Right on the money: Fehr knows the strike zone

September 13, 1994|By KEN ROSENTHAL

Random thoughts on yet another drop-dead day for baseball, with Bud Selig playing the role of executioner:

* The baseball players' union can drive you crazy with its holier-than-thou approach, but Frownin' Don Fehr knew what he was talking about, didn't he?

Fehr said the players would never accept a salary cap -- true.

Fehr said this was primarily a dispute among owners -- true.

Fehr said the strike would proceed according to the owners' clock -- true.

And so the clock keeps ticking. The owners don't want to save the season, they want to bust the union. Their goal might be within reach. But their sport will never be the same.

So much for this breakthrough season, a season in which baseball was making a comeback, even with its obscene prices and three-hour games.

The only justice will be if Congress lifts the game's antitrust exemption, ending the owners' cute little game of monopoly.

Meanwhile, the game commands about the same respect as roller derby.

The fans have learned they can do without baseball.

Especially the games these people play.

* It's great that Peter Angelos is trying to steal an NFL team, but if you're a prospective GM, here's the first thing you want to know:

Are Angelos' sons, John and Louis, in a Rotisserie football league, too?

"Sign Smith!" the boys will demand.

"Bruce or Lee?" a confused Angelos will reply.

Poor Angelos, he needs a new diversion.

He's the Napoleon of baseball owners, exiled to Elba.

Maybe soon he'll get his NFL team, and the chance to fire both his head coach and manager on the same day.

Speaking of which, has anyone seen Johnny Oates?

* The Tampa Bay Buccaneers claim they're not for sale, yet they couldn't outdraw the Baltimore CFLs in their home opener.

Who are these people kidding?

Of course, the Bucs are for sale. They're just trying to dupe their fans into believing otherwise, so that maybe more of them will come to games.

Meanwhile, Gov. Schaefer is planning a visit to Los Angeles to meet with officials from the Rams.

None of this is good news for CFL owner Jim Speros, whose success hinges on the absence of an NFL franchise.

Support two teams?

Let's not get silly.

Still, don't feel too badly for Speros. No man has profited more from the Colts tradition, and Baltimore's anger toward the NFL.

Besides, he's busy worrying about hated Saskatchewan, and can't be bothered.

* Uh, did Maryland win or lose on Saturday?

"This team is going to be heard from this year based on how we played in this game," coach Mark Duffner said.

The Terps certainly will be heard from, if they keep getting outscored 35-0 in the second half and giving up 731 yards per game.

They'll be firing their coach.

Next comes West Virginia, a team that has scored only 28 points in three games -- against Nebraska, Ball State and Rutgers.

It stands to reason that the Terps shouldn't lose by 30.

Heck, they might even win, and return home with a chance to go .500 against Wake Forest.

They're going to be heard from.

Duffner promised.

* Speaking of college football, Notre Dame might want to start practicing a two-minute defense. Those miracle finishes are becoming routine in South Bend -- for the visiting team.

The Irish took a lead with 69 seconds left against Boston College last season, and with 52 seconds left against Michigan on Saturday.

So much for the fabled mystique.

Notre Dame lost both games.

Indeed, it could have been three straight collapses at home, if Shawn Wooden hadn't knocked down Charlie Ward's pass at the goal line to preserve a 31-24 victory over Florida State last November.

Of course, come poll time in January, Notre Dame fans will have completely forgotten the Michigan loss -- it was early in the season, against a sixth-ranked opponent, blah, blah, blah.

Never mind that Michigan played without Heisman Trophy candidate Tyrone Wheatley.

When Notre Dame loses, it simply doesn't count.

* Finally, it's the question gripping an entire nation.

How is it possible that Andre Agassi goes from Barbra Streisand to Brooke Shields, and everyone says he's gaining maturity?

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