Coaches in football, basketball and hockey wear street clothes on the job, and Steve Clark of the Richmond News Leader suggests that baseball managers follow suit.
Clark: “The best example of a body that looks silly in a baseball uniform is Tommy Lasorda, the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers who has never met an Italian restaurant he didn’t like. One of the funniest sights in sports is Lasorda, with his belly hanging over his belt line, trotting out to the mound.
“When I told a friend of mine who is a Dodger fan that Lasorda is the prime example of why baseball managers should wear street clothes instead of uniforms, he growled, ‘Lasorda looks funny in street clothes, too.’ ”
Trivia Time: Who was the last big league manager to manage in street clothes? (Answer below.)
Would-you-believe-it dept.: Houston Manager Hal Lanier, who has vowed to make the Astros a running team, never stole more than two bases in a season. In 10 years as an infielder, he stole 11 bases in 1,196 games. In the “The All-Time All-Star Baseball Book,” he was named as the second baseman on a team of players with the “fewest stolen bases for 1,000 games or more.”
Larry Bird on Michael Jordan: “He is the most exciting, most awesome player in the game. I didn’t think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done against us the past two games.”
Larry Holmes still thinks he was robbed by the judges, but he paid tribute to Michael Spinks when Dave Anderson of the New York Times asked him why he didn’t follow up after staggering the champion in the 14th round Saturday night.
“I know, I didn’t go after him,” Holmes said. “Not with his awkward style and the determination he had. The more I hit him, the more he fought back.”
Holmes said that Spinks came up and spoke to him after the fight.
“Michael told me, ‘You’re still my champion.’ ” Holmes recalled. “Michael is a very nice person. He’s got a lot of ability.”
At a roast of Denver Nugget Coach Doug Moe, Utah Jazz Coach Frank Layden delivered this zinger: “I understand Doug gave his wife a water bed. She called it the Dead Sea.”
Add Forgettable Quotes: Rating Houston’s Phil Garner ninth among National League third basemen in “The Bill James Baseball Abstract,” the author says: “What can you say , Phil Garner is still Phil Garner. He’s always been Phil Garner, and he’ll always be Phil Garner.”
After two weeks of the season, Garner was leading the league in hitting at .500. He was tied for first in home runs with four and second in runs batted in with 12.
Trivia Answer: Burt Shotton (Brooklyn Dodgers) and Connie Mack (Philadelphia A’s) in 1950. Shotton was named manager of the Dodgers in 1947 after Commissioner Happy Chandler suspended Leo Durocher for associating with suspected gamblers. Under Shotton, a professorial type who wore glasses and a bow tie, the Dodgers won the pennant that year.
Note: In 1977, Atlanta Brave owner Ted Turner took over from Dave Bristol as the manager for a day, but he wore a uniform. The Braves lost the game, 2-1. It was their 17th straight loss.
LaVell Edwards, BYU football coach, on why he likes Sherlock Holmes: “I love those guys who win ‘em all.”