Ramsey Is Not All What He Appears

Even before Sunday's exhibition game with the New York Giants, quarterback Tom Ramsey of the New England Patriots knew what fate awaited him--the bench.

He knew from experience. Last year, in the exhibition opener, he completed 17 of 23 passes for 254 yards and a touchdown and then played in two regular-season games all year, throwing only three passes.

"You sit and reflect on what you could be doing and what you're doing and sometimes I wonder if it's all worth it," said Ramsey, who has been with the Patriots since 1984. "I worked real hard in the off-season."

Said Les Steckel, the New England quarterback coach: "Tom is one of the most mature guys that I've bumped into. He has a great perspective on life."

Well, maybe not a great perspective.

"He (Steckel) goes, 'You are a stable guy, man,' " Ramsey said. "And I feel like saying, 'Les, I may look stable on the outside, but I'm losing my marbles on the inside.' "

Happy anniversary: Four years ago today, the Pine Tar game of July 24 between the Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees was completed at Yankee Stadium.

New York took the field with Ron Guidry in center field, left-hander Don Mattingly at second base and George Frazier on the mound. Hal McRae struck out to end the top of the ninth inning, and Dan Quisenberry retired the Yankees in order to give the Royals a 5-4 victory.

Five years ago today, the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs, 2-1, in a 21-inning game that took two days to complete.

Trivia Time: In that two-day game at Wrigley Field, who played both right and left field for the Dodgers in the late innings? (Answer below).

And on the seventh day . . .

The way Steve Jacobson of Newsday figures, Lou Piniella should worry about Sundays. Historically, that's the day Yankee owner George Steinbrenner likes to drop the ax on his managers.

"The owner likes to make a media splash on Sunday when he can trump the competition," Jacobson said. "He fired Gene Michael the first time on the Sunday that the pro football season opened, and fired Bob Lemon the second time on a Sunday. He fired Yogi Berra on a Sunday and chose the Sunday of the fifth game of the World Series to name Piniella manager."

A press release last week from the Lakers:

"Los Angeles Lakers forward Kurt Rambis and his wife Linda announced the acquisition of a 7-pound 11-ounce baby boy, Jordan Henry Rambis, at 7:20 a.m. Friday at Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

"The baby is the couple's second child, joining 19-month-old son, Jesse.

"Mother and baby are fine and Father remains in his usual dazed condition."

Trivia answer: Fernando Valenzuela.

Quotebook

San Francisco 49er quarterback Joe Montana, on retirement: "I would like to play five more years, minimum. I'd like to be like the Snake (Ken Stabler) . . . all that gray hair, throwing side arm until they kick me out of the league."

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