What were the odds on this?
You can bet that the people at Sport magazine are just a bit upset, not to mention red-faced, at the juxtaposition of two stories in its April issue.
On Pages 54-56 is a feature entitled, “Pete Rose Can’t Lose.” The story describes how Rose’s career was a “demonstration of excellence and desire” . . . and how, as the Reds’ manager, he is trying to instill that spirit into his players.
On Page 57 is a story on sports gambling. Rose was not mentioned in this piece.
Adding insult to injury, the Rose story was written by Eliot Asinof, who is the author of “Eight Men Out,” a book about the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
Trivia: By winning the men’s title in the World Cross-Country Championships at Stavanger, Norway, last weekend, Kenya’s John Ngugi, the Olympic 5000-meter champion, became the first runner to win four consecutive titles. Name the three other men who have won the title four times.
Words of praise: “If he’s not Rookie of the Year, who do you turn to? He’s doing it statistically, (but) that’s second. What’s first is, he’s taken the program and turned it around to a winner.”
The words of Golden State Coach Don Nelson praising rookie guard Mitch Richmond of the Warriors?
No, actually it was praise from Atlanta Coach Mike Fratello after Richmond had helped bury the Hawks recently.
Picks and pans: Jeff Torborg, manager of the Chicago White Sox, is undismayed that his team has been picked to finish last in the American League West.
Said Torborg: “If preseason magazine picks mean anything, the Yankees would have won the World Series last year and we wouldn’t even have had to play out the season.”
Of course, there are those who say the White Sox, who finished 71-90, were “played out” long before the season ended.
By the numbers: Seattle Mariners right-hander Billy Swift, one of 15 children in the Swift family of South Portland, Me., has been replaced in baseball’s sibling ranks: Jose Bautista of the Baltimore Orioles is one of 16 children.
“That’s not that many,” said Bautista’s Oriole teammate, Jose Mesa.
Counting half-brothers and half-sisters, Mesa is one of 25 children.
From triple axel to rear axle: Former Olympic and world figure skating champion Christopher Dean thought he’d try something different.
He entered a 10-lap exhibition automobile race in Melbourne, Australia. Partner Jayne Torvill watched from the stands.
Result? Dean lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a retaining wall at about 80 m.p.h.
Result II? Dean suffered a whiplash, aggravated an old back ailment and sprained his ankle.
Torvill’s comments went unrecorded.
Trivia answer: Jack Holden of England, Alain Mimoun of France and Gaston Roelants of Belgium each won four world cross-country titles, but, unlike Ngugi, none did it consecutively.
Quotebook: Said golfer J.C. Snead, complaining about his putting: “I could putt it off a table top and leave it short halfway down a leg.”