How about last year, after the Orioles finished fifth in the American League East?
"I had one invitation," Altobelli told Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. "I went to a football banquet for my son. Saved 10 pounds."
Altobelli accepts it philosophically, saying, "The managers in the playoffs last year had one thing in common. They'd all been fired."
And if it happens again to Altobelli, he says, "I sold 31 automobiles in Rochester in November one year. I think if I can do that, I can do anything."
Add Altobelli: Asked about former Baltimore manager Earl Weaver, he said: "Earl is a hard guy to forget. I still don't want to try to compete with him. He was special, a cinch Hall of Famer. He was here 14 1/2 years. Hell, I'm going to be lucky to live 14 1/2 more years."
Add Weaver: Says New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner: "I think Earl Weaver is one of the greatest managers the game has ever seen. I also thought he was a hell of a commentator. I enjoyed his comments on TV. I'm a Joe Altobelli man, too."
It wasn't a productive Sunday for the USFL's Heisman Trophy runners. New Jersey's Herschel Walker netted six yards in five carries; Jacksonville's Mike Rozier gained 30 yards in 13 carries, and teammate Archie Griffin had four yards in two carries. That's a total of 40 yards in 20 carries, a 2.0 average.
The league's other Heisman winner, Doug Flutie, also had his problems, completing only 12-of-27 passes for 189 yards and 2 touchdowns for New Jersey. He threw three interceptions.
Note: One Heisman winner who looked good was Steve Spurrier, coach of Tampa Bay. Spurrier, who won the Heisman at Florida in 1966, coached the Bandits to a 35-7 win over the Orlando Renegades Saturday.
Buddy Martin of the Denver Post asked Denver Gold Coach Mouse Davis last week if he signed Vince Evans as his quarterback because he came cheaply.
Said Davis: "Actually, no. We looked at both Vince and Doug Williams and decided on Vince, even though he had a bigger contract than Williams. It wasn't a case of him being cheaper."
On Sunday, Williams completed 16-of-26 passes for 254 yards, with 1 interception, as the Arizona Outlaws defeated the Portland Breakers, 9-7. Evans completed 14-of-45 passes for 150 yards, with 3 interceptions, as the Gold lost to the Oakland Invaders, 31-10.
Coach Lefty Driesell, after Maryland almost blew Sunday's game against Wake Forest, asked if the team needed a rest after playing 31 games: "We keep playing like this and we'll have plenty of time to rest in about two weeks."