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The Rule Is the Rule Is the Rule

May 29, 1985

If Manager Billy Martin of the New York Yankees can wear a cross on his cap, why can't Fort Lauderdale Yankees' Coach Bucky Dent?

During a recent Class-A game in Winter Haven Fla., Florida State

League umpires told Dent to remove the cross, claiming it violates league uniform rules.

Dent reluctantly complied, but Coach Brian Butterfield donned the cross, returned to the field and was ejected from the game.

When Dent asked Martin what he would do, the feisty manager replied: "I'd make them throw me out of the game, then I'd blast them."

But out of deference to his 26-man team, Dent switched the cross to his undershirt in later games.

"I think it stinks," Dent said. "They should be worried about other things, than worried about something on my hat. It's not like I'm advertising Budweiser or anything else."

Add Dent: Florida State League President George McDonald Jr. defended his tightening of rules that have been on books for years, adding that it is not a religious issue.

"All players are to be dressed uniformly," McDonald said. "I'm not trying to make an issue of the cross itself. It would be the same if he wore a button that said, 'I like President Nixon.' "

Former boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard admits he hasn't worked out much since he retired early last year.

Recently, Leonard was being interviewed by a writer when this exchange took place between the former champion and his wife, Juanita, who has been bugging him to do more exercise:

Sugar Ray: "I procrastinate. I've got a basket out there on the driveway. I've got golf shoes, golf clubs. Tennis, I'd like to get involved in tennis. But I always come up with a cold. I've been doing sit-ups."

Juanita: "How many did you do?"

Sugar Ray: "About five."

Joe Bowman, 74, threw out the first ball in the feature game Saturday night in the opening round of the National Junior College World Series.

It was 50 years ago last Friday that Bowman pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field in Cincinnati in the first major league game played under the lights.

"It was a big deal," Bowman recalled. "President (Franklin) Roosevelt turned on the lights and they had a full house."

The Reds beat the Phillies, 2-1, and Bowman remembers how.

"I don't know if the lights had anything to do with it or not," he said, "but we dropped a fly ball that let the two runs in."

Add forgettable quotes: Laker Coach Pat Riley last Friday, "Everyone is worrying how the Lakers will play Celtics' basketball. That's bull. They have to play us. They're going to have to run, get back on defense and stop the fast break."


Mr. Cub, Ernie Banks, when asked by San Diego catcher Terry Kennedy what he thought about when he went to the plate in a pressure situation: "Lola Falana at the beach."

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