Cities at war: Things are getting nasty in the fight between the Boston-Foxboro area and Providence, R.I., which is trying to lure the New England Patriots.
Writes Boston Globe columnist Mike Barnicle:
"Rhode Island is the only state in the union where residents spend more time planning automobile accidents and insurance rip-offs than kids' birthday parties.
"Downtown Providence is indeed very nice, with fine hotels and a convention center better than anything Boston has to offer. But it is all owned by Wall Street bond firms because Buddy [Providence Mayor Buddy Cianci] has hocked most of the city."
Trivia time: What major league team holds the one-season record for grand slams?
The buffet man: The Sporting News' Steve Marantz, on Dodger Mike Piazza's wait to play in a World Series:
"Mike Piazza . . . he's the guy who arrives at the all-you-can-eat buffet 10 minutes before closing, but only carrot and celery sticks remain."
Go ahead, splurge: Conde Nast Sports for Women suggests an around-the-world, 22-day golf tour on the Concorde, for golfers weary of their local links.
Stops include Tahiti, Bali, Thailand, Dubai, New Caledonia and Brazil.
Ouch! Former NFL tight end Bob Trumpy, in rating pass receivers for Inside Sports magazine, called San Diego's Eric Metcalf "a gutless wonder" and the league's "most cowardly receiver."
Wrote Trumpy: "Metcalf is in a league of his own on this front. I've never seen anyone else dive to the ground more often to avoid contact. I have no use for him."
Trumpy: "Johnson . . . should spend some time with his quarterback in the off-season or before practice.
"Parcells won't invest much time in this guy at the expense of his other players. The coach's attitude is: 'Shut up and play.' If Johnson doesn't do that, Parcells will get rid of him."
Trivia answer: This year's Atlanta Braves, with 12.
And finally: Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune offered this advice to Chicago Bears' owner Mike McCaskey: "Bring back Rudy Bukich."