Hartford Writer Uses His Pen to Harpoon Ex-Whaler Coach

Hartford Courant hockey writer Jeff Jacobs didn't hold anything back when commenting on the firing of Whaler Coach Pierre McGuire.

"In 15 years of covering the NHL, we had never seen a coach so universally disrespected and disliked within his own organization," Jacobs wrote.

"When a young man is so headstrong, so emotional, so calculating, such a control freak, so full of ambition and so full of himself, he will either rocket to the top or crash.

"McGuire fancied himself two parts Scotty Bowman and one part Bob Johnson. It turned out to be a superhuman leap of faith on his part."

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Alumni Help: Yankee pitching coach Billy Connors recently asked Yankee writers if any of them were going to Sunday's Knicks-Bulls game. Suzyn Waldman of WFAN radio said she was.

Connors handed her a hand-written note and said: "Give this to Pat (Riley). It's a Linton High pep talk."

Connors and Riley attended Linton High School in Schenectady, N.Y.

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Trivia time: Name the longest-living boxing heavyweight champions. Both are alive.

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Tenure king: Tom Keegan of the Baltimore Sun, commenting on the firing of Angel Manager Bob Rodgers:

"At this rate, the Angels will have another 11 managers before (Dodger Manager Tom) Lasorda is unseated."

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Out on the limb: Randy Galloway, columnist for the Dallas Morning News, filed this report Friday, the day before the Preakness:

"Unfortunately, I'm busy, so take two bucks, bet it Saturday on Blumin Affair and we'll talk later. It'll be at least next week before I have time for thank yous and many rounds on the house. Or to explain how Kentucky Derby winner Go For Gin will be hooked at the nostrils by other speed balls, won't be cruising on the lead like in Louisville and won't know what buzzed him when the Bloomer comes flying in the stretch."

Blumin Affair finished sixth.

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Trivia Answer: Jack Sharkey (1932-33) and Max Schmeling (1930-32). Sharkey is 91, Schmeling 88.

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Quotebook: Guido Tognoni, spokesman for FIFA, soccer's ruling body, told the Orlando Sentinel that alcohol and hooliganism won't be a problem in Orlando during the World Cup.

"The beer drinking is only a problem for the toilets." he said. "Besides, the American beer is light."

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