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Morning Briefing

Gibson Digs Right In, but Is He in Too Deep?

February 26, 1988

Kirk Gibson, on his first day in Dodger training camp at Vero Beach, Fla., was asked to compare Tom Lasorda, his current manager, with Sparky Anderson, his former manager with the Detroit Tigers.

"Tommy is similar to Sparky in some ways," said Gibson, who explained by making a shoveling motion.

The reporters understood.

Anderson, who teamed with Lasorda on the old Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League, nicknamed him Walking Eagle.

Asked why, Anderson said: "Because he's so full of it, he can't fly."

So-much-for-clean-living dept.: Said speed skater Mary Docter, a three-time Olympian from Madison, Wis., after finishing 18th in the 3,000 meters at Calgary, Canada: "I trained hard for this. I haven't gotten drunk since New Year's Eve. I haven't smoked since New Year's Eve. I was a serious, dedicated skater and look what happens."

Trivia Time: How many Olympic gold medals have been won by the Flying Finn? (Answer below.)

Did the Houston Rockets pull a steal when they got Eric (Sleepy) Floyd and Joe Barry Carroll from the Golden State Warriors for Ralph Sampson and Steve Harris?

Houston Coach Bill Fitch put it this way: "They ought to throw us in jail for making that trade."

Add Forgettable Quotes: Said Wayne Gretzky, when asked about the Soviet Union's hockey team before the Winter Olympics: "I think the Soviets do have some weaknesses. Some are glaring and some aren't talked about a lot. The biggest weakness is their goaltending."

Wednesday night's score: Soviet Union 5, Canada 0.

From Jerry Sullivan of Newsday: "It's no surprise that the Boston Celtics waived Darren Daye to make room for Jim Paxson. The word is that on Larry Bird's list of favorite people, Daye rates slightly ahead of Detroit's Bill Laimbeer."

Add Paxson: Said his agent, Larry Fleisher, after the deal, which sent Jerry Sichting to the Portland Trail Blazers: "What it shows is why this talk about equalizing talent is all a bunch of nonsense. The teams that are properly managed do well. The teams that aren't properly managed don't. The Celtics are bright and work at it, and so do the Lakers. They get things done."

Said Hubie Brown, former coach in the National Basketball Assn.: "Boston and L.A. do it every year and help their teams. That's why they're good. They have courageous management people. We've got all these incompetent people in the business who won't pull the trigger. They're afraid of their own shadow."

Now-it-can-be-told dept.: Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy makes this confession: "I used to lie about my height a lot. I'd say I was 5-10, but I'm almost 6-2. But I'd say it for the sympathy vote: 'Look at that little guy with the hairy legs against those big fellas.' It worked."

The story of George Steinbrenner's introduction in Calgary, as chairman of a commission to study the effectiveness of the United States Olympic Committee, carried this headline in the New York Times: "The Big Chinook Arrives."

Trivia Answer: Paavo Nurmi, the original Flying Finn, won a total of nine gold medals in distance running in the Summer Olympics in 1920, '24 and '28. Matti Nykanen, the latest Flying Finn, has won a total of four gold medals in ski jumping in the 1984 and '88 Winter Olympics.

Quotebook

Lenny Dykstra, of the New York Mets, on how he beat Vince Coleman and Tim Raines in the 30-yard dash in "Baseball Challenge," a taped show that will be shown on ESPN: "I cheated. I always cheat."

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