Devo's return is in tradition of old

May 11, 1994|By Phil Jackman

Reading Time: Two Minutes.

Let's hear it for Mike Devereaux. In this day and age of hangnails on the injured list, Devo takes it in the kisser and is back the next day.

Same goes for Chris Hoiles, who got beaned in Texas and didn't malinger. What are these guys, old Orioles in the tradition of John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson?

The incidents remind of Sal Bando, who took Sudden Sam McDowell's heater in the jaw one night in Cleveland. Appearing in Baltimore the next day with Oakland and with the stitches of the ball still etched in his face, he trooped out to third base as if nothing had happened.

* Not only did Seattle have the best overall record in the NBA this season, the Sonics were best at home and best on the road and were going for their 40th win in 44 home games when Denver sent them home.

* The Kemper Open's best field in years June 2-5 at Avenel in Potomac just got better with Houston winner Mike Heinan joining Frederick's Donnie Hammond, a half-dozen former U.S. Open and PGA champions, and six tournament victors this year, chief among them being ol' cueball himself John Daly.

* It was probably Plato who said statistics can "prove" just about anything you want them to and such certainly is the case concerning save numbers racked up through April.

While everyone is aware Lee Smith has been terrestrial, for the fourth straight year being the best reliever in April, somehow the Orioles came up as the team bullpen leader. Even with Lee's numbers, this is patently ridiculous.

Statistics, by the way, show in 245 save opportunities, 150 saves were recorded alongside an embarrassing 95 blown saves. Maybe a few managers will think twice before yanking a starter or a setup man who's pitching well in favor of those much-ballyhooed closers.

* Tell you what a sweetheart Michael Moorer is. When the new heavyweight champion was asked his reaction to the heart problem of the man he beat for the title, Evander Holyfield, he answered, "Everybody's got a story when they lose."

Most might consider such a "story" being a little extreme.

Speaking of boxing, Mike Tyson was asked by Larry King where he will live when he is released from prison next year and the former champ replied, "On the outskirts of Ohio." That narrows it down a bit.

* Of course the baseball isn't juiced up, it's the bats. The Louisville Slugger and Adirondack bat companies have cornered the market on all the cork coming out of Southeast Asia. And then there's the matter of all those batting practice flingers from Double-A masquerading as middle relievers to be considered.

* Before stowing the hockey sticks, these tidbits: despite losing to the Rangers in five games in the second round of the playoffs, Capitals fans have to feel the season was a success after seeing Dave Poulin put Kjell Samuelson through the door of the Pittsburgh Penguins' bench during the first round. Joyous merriment broke out as the 6-foot-6, 235-pound albatross got his. The noise meter at USAir Arena never got about 105 decibels, which is chicken feed next to when the Bullets won the NBA championship in 1978. Then, it would read 119 for as much as 10 minutes straight.

The Rangers, hoping to get their names imprinted on the Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 seasons, couldn't have picked a better semifinal field. The playoffs started with five main contenders and the other four -- Pittsburgh, Montreal, Detroit and Calgary -- were all gone in the first round.

* Baseball could clear up its batters charging the mound and brushback unpleasantness in about 10 seconds -- and about a dozen words: hit a guy in the head and you're suspended (sans pay) for 30 days.

As for the flagrant fouls and rough stuff in the NBA playoffs, the offending parties should have to treat everyone in the arena to the most expensive food item at the concession stands.

* Just wondering: Considering the cost of construction of the 59,075-seat stadium at Notre Dame was $750,000 and a proposed 20,000-seat addition is going to cost $50 million, why not get that original outfit to do the work?

* The management of the Spurs should have San Antonio fans vote on the color hair Dennis Rodman should play in each game just like Bill Veeck did having the fans choose manager Zack Taylor's back in the days of the St. Louis Browns.

* That's a cute publicity gimmick the brand new Washington Warthogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League have going. They say a 10-foot helium-filled balloon broke loose from its moorings last weekend and the person responsible for its return can claim $100 and two season tickets. So look to the sky, Bunky!

* Arena Football continues to make strides and its TV package of 19 games on ESPN and ESPN2 ain't bad either. Eleven teams will go to the post at the end of the month and some of the names are great: Las Vegas Sting, Miami Hooters and Milwaukee Mustangs, for instance. Quite a few horses in Milwaukee are there? Impressive coaching list, including Danny White, Galen Hall, Babe Parilli, Don Strock, Earle Bruce and, hold onto your hat, Lou Saban.

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