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Morning Briefing

Al Davis' Agents in Action

April 15, 1986

They say that Al Davis is a step ahead of the other owners in the National Football League, and Dick Steinberg believes it. He also says it's no accident

Steinberg, personnel director for the New England Patriots, told Leigh Montville of the Boston Globe: "Al is everywhere. He has a guy at every game in every city in the league every week. On Sunday night, all of his guys call a special number and a kid takes down their reports. On Monday, his guys clip out every story in the local newspapers and sends them to Al.

"He's a fascinating guy. I once went to see him about a job. I went to his office at 10 o'clock in the morning and we began talking. The two of us. We talked and talked, never leaving the room. Finally, he says, 'What time's your plane?' I told him 6 o'clock. He looked at his watch and said I'd already missed it by an hour. We just kept talking."

As for dealing with Davis, Steinberg said: "I'd say he's the same as Red Auerbach. When he calls you about a player, the first thing you do is put up your left hand in defense."

Add Forgettable Quotes: After the Cleveland Indians released veteran catcher Jerry Willard and kept rookie Andy Allanson, Willard told the Cleveland Plain Dealer: "It was a surprise, a total shock. They want to use the kid, but they'll be sorry. They feel Andy can go up and do the job. He won't. I know. He's got 3,000 holes in his game. They're wrong and I'm right."

Guess who's leading the American League in hitting? You got it, Andy Allanson. He's batting .500.

Trivia Time: Who is the only coach who has coached teams to titles in three different divisions in the NBA? (Answer below.)

From a column by Gary Myers and Mark Blaudschun of the Dallas Morning News: "No one in Iowa City is crying about the loss of George Raveling to Southern Cal. The feeling is he's a 16-20 victory-per-year coach who is considered a good recruiter and a mediocre coach. Raveling fell out of favor when he lost three straight to Iowa State and another to Drake, an intrastate rival."

Would-you-believe-it dept.: In one week, Seattle rookie Danny Tartabull has hit more home runs than his father hit in his career. Danny hit his third Monday against the Angels. Jose Tartabull, in a nine-year career with Kansas City, Boston and Oakland, had a total of two home runs.

For What It's Worth: The oldest player to win the Masters before Jack Nicklaus won at 46 was Gary Player. He was 42 when he won in 1978. The oldest player to win a major tournament is still Julius Boros. He was 48 when he won the PGA in 1968.

Add Masters: Wrote Buddy Martin of the Denver Post: "As an indication of how skeptical the press was about Nicklaus' chances, he was auctioned off for a paltry $15 Friday night at the annual writers' calcutta. The auctioneer bought Nicklaus for $15 because he was embarrassed that the bidding had stopped at $14.

"Seve Ballesteros went for $200. Nicklaus was bought for the same price as Payne Stewart."

Note: The auctioneer collected $470.

Trivia Answer: Bill Fitch. He won with Cleveland (Central) in 1975, Boston (Atlantic) in 1980, 1981 and 1982, and Houston (Midwest) in 1986.

Quotebook

Nick Price, on his putt which rimmed out on the 18th hole during his record round in the Masters: "It's as if Bobby Jones stuck his hand up and said, 'Hold it, 63 is enough. You can't have a 62.' "

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