Of balks and saves and Panthers raves

JOHN EISENBERG

November 01, 1993|By JOHN EISENBERG

Fact: The Orioles led the league in exactly one of the 43 team hitting and pitching categories -- balks.

Opinion: If the NFL ever expands again (after Nov. 30), it'll go international, like to Toronto or Mexico City.

Fact: NFL Properties already has sold a million Carolina Panthers T-shirts.

Opinion: Sorry, but that Panthers logo looks like someone's dinner that got dropped on the floor.

Fact: Marge Schott resumes control of the Reds today. (Isn't that great?)

Opinion: Baseball statistics we'd love to see (Part I): One-run saves (as opposed to those pub-enhancing three-run jobs).

Fact: One high NFL expansion source says Jacksonville, Fla., has the second-best financial package, behind Baltimore's.

Opinion: Eddie Murray returning to the Orioles is, simply, a horrible idea. They don't need his sour attitude, particularly when they're considering adding Rafael Palmeiro or Will Clark.

Fact: There were no fewer than 152 names on the NFL injury list this week.

Opinion: Include me with the conspiracy-theory buffs who believe Joe Gibbs knew something when he said bye-bye to the Redskins a year before their demise.

Fact: A bill proposed by Rep. David Bonior, D-Mich., would establish Yankee Stadium, Wrigley Field, Fenway Park and Tiger Stadium as national historical sites.

Opinion: Peter Angelos is clearing up the vagueness in the Orioles front office, but it's still hard to tell whether Roland Hemond or Doug Melvin will be making the trades and personnel decisions.

Fact: With 73 penalties in seven games, the Raiders are on a pace to break any NFL penalty record you could imagine.

Opinion: Jack McDowell? Yes. That will be fine. Thank you very much.

Fact: At No. 4 on David Letterman's Top 10 reasons why Canada keeps beating the United States in the World Series: "Stirring pre-game talks, which always end with 'Win one for Lorne Greene.' "

Opinion: Florida State 31, Notre Dame 27.

Fact: The Mets' front office includes a special assistant to the executive vice president of baseball operations. Whew.

Opinion: The Cowboys are far and away the best team in the NFL.

Fact: Not that it matters, but league sources say a Baltimore expansion franchise would land in the AFC.

Opinion: Bill Walsh is the invisible man of the '93 football season.

Fact: The average salary on the Blue Jays this season was $1.72 million, second-highest in baseball behind the Yankees' $1.73 million.

Opinion: Riddick Bowe over Evander Holyfield. Easier than last time.

Fact: Names on the baseball trading block: Randy Johnson, Bryan Harvey, Ron Gant, Todd Zeile, Ray Lankford, Ken Caminiti.

Opinion: The smartest thing Angelos has done is give Johnny Oates a two-year contract. It's impossible to manage if the players know the front office has doubts.

Fact: The Celtics' Robert Parish on foul-prone rookie center Acie Earl: "I told him he looked like he was auditioning for a job at jTC Benihana. Chop, chop, chop."

Opinion: My early dark-horse pick in the NBA is the Spurs, with David Robinson and Dennis Rodman.

Fact: It's down to Game 7 of the Series tonight -- the Japan League Series between the Yakult Swallows and Seibu Lions.

Opinion: It's Florida State's Charlie Ward or Alabama's David Palmer for the Heisman. (Don't make me pick one yet.)

Fact: David Shula was 306 wins behind Dad when he becamcoach of the Bengals last year. Now, he's 319 behind.

Opinion: Iraq in the World Cup would have been, at the verleast, interesting.

Fact: Ron Wilson, coach of the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, declined to comment or quack after a loss to the Caps the other night.

Opinion: The best running back in football? Barry Sanders, not Emmitt Smith or Thurman Thomas.

Fact: Looks like big Gheorghe Muresan will make the Bullets' roster.

Opinion: If the Marino-less Dolphins are the AFC's best, another Super clunker looms.

Fact: The longest home run of '93 was a 484-footer by Cecil

Fielder.

Opinion: Baseball statistics we'd love to see (Part II): Batting average, HRs, RBIs, etc., when the margin of the game is two runs or fewer.

Fact: Injuries have kept Joe Montana out of 14 of 28 quarters.

Opinion: To Jerry Richardson's promise of a Super Bowl win in Carolina in 10 years: Hope you cleared that with NationsBank, pal.

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