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Holmes No-Show--Get the Message?

Heavyweight champion Michael Spinks looked at an empty chair on the dais at a news conference Wednesday and said: “Impossible for us to see you, but we know you’re there.”

“He’s here in spirit,” co-promoter Don King said.

Larry Holmes was supposed to be in a Las Vegas Hilton ballroom to face members of the media with whom he has been feuding. Instead he was on a family outing at Lake Mead.

So King relayed what he said was Holmes’ prediction for his rematch with Spinks Saturday night: “In the seventh round, Spinks will hit the ground.”

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Swell. Can you wait?

Before the Masters, Jack Nicklaus was called “chubby” by one writer. Nicklaus admitted it afterward. Happily so.

He told the New York Times he had dieted to 170 pounds last year when he missed the cuts in the U.S. Open and the British Open.

“I’m 190 now,” he said. “I’m hitting the ball so far, I want to stay at that weight.”

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Buffalo Bill Coach Hank Bullough, on the Chicago Bears’ 46 defense: “I’m sure it will be given a look by every team in the NFL in some way or another. You’ll probably see eight defensive coaches lose their jobs because they don’t know how to coach it.”

Trivia Time: Jim Thorpe and Ernie Nevers both made the Pro Football Hall of Fame and both played major league baseball. What else did they have in common? (Answer in column 2.)

Add Trivia: Some readers were surprised that Frank Robinson wasn’t one of the answers to Wednesday’s question on retired numbers in both leagues. Robinson’s No. 20 was retired by the Baltimore Orioles, but not by the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds have retired only two numbers--No. 1, Fred Hutchinson, and No. 5, Johnny Bench.

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Would-you-believe-it dept.: From the statistical sheet at Candlestick Park Wednesday: Ryan strikeout total: 4,101. Giants-Astros attendance: 3,590.

The latest from Utah Jazz Coach Frank Layden, the Henny Youngman of the NBA: “I went to the doctor and asked how I could improve my sex life. He told me to run 20 miles a day and take off 40 pounds. I called him two weeks later to tell him I had been running 20 miles a day and lost 40 pounds. He asked how my sex life was, and I told him I didn’t know--I was 280 miles away.”

From the Denver Post: “Theoretically, the Clippers could have three of the top 27 picks in the draft, including one lottery choice. In reality, they will have none. They traded their own No. 1 to Philly four years ago for Joe (Jelly Bean) Bryant, and swapped the No. 1 they got from Boston in the Bill Walton deal for Darnell Valentine. At least you’ve heard of Valentine. But you’ve probably never heard of Kevin Figaro. He’s the guard the Clippers got from Atlanta in 1983 for their second-round pick. Figaro was cut the year before by the Hawks, had never played in an NBA game and was about to be cut again when the Clippers called.”

Trivia Answer: Both played under Pop Warner as collegians--Thorpe at Carlisle Institute, Nevers at Stanford.

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Quotebook

Carlton Fisk of the Chicago White Sox, after being hit by a pitch thrown by Scott Bankhead of the Kansas City Royals: “We were calling him Tallulah Bankhead. That’s probably why he hit me.”


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