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Morning Briefing

Right Guy but Year Is Wrong

October 10, 1987

Jim Finks, general manager of the New Orleans Saints, was asked by a reporter: "Is it true that Doug Allen, Gene Upshaw's assistant in the players' union, was a scab in the 1982 strike?"

"No," Finks said. "Doug was a scab in the '74 strike."

Said the Detroit Tigers' Bill Madlock, when asked if he wanted his 4-year-old son, Jeremy, to be a ballplayer: "No. My little boy is going to be an agent. Forget about that slider and the 3-2 pitch. Just worry about that 10%."

Add Madlock: When he got his 2,000th career hit at Fenway Park, he got a standing ovation from Boston fans.

"I couldn't believe it," he said. "I looked around at the scoreboard to see if a Celtics score was on it."

Trivia Time: Who are the only players in the playoffs who have a chance to be in the World Series two straight years? (Answer below.)

For What It's Worth: Doyle Alexander is 0-4 in postseason play, with an earned-run average of 7.57. He's done it with four different teams.

In championship series play, he has lost with Baltimore (1973), Toronto (1985) and Detroit (1987). In the World Series, he lost with the New York Yankees (1976).

61 Years Ago Today: Thirty-nine-year-old Grover Cleveland Alexander, who already had pitched two complete-game wins, saved Game 7 and the World Series for the St. Louis Cardinals when he relieved in the seventh inning and struck out Tony Lazzeri of the Yankees with the bases loaded. Alexander pitched 2 hitless innings, and the Cardinals won, 3-2.

The game ended on a bizarre note. With two out in the ninth, Babe Ruth walked. With heavy-hitting Bob Meusel at the plate, Ruth unaccountably tried to steal second base and was thrown out.

Everybody else calls him Sparky, but the Tiger manager remains plain old George Anderson to umpire Al Clark.

"I refuse to call a 53-year-old man Sparky," Clark said.

Add Sparky: After the Minnesota Twins took a 2-0 lead in the American League playoffs, he said it reminded him of a favorite saying of former Tiger batting coach Gates Brown: "It's no fun when the rabbit's got the gun."

Would-you-believe-it Dept.: Only three players in baseball history have better career batting averages than the Red Sox's Wade Boggs, who is up to .354 after hitting .363 this season. Ty Cobb leads at .367, followed by Rogers Hornsby at .358 and Joe Jackson at .356.

Sports agent Bob Woolf is opening a sports bar in Boston with a media bash, including clients Larry Bird and Robert Parish.

Wrote Will McDonough of the Boston Globe: "Highlight of the night will be the throwing of the first ball by Red Sox pitcher Bob Stanley. Supposedly, Stanley is going to throw it into the bar, but the early line is that some patron will take him deep with a swizzle stick."

From Baylor Coach Grant Teaff, after a trip to Las Vegas, where the Bears beat Nevada Las Vegas, 21-14: "We have guys on this team from places like Axtel and Hondo. There are more light bulbs in the sign at the Dunes Hotel than there are in those two towns combined."

Trivia Answer: Kevin Mitchell of San Francisco and Don Baylor of Minnesota. Last year, Mitchell was with the New York Mets, Baylor with the Boston Red Sox.


Chicago White Sox Manager Jim Fregosi, on former Stanford star Jack McDowell, who was 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in four starts at the end of the season: "We'll put him in an ice chest and bring him out in the spring."

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