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A Key Aspect of His Game Is Saving Face

Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell of the Chicago White Sox collects, of all things, smiley faces--coffee cups, buttons, banks, a cookie jar with HAVE A HAPPY DAY on it. He even painted yellow smiley faces on his sneakers.

“They make me laugh because isn’t yellow supposed to be an anger color?” McDowell said in Chicago magazine. “Like, if you paint your walls yellow, it’s supposed to make you feel angry. So it’s funny to me that the happy face is yellow. It’s a dichotomy.”

Hmm, never gave it much thought, Jack.

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Trivia time: How many times since they moved here have the Lakers finished the regular season with a sub-.500 record?

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Irish recruiting: With only three months to prepare for the World Cup soccer finals, Ireland’s injury-weakened team is looking for reinforcements, and any world-class players with roots in the Emerald Isle will do.

“The joke in English soccer circles these days,” writes Steve Coll of the Washington Post, “is that to become a member of Ireland’s World Cup team, all you need to do is find a grandmother who once drank a pint of Guinness.”

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Touch of class: Dusty Baker, San Francisco Giant manager, was a teammate of Hank Aaron with the Atlanta Braves.

“He was amazing,” Baker told Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle. “I probably saw 100 of his home runs and I never saw him hit a tape-measure homer. Not once.

“The ball always went just far enough, no matter what park. I swear, he must have had a gauge in his bat.”

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No scholarships? Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Sun-Times: “The good thing about Barry Switzer coaching the Dallas Cowboys is that we’ll see our first Super Bowl champion placed on probation.”

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Norman’s nemesis: Art Spander of the San Francisco Examiner, on Greg Norman’s failure to win the Masters:

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“Norman has done almost everything in golf except win the Masters. And one senses he is doomed never to win the Masters. He’s the Red Sox and the World Series. He’s Ivan Lendl and Wimbledon. He’s jinxed. He’s a golfer.”

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Yawn: Gil LeBreton in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: “The first 250 times that you hear Arkansas Coach Nolan Richardson rant about the alleged injustices committed against him and his Razorback program, you sit and listen.

“The next 500 or so times, you just sit.”

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Ambush: Terry Foster of the Detroit News doesn’t anticipate that the Pistons’ Isiah Thomas will have a farewell tour before his retirement.

“Can you imagine the presents he’d get in Chicago, New York and Atlanta?” Foster writes. “You’d need helmets, flak jackets and metal detectors at the door to handle the heartwarming gifts those fans would shower upon him.”

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Trivia answer: Five times: 1960-61, 1966-67, 1974-75, 1975-76 and 1992-93.

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Quotebook: New York Met broadcaster Ralph Kiner: “We’re experiencing audio technicalities.”


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