Imaginary Bet Stacked Odds Against Batters
In 1975, Cleveland Manager Doc Edwards was working for the Chicago Cubs, managing their Midland club in the double-A Texas League.
He told Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “We had a rotation of Donnie Moore, Mike Krukow, Dennis Lamp and Dave Geisel with Bruce Sutter in the bullpen. But at the All-Star break we were 14 1/2 games back. All the pitchers were nit-picking, not challenging the hitters.
“So on the bus, I turned to Moore and said, ‘Donnie, I’m only 35, but if you tell me your fastball is coming, I’ll bet you $100 I can hit your best gas.’ Donnie is such a competitor that he jumped up and said, ‘No way, skip.’ So I told Donnie, ‘The next time you’re in a game, why don’t you act like that hitter just bet you $100 he could hit your fastball.’ ”
Moore got the message. He proceeded to win seven straight games, and Midland went on to win the Texas League with an 81-53 record.
From Marty Noble of Newsday: “Russ Nixon, Chuck Tanner’s successor as manager of the Atlanta Braves, apparently wasn’t particularly fond of Tanner’s blindly optimistic--or wholly unrealistic--approach to his job. ‘My personality is a lot different,’ Nixon said. ‘I’m an honest man, not a b.s. artist. There’s a time to be diplomatic. But you don’t have to be a liar about it.’ ”
Larry Guest of the Orlando Sentinel, at the end of his mailbag column, adds this advisory:
“Letters will not be considered if they are unsigned, longer than my attention span or contain explosive devices.”
Trivia Time: What do Jose Canseco of the Oakland Athletics and Rafael Palmeiro of the Chicago Cubs have in common? (Answer below.)
Said John Thompson when asked if he hoped to stack the U.S. Olympic basketball team with all-around players who could be used as interchangeable parts: “I like versatility, but sometimes specialists are what you need. Bill Russell is a perfect example. He was probably the least versatile player to ever play, but he dominated the game as well as anybody who ever played it.”
Thompson was a backup to Russell with the Boston Celtics.
From Hall of Fame basketball player Rick Barry: “If I were a young player today, I would practice shooting from outside the three-point circle. I would shoot, shoot, shoot that shot. Any good shooter should eat that shot alive.”
Barry, 43, working out at a high school fieldhouse before an appearance in Moline, Ill., tried 25 three-pointers. He made 21.
A lot has been written about the possible move of the Chicago White Sox, but Mary Frances Veeck, widow of former owner Bill Veeck, says: “For the last five years, I have been saying privately that the real movers and shakers in this town couldn’t care less whether the Sox stay or go. I think Chicago is happy with the Bears, the Cubs and Michael Jordan.”
Trivia Answer: Both were born in Havana, Cuba, in 1964.
Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, asked if he ever iced his arm: “Ice is for mixed drinks.”