There's a run on N.Y. applications, too

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The New York City Marathon goes to the post for the 23rd time Sunday (10:30 a.m., ABC) with a field of 26,000 runners that easily could have numbered twice as many. "First time we ever had to reject as many applications as we accepted," said race director Fred Lebow.


Two applications Lebow didn't get a chance to turn down were those of defending champs Salvador Garcia and Liz McColgan. "They must have been offered more money to compete in marathons in Japan and Germany," explained Lebow, who certainly knows about such things.

* Not only is baseball doing the Tampa Bay area a huge disservice, the way it is holding up the sale and movement of the Giants to Florida, it is just about to be the target of a massive lawsuit and we all know how the game does any time it goes into court.


Not only are the folks in the San Francisco Bay Area not interested in building the ballclub a park, there's not enough money around to purchase the franchise and the constant delaying tactics of the National League aren't about to change that. It's not as though the area will be left without a team.

* Navy coach George Chaump, reviewing the football situation in Annapolis, said, "We were all prepared to go at the beginning of the season and then we lost so many players [to injury]. We could probably use a month to get things back in order." That was before facing Delaware. The opponent this week is Notre Dame, which is favored by 38 points, so maybe the coach would like to revise his estimate.

* Next guy that tells me it was a great World Series because the scores were close fairly screams he probably wouldn't appreciate a well-played baseball game if it walked up and bit him. There were way too many guys who ended up hitting .200 or less, Atlanta manager Bobby Cox was obviously in the midst of a week-long mental breakdown and catchers simply giving up a base to a stealer without a throw smacked of Little League. And how about the Fall Classic ending on a failed bunt attempt?

* Randy Cross, the football player turned broadcaster who spent a lot of years passing the ball up to Joe Montana as the center of the San Francisco 49ers, is nothing if not truthful. He doesn't see Montana reclaiming his quarterbacking job in Frisco, "Because I think the Niners are Steve Young's team now. . . . and right now, I'd have to say he's the best in the league."

* The Washington Capitals haven't been shut out in 235 games, the third-longest streak in NHL history. But what good does it do them when they generally score two goals while the other team is getting five?

* Then there's the story of the sportswriter who had a football game to cover for his paper but who was stuck managing a baseball team in a tournament. What to do, what to do? Easy. The guy picked a fight with the umpire, called him a lousy so-and-so, was told to leave and was soon on his way to his job assignment.

* The problem with the "High school football honor roll," run each Monday in USA Today, is coaches the length and breadth of the land goad their stars into smashing performances mostly for publicity purposes. For instance, a kid in New Jersey rushed 11 times for 216 yards and four touchdowns and also scored on a pass interception and an 80-yard kickoff return. . . . all while his team was frolicking, 54-0.

* While thousands wait breathlessly each week for the college football polls of the Associated Press and the coaches, the preference here is the New York Times poll. Each week there are at least two or three completely unbelievable and illogical selections turned in by the paper's computer.


For instance, Alabama leap-frogged from No. 4 over Michigan, Washington and Miami to the top spot over the weekend by beating Mississippi, 31-10. Meanwhile, Miami won by 20, Washington 24 and Michigan 50 points, and dropped.

Notre Dame, barely inside the top 25 the last two weeks (imagine), made it back up to No. 13 by whipping Brigham Young, 42-16. A solid win over Navy Saturday may have the Irish contending before you know it.

* Seriously now, what was Joe West doing umpiring the World Series? The guy has a chip on his shoulder, baits ballplayers and is a borderline ump at best. Almost as bad is Joe Brinkman showing up to work the American League playoffs. Please, umpires association, forget this revolving business and return to the merit system.

* The University of Delaware went over the top in a fund-raising campaign to upgrade the athletic facilities last week, but it wouldn't surprise if the chief donor had second thoughts about his generosity. The school newspaper took developer Frank Acierno over the coals, rehashing his confrontations with state and county governments -- which all developers have -- while adding he once was accused of but not charged with bribery. Just kids having fun.