Stop the pressesThe Oakland Athletics' Jose Canseco was in...

Off the beat

May 12, 1991

Stop the presses

The Oakland Athletics' Jose Canseco was in New York Thursday. Madonna was in New York Thursday. Early Friday morning, Canseco was seen outside the apartment building where Madonna lives. Instant headline.

"Madonna's Batboy?" was the offering from the New York Post, which published two Page 3 photographs of Canseco outside the Central Park West building. The Post did allow that it did not know whether Canseco was visiting Madonna or someone else in the apartment house.

The Post reported that Canseco arrived at the building at 11 p.m Thursday and left about two hours later. Canseco filed for divorce for his wife, Esther, and was seen during spring training with model Gabrielle Reece. But the divorce petition recently was withdrawn.

Not to denigrate the Post headline, but here's a suggestion, based on Madonna's former relationship with Warren Beatty: "From Dick Tracy to Batman?"

What, no lunch?

Babe Ruth's eating habits are legendary, and "The Book of Baseball Superstitions, Rituals and Oddities" provides the details. A sampling:

* The Babe's breakfast: One 16-ounce porterhouse steak, six fried eggs, a full platter of fried potatoes, a pot of coffee and a quart of rye whiskey mixed with ginger ale.

* For dinner: A 3-pound steak, with a bottle of chili sauce, an entire capon, mounds of potatoes, spinach, corn, peas, bread and butter, a whole pie, a quart of ice cream and a small pitcher of coffee.

Pass the Alka-Seltzer.

In the long run, FloJo trains hard

Florence Griffith Joyner, the world-record holder and 1988 Olympic gold medalist in the women's 100-meter and 200-meter --es, is planning to come out of retirement to run, of all things, the marathon.

"I'm getting back into shape after having a baby, and I'm working as hard now as when I was training for the Olympics," she said. "I retired from track and field because there wasn't time to compete and train on an international level. I won't do the marathon unless I can do it properly, but I think I can."

Her husband, hurdler-long jumper Al Joyner, says she can make the switch from sprinter to long-distance runner. "She's made a believer out of me," he said. "I think she can do anything she wants to."

Not just another Indy trial balloon

A Brownie troop's campaign to stop the Indianapolis 500's balloon release isn't getting very far off the ground.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway says it has no plans to halt the release of more than 30,000 helium-filled balloons that traditionally precedes the race, despite protests from Muncie Brownie Troop 245.

The two-week-old "Stop the Indy 500 balloon release" campaign is based on the claim that balloons are a hazard to birds and animals.

"Balloons are plastic, and what goes up must come down. It hurts wildlife. Birds and sea gulls and other animals, they eat them and it goes into their systems and it kills them," said Elizabeth Watson, 8, one of 12 Brownie activists involved in the campaign.

In a statement Tuesday, speedway management said it would continue the balloon release, which was started in 1946.

"At this time, our studies have indicated little evidence that balloons released into the atmosphere here in Indianapolis have caused animals to die," the statement said.

The quote

New York Mets outfielder Kevin McReynolds, offered the opportunity to retract the observation that "fans like to kick you when you're down" and that some Mets followers were "miserable and want to drag you down to their level": "I didn't tell any lies."

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