Pete Rose doesn't like team meetings and he doesn't like cliches, but when Cincinnati lost 8 of 9 games recently, he decided to call the troops together and pull out a few bromides.
Rose told reporters of one cliche he used: " 'When the tough gets going, the going gets tough.' . . . Uh, 'When the going gets tough, the tough get tough.' . . . Aw, hell, I said it right during the meeting."
Boston Garden is a house of horrors for a lot of visiting players, but Michael Cooper of the Lakers says: "I love this place. This is basketball. When Dr. Naismith decided to have a basketball game, this is the place he had in mind. The atmosphere is thick with mystique. Bob Cousy played here and my idol, John Havlicek, played here."
Larry Bird, on the inability of Robert Parish and Kevin McHale to get back on defense: "There's not much we can do about it with two guys with broken feet. You can't call Oral Roberts up and have him come and heal us overnight."
Sonny Reizner of The Castaways in Las Vegas, quoting the Lakers as 3 1/2-point favorites today, said: "I don't ever remember the Celtics being underdogs at home in the regular season or in the playoffs in the last 10 years."
Trivia Time: What do quarterbacks Dave Krieg, Gale Gilbert, Sean Salisbury and Jeff Kemp of the Seattle Seahawks have in common? (Answer below.)
Said Tommy John of the New York Yankees, when told that his 270th win Friday night tied him for 25th on the all-time list with Hall of Famer Burleigh Grimes: "Don't know anything about him. Now I know a Furman Grimes. He was a basketball official in Terre Haute. A darn good one, too."
That's Terre Haute, Ind., home of John's alma mater, Indiana State, where John Wooden coached and Larry Bird played.
So-much-for-the-experts Dept.: Dick Joyce of the Associated Press, seeking an expert view of the Belmont from a dispassionate observer before the race, went to 80-year-old trainer Walter Kelley, who didn't have a horse in the race.
Kelley picked Alysheba and dismissed Bet Twice with this comment: "He almost dropped dead in the Derby. How's he going to go another quarter-mile?"
81 Years Ago Today: On June 7, 1906, the Chicago Cubs scored 11 runs off Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity of the New York Giants and went on to a 19-0 victory. That year, McGinnity was 27-12 and Mathewson 22-12.
Is the baseball really juiced up this year? Says Detroit Manager Sparky Anderson: "No matter what anybody says, this baby is a lot livelier than any baseball they've ever had. Even I might have hit two home runs with this ball."
Sparky had only one season in the majors, playing 152 games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1959. In 477 at-bats, his home run total was zero.
From Boston's Wade Boggs, after going 4 for 5 on the artificial surface at Kansas City while making minimum contact: "I broke a bat on the first hit, took a half-swing on the second. The third was a 53-hopper up the middle and the last a ground-ball double to second."
Trivia Answer: None of the four was drafted. They all came into the league as free agents.
Chi Chi Rodriguez, leading money winner on the PGA Seniors tour: "If I could have putted like this years ago, I'd own a jet instead of a Toyota."