In the movie, "Bull Durham," a group of Durham Bulls, led by Kevin Costner, sneaked into the stadium one night during a long trip. After a few beers, they turned on the sprinklers and played in the mud. So much for the next day's game.
In South Bend, Ind., Sunday night, three members of the Class-A Wausau Timbers sneaked into Stanley Coveleski Regional Stadium and rolled back the infield tarpaulin. The rains came, but the next day, life failed to imitate art.
Police investigators told the Associated Press the players apparently had hoped to force a cancellation of their makeup doubleheader Monday against the South Bend White Sox, so that the White Sox would have to play a pair of doubleheaders at Wausau, Wis., next week.
But the rain stopped, groundskeepers worked the infield into playable shape and the teams split the doubleheader.
Add tarpaulin trick: White Sox Manager Rick Patterson protested Wausau's 4-3 victory in the first game after his starting pitcher, Lenny Brutcher, slipped on the wet grass while trying to field a bunt and injured his knee.
Said Patterson: "I don't know the bylaws of baseball, but it seems to me that if the starting pitcher injures his knee because of the antics of the other team, I suspect there is some liability."
Last add tarpaulin: The owner of the White Sox, Alan Levin, decided not to file a complaint.
Said Wausau General Manager Lew Chamberlin: "If it helps turn these kids around, it was worth staying until 1:30 in the morning."
Trivia time: Name the only four NFL teams that have never had a Heisman Trophy winner on their rosters.
Doing his part: Coach Jim Reid of the University of Massachusetts spent the night on the floor of Richmond Coach Jim Marshall's hotel room before the Yankee Conference's annual football preseason news conference last week in Boston.
Wrote Trudy Tynan of AP: "Since 1988, when the state legislature and Gov. Michael S. Dukakis began cutting funding to public universities, Reid has quietly refused to charge UMass for his recruiting expenses."
Said Marshall: "It's just the kind of guy he is."
Said Reid: "It's just no big deal to me."
Add his part: Said Reid, who earns $60,000 a year: "I'm a little uncomfortable spending $100 just to sleep in a bed or $7 for a sandwich on the New Jersey Turnpike. I don't need that. . . . If it means packing a few sandwiches when I go out on the road to save some services directly related to academics in our program, so be it."
Attitudes aweigh: At the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., quarterback Alton Grizzard and a group of players recently scaled a 10-foot-high fence to do their distance-running workout at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
Wrote AP's David Ginsburg: "Such is the upbeat feeling at the Naval Academy this summer under new Coach George Chaump."
Maybe so, but does Chaump sleep on other coaches' hotel room floors and eat homemade sandwiches?
Trivia answer: The Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks.
Quotebook: New St. Louis Cardinal Manager and former announcer Joe Torre, when reminded of Phil Rizzuto's suggestion that a manager could work from the booth: "Upstairs, you can't look in their eyes."