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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.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn, asked if he ever iced his arm: “Ice is for mixed drinks.”

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