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Moore Is No Match for Bees

Archie Moore, who suffered no worse than a fourth-round knockout when he fought Muhammad Ali (then Cassius Clay), the man who claimed to “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” had a lot more trouble with some real, live bees

Sunday. Moore, an amateur beekeeper, was attempting to move a hive in the backyard of his San Diego home when the swarm attacked.

“Those bees almost killed me,” Moore said Tuesday from his hospital bed. “They covered me like a robe. It was the worst fight of my entire career.”

Moore, 71, was reported in stable condition and is expected to be released from the hospital in a day or two.

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It was an armchair pitching coach, a close relative of the armchair quarterback, who spotted the flaw in John Tudor’s delivery and suggested the adjustment that led to his victory over the Houston Astros Monday, his first win since May 3.

The St. Louis pitcher got a long-distance call from a friend in Massachusetts who was watching him pitch on cable television. Tudor said, “I have a pause in my delivery where I’ve kept my leg up. Everything comes together then. It allows my arms to catch up with my legs. That’s where my problem was. I’d lost that in what I call my gathering point. It seems like a silly thing, but it’s an important part of my delivery. I worked on it and felt fine tonight.”

Who are the nicest guys in the National League? For an impartial opinion, Ed Fowler of the Houston Chronicle went to Steve Perry, who has worked the visitors’ clubhouse at the Astrodome since 1979. Perry, among other things, is a launderer, caterer, nursemaid, butler and gofer.

His top two nice guys are Bruce Sutter of the Atlanta Braves and Greg Minton of the San Francisco Giants.

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“The team I make my best tips on is San Francisco,” Perry said. “Sometimes I get $100 for three days, and I’m not even the head guy.”

Individually, he said, Sutter, Terry Forster of Atlanta, Bill Madlock of Pittsburgh, Keith Hernandez of New York and Doug Flynn of Montreal are the best tippers.

Perry also speaks highly of Steve Garvey. “He’s one of the most polite players,” he said. “He always shakes my hand and says hello. I’d vote for him (if he ran for public office).”

Perry, 24, grew up in Venezuela and speaks fluent Spanish. “I get along well with the Latins. I like Pedro Guerrero and Candy Maldonado and Fernando Valenzuela of the Dodgers.”

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Add popularity: Perry’s least favorite player? “It’s Jeff Leonard (of the Giants). He’s just a jerk. Everything is gimme, gimme. He had a big fight with Pete (Prieto, Perry’s boss) one night last year because he didn’t like the postgame spread. It was fried chicken. He even demanded his clubhouse dues back.”

Do you remember what happened the last time somebody embarrassed the Lakers in the first game of the National Basketball Assn. final series? The New York Knicks did it in 1972, beating the Lakers, at the Forum, 114-92. Jerry West, now the Lakers’ general manager, shot 3 for 15 in that game. The heavily favored Lakers called it an off night and swept the next four games.

Quotebook

Howard Cosell, on the team that leads the National League in errors, unearned runs and runners left on base: “The Dodgers have not lost to any inferior teams this year. They’ve lost to everybody.”

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