A new baseball league? Get a life!

November 03, 1994|By PHIL JACKMAN

Hey, how come. . . .?

A new baseball league? That's just what is needed about now -- a bunch of new owners, minor leaguers masquerading as big leaguers, another union, a players agreement, contract squabbles and the whole thing under the direction of a bureaucracy, right? Ditch the partnership between the owners and players idea (it will never happen), United Baseball League, and decree ownership by public corporation only.

* So Maryland thinks the answer to its problems is to pick up a win against a 1-AA team, add 7,000 seats to match the 7,000 that are already empty in Byrd Stadium and get rid of a name team they've built up a rivalry against to effect six homes each year? Somebody tell Madame Athletic Director that her team is supposed to pick up its wins in the usually ho-hum ACC.

* College football polls are the greatest. They keep fans guessing, discussing and generally having a good time until final decisions are made after the bowl games. But truthfully, Associated Press writers' poll, how can Nebraska jump from No. 3 to No. 1 (despite beating No. 2 Colorado, 24-7) when previous numero uno Penn State annihilates Ohio State, 63-14? Aha, scribes from the Big Eight voting in a block, eh?

* Isn't Navy whistling "Dixie" if, as stated, it says it can do a good job against the middle of the pack of 107 Division I-A football teams when that gang includes Oregon, Stanford, Indiana, Purdue and four teams -- Duke, Louisville, Bowling Green and San Diego State -- that outscored the Middies, 197-63? It's no more ridiculous than Maryland talking about getting a bowl bid, right?

* Did you notice a barely perceptible lack of excitement with this year's announcements of the MVP, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young and sundry other awards dispensed by baseball?

* The way things are going, it was inevitable that teams would cancel players' insurance as the NHL lockout roars into its second month. But do you suppose management had the class to inform the guys that they and their families were without medical coverage?

* You be the judge: Can a charity boxing show (Washington's "Fight Night '94" held the other night) be considered a success if 1,800 tickets were all sold in August, about $300,000 was raised for charity and a patron won out in an auction by bidding $10,000 for lunch with Muhammad Ali?

* Is Johan Koss, three-time gold medal speedskater from Norway in the last Winter Olympics, a great guy or what? He's a participant in the New York City Marathon Sunday, but isn't going for a time; he's escorting a disabled friend and they figure to be out there for seven hours.

* It's a nice gesture, about 50 NHL players agreeing to take part in a series of charity exhibitions in Ontario, next week. But, in the final analysis, what will it prove?

* Is the Maryland athletic department in such sound shape financially that it can talk about signing basketball coach Gary Williams to a 10-year contract worth in excess of $400,000 per year with a $500,000 annuity payment at the end, plus a $1 million term life insurance policy?

* Wouldn't it be a scream if Larry Holmes, who celebrates his 45th birthday today, can condition himself to last 12 rounds against WBC champ Oliver McCall Jan. 21? The thinking of promoter Don King in offering the title shot to old nemesis Holmes is that Larry simply can't go a dozen, no way.

* No matter how they attempted to play up the Japanese world series between the winning Yomiuri Giants and Seibu Lions, it just didn't seem like the baseball season had a fitting climax, did it?

* Wasn't the best thing Lee Smith had going for him in being named to the AP major-league all-star team the fact that the season ended in mid-August?

* Isn't it amazing how The Championships (alias Wimbledon) continue to be the rage of the summer sports season in England when there is absolutely no tennis on the tube save for "the fortnight" throughout the year?

* Isn't it the height of optimism when the Washington Bullets pack a uniform with Juwan Howard's name on it for their final two preseason games when the guy is about $7 million away from signing a split-the-difference long-term pact?

* Is Joan (Benoit) Samuelson something, or what, with her sixth-place finish and 2:37:09 time in the Chicago Marathon? Looks like the 1984 Olympic champ will be a factor in who will make the U.S. team for the '96 Games in Atlanta as she approaches 40 years old.

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