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Donahue Calls It a No-Win Situation

UCLA won’t open its 1986 football season for four months, but already Coach Terry Donahue is a little nervous.

The Bruins, who have won three of the last four Rose Bowls, have 14 starters returning, among 51 lettermen, and already there is talk of a national championship.

That’s what makes Donahue skittish.

The last time anybody picked the Bruins as No. 1 was before the 1983 season, and UCLA started out 0-3-1 with losses to Georgia, Nebraska and BYU and a tie with Arizona State.

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Add Donahue: The Bruin coach also believes that his team is in a no-win situation in its opener at Oklahoma.

Said Donahue: “The problem is, if you beat Oklahoma, everybody is going to say you should win every game. If you don’t, they say, ‘There goes the national championship.’ ”

Boston Red Sox Manager John McNamara was duly impressed when Roger Clemens struck out 20 Seattle Mariners earlier this week.

Said McNamara: “I’ve seen Catfish Hunter pitch a perfect game and I’ve seen Mike Witt pitch a perfect game . . . but this has to be the most awesome piece of pitching I’ve seen.”

Baseball acquired a star on April 13, 1954, when Henry Aaron made his major league debut for the Milwaukee Braves.

But the star that day wasn’t Aaron. Cincinnati’s Jim Greengrass hit four doubles in his first major league game, leading the Reds to a 9-8 victory.

Aaron went 0 for 5.

Would you believe it: When the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins combined for 31 hits the other night, the only three starters held hitless were Dave Winfield, Don Mattingly and Roy Smalley.

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Some children aspire to become President. Trainer Mel Stute wanted to win a horse race.

“It’s like growing up and being told, ‘Son, you could be President,’ ” he said.

“Only in my family, it was, ‘Maybe you’ll win the Kentucky Derby.’ And I think you have about as much a chance of that as being President.”

Stute is the trainer of Snow Chief, a favorite in today’s Run for the Roses.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates, box office flops the last two seasons at Three Rivers Stadium, can’t even draw in Nashua, N.H.

The Pirates were scheduled to play the Nashua Pirates, their Double-A Eastern League farm club, in an exhibition game May 12.

The game was canceled because only 150 advance tickets were sold.

Quotebook

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Boston College All-American nose tackle Mike Ruth, No. 2 draft choice of the New England Patriots, on the criticism that he has short arms: “I’ve lived with my arms for 21 years. I’ve never had a problem with them.”


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