Touching all bases: Orioles' starters couldn't keep pace

December 19, 1997|By John Eisenberg

Opinion: The Orioles' press corps might include a beat writer from the AARP newsletter this year. (Ba-dum-bum.)

Fact: The five members of the Orioles' projected 1998 rotation (Mike Mussina, Scott Erickson, Jimmy Key, Scott Kamieniecki and Doug Drabek) combined for only 24 wins after the All-Star break in 1997, as opposed to 45 before.

Opinion: A great barstool debate: Would you rather have had John Elway or Dan Marino as your quarterback for all these years?

Fact: My Heisman Trophy ballot read as follows: 1. Peyton Manning; 2. Charles Woodson; 3. Ricky Williams.

Opinion: As nice as it was to see a non-offensive star such as Woodson finally win the Heisman, Manning still deserved it for averaging almost four touchdown passes a game.

Fact: Former Maryland point guard Duane Simpkins has surfaced playing pro ball in Chalon, France.

Opinion: Former Terp Joe Smith didn't exactly cover himself in glory when he rushed to teammate Latrell Sprewell's defense.

Fact: Lakers teenybopper Kobe Bryant recently asked Michael Jordan for advice on his post move -- during a game.

Opinion: Upset special pick (NFL personnel division): The Cowboys will keep coach Barry Switzer and fire offensive coordinator Ernie Zampese.

Fact: The Ravens have scored all of seven rushing touchdowns in 1997 (and 26 by other means).

Opinion: We have said it before and we'll say it again: The Ravens have given Bam Morris enough chances.

Fact: The Red Sox didn't want to pay Roger Clemens $24 million, but they're going to pay Pedro Martinez $75 million.

Opinion: Bottom line, the Sprewell incident was about money, not any other factor. Some players are never going to respect a coach who draws a significantly smaller paycheck.

Fact: The Boston Celtics need just four more wins to match last year's total, for those still wondering if Rick Pitino is worth $50 million.

Opinion: Just a hunch, but Davey Johnson probably won't be that upset if he winds up not managing in 1998. It's not as if he needs the money.

Fact: Mike Flanagan is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time this year.

Opinion: The Chiefs and Steelers are the AFC's best bets to win a Super Bowl at long last, but it's hard to envision either doing it, particularly if the Packers win the NFC.

Fact: (From "Go Figure, Vol. 6") Defensive tackle Dan Footman has 10.5 sacks for the Colts this season, which is 10 more than he had for the Ravens last season.

Opinion: It'll be interesting to see if the Maryland basketball team wins at Missouri on Dec. 30, as Coppin State did earlier this season.

Fact: The Chicago Da Bears haven't sent a player to the Pro Bowl since 1993.

Opinion: Local basketball rankings: 1) Coppin State, 2) Loyola, 3) Towson, 4) UMBC, 5) Morgan State.

Fact: The last men's tennis player other than Pete Sampras to finish a year ranked No. 1 in the world? Jim Courier in 1992.

Opinion: Maybe we can e-mail our interest to the Bowl (New Mexico-Arizona) instead of actually having to watch it.

Fact: There are 47 world champions currently recognized by the WBA, WBF or IBF, boxing's three major associations. (If you can name all 47, please consult your physician.)

Opinion: Jerry Rice's two knee injuries aren't related? Please. Let's face it, his vanity got the best of him and he came back too soon.

Fact: Fletcher Bates, Scott Comer, Oscar Henriquez, Manuel Barrios, Mike Villano, Joe Fontenot, Mike Pageler, Blaine Mull, Jesus Martinez, Rafael Medina, Steve Hoff and Derrek Lee are the names of the immortals acquired by the Florida Marlins during their post-Series sell-off. (Season tickets, anyone? Anyone?)

Opinion: Olympic snowboarders in Nagano (yes, it's true) should have to compete wearing Walkmans playing Nirvana.

Fact: (From the Dept. of Deserved Reputations) Jimmy Johnson has the Dolphins in the playoff hunt despite not sending one player to the Pro Bowl, and Bill Parcells has the Jets in contention with an offense ranked 21st in the NFL and a defense ranked 27th.

Opinion: With a chance to win another title, regardless of their current state, the Bulls will not trade Scottie Pippen this season.

Fact: Golf Digest's recent listing of "The 36 Most Powerful People in Golf" included Ben Hogan, who died in July.

Pub Date: 12/19/97

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