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Craig Never Asked Zimmer, but He Got the Plane Truth

Last Monday night, the chartered plane that carried the Chicago Cubs to San Diego later carried the San Francisco Giants out of the city.

When the Giants boarded the plane, Manager Roger Craig found a note on his seat.

According to the Baltimore Evening Sun, the note read: “The weather’s cold, my club stinks, we can’t win, my knees are killing me, I’m off my diet, I can’t putt no more and my wife’s nagging me. Other than that, everything’s fine.”

The note was signed by Don Zimmer, manager of the Cubs.

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Trivia time: Name five former Dodgers playing first base for other clubs in the major leagues. Look who switched: When Mike Larkin was playing linebacker for Notre Dame, brother Barry was playing baseball at Michigan, much to the dismay of football Coach Bo Schembechler.

Said Larkin: “Bo would come out to the baseball games and yell at me. He’d yell, ‘You’re a sissy. You’re a big sissy. You’re hitting a ball that can’t hit back. Come out and hit a man that can hit you back.’ ”

Ironically, after all his years in football, Schembechler left it behind to become president of the Detroit Tigers.

Classic lines: From columnist Art Spander, listing his favorite Jim Murray lines in the Sporting News:

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--"Losing the Rose Bowl to a Woody Hayes team on a pass is like losing a spelling bee to an immigrant.”

--"John Brodie is slower than fourth-class mail.”

--"Any city that would call an earthquake a fire would call Candlestick a ballpark.”

Arms race: What outfielder has the best arm in baseball? Bob Watson, assistant general manager of the Houston Astros, votes for Glenn Wilson of the Astros. He puts Wilson in his all-time top five, along with Reggie Smith, Ollie Brown, Ellis Valentine and Roberto Clemente.

“Actually,” he added, “Reggie Jackson had just as strong an arm as any of them, but you never knew where the ball was going.”

Who knows better?Bo Jackson, in Us magazine, tells the difference between baseball and football: “You know what baseball is? It’s playing cards, sleeping, watching TV. Dress. Batting practice. Fool around with the fans. Joke with teammates.

“Football is a little different. Before the game, everybody sits on the floor, quietly, thinking whose head they’re going to take off.”

Seeing is believing: Dave Henderson of the Oakland Athletics, on how nice it is to play for a champion: “You come out of spring training every season saying, ‘We’re going to win the World Series,’ because that’s what you’re supposed to say. But with some teams, players know deep down it isn’t going to happen. I used to say it in Seattle, but then I’d look around and say, ‘No way.’ ”

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Trivia answer: Greg Brock (Milwaukee), Bill Buckner (Boston), Sid Bream (Pittsburgh), Pedro Guerrero (St. Louis), Mike Marshall (New York Mets).

Quotebook: Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell, on former Boston Celtic teammate Gene Conley, who doubled as a major league pitcher: “He told me he couldn’t wait for the basketball season to end, so he could go back to baseball and get out of shape.”


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