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Scott Ostler

Answer Man Finds Something Funny in World of Sports

September 01, 1987|Scott Ostler

Dear Answer Man: With all the sports books out on the market, when can we expect to see Bo Jackson's life story?

I hear the long-awaited Bojax bio is on the way. In this sizzler, Bo explains how he was able to stay in the major leagues an entire season while striking out in nearly half his at-bats. The book will be titled "Swing to Daylight."

The Raiders are still searching for a quarterback, Marcus Allen is struggling, the defense speaks loudly and carries a soft stick, and the only reason the Raiders are 1-2 in the exhibition season is thanks to a gift from the Dallas Plowboys. Is there anything good you can say about our Raiders?

They're not peaking too soon.

Are the Raiders really leaving town? Is this the end of the Coliseum?

Hardly. My sources bring exciting rumors about a series of big moves that will make everyone happy. The Raiders will move to Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers will move back to the Coliseum and the Angels will move to Irwindale.

Thus, the Raiders will escape the Keystone Koliseum Kommission. The Angels will escape the Anaheim Stadium jinx and the Rams' parking-lot takeover.

And the Dodgers will return to the place where they played their most exciting ball since leaving Brooklyn. Remember the Coliseum's old "Chinese Wall" left-field screen, 250 feet from home plate? That should turn several Dodgers into home-run threats, including some of the hitters. And, a big consideration for the Dodgers, the Coliseum is much closer to the city's major medical-care facilities.

How can you explain Carl Lewis' losing to Ben Johnson in the World Championships 100?

Easy. Carl didn't lose. He, uh, wasn't quite ready for this one. He, uh, didn't take this Johnson guy seriously, but sure as heck will next time. He, uh, his start, uh . . .

Look, sprinters and boxers never lose. They sometimes fall victim to sinister cosmic forces beyond their control and suffer temporary setbacks.

In other words, they're all sore losers.

One game after allegedly being caught in the act by close-up TV cameras, Don Sutton goes out sans sandpaper and pitches a seven-inning shutout. This has got to be great news for Sutton, eh?

Hardly. Now Sutton realizes that his problem all along was overscuffing. If he had ditched the sandpaper 20 years ago, he'd have 420 wins by now.

Why didn't people believe Don Sutton when he said that little spot on his left palm was a bandage covering a blister?

He would be the first right-handed, American League (ie: non-batting) pitcher ever to get a blister on his left palm. How would he get a blister there? By turning on the clubhouse shower too often?

Come on, wise guy. Sutton has never been convicted of scuffing a ball. Umpires have confiscated baseballs thrown by Sutton, but he's never been found guilty of a crime. How do you explain that?

He shredded the evidence.

When will Mike Marshall be back in action?

Any season now. Marshall will have a more definitive answer as soon as he checks in with his medical consultant, Bill Walton.

Have you read Hollywood Henderson's new book?

I didn't read it, but I skimmed it. After looking at about three paragraphs, I took it to the Fourth Street Bridge and skimmed it across the L.A. River.

Actually the only thing I object to is the author's nickname. Hollywood has a connotation of glitter and glamour. He needs something more aesthetically appropriate, like Irwindale Henderson.

Don't you just love the jock drug-confession books that tell it like it is?

Right. These are the last guys in the world to know how it is. They stuff themselves with speed, weed, crack, smack and angel dust, fricassee their brain cells, then expect us to believe they remember what actually happened. What do you suppose these fellows do? Take notes while they free-base? The only part of Irwindale Henderson's book I actually believe is the price tag.

How can you explain the incredible track record of the Keystone Koliseum Kommission? They chase out three championship football teams and one championship basketball team, and they bring in the Clippers. If our L.A. City Council worked this efficiently, we would lose several major banking institutions and gain a pawn shop. Do these Coliseum people have their heads in a fog, or what?

They are in a Haagen daze.

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