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Players seeking control of game they already run


The News . . . and some views:

The baseball players want to control baseball -- totally, completely and without reservation. They don't want to allow the owners to make so much as a sou on their investments.

But, wait, don't these guys control the game already? The owners go out and try to make themselves a few bucks with an All-Star Game or a World Series and the players quickly whisk most of the money away.

The revamped Golden Rule -- he who has the gold rules -- would seem to apply here. The owners do the work, seeing to it that an avalanche of greenbacks comes flowing into the game, and the players command 56 percent of it in salaries and benefits. That percentage certainly sounds like control, doesn't it?

* Dan Jansen wins the Sullivan Award.

There you go again, saying it was a sympathy vote that gave the "Sully" to the speedskater who struggled through several Olympics before he finally came through as a favorite and captured a gold medal.

That wasn't it at all. The award is for amateurs, those who love their sport and compete in it through thick and thin, no matter the results. Dan did that without reservation, simply for the sport of it. It was more than enough.

* The final league standings of high school hoops haven't been published here yet, so we go to Washington to find out that on both the girls' and boys' sides several teams in metro Maryland and Virginia have had what qualify as disappointing campaigns.

It's cruel to tell so many kids to turn in their gear with such a bad taste in their mouths. Hey, why not a couple of tournaments to raise the spirits of these lads and lassies?

The girls' field would include Kennedy (0-21), Parkdale and Bell (both 0-19), all qualifying first-round byes. Then there are Gaithersburg (1-21), Bowie, Lee and Stonewall Jackson (all at 1-18) and Magruder, South River and Phelps with their 2-19 records. Teams with two victories have to play the first quarter with four players.

The boys' cast would include Sidwell Friends (1-21), Loudoun Valley (1-20), Douglass (0-21), Bowie (1-19) -- what, are there no backboards and baskets in that town? -- St. Mary's Ryken (1-21), Edmund Burke (1-19) and Chesapeake (2-20).

Make it a round-robin affair with all teams playing until they get a win. They then have the option of withdrawing and going out a winner or going on.

* Basketball player Kevin Duckworth has been suspended again.

Those insensitive types who run the Washington Bullets are getting to be too much. Don't these guys realize that Kevin Duckworth is a big-boned, big-framed individual and he does stretch up to 84 inches. And that's in stocking feet.

What do these people want Duck to do, show up looking like "Easy Ed" Macauley, who spread 187 pounds over his 6-8 frame in All-America and All-NBA fashion for so many years?

Duckworth was first suspended for sporting a body deemed a bit too large to play on a Bullets team fighting tooth and nail to escape the basement of the 27-team NBA. Left to his own devices, Kevin regimented himself to the point where an examining physician said he was fit enough to resume playing. A structural engineer was not consulted.

Kevin lost about $190,000 in salary when he had to sit out last time and, Monday, when Bullets general manager John Nash checked his weight again, he came to the conclusion, "He's going in the wrong direction [weight-wise]."

Remember those old scales and the prescribed weights they used to have imprinted on them? Ideal weight for a six-foot male used to be 138 pounds as I recall. Yes, if you trained 100 miles a week and just won the Boston Marathon.

Duckworth's a big guy. NBA players get hefty meal money when they're on the road. What's a guy to do, return home with some of that meal money in his pocket? Making the situation mighty suspicious is the fact the team needed a spot on the roster for Don MacLean, who was returning after being out with a broken thumb since Christmas.

Maybe they were afraid with both guys on the team Duckworth might have ended up eating MacLean on a cracker during one of his hunger fits.

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