2, 4, 6, 8, see how we exterminate

Times Staff Writer

UC Irvine baseball Coach Mike Gillespie, the former USC coach who took over the Anteaters this season, has been the butt of a few jokes from his coaching brethren because of his new school’s nickname.

But he said he has nothing to be ashamed of.

“We have Aztecs, we have Toreros, we have Highlanders and we’ve got Titans,” Gillespie said. “Most people don’t even know what those things are. We know what we are: We are the Anteaters. We eat ants. That’s what we do. We rid the world of ants.

“Mascots should be ferocious,” Gillespie continued. “Well, if you’re an ant, then an anteater is ferocious.”


Trivia time

Gillespie, who played for the 1961 USC national champions and coached the Trojans to the 1998 national title, is one of only two men to have played for and coached a college baseball national champion. Who is the other?

Winning them over

New Michigan football Coach Rich Rodriguez, embroiled in legal wrangling over his departure from West Virginia, addressed the crowd at Michigan’s basketball game Sunday.

“I’ve been called a lot things in the last month but the best thing somebody called me, one of the former lettermen last night said, ‘Coach Rod, you’re a Michigan man,’ ” Rodriguez said.

He said Michigan fans have welcomed him with open arms -- so far. “I’m in the honeymoon stage,” he said. “I haven’t lost a game yet.”


Kyle Kendrick thought he was headed to Japan.

The second-year pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies was called into Manager Charlie Manuel’s office Saturday, and assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. informed him of a trade that would send him to the Yomiuri Giants.

The thing is major league players cannot be traded to Japan. It was all an elaborate prank being played on Kendrick.


The unknowing Kendrick signed phony paperwork and nearly broke down in tears as he wandered back through the clubhouse and into a hallway.

He called his agent, who was in on the joke, and was consoled by teammates, who finally let him in on it.

“I’ve never been so happy,” Kendrick said. “Seriously.”

Marathon on ice

A group of amateur players from Edmonton set a world record for longest continuous hockey game: 240 hours.

The 40 players broke the record at noon Monday and raised more than $300,000 for cancer research after 10 consecutive days of nonstop puck-chasing through temperatures that ranged from three to minus-40 degrees.

The final score was Team Hope 2,250, Team Cure 2,223.

Holmes in the house

J.B. Holmes is seeded No. 64 for the Accenture Match Play Championship, which means he gets a first-round match with No. 1 Tiger Woods.

Some have written off Holmes as a bit of a sacrificial lamb for Woods, who has won seven of the last eight tournaments he’s played.


So when Holmes showed up to register Monday at The Gallery at Dove Mountain near Tucson, Masters champion Zach Johnson stopped in mock surprise.

“Wow! So you did decide to show up,” Johnson said to him.

Trivia answer

Jerry Kindall, who played for Minnesota’s 1956 national champions and coached Arizona to titles in 1976, ’80 and ’86.

And finally

Sunderland goalkeeper Craig Gordon made several nice saves during a 2-0 English Premier League victory over Wigan. He also got his hair cut short just before the game and Coach Roy Keane said the two may have been related.

“I think the haircut helps,” Keane said. “Having my hair cut used to help me. I used to feel leaner and sharper. Meaner. So I might shave mine next month.”