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Morning Briefing

Mets Finding New Friends by the Minute

September 04, 1986

The New York Mets, apparently headed for the National League championship series, are renewing old acquaintances now that playoff tickets are about to be made available.

General Manager Frank Cashen said, "Someone called up my wife and told her he went to kindergarten with me. She said, 'Then you don't know him. He never went to kindergarten.' "

Cashen's assistant, Arthur Richman, fielded a far more desperate plea.

"I had a call from a guy who said Bob Scheffing (former general manager of the Mets) told him to call me for tickets. I said, 'Oh, yeah, how is Bob doing?' He said, 'Fine, I saw him in Scottsdale the other day.' I said, 'You s.o.b., Bob has been dead for over a year.' "

Attn. Minot Chamber of Commerce: The Class A national fast-pitch softball tournament was held in Minot, N.D., last week, to the bafflement of at least one participant.

"When I told my sponsor we were coming to Minot for the nationals, she said, 'What on earth for? There's nothing there,' " said Coach Chuck Kauffman of Lancaster, Pa. "And you know what? She was right."

Lancaster?

There will be no lack of angles if the Mets and the Houston Astros end up in the National League playoffs. Consider:

--Each team began as collections of castoffs in 1962.

--Rusty Staub starred for both teams. So did Nolan Ryan, who is still active with the Astros.

--And then there's No. 8, Yogi Berra, now a coach with the Astros, but once the Mets' manager. In fact, he was their manager the last time the team advanced so far.

Also likely to field a question or two is the Mets' Ray Knight, traded away by the Astros two years ago.

Arnold Palmer's game may not be what it once was, but he still has the magic.

Palmer, playing in a pro-am preliminary to the Chrysler Cup in Potomac, Md., made a hole-in one on successive days at the 187-yard third hole.

As Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post wrote, "On Tuesday, Arnold Palmer made a hole-in-one. Wednesday, he returned and made a hole-in-a-million."

An instant after Palmer hit his ball Wednesday, he yelled, "Don't go in the hole again! Don't do that."

The ball hit the base of the flagstick on the fly and stayed in.

Palmer, who will be 57 next week, became the first pro in history to make a hole-in-one on the same tournament hole two days in a row.

"No odds," Palmer said. "It's impossible."

Word spread quickly.

"That hole is too easy," Chi Chi Rodriguez quipped. "I used to think Arnold Palmer could walk on water. Now I know it."

Joked Lee Elder: "He probably won't hit the green tomorrow."

Philadelphia Eagles Coach Buddy Ryan has become a sportswriter's best friend with the frequency and outrageousness of his quotes.

"I just tell the truth," he explains. "I'm not smart enough to say one thing and two days later remember what I said. I try to tell it like it is. Maybe it's not always right, but I try to be fair."

Before the opening exhibition game against Detroit, he said: "No we won't use the 46 (defense). We'd really be embarrassed. It's tough enough playing a good football team like this doing what you know. We couldn't play it against ourselves."

On the first series of the game, the Eagles lined up in the 46 defense and stopped the Lions. Quotebook

Chicago Bear William Perry, after he lifted St. Louis Cardinal quarterback Neil Lomax to his shoulders and then threw him to the ground: "If I had let him go, he could have thrown a touchdown pass."

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