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Morning Briefing

The Boys of Tennis: Hot Items

September 20, 1987

Dave Kindred of the Atlanta Journal, maintaining that women are strongly attracted to male tennis players, offered Chris Evert's one-time infatuation with Jimmy Connors as an example.

Kindred: "Connors moved on from the world's No. 1 woman tennis player to an English actress and then to a Miss World before settling down with the Playmate of the Year.

"Raul Ramirez married Miss Universe. Guillermo Vilas was hung up on Princess Caroline of Monaco when his tennis went to pieces. No routine groupies, these.

"The inimitable Ilie Nastase once showed up at a cocktail party with the host's wife, having announced, 'Zee lady, she ees mine and ve go to ze continent in ze mornink.'

"The lady seemed eager to pack."

From Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe: "Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has stopped needling John McNamara for playing Dave Winfield 13 innings in the All-Star game. For more than a month, the Boss ordered publicist Harvey Greene to insert the fact in the daily press notes, but the item disappeared last week. McNamara insists Winfield wanted to go the route. (Mac also says he toyed with the idea of making Winfield a shortstop when he managed him in San Diego)."

As a player, St. Louis Cardinals Manager Whitey Herzog started out in the New York Yankees organization, where Casey Stengel, after sending him down to Kansas City, told him: "You have a good year and I'll get you back."

"But I never had a good year," Herzog said.

He told George Vecsey of the New York Times: "I could not hit left-handers, but one day in spring practice, Casey took a bat and said, 'Now you got this protected, and that protected, and over here protected--and if he throws three strikes out here, what the heck, get 'em next time.'

"Get 'em next time? Thanks, Case."

Add Stengel: He offered this advice when Herzog asked him how to handle the press: "Let 'em ask you one question, and you keep talking so they won't ask you another one."

Add Herzog: His first managerial job was with Texas in 1973. After the Rangers finished last with a 47-91 record, he said: "We need just two players to be a contender. Babe Ruth and Sandy Koufax."

Trivia Time: King Corcoran is the answer to what trivia question? (Answer below.)

Wrote Herman Helms of the Columbia (S.C.) State newspaper after Steve Walsh, following in the tradition of Vinny Testaverde, Bernie Kosar and Jim Kelly, threw for 234 yards as Miami opened with a 31-4 win over Florida: "There's a fellow on the bench, freshman Craig Erickson, who may have better potential. The rookie's passing drew rave notices in preseason practices. 'The finest freshman quarterback I ever saw,' says Coach Jimmy Johnson."

Miami Dolphins owner Joe Robbie, on the financing of Joe Robbie Stadium: "One of the major achievements of my life was to get more than $100 million in debt."

Trivia Answer: Jim (King) Corcoran of the Philadelphia Bell led the World Football League in touchdown passes with 31 in 1974, the league's only full season.

Quotebook

Washington Redskin Coach Joe Gibbs, revealing that he used to drag race in Irwindale when he was growing up: "All I remember is a lot of rock."

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