He’s Automatic, but He Comes With a Stick

Steve Aschburner of the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, commenting on Frank Thomas, the Chicago White Sox slugger:

"(Frank Thomas) is a hitter without compromise, an offensive threat with all the options. He is a Mercedes that corners like a Porsche, turns heads like a Ferrari, survives mishaps like a Volvo, hauls like a Jeep and sips gas like a Civic.”

Sounds as if he has a pretty high resale value.

Trivia time: Who was the last major league pitcher to steal home?


How about $10 million?Don James, Washington’s former football coach, who resigned because of Pacific 10 Conference penalties he deemed too harsh, is adamant on staying retired.

Asked by Larry Henry of the Everett (Wash.) Herald whether he could be coaxed out of retirement by a coaching job in the NFL, James said: “They could offer me $5 million and part interest in the team, and I wouldn’t take it.”

Tight squeeze: Brad Baxter, a running back for the New York Jets, keeps a 40-pound, eight-foot python in his Mercedes convertible.

“My car comes with an alarm, but this is something extra,” he said.


Eat out, dear: Kirby Puckett of the Minnesota Twins, on home life with his wife, Tonya: “Catfish is my usual contribution if Tonya asks me to cook. Unfortunately, she doesn’t like fried catfish, but I think of that as her problem.”

Inflation: From the SportsLetter of the Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles: Nolan Ryan’s rookie trading card was valued at $11 by Beckett’s 1983 card catalogue. Now that he’s retiring after this season, the card is valued at $1,650.

The real Rocky: Tim Tomashek, a flabby, last-minute replacement for Mike Williams to fight Tommy Morrison on Monday night in Kansas City, Mo., recalled his adventure by saying: “It’s like a movie, but I ain’t Rocky. I’m uglier,” he said. “There’s a million guys out there who would jump at this chance. Did I train? I do have that step-climber machine. I used that a couple times. I got in shape by having the guys at work beat me up.”

Morrison scored a technical knockout in the fourth round over the Green Bay loading-dock worker.


Is that all? In his new book, “The Winner Within,” New York Knick Coach Pat Riley quotes William Shakespeare, Magic Johnson, Matthew 15:14, a Kikuyu proverb, Hannibal, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Honore de Balzac and Napoleon--all in Chapter 1.

Get a life: Joe Theismann, former Washington Redskin quarterback, has a low opinion of Indianapolis Colt quarterback Jeff George, who recently ended a holdout.

“Jeff has some problems. You don’t want this kind of guy leading your football team,” Theismann told the Chicago Sun-Times. “He thinks he’s too pretty. He’s too good looking. Gimme a break. Play some football. Be a real man.”

Trivia answer: Rick Sutcliffe of the Chicago Cubs against Philadelphia in 1988.


Quotebook: Dave Stockton, on playing the Senior PGA Tour: “I’ve got to figure out a way to take a vacation from a vacation.”