Maybe Castro could get owners' attention

March 15, 1994|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

What does it say about baseball that it not only can't come up with a commissioner after (reportedly) looking around for a year and a half, but it doesn't even come up with a candidate out of its ranks?

After reviewing all the nominees put forward to date, former senator and presidential candidate Eugene McCarthy suggested to USA Today yesterday that Fidel Castro might be a good man for the job.

* Pssst, practice for the eight teams competing in the NCAA East sub-regional at USAir Arena Friday and Sunday will be open to the public Thursday from noon to 9 p.m. Included in the cast of teams is defending NCAA champ North Carolina, Temple, Boston College and the star of the show, that shrinking violet Bobby Knight.

Regarding the ebullient coach of Indiana and his sometimes questionable actions and behavior, anyone calling for his dismissal of the head Hoosier isn't considering the consequences if somehow it happens.

Imagine college hoops without this nut case. Just scores of Dean Smith clones. Ugh!

* The 20th Maryland State Tae Kwon Do Championships slated for the UMBC Fieldhouse March 26 will see competition in sparring, creative form and jumping high kick in up to nine divisions (both men and women) beginning at 10 a.m. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door and $6 for students.

* Be advised the Naval Academy didn't take up basketball when 6-foot-7 David Robinson showed up at the main gate about 10 years ago.

The Mids will be making their ninth appearance in the NCAAs Thursday when they go against Missouri in Ogden, Utah. Gents named Johnny Clune, Don Lange and Kenny Shugart made Navy formidable 40-plus years ago.

* ESPN has the World Boxing Organization heavyweight title fight from London Sunday, Michael Bentt (11-1), conqueror of Tommy Morrison, taking on Herbie Hide, unbeaten in 25 bouts with 24 knockouts, but a Brit.

* The Wenner-Wingate Lecture Series at Western Maryland College has landed a gem for its March 28 session: Dr. William B. Briggs, noted sports litigator, historian and negotiator, discussing various aspects of baseball.

* Washington, which begins play in the Continental Indoor Soccer League June 10, holds a news conference today to announce its nickname, which is the Warthogs, believe it or not.

Recently named coach Jim Gabarra says, "I would like to see myself as a K. C. Jones type of [players'] coach." But, Jim, K. C. got fired by the Bullets and Celtics, even though fairly successful.

* One of Morgan State's all-time greats on the track (and there have been many), Josh Culbreath, will be inducted into the Penn Relay Carnival Wall of Fame on the 100th anniversary of the fabled event April 27-30.

* Andre Agassi wasn't kidding when, following a recent match in Arizona after a five-month layoff because of a wrist injury, he said, "I'm definitely back. I feel I'm ready to play the biggest players in the biggest matches."

Yesterday, in a Monday afternoon treat for ESPN viewers, the kid made Boris Becker look like Boris Karloff as he breezed in straight sets at the Lipton tourney.

* The Final Four merchandise catalog is out and there are tons of good deals: sweat shorts go for anywhere from $30 to $55, the program goes for $9 and a pullover jacket fetches $90. Fortunately, all profits go to benefit higher education.

* With his victory in the National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach last month and his job as NBC's golf analyst, Johnny Miller qualifies as a completely happy man: "I'm playing golf now for the purest reasons. It's almost like being 12 years old again. I'm playing for the fun of it." Amen.

* Stanford (22-5), No. 2 seed in the West Region of the NCAA women's tourney, might be said to have a slight advantage hosting the regional in Palo Alto seeing as how it has won 105 of its last 108 games in its building.

* Wasn't it an unwritten rule or something that a team had to play at least .500 ball to get an at-large bid to the NCAA tourney? So how come Wisconsin (17-10) is aboard with its 8-10 mark in the Big Ten?

* Maryland ended up going 0-5 against teams making it into the regular-season and conference tournament Top 25 poll.

* Thursday is the day they'll conduct the annual "National Anthem Contest" at RFK Stadium in Washington, the audition winners getting to do the honors at the D.C. exhibition games April 2-3 between the Brewers and Tigers.

It's St. Patrick's Day, so more than a few Irish tenors figure to show up at the 9 a.m. casting call in the ballpark.

* Judging from the obvious weakness and lack of numbers of teams out West, why did the NCAA tourney selection committee take a decent team like UCLA and send it to Oklahoma City, while shipping 11 teams in from the East and Midwest to fill the 16-team West Region?

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