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To U.S. Open’s Lightweights, He’s the Heavy

Jerald James is regarded by his peers as a competent umpire, but he wasn’t invited to work the U.S. Open tennis tournament because of an image problem.

James stands 6 feet 3 and weighs 325 pounds and once broke a courtside chair when he sat on it. James contends it was a cheap chair.

“It shouldn’t matter whether you’re overweight,” said James, a 10-year veteran. “I know I have ability.”

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Sandy Schway, national chairwomen of umpires for the U.S. Tennis Assn., disagrees, saying: “They’re (umpires) in the public eye and tennis does have an image.”

Sure, and John McEnroe and Jimmy Connors are the image makers.

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Trivia time: Since Carl Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox won baseball’s triple crown in 1967, 21 players have led the league in two of the three categories, but only two in batting average. Who are they?

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Dome hype: Atlanta Falcon cornerback Tim McKyer said he and his teammates wanted to make a statement in the inaugural game in the Georgia Dome Aug. 23 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It’s got to say something outlandish like, ‘Beware the dome of doom,’ ” McKyer told the Atlanta Journal and Constitution.

Sounds like a plot for Indiana Jones. Anyway, the Falcons, won, 20-10, before losing to Buffalo, 27-21, Saturday at the dome.

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Until next week: Texas A&M; Coach R.C. Slocum: “We won’t play a better team all year than Stanford.” Since the Aggies beat the Cardinal, 10-7, Wednesday night at Anaheim Stadium, one would presume they will remain undefeated.

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Thud: It didn’t take long for Stanford Coach Bill Walsh to fall off his pedestal in the Bay Area.

After Stanford lost to Texas A&M;, Mark Soltau’s lead paragraph in the San Francisco Examiner read: “Uh oh. So maybe Bill Walsh isn’t such a genius after all.”

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Ho hum: While waiting for the 50-meter freestyle awards ceremony at the U.S. Swimming National Championships, 16-year-old Lindsay Gassner, the seventh-place finisher from Valencia, worked up the courage to ask event winner Angel Martino what the Olympic Games in Barcelona were like.

Martino, winner of a gold medal and a bronze medal in Barcelona, replied: “No different than this meet, except a lot of the people couldn’t speak English.”

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Proper attire: On the same day the NHL disclosed its plan to curb fighting, the Detroit Red Wings’ Bob Probert announced he was coming out with a line of clothing.

The logo for “Probert Apparel” features boxing gloves dangling from a hockey stick.

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Forget it: Dan Magill, an assistant athletic director at Georgia and a former publicist, has come up with a slogan for Eric Zeier, the school’s promising sophomore quarterback:

“Higher and Higher--Catch on Fire with Eric Zeier,” Magill said. “It’s corny, but most slogans are.”

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Trivia answer: Joe Torre and Al Oliver.

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Quotebook: David Ogrin, on his journeyman status on the PGA Tour: “Phil Blackmar talks about flying his three-wood 250 yards. I couldn’t fly a Cessna 250 yards.”


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