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He’s 20 Pounds Lighter--and a Lot Happier

The Sid Fernandez the New York Mets have on display these days weighs about 220 after losing 20 pounds. On a scale of one to 10, he gets a 10 for his efforts to reduce his weight. He wants to be one of the heavyweights of the pitching staff, not a punching bag who hears fat jokes and tries to laugh them off.

After a rocky start, caused not so much by his pitching, but by being the unused fifth starter, Fernandez is starting to come around.

“I feel good,” Fernandez told Stave Marcus of Newsday. “I plan on keeping my weight down all year. It’s hard to pitch when people tell you you are overweight. You don’t feel good about yourself. How would you like it if your editor told you that you didn’t write a good story all the time?”

False Advertising?: Dave Taylor, Bernie Nicholls and Wayne Gretzky of the Kings are pictured on billboards around town with three RTD employees below the proclamation: “We Deliver.”

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No comment from the Calgary Flames.

Trivia time: Who were the two players--one on each team--who appeared in both the 1951 and 1962 National League playoff games between the Dodgers and the Giants.

A special delivery message: Karl (the Mailman) Malone of the Utah Jazz didn’t like it one bit when the Soviet Union won the gold medal in men’s basketball in the 1988 Olympics.

Malone was asked if he would play if National Basketball Assn. stars were allowed to represent the United States in future Games. He said he would even pay his way to Barcelona for the 1992 Olympics if the professionals were allowed to compete.

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“What annoyed me,” he said, “was watching the Russians high-fiving one another as though they had beaten America’s best.”

A first and a last: On April 29, 1901, His Eminence, ridden by Jimmy Winkfield, won the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Sannazarro in the only Derby ever raced in April.

A very fast starter: Dwight Gooden of the New York Mets is 17-2 lifetime in April and 95-35 overall in his career, a .731 percentage.

Now you know dept.: The diameter of a golf hole is 4 1/2 inches.

What an interesting anniversary: A year ago today, the New York Mets and the Cincinnati Reds played a wild game at Riverfront Stadium that the Mets won, 6-5, on a delayed call by first base umpire Dave Pallone. The call eventually resulted in a $10,000 fine and a 30-day suspension of Cincinnati Manager Pete Rose when he went out on the field to argue the call. During their discussion, Pallone accidentally poked Rose in the cheek and Rose shoved Pallone twice.

What’s in a name dept.: Bailjumper is a stallion standing at stud at Jonabell Farm in Lexington, Ky.

With a name like that, you could expect some imaginative names. Some of the sire’s offspring have been given the following names: Bail Me Out, I’ll Pay My Bail, Hook or Crook, Skip Town, Fugitive Miss, The Bondsman, Skip Trial, Take It On The Lam and Escape Artist.

Trivia answer: Duke Snider of the Dodgers and Willie Mays of the Giants.

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Quotebook: “I don’t have a home run trot yet,” said Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics when asked if he might put in a brief playoff appearance such as the one Kirk Gibson did when he hit a game-winning homer in the first game of last year’s World Series.


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