Overheard at the barns
Jimmy Breslin uses imaginary conversations in his new book about Damon Runyon and justifies it by saying he "must have heard a thousand conversations about the man and his times from all parts of town because I spent so much of my life, too much of it, in bars and police stations, in race track receiving barns, fight gyms and political clubhouses."
Responded Stan Hochman of the Philadelphia Daily News: "Jimmy Breslin wouldn't know a race track receiving barn if one fell on him, which is not such a terrible idea."
He's in it for the bucks
Larry Holmes will fight Jamie "Featherman" Howe on Nov. 12 in Jacksonville, Fla., for about $50,000. Howe has not won since 1989 and has lost seven of his past 10 fights.
"I won't lie to you; I want cakewalks," Holmes says. "For the money they're paying me, I ain't fighting nobody tough."
The line on Lindros
Former NHL goaltender John Davidson doesn't think Wayne Gretzky need worry about junior hockey phenom Eric Lindros overtaking him in off-ice endorsements.
"They will hate [Lindros] in every city except the one he plays in," says Davidson, a commentator for the New York Rangers. "I can't see him being a national spokesman for Coca-Cola when he is breaking people in half.
"He will be the bad boy of the NHL, kind of like Bill Laimbeer in the NBA."
Lindros, of course, turned his back on the NHL this season when he refused to report to Quebec after the Nordiques made him the No. 1 pick in the draft. After playing in the Canada Cup, he went back to Canadian juniors and will also play for the Canadian Olympic team.
Stan Barrett, on the difference between driving a rocket car at 739.66 mph in the desert and a stock car at 100 mph on a banked oval: "They're very similar. I was hanging on both times."