Facts, opinions have come of age

JOHN EISENBERG

August 18, 1993|By JOHN EISENBERG

Fact: Thirty-four of the Orioles' 63 wins belong to pitchers over 30.

Opinion: When gauging Brady Anderson's '93, remember the sore knees.

Fact: Back in baseball after a year off, Jim Traber has more than 100 RBI in the Mexican League.

Opinion: Jim Lachey's knee injury only probably wrecks any shot the Redskins had at making the Super Bowl.

Fact: Said Bobby Bonilla: "A lot of strange things happen to people when they come to New York." Oh, really?

Opinion: The Orioles didn't complain about it, but, to set the record straight, Don Mattingly's homer Sunday was the definition of fan interference.

Fact: The Orioles are three games behind last year's 89-win pace.

Opinion: Manager of the Year awards always go to a winner, but no one in the American League has done a better job than the Indians' Mike Hargrove.

Fact: Ronnie Wong, the running wonder from Catonsville, is training for a 24-hour race. (We don't make this stuff up.)

Opinion: The Braves will give the Giants a few nervous moments before the end of the season.

Fact: The Indians have won three games on artificial turf this year.

Opinion: The Cowboys, Redskins and Eagles all might be down from last year.

Fact: Mets announcer Ralph Kiner said Jackie Robinson wasn't the first black to play in the major leagues because two others "played in the 18th century."

Opinion: The Angels' Tim Salmon is AL Rookie of the Year.

Fact: Said minor-league umpire Ralph DeLeonardis, after a controversial call: "Well, I blew it the way I saw it."

Opinion: Greg Norman and Boris Becker are among the last of a dying breed: the graceful loser.

Fact (pay attention, major leagues): Beginning next year in college baseball, a batter must keep at least one foot in the batter's box throughout his at-bat or an automatic strike will be called.

Opinion: The city is not going to get an NFL expansion team, but Memphis Hound Dogs is one terrific name.

Fact: Reggie Jackson hit but 26 percent of his home runs in pinstripes.

Opinion: The best team in baseball, hands down, is the All-Ex-Padres: C Benito Santiago, 1B Fred McGriff, 2B Roberto Alomar, SS Ozzie Smith, 3B Gary Sheffield, OF Joe Carter, OF Shane Mack, OF Kevin Mitchell; top reserves Carlos Baerga, Dave Hollins, John Kruk, Sandy Alomar, Tony Fernandez, Dave Winfield, Bip Roberts. Unbelievable.

Fact: The biggest baseball contract (Barry Bonds') is $17 million bigger than football's biggest (Steve Young's).

Opinion: Looks like John Olerud isn't going to hit .400. (But what a season!)

Fact: Nolan Ryan often is not even with the Rangers unless he is pitching.

Opinion: Prolonging the appeal of David Segui's suspension wound up costing the Orioles at the worst possible time: on the road, during a losing streak, with half the team on the DL.

Fact: Mike Boddicker went 55-43 after the Orioles traded him in 1988.

Opinion: Looks as if the Orioles would have been better off with Mark Parent at backup catcher all season.

Fact: The crush of media and fan attention for a World Cup qualifying tournament in Qatar -- games include Iran-Iraq and North Korea-South Korea -- has yielded requests for 6,000 hotel rooms in a country with 1,600.

Opinion: The Orioles will include Erik Schullstrom in every trade from now on.

Fact: At one point last week, Bakersfield of the Single-A California League, managed by Rick Dempsey, had the worst record (13-30 in the second half) in organized baseball.

Opinion: The perfect place for a Rhino: in Japanese baseball, alongside the Buffaloes, Ham Fighters and Carp.

Fact: Nolan Ryan is scheduled to pitch Saturday at Camden Yards.

Opinion: That they're booing Roger Clemens in Boston is weeeeeak.

Fact: With $559,379 in earnings, Fred Couples has almost won back the amount he owes his estranged wife this year.

Opinion: The early leader for Horse of the Year is a filly, Sky Beauty.

Fact: The NFL off-season included 118 free-agent signings and 38 trades.

Opinion: Eric Dickerson and Jerry Glanville deserve each other.

Fact: Only 48 days until the start of the NHL season.

Opinion: Tony Gwynn will keep Barry Bonds from a Triple Crown.

Fact: My preseason division-winner picks (Orioles, Twins, Braves, Expos) are only a combined 38 1/2 games out.

Opinion: Just had a bad day.

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