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As Luck Would Have It, Knicks Can’t Win Without a Horseshoe

Director of operations Scotty Stirling of the New York Knicks brought along a good luck charm, but the NBA lottery didn’t work out as well this time for the Knicks.

The Knicks wound up with the No. 5 pick. Last year, then director of operations Dave DeBusschere carried a horseshoe from harness pacer On The Road Again and won the lottery.

This time, the Knicks attempted to obtain a shoe from Kentucky Derby winner Ferdinand, but trainer Charlie Whittingham said the horse will not be re-shoed until today for Saturday’s Preakness.

“I want to wish you luck in the lottery,” Whittingham told the Knicks. “But not too much luck. You see, I’m a big Lakers’ fan.”

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Add Knicks: Stirling was instead accompanied by “Lucky Pierre,” a white English rabbit with four lucky feet.

Stirling said after the lottery: “The rabbit might be stew tonight.”

There is evidence that the baseball is going farther this season, especially in the National League. Last year, N.L. hitters produced an average of one home run in every 55.1 at-bats. This season, it’s up to one every 39.7 at-bats. The increase in the American League is more subtle, but still up over 1985.

They’re saying the ball is more lively. Said Milwaukee Manager George Bamberger: “If you pick it up and listen, you can hear the heartbeat.”

Former Ram quarterback Pat Haden, now a lawyer and player agent, admits he’s a bit envious of one of his clients--Jeff Kemp.

Kemp, another former Ram quarterback, will be playing for Coach Bill Walsh and the San Francisco 49ers this fall, something Haden wishes he had done. He had the chance, but passed it up.

“I had announced my retirement from the Rams and made a commitment with CBS television,” Haden recalled. “Then I received a call from Bill Walsh, who said he could work out a deal if I wanted to play for the 49ers. I’m the type of person who believes in sticking to commitments, so I felt bound to CBS.

“It would have been a great opportunity to play in such an outstanding passing scheme. Walsh was almost hired by the Rams when I was there. If I ever had the chance to play for him, I can’t help but think my career would have been different.”

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People calling the home of deposed Seattle Manager Chuck Cottier heard this unusual recording Thursday night: “Dick Williams’ answering service . . . Oh, no. Sorry. Dick Williams has not replaced Chuck Cottier here.”

The message was changed Friday, after Williams replaced Cottier, to: “Hi. The Cottiers can’t come to the phone right now. We’re packing for our free cruise to Libya. If you leave your name and number, we’ll get back to you between our suitcase packing.”

Add Mariners: Williams, who more than once said the San Diego Padres’ managerial job he quit this spring would be his last, says he “wasn’t that interested” when first approached by Seattle owner George Argyros.

He said he was happy spending his time out of baseball with his family and playing golf. To prove his point, he pointed out that he just bought a 21-foot boat and his wife of 31 years, Norma, got him a new driver to try to cure his slice.

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He’s been in his boat twice and hasn’t used his new club at all.

Quotebook

BYU football Coach LaVell Edwards: “People say I’m not a happy man. I am. It’s just that sometimes I forget to tell my face.”


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