Giamatti lament over '81 strike still rings true

August 08, 1994|By JOHN EISENBERG

Fact: "Call it what you will, the strike is utter foolishness. It is an act of defiance against the American people. I appeal for it to cease. The people of America care about baseball, not about your squalid little squabbles. Reassume your dignity and remember that you are the temporary custodians of an enduring public trust." Words spoken by the late Bart Giamatti during the 1981 strike.

Opinion: One more time. Forget the salary cap. Get rid of arbitration. Give the players free agency after three or four years instead of six. And play ball.

Fact: More than a half-million fans bought tickets to major-league games Saturday.

Opinion: When the owners tell you that 19 of 28 teams are losing money, they're taking you for a fool.

Fact (Attn. Peter Angelos): Jack McDowell was asked recently if he had reconsidered wanting to leave the White Sox after the '94 season. "No," he said. "Trust me, it's over."

Opinion: The biggest thing wrong with the Orioles is the Yankees.

Fact: Toronto hasn't been 17 games out of first place since 1982.

Opinion: Actually, speaking literally here, the biggest thing wrong with the Orioles is Sid Fernandez.

Fact: The Orioles' record since Camden Yards opened is virtually the same on the road (120-96) as at home (119-98).

Opinion: The only thing wrong with Dream Team II games is that they're about as interesting as a Richard Ravitch news conference.

Fact: Former Terps running back Mark Mason is shining in the Dallas Cowboys' training camp, but doubts about his durability may keep him from making the team.

4 Opinion: Dream Team I beats Dream Team II by 20.

Fact: It cost $8 to see the Mariners play in the Hall of Fame Game on Monday in Cooperstown. It cost $6 to see the Mariners play a real game the next day in Anaheim.

Opinion: Now that Joe De Francis is out of the game in Virginia, maybe he'll get around to the task of injecting some life into Laurel and Pimlico. Or maybe he'll just sell out if Hollywood Park's R. D. Hubbard comes calling again.

Fact: Gregg Olson has appeared in fewer games than any other pitcher on the Braves' roster.

Opinion: Jack Nicklaus should apologize for saying that blacks have "different muscles" than whites.

Fact: World Cup champion Brazil, the world's most potent and offensive-minded soccer team, scored 11 goals in seven games in Cup '94.

Opinion: "Alexi Lalas Does the Italian League" is a terrific documentary waiting to happen.

Fact: It has been eight years since a goal was scored in a World Cup final on something other than a penalty kick.

Opinion: Holy Bull will beat Tabasco Cat when they meet in the Travers in 12 days.

Fact: The Hoosier Dome has been renamed the RCA Dome. And from now on, Bob Knight's basketball team will be known as the Indiana RCAs.

Opinion: The new college football bowl arrangement is tidy and sensible. Thumbs up from a long-standing foe of a Division I football playoff.

Fact: The Washington Capitals open training camp in 27 days. There oughta be a law.

Opinion: The Orioles' closer of the future? Armando Benitez.

Fact: Kevin Mitchell on the Giants' Big Three of Barry Bonds, Matt Williams and Darryl Strawberry: "They're dangerous. They might as well put a machine gun on them and send them to Rwaiti."

Opinion: Davey Lopes would be an intense, tough-guy manager.

Fact: The word out of College Park is that Sensational Freshman Joe Smith has been unable to bulk up, as he surely needs to do.

Opinion: The Bullets will start Scott Skiles, Rex Chapman, Tom Gugliotta, Juwan Howard and Kevin Duckworth. Bring Don MacLean and Calbert Cheaney off the bench. And that's not so bad. (As long as Duckworth decides to earn his salary this season instead of eat it.)

Fact: If an American golfer does not win the PGA Championship this week, it will mark the first time Americans have failed to win at least one of the four major titles in a year.

Opinion: If Ravitch and Don Fehr spend less time bickering on talk shows and more time actually negotiating instead of taking days off with less than a week to go, maybe they'd get somewhere.

Fact: Camden Yards ranks 23rd among the 28 stadiums in average distance of home runs hit this season. Comiskey Park is first, Candlestick Park last.

Opinion: I just hate it when a strike interrupts a good baseball wild-card race.

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