Error Helps Cubs Save a Few Bucks


Remember that error Chicago Cubs first baseman Leon Durham made in the final game of the National League playoffs against the San Diego Padres? The people in the Cubs front office did, and it might have cost Durham $300,000.

In the seventh inning of the fifth game at San Diego, with the Cubs leading 3-2, Durham let a ground ball by Tim Flannery go through his legs. The Padres went on to score four runs and won the game, 6-3.

When Durham went to arbitration this year, he asked for $1.1 million. The Cubs offered $800,000.


Mention of the error was included in a binder the Cubs presented to the arbitrator to help decide the case.

“I didn’t think it was quite appropriate,” said agent Dick Moss after the arbitrator ruled in favor of the Cubs.

Said Durham: “I thought it was the worst thing they could have done. I know I made a mistake, but I don’t think I cost the team the pennant.”

Note: Earlier in the game, Durham hit a two-run homer to give the Cubs a 2-0 lead. Think the Cubs included that in their binder?

Vince Devlin of the Spokane Spokesman-Review, on Washington State center Todd Anderson, who stands 7-1 but weighs only 205: “He’s the only guy in the world who can tread water inside a garden hose.”

Headline of the month? Larry King of the Sporting News nominates this one in the New York Daily News: “Knicks Hit Road; Road Hits Back.”


Nobody ever accused Vince Lombardi of being a genius, just a guy who knew how to beat your brains out.

Son Vince Lombardi, general manager of the Oakland Invaders of the USFL, said people underestimated his dad’s intelligence.

“When he coached high school, he taught physics, Latin and chemistry,” Lombardi told Tom Fitzgerald of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’d bring my college board prep books home, and he’d go through them, bang, bang.”

Trivia time: The New Jersey Generals of the USFL have two Heisman Trophy winners in Doug Flutie and Herschel Walker, but they don’t lead the league in Heismans. What club does? (Answer below.)

Says Cedric Maxwell of the Boston Celtics: “If I ever was gonna get traded, maybe Cleveland wouldn’t be such a bad place to go after all. If I was playing beside Lonnie Shelton and Melvin Turpin, at least no one would accuse me of being fat.”

Georgia basketball Coach Hugh Durham, on today’s game with Kentucky: “I think if we can go up there mentally and physically ready, we can win the ball game. We haven’t won in Lexington in a long time, so we’re really looking to try to pull this one off.”


When Durham says a long time, he isn’t kidding. It’s been 62 years. In January 1923, Georgia beat Kentucky, 23-19, in Lexington.

Trivia answer: The Jacksonville Bulls with three--Mike Rozier (Nebraska) in 1983 and Archie Griffin (Ohio State) in 1974 and 1975.


Eric Frimidog of Laurium, Mich., in a letter to the Sporting News: “I’m so surprised that Doug Flutie went to the USFL. All the time he was telling us he wanted to play professional football.”