivia question? Who does hold the career record for outfield assists? No fair checking the record book. I obviously didn't.
Blue Jays catcher Pat Borders managed to get a hit before he got out of April, delivering a pinch single Tuesday night to break a string of 24 hitless at-bats.
"I try to talk with him as much as I can," manager Cito Gaston said, "because when I was a player and struggled, it was like you smelled bad. Nobody wanted to talk to you."
Trivia answer: The all-time outfield assist leader is Hall of Famer Tris Speaker, who threw out 450 runners during his 22-year career (1907-28).