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Morning Briefing

The Day McEnroe Went Too Far

September 01, 1985

John McEnroe said there were times in his career when he wished he could gag it up and play it for laughs, but he figured he owed it to the fans to play the best tennis he could.

He thought other players had the same responsibility and recalled a match with Ivan Lendl.

"I remember playing him six years ago in an exhibition in front of 10,000 people, and it was embarrassing because he wasn't trying," said McEnroe. "I started yelling at him and saying things. I called him names and I finally got him angry."

So what happened?

"He ended up winning," McEnroe said. "I've never seen the guy try so hard. Ironically, that was the start of when he beat me seven times in a row."

Eric Dickerson is quoted in The Sporting News as saying: "I'm so sick of hearing about the car that Georgia (Frontiere, the Rams' owner) gave me, the $200,000 worth of furniture that I do not see in my house, and that she's flown my mother out there, when she's never flown my mother out. They should get tired of repeating that, the same thing over and over."

Trivia Time: The first American League home run champion was second baseman Napoleon Lajoie of the Philadelphia Athletics with 14 in 1901. Since then, only one second baseman has won the title. Who was it? (Answer below.)

The New York Giants finished the NFL exhibition season with a 5-0 record, but no one is planning any ticker-tape parades.

The last time they went unbeaten in their exhibitions was 1973, when they finished 6-0.

In the regular season, they finished 2-11-1.

Houston Oilers quarterback Warren Moon, on wide receiver Drew Hill, whom the Oilers obtained from the Rams: "Drew has been a big surprise. He's been able to pick up our offense quickly, and he's shown he can run the deep routes for us. He's also smart enough to make the underneath adjustments. He's done a great job."

Reggie Jackson was asked if he noticed, after getting a double Friday night, that the Yankee Stadium scoreboard flashed that it was the 1,000th extra-base hit of his career.

Jackson: "There are those who watch the scoreboard, and those that lie. Everybody watches the scoreboard. The extra-base hit total doesn't seem to get that much publicity. I guess I'm 17th now, and maybe it is a feat, after all."

Jackson is three extra-base hits behind Honus Wagner for 16th place on the list. The leader is Henry Aaron with 1,477 extra-base hits. Stan Musial is second with 1,377.

Pete Rose never went to college, but he told Steve Jacobson of Newsday that Woody Hayes once enlisted him to talk to the ROTC class at Ohio State.

Added Rose: "You know, Woody has two pictures in his office: Patton and Rose."

That's quite an entry--Old Blood and Guts, and Charlie Hustle.

Trivia Answer: Bobby Grich of the Angels. In the strike-shortened season of 1982, he hit 22 homers to tie for the title with Tony Armas of Oakland, Eddie Murray of Baltimore and Dwight Evans of Boston.


Pam Shriver, saying no one should have been surprised that she had to struggle to beat Hu Na in the U.S. Open: "You figure there's eight trillion people in China, and if she was No. 1 there, it says something."

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