Fixin' the World . . . One Crack at a Time:
Speaking of threads, Bud Selig, the acting stuffed shirt of baseball, says, "It's too early to make any snap judgments" about game attendance being way down.
Uh, Bud, when do you think snap judgments are made, quickly or after all the facts are in and the situation has been studied? That's called a conclusion.
* Besides marquee names like Nick Price, Greg Norman, Jose Maria Olazabal, etc., the field for next week's Kemper Open at Avenel in Potomac contains seven players who have combined for eight victories on the PGA Tour this year, including Lee Janzen, Davis Love, Vijay Singh, Payne Stewart, Tom Lehman, Mark O'Meara and Corey Pavin. Watch, some joker will complain the guy in 79th place on the money list isn't aboard and the whole thing should be scratched.
* The International Olympic Committee is distressed that Sydney, Australia isn't further along in its preparations for the 2000 Summer Games. Cool it, octogenarians. Forty years ago, Rome, which hosted the 1960 Games, was further along in preparations than Melbourne was for the 1956 version and everything got done and it was a fabulous show.
* The Washington Bullets have to be in mid-panic: Less than four weeks before they have to make the No. 4 pick in the NBA draft and torn between trading down, taking another forward to go with the dozen they have and who won't sign for a couple of months or pass. The bright and breezy president of the club, Susan O'Malley, says, "Hey, we got Juwan Howard with the fifth pick last year. Imagine what we can get with the fourth pick." Yeah, a guy nowhere near as good.
* Just because the Orioles' Andy Van Slyke is hitting .169 and otherwise hurting, that's no reason for the veteran center fielder to nonchalant it and play a hard single to center into two bases as he did in Anaheim Tuesday night. Someone tell the guy there's several players who hustle over in this league, too.
* Still another indication is in that soccer isn't about to threaten sports we have always held near and dear in this country despite last year's successful World Cup event here. The U.S. national team played Costa Rica in hotbed Tampa the other day before just 7,400 fans. The visitors prevailed, 2-1, on a goal three minutes from the end, but reassuring was the fact U.S. coach Steve Sampson said, "The guys were playing to win the game."
* The Major League Baseball Players Association fought long and hard to stop a small company in Oklahoma from producing "Cardtoon" parody cards poking fun at the conditions surrounding the strike called by the MLBPA last August. A federal court ruled against the players' "right to publicity" protection, deciding this would give it the power to suppress works it might deem unflattering.
Good grief, what is there about the present-day game anyone could take a shot at?
* Boxers Evander Holyfield, Michael Moorer and Lennox Lewis, former champions all, took a healthy swipe at the World Boxing Council for handing the No. 1 contender's spot to Mike Tyson once the leg irons were removed. "Holyfield lost to Moorer, Moorer has never been a WBC champ, light-heavy or heavyweight, and Lewis owes everything he has and everything he has accomplished to the opportunities given him by the WBC," retaliated organization president Jose Suliaman.
* It would be a pleasure to praise the beleaguered Ms. Harding to the skies for having turned her life around and gone on from the Olympic figure skating fiasco of 1994 to pitch the UCLA women's softball team to its eighth NCAA championship earlier this week. But the Bruins flinger's name was Tanya Harding, not Tonya.
* It's a good thing the Penguins sneaked out an opening-game victory against the Devils in their NHL quarterfinal series; otherwise, semifinalists Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia and New Jersey would have won all 16 games played against San Jose, Vancouver, Pittsburgh and the defending Stanley Cup champ New York Rangers. Exit parity, enter parody.
* Yes, those are impressive casts Orioles manager Phil Regan selected for his all-time best teams (page 7C): 1927 and 1961 Yankees, 1955 Dodgers, 1975-76 Big Red Machine Reds and 1970 Orioles. But, Phil, you as a pitcher should have slipped the 1929-30-31 Philadelphia A's of Lefty Grove, Rube Walberg and George Earnshaw in there, particularly since Jimmie Foxx anchored the "Million-Dollar Infield," Al Simmons usually hit about .370 and Mickey Cochrane might have been the best catcher ever.