Sorry, Silver Bullets aren't high-caliber


News . . . But Mostly Views:

Took in some of the Colorado Silver Bullets game with an outfit called the Navy Mariners in Washington Sunday. And although a few players on the all-women Bullets showed definite aptitude for the game, the team's making application for inclusion in a Class A minor league in the near future is largely fantasy.

Some players may be able to compete as individuals -- Bill Veeck once said he thought Babe Didrikson Zaharias might have been able to compete in the majors as a second baseperson -- but a whole squad? Never say never, but what's close? The Silver Bullets lost, 5-0, got three soft hits and presently have a record of 2-10 after going 6-38 last season. A league of their own would work.

* The field for the U.S. Senior Open at Congressional (Bethesda) beginning June 29 is a match for any cast short of a "major," age notwithstanding: Hale Irwin, Ray Floyd, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Weiskopf, Dave Stockton, Gary Player, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Arnold Palmer and defending champion Simon Hobday. Then there are multiple winners on the Senior PGE Tour this season Jim Colbert (3), Bob Murphy (2) and George Archer (2). Four rounds will be rough, especially if temperature and humidity decide to match up at 90.

* The ageless one, Lee Smith, through the end of May once again leads American League relief pitchers in saves (12) and relief points (36) as a California Angel. What has to smart if you're an Orioles fan, however, is the fact Jose Mesa of Cleveland was the top AL stopper for May with 11 saves and his season total of 35 points is just one behind Smith. Hey, didn't he used to work in this town? By the way, how has the Birds' bullpen been this season?

* If you were building a team for one best-of-seven series in the NBA playoffs, Sam Cassell would have to be mighty high on your obtain-at-any-cost list. The ex-Dunbar High and Florida State player seems only too glad to go where others fear to tread, driving the lane or the baseline. The job is similar to a wide receiver going over the middle to catch passes, and it's an absolute necessity for a team to have a penetrator in the rough and tumble playoffs. Old-timers will recall Jack George of the Philadelphia Warriors used to drive the lane in similar fashion, seemingly without regard for life or limb.

* An interesting article in the June issue of Runner's World discusses a study showing that an application of sunscreen, in addition to protecting the skin against dangerous rays, also lowers the skin and body temperature significantly. Added moisture to the skin means more evaporation and better cooling by as much as 20 percent, probably making a runner faster, longer. Now they tell me.

* One of the annual diatribes in newspapers, magazines and on sports talk shows the world could easily do without is the theorem that NBA basketball is light years better than the game the collegians play. Apples and oranges, folks. Depending upon what constitutes excitement, drama, involvement and meaning in the eyes of the beholder, it's easy to argue pro or con. Personally, I feel very strongly both ways, but not every year between "March Madness" and the NBA's "Summer Slam."

* After the way he has performed in just three fights over more than the last 19 months, this would classify as "put up or shut up" time for Riddick Bowe, who takes on Jorge Luis Gonzalez on HBO Saturday. While the Washington-based heavyweight staged two memorable brawls against Evander Holyfield, winning a title and losing it back, those efforts come close to qualifying for historic license plates soon.

With the title, he fought has-been Michael Dokes and never-was Jesse Ferguson, both debacles lasting less than three minutes. Since losing to Holyfield, he had a no-contest bout with Buster Mathis Jr., whom he belted when the man was down, and woefully outclassed Larry Donald and Herbie Hide. While the record is nothing to brag about, Bowe and manager Rock Newman still delude themselves into thinking Riddick is as popular and potent as Joe Louis was in his heyday.

* The quarterback who took the Barcelona Dragons to within one game of Saturday's World Bowl, the championship of the World League of American Football in Europe, is former Howard University siege gunner Jay Walker, who threw for nearly a million yards against Morgan State as a collegian.

Jay, who mans the clipboard on the sidelines for the New England Patriots and who will be looking to supplant Scott Zolak (Maryland) as Drew Bledsoe's backup in his other life, and his team were drubbed by the Frankfurt Galaxy, 44-20, in the WLAF semis. The Galaxy plays Amsterdam for all the marbles.

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