Laughing Matter? And How!

The malapropisms of San Diego Padre announcer Jerry Coleman have been featured in this space more than once, but you haven't heard them all. Here are some more from "Baseball . . . A Laughing Matter," published by The Sporting News.

--"Grubb goes back, back. He's under the warning track."

--"George Hendrick simply lost that sun-blown pop-up."

--"Young Frank Pastore may have just pitched the biggest victory of 1979, maybe the biggest victory of the year."

--"Enos Cabell started out here with the Astros. And before that he was with the Orioles."

--"Benedict may not be hurt as much as he really is."

--"We're all sad to see Glenn Beckert leave. Before he goes, though, I hope he stops by so we can kiss him goodby. He's that kind of guy."

The book also includes some gems from TV, as follows:

--ESPN: "Bert Blyleven won his sixth in a row to up his record to 5-1."

--"Good Morning America" (to Angel Wally Joyner): "You can go on right after Darryl Raspberry."

--Local TV (to Texas Ranger Manager Doug Rader): "Doug, how do you think Honeycutt will do for the team this year?"

Rader: "I don't think he'll do much for us since he'll be playing for the Dodgers."

Trivia Time: What National Basketball Assn. coach later became a major league baseball manager? (Answer below.)

Now-it-can-be-told dept.: In Candy Maldonado's big game at St. Louis a few weeks ago, the San Francisco Giant outfielder already had homered, tripled and singled when he hit what looked like another triple in the eighth inning.

However, according to Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer, third base coach Don Zimmer held Maldonado up at second. That gave Maldonado a double, and he thus became the first player to hit for the cycle in Busch Stadium since Lou Brock in 1975.

Said Giant Manager Roger Craig: "That's why Don Zimmer is regarded as a great third base coach."

If you've been wondering about all those home runs this year, maybe Japanese golfer Ayako Okamoto put her finger on it after her LPGA win in New Jersey last weekend.

She revealed that this is the Year of the Rabbit.

"I was born in the Year of the Rabbit, and it comes every 12 years," Okamoto said. "When it comes, it's supposed to be lucky."

Okamoto, 36, a native of Hiroshima, is a two-time winner this year.

Add Homers: When Fred Lynn of the Baltimore Orioles hit one off Bert Blyleven of the Minnesota Twins recently, Blyleven stepped toward home plate and asked the umpire to check Lynn's bat for corking.

With that, according to Richard Justice of the Washington Post, Oriole pitcher Scott McGregor stepped to the top of the dugout and yelled to Blyleven: "You can't say anything, you've given up more homers than God."

Blyleven gave up 50 last year, a major league record. At his present pace, he'd give up 61 this year.

Would-you-believe-it dept.: The combined regular-season record of the Denver Nuggets, Golden State Warriors and Seattle SuperSonics, the Lakers' three opponents in the Western Conference playoffs, was 118-128.

Trivia Answer: Red Rolfe. He coached the Toronto Huskies of the NBA in 1946-47 and managed the Detroit Tigers of the American League in 1949-52.

Quotebook

Skip Caray, announcer for the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Braves: "If a young guy asked me for advice on how to get into broadcasting, I'd say, 'Hit .350 or win the Heisman.' "

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