He'd Like to See Players Again Give Ice-Water Showers

Mike Royko of the Chicago Tribune comes to the defense of the Cleveland Indians' Albert Belle for being rude and hostile to TV reporter Hannah Storm during the World Series, resulting in a $50,000 fine.

"Now Belle is even grouchier, and I can't say I blame him," Royko wrote. "Anyone who has watched more than one minute of TV news knows that TV reporters are not known for politeness, consideration and civility. And they aren't heavy on brainpower, either.

"If anything, they are among the most obnoxious, intrusive and arrogant of all public creatures."

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Trivia time: Who is the only athlete to win gold medals in the Summer and Winter Olympics?

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Spirit of '96: Nick Canepa in the San Diego Union-Tribune on Frank Bruno's technical knockout loss to Mike Tyson Saturday night: "The last time an Englishman fought this poorly on our shores, he was wearing a red coat."

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Job requirement: The cover of the Cincinnati Reds' 1996 media guide features a collage of photos, with owner Marge Schott in the center of the top row staring down at a photo of Schottzie 02, the team mascot.

To the sides are photos of Manager Ray Knight and five players:

Knight has to share space with a dog, which is better than the last two managers--Tony Perez and Davey Johnson--who failed to make the cover of the media guide.

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Pick-up team: Trying to identify the Oakland Athletics in the team's media guide may be difficult.

Manager Art Howe, who coached for Colorado last year, is wearing a Rocky cap. Third base coach Duffy Dyer has on a Milwaukee Brewer cap. Hitting coach Danny Walling wore a Houston Astro cap and first base coach Ron Washington has on a minor league cap.

Moreover, 21 players wear non-Oakland caps.

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Futile genius: Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle recalls a 1985 49ers' media guide that became a collector's item because of a sentence in Coach Bill Walsh's biography that said his "vastly futile mind and skilled coaching techniques can produce successes equal to the legendary coaches of the NFL."

In subsequent printing, the word "futile" was corrected to "fertile."

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Itchy situation: PGA rookie Tim Herron, who recently won the Honda Classic, hit a drive during the tournament that landed on a "hill." It was an anthill. Yes, he got a free drop.

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Come again? People magazine selected Miami Heat center Alonzo Mourning among its 50 Most Beautiful People for 1996. Said Mourning: "I asked them, 'Who the heck is on the committee?' "

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Hit-man leaves: Woody Woodburn in the Ventura Star: "If I'm an NFL wide receiver, I'll sleep better tonight knowing Ronnie Lott has retired."

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Trivia answer: American Edward Eagan, who won the light-heavyweight title at the 1920 Summer Olympics and was a member of the winning four-man bobsled team at the 1932 Winter Games.

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