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Morning Briefing

Message Was Clear to Zimmer

December 09, 1987

When Don Zimmer was fired as manager of the Texas Rangers in 1982, he said: "I don't care if I ever manage again."

Explaining, the new manager of the Chicago Cubs says: "It was a bad situation there for me. I was actually relieved when I was fired. Eddie Robinson, the general manager who hired me, had been fired, and the owner, Eddie Chiles, said to me, 'What is it exactly that a general manager does, because I'm the new general manager.'

"I knew then that I was in trouble."

Now-it-can-be-told Dept.: Pete Rose said that when the Cincinnati Reds started slumping last year, causing a drop in attendance, owner Marge Schott tried to get him to make an appearance at the plate.

Said Rose: "I told her, 'I haven't taken batting practice in three weeks. Besides, Mike Scott, Nolan Ryan and Bob Knepper are pitching.' "

Add Rose: Now that Rose has officially retired as a player, Greg Minton of the Angels becomes the answer to a trivia question. Minton, then pitching for San Francisco, gave up the last hit to Rose, a single, on Aug. 14, 1986.

Trivia Time: Before Oscar Robertson and Jerry West, what guard had the highest scoring average for a National Basketball Assn. season? (Answer below.)

An inspection of National Football League rosters would indicate that Doug Flutie was hardly a one-man show at Boston College.

While he languishes on the New England Patriots bench, eight of his former teammates are playing in the league, including running backs Troy Stradford of the Miami Dolphins and Steve Strachan of the Raiders, and receivers Brian Brennan of the Cleveland Browns and Kelvin Martin of the Dallas Cowboys.

On Monday night, Stradford ran for 120 yards and 3 touchdowns, and John Bosa, rookie defensive end from Boston College, had two sacks as the Dolphins beat the New York Jets, 37-28.

In the 1985 Cotton Bowl, after Flutie had won the Heisman Trophy, it was Stradford who won player-of-the-game honors, gaining 198 yards in 20 carries as Boston College beat Houston, 45-28.

From Steve Jacobson of Newsday: "In the film 'Suspect,' Cher, as defense attorney, proves a client is left-handed and couldn't have been the murderer when she tosses him keys and he grabs them with his left hand.

"Don't they know that anybody who's played ball catches with the glove hand? Hence a left-hander would catch with his right hand, not his left."

From Bob Uecker, recalling when he signed with the Milwaukee Braves for $3,000: "That bothered my dad at the time, because he didn't have that kind of money to pay out. But eventually he scraped it up."

Chicago Bears Coach Mike Ditka wants William Perry to play at 315 pounds but claims the Refrigerator isn't even in the neighborhood.

Says Bear defensive end Dan Hampton: "In the Fridge's mind he thinks he's a better player at 350. He told me, 'My daddy was 380, my momma 280. I was supposed to be big.' "

How-times-have-changed Dept.: Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post, on the humanizing of Tom Landry: "For 20 years, folks in Texas said, 'Tom Landry is next to God,' then added that this wasn't sacrilegious because God took it as a compliment."

Trivia Answer: Gene Shue. With the Detroit Pistons in 1959-60, he averaged 22.8 points per game.

Quotebook

Roosevelt Grier, actor and former defensive tackle, asked if he had a middle initial: "No, but I've never been mistaken for anyone else."

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