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He Still Sees the Enemy Up on the Hill

Richie Ashburn, recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, told Paul Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he still has a grudge against pitchers.

“After 15 years of facing them, you don’t really get over them,” he said. “They’re devious. They’re the only players in the game allowed to cheat. They throw illegal pitches, and they sneak foreign substances on the ball. They can inflict pain whenever they wish.

“And they’re the only ones on the diamond who have high ground. That’s symbolic. You know what they tell you in war, ‘Take the high ground first.’ ”

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Trivia time: Who is the only active NFL player to have played in the Oakland Coliseum in a regular-season game?

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Who’s on first? Phil Rizzuto, 77, who recently retired as New York Yankee broadcaster, is remembered for some of his rambling, off-the-wall comments. A sampling:

--"And that ball is out of here. No, it’s not. Yes, it is. No, it’s not. What happened?”

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--"A high fly--and while it’s in the air, happy birthday to Daphne Lapizana. She turns 18 today.”

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Driving is OK too: Ivan Lendl had to give up tennis because of chronic back problems. However, he’s still an avid golfer.

Golf isn’t easy on the back, but Lendl told Tennis magazine, “My problem wasn’t turning, my problem was running. I don’t have to run here.”

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It had to happen: Producer Larry Thompson, formerly of New World Pictures, has been working with screenwriter Phil Rosenberg on a biography of Mickey Mantle. Leading candidates to play Mantle are actors Jason Priestly, Luke Perry and Matthew Perry.

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Whoopee! Bob Kravitz of the Rocky Mountain News on the NCAA sanctions imposed on Alabama: “I think it’s safe to assume that folks at [archrival] Auburn handled news of Alabama’s probation with grace, style and equanimity. Right after the week-long block party ended.”

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The high road: Ivan Maisel in the Sporting News: “Last year, the cover of the NCAA Football Media Guide featured University of North Alabama’s Demetrea Shelton, subsequently ruled academically ineligible.

“The NCAA took no chances this season. The coverboy is Byron (Whizzer) White, the 1937 Colorado All-American running back now retired from the U.S. Supreme Court.”

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Cruel: Tom Weir of USA Today writes that if the Nevada Boxing commission really wants to punish Vinny Vecchione for jumping into the ring to stop the Mike Tyson fight “they could make him listen to Don King tapes.”

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Trivia answer: Vince Evans, as quarterback for the Chicago Bears.

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Quotebook: Cornerback Terrell Buckley, who was traded by Green Bay to Miami, on his former team: “I don’t have nothing bad to say about Green Bay. I don’t have anything positive to say, either.”


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