A Bat So Good, It Warrants a Special Place in the Lineup

When talk-show regulars in San Francisco expressed skepticism after Giant Manager Dusty Baker said National League MVP Barry Bonds would bat fifth in the lineup, behind Will Clark and Matt Williams, Baker explained:

"I think the No. 5 hitter is the most important guy in the lineup. The No. 3 guy is a better hitter, but the No. 5 guy has to get those two-out RBIs."

Baker should know. He batted No. 5 at times during his eight years with the Dodgers, in back of Steve Garvey and Ron Cey.

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Freudian slip? Radio announcer Barry Milligan referred to the Outback Steakhouse Gator Bowl as the "Outhouse Steakhouse Gator Bowl."

And that was before fog nearly obliterated the field.

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Trivia time: Who is the only golfer to win both the U. S. Junior and U. S. Open championships?

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Sign 'em up: From Blackie Sherrod of the Dallas Morning News: "A heavyweight match I would pay to see is Don King vs. Dick Vitale in a talkoff."

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Add Sherrod: "If you try hard, perhaps you can remember when run-and-shoot was an offense, not a felony."

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Don't try it: Cleon Jones, the former New York Met, once asked an umpire if he could get thrown out of a game for thinking. When the ump replied, 'No,' Jones said: "Well, then, I think you are doing a lousy job."

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All or nothing: Former Masters champion Sandy Lyle has missed the cut in seven of his eight Players Championship starts. The one time he made the cut, in 1987, he won.

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Not so fast: Overheard on a Bay Area sports-talk show: "Jason Kidd is the greatest basketball player to come out of Oakland."

Wait a minute. Hall of Fame center Bill Russell went to McClymounds High, and fellow Hall of Fame forward Jim Pollard was named to the all-AAU team, which then was bigger than the pros, when he was still in high school at University.

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Last laugh? Seven years ago, in a meeting of NHL owners, the subject of changing the league division designations from Norris, Patrick, Adams and Smythe was raised by St. Louis Blues owner Harry Ornest, who wanted to make the league more customer-friendly and understandable by having geographical names such as Eastern or Atlantic.

"I was laughed at, shouted down," said Ornest, who eventually sold the Blues and is now a top official at Hollywood Park. Soon, the NHL is expected to do just what Ornest proposed.

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Slow progress: Jackie Robinson became the first black player in the major leagues when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, but Walter Leavy of Ebony magazine points out that it was 12 years before every team had at least one black player on its roster. The last team was the Boston Red Sox, who signed Elijah (Pumpsie) Green in 1959.

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Trivia answer: Johnny Miller won the Junior in 1964, the Open in 1973.

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Wrong flavor: After winning a particularly rough off-road race in the desert, Rod Hall said he wanted to celebrate with a bowl of ice cream.

"But it definitely won't be Rocky Road," the veteran Jeep driver said.

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Quotebook: Former coach Mike Ditka, on fellow TV announcer and former coach John Madden: "He's one man who didn't let success go to his clothes."

MORNING BRIEFING By SHAV GLICK Los Angeles Times Wednesday April 7, 1993 Home Edition Sports Part C Page 2 Column 1 Sports Desk 1 inches; 33 words Type of Material: Correction; Column Wrong school: Readers John Mitchell of Balboa and Guy Matheny of Venice correctly point out that Hall of Fame basketball star Jim Pollard went to Oakland Tech, not University High in Oakland as reported in a recent Morning Briefing item. --SHAV GLICK
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