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Humane Treatment of Players Characterizes These Tigers

Eric Davis has reportedly found happiness in Detroit. Last week, Manager Sparky Anderson allowed the outfielder to sit out a game because of a slightly sprained groin muscle.

“That just shows he cares,” Davis told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. “That’s what I’ve been waiting for, something like that.

“Before, it was like I was a piece of meat--just go out and play no matter what. I see there’s a difference here. They treat players like human beings.”

Davis couldn’t be referring to the Dodgers, could he?

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Trivia time: Penn State’s Joe Paterno achieved his 250th coaching victory Saturday. Who is ahead of him on the all-time Division 1-A list?

Prediction: From “Caught on the Fly” in the Sporting News:

“The Spies say not if, but when Coach Lou (Holtz) bolts the Land of the Golden Dome, the man N.D. will turn to is (Vanderbilt) Coach Gerry DiNardo, an All-American guard for the Irish.”

History’s lesson: An observation from Times staff writer Rich Roberts: “Some people think if the IOC awards China the 2000 Olympics this week, it will boost the democratic reform movement in that country.

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“It certainly worked for Germany in 1936, the Soviet Union in 1980, and Yugoslavia in 1984.”

Reality: Doug Moe, former Philadelphia 76er coach, after finishing 39 over par for 36 holes in the Michael Jordan Celebrity golf tournament:

“The worst thing about getting fired by the Sixers was having enough time to really work on my golf game--and finding out how bad it is.”

Third-man theme: From Blackie Sherrod of the Dallas Morning News: “Who started that silly practice of jocks referring to themselves in third person. (‘That is not good for Herschel Walker,’ says Herschel Walker, etc.).

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“As if they were some exalted being to be discussed only in reverent tones.”

Back to the future: Charlie (Choo Choo) Justice, a famed running back for North Carolina in the 1940s, recalled a season-opening game against highly regarded Texas in 1948 in Chapel Hill.

“Those Texans came into town in their big jets,” Justice told USA Today. “They paraded through town, waving their money around. We beat them, 34-7.”

Passenger jets in the ‘40s? Sorry, not even for rich Texans.

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Team of strangers: The Cincinnati Reds have used a club-record 50 players this season, according to the Sporting News.

“We’ve got a lot of 10-and-five guys on this team: 10 games at home and five games on the road,” Catcher Joe Oliver said. “I’m doing introductions out there on the mound. ‘By the way, my name’s Joe. What’s yours and what do you throw?’ ”

Trivia answer: Bear Bryant, 323; Amos Alonzo Stagg, 314, and Glenn (Pop) Warner, 313.

Quotebook: Frank Cooney of the San Francisco Examiner, on Philadelphia Eagle quarterback Randall Cunningham’s request to be buried in a pyramid when he dies: “Maybe he thinks he’s King Hut.”

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