Stand-up guy nice change at the Yards

August 16, 1999|By John Eisenberg

Opinion: It's good to see Ravens coach Brian Billick standing up and saying he's responsible for his team's performance, good or bad. He should give accountability lessons to the decision-makers for the Maryland Stadium Authority's other tenant.

Fact: Brady Anderson is on a pace to finish 1999 with 113 runs, 38 steals and 21 homers -- a strong offensive year by anyone's standards.

Opinion: If the Orioles don't quickly hire Phil Garner, a very capable major-league manager, some other team will.

Fact: The Ravens are 8-5 in exhibition games since moving to Baltimore. They're August's Heroes.

Opinion: No major-league team can afford to have their everyday first baseman stuck on 29 RBIs in mid-August, as is the Orioles' Will Clark. It's time for another "direction" at that position.

Fact: Steffi Graf won seven Wimbledons, six French Opens, five U.S. Opens and four Australian Opens. Now there's a career.

Opinion: Michael McCrary is a Pro Bowler and all that, and the Ravens obviously need to sign him, but if he really wants a seven-year deal, that's too long for a guy with injury-prone knees.

Fact: Houston Rockets owner Les Alexander on Scottie Pippen's pathetic demand to be traded to the Lakers and Phil Jackson, after one dismal season in Houston: "It hurts."

Opinion: Tiger Woods and David Duval deserve to make more than $5,000 for playing in the Ryder Cup, but to complain about it just weeks after ABC handed them $1.4 million for playing in a trumped-up prime-time "show- down" is the definition of greed.

Fact: Nolan Ryan was the first baseball Hall of Fame inductee to thank Marvin Miller, former head of the players association, who made all these millions possible.

Opinion: Barry Sanders will be back in the NFL by no later than next season. He's going to find that he misses a game he can still play as well as anyone.

Fact: When Wade Boggs pitched against the Orioles last week, he wasn't the first major-leaguer to take the mound after collecting his 3,000th hit. Ty Cobb also did it.

Opinion: With Mike Shanahan, Terrell Davis and a strong supporting cast around to help, Bubby Brister will thrive as John Elway's replacement.

Fact: The Ravens are a 75-1 shot to win the Super Bowl this season, according to a Las Vegas casino. No odds are listed on their chances of going .500.

Opinion: Dodgers outfielder Raul Mondesi's profane rip of Davey Johnson and Kevin Malone will endear him to certain factions in the Orioles' front office.

Fact: Unless the Dodgers win 27 of their last 45 games, Johnson will experience his first losing season as a major-league manager (over a 162-game season).

Opinion: Canadian billionaire Frank Stronach has bought Santa Anita and Gulfstream and reportedly is about to buy three more mid-sized American racetracks, and while he's at it, maybe he should give Joe De Francis a call.

Fact: Who was the one person in uniform for all three perfect games thrown at Yankee Stadium? Don Zimmer. He was on the Dodgers' bench when Don Larsen threw his gem in the 1956 World Series, and he was a Yankees coach when David Wells and David Cone followed Larsen's lead.

Opinion: The fact that anyone shells out good money for a ticket to an NFL exhibition game, a glorified scrimmage, is evidence of pro football's remarkable popularity.

Fact: The San Antonio Spurs are cat-fighting with local tourism officials over proposed hotel and car rental taxes to help pay for a $175 million arena for the Spurs.

Opinion: Baltimore officials are following the Spurs' situation and dreaming of luring them here, but the Spurs will get a new arena one way or another.

Fact: Mark McGwire's career ratio of 91 homers for every 1,000 at-bats is the best in major-league history.

Opinion: The serenade of boos that J. D. Drew heard in Philadelphia last week was all in good fun until some wacko threw a "D" battery at the kid, which was way out of line.

Fact: There's just one week between the AFC/NFC championship games and the Super Bowl this year.

Opinion: This idea that the second coming of McGwire/Sosa is dull? Get serious. No, it's not as exciting as the original, but it's still tons of fun to watch.

Pub Date: 8/16/99

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