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It Wasn’t Only Waving That Ball Fair That Did It

Jeff Torborg, former manager of the Chicago White Sox, commenting to Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune on catcher Carlton Fisk, who was recently elected to the Hall of Fame:

“In 1989, we’re 32-59 at the All-Star break and I’m racking my brain, trying to figure out what to do. I’d stay at old Comiskey [Park] until 1:30, 2 o’clock and I thought I was the only one in the park besides clubhouse man Willie Thompson.

“I was leaving one night and here comes Pudge [Fisk] down the spiral staircase near the dugout. He’d been up there working out for two or three hours, and this was after catching nine innings.

“You wonder how he got to the Hall of Fame? That’s how.”

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More Fisk: Fisk played in the big leagues--Red Sox-White Sox--in four decades, from 1969 through 1993.

Said Chicago teammate Steve Lyons in 1990, “Pudge is so old, they didn’t have history class when he went to school.”

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Trivia time: The loss to Milwaukee that ended their record 33-game winning streak in January 1972 left the Lakers with what won-lost record?

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Small shot: Greg Cote of the Miami Herald on the Buffalo Bills’ decision to start Rob Johnson at quarterback in the “Miracle of Music City” loss to Tennessee:

“Doug Flutie is so mad, he could punch somebody in the shin.”

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The haves say no: Paola Boivin in the Arizona Republic: “With all the great stories in the Pac-10 this season, it’s the perfect time for a postseason basketball tournament. Too bad we don’t get one.

“Blame the athletic directors at Arizona, Stanford and UCLA, who . . . voted ‘no’ on the proposal last season. Eight ‘yes’ votes are needed before the issue is taken up with faculty representatives.”

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You can be a slob: When Fox cameras took a shot of casually dressed Matt Millen, working Sunday’s Cowboy-Viking game for CBS radio, John Madden said:

“You don’t have to get dressed up to do radio. Heck, you don’t even have to take a shower.”

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Will he or won’t he? There is speculation that Dan Marino will retire after the season, but the Miami quarterback hasn’t tipped his hand. Phil Simms, former Super Bowl MVP quarterback, has some advice:

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“If Dan isn’t 1,000% sure, then don’t retire. It’s a long life after football. Get everything out of your system.”

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Shrine of the times: In preparation for Saturday’s East-West Shrine Bowl at Stanford, players underwent some psychological testing.

Michigan quarterback Tom Brady said one of his favorite questions was: “If you found a wallet filled with money, would you return it?”

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“Well, I guess it pretty much depends on how hurting you are for money that day,” he said with a laugh.

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Trivia answer: The Lakers had a 39-4 record after that loss. They finished the regular season with a 69-13 mark.

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And finally: Golfer Curtis Strange, also an ESPN analyst, in an interview with USA Today:

“There now are two tours, the Tiger Tour and the one he doesn’t play. When Tiger doesn’t play in a tournament, the sponsors are concerned and so is [Tour Commissioner] Tim Finchem. But there’s not much you can do about it.”


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