To underscore his confidence in the Dodgers, Tom Lasorda has been telling the same story all season. In every city he tells it, no matter how the team is faring.
It goes like this: "All spring, I told everybody that if the president of the United States called me up and said, 'Tommy, I want you to pick 25 young men to go to Nicaragua and fight for America,' I'd have told him, 'Mr. President, I've got the 25 I want right here with me.' "
According to Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, Lasorda was telling the story again the other day but this time got interrupted by Orel Hershiser.
"Skip," said Hershiser, "could we just make that 24 guys to Nicaragua? You got one conscientious objector."
Well, at least the Ram alumni got airborne over the weekend. Whereas Air Robinson was grounded in Columbus, Ohio, Vince Ferragamo threw a touchdown pass for the Buffalo Bills and Jeff Rutledge threw one for the New York Giants.
On the receiving end, Drew Hill of the Houston Oilers covered 51 yards on a pass play from Warren Moon, and Preston Dennard of the Green Bay Packers scored on a 35-yarder from Randy Wright.
Trivia Time: What do Whizzer White and Whizzer White have in common? No, that's not a typographical error. (Answer below.)
Don't tell Mariano Duncan about the big jump from the minor leagues to the majors. He's never had it so good.
After hitting only three home runs in three minor league seasons, he already has hit five for the Dodgers this season. His batting average is .255, which betters the .253 he hit last year for San Antonio of the Class AA Texas League.
Jimmy Connors explains why the U.S. Open is his favorite tournament: "When you play in New York, they come to see two guys kill each other. They know I'll go out and spill my guts to win.
"At the French, if you spill your guts, they just ignore it. And at Wimbledon, if you spill your guts, they'll ask you to clean it up."
Washington State quarterback Mark Rypien, predicting the Cougars will go to the Rose Bowl, told Blaine Newnham of the Seattle Times: "We're not just going to the grandaddy of them all, but when we get there, we're going to win the dang thing."
Explaining his bad first half against USC last year, he said: "I was intimidated. In my mind, I was playing against O.J. Simpson and the Heisman Trophy winners USC had 15 years ago. I had to concern myself with what I was doing at that moment."
Washington State lost, 29-27, after trailing, 17-0, at halftime.
Trivia Answer: Both won NCAA rushing titles. Byron (Whizzer) White of Colorado, now a Supreme Court justice, won in 1937. Wilford (Whizzer) White of Arizona State won in 1950. Wilford, who later played for the Chicago Bears, is the father of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Danny White.
Note: In a game between the Rams and the Bears in 1952, Wilford staged the greatest retreat in Coliseum history. Taking the ball at midfield, he tried desperately to escape a Ram rush, zig-zagging all over the field. Finally, after 51 yards of wrong-way running, he ran out of gas and fumbled on his own 2-yard line. Ram tackle Ken Casner picked up the ball and ran in for a touchdown. The Rams won, 31-7.
Lori Garbacz, after being fined $3,500 for shouting an obscenity at an ESPN cameraman in the LPGA tournament at Denver: "Being a leader, I was trying to give a flavor of the tournament to the viewers. Unfortunately, I gave it too much flavor. I was trying to add a little color. Unfortunately, what I added was off-color."