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Detachment of CBS Team Leaves a Void

MORNING BRIEFING

February 17, 1992|MARYANN HUDSON

So where is Jim McKay, anyway? Bill Modoono of the Pittsburgh Press found the 70-year-old McKay at his home near Palm Beach, where he is watching the Olympics, playing golf and smiling when people stop to ask, "Why aren't you in France? The Olympics are on."

Writes Modoono: "McKay always seemed to be right in the middle of every Olympics. (CBS broadcasters Tim) McCarver and (Paula) Zahn seem apart from it, as if they are commenting on the Games from afar. And since neither has any particular connection to Olympic sports, they create a persistent question in viewers' minds: Why are we watching these two?"

Add opinion: Modoono thinks viewers need familiarity when it comes to the Olympics: "That's especially true this year. A year in which TNT covers the Winter Games from a studio in Atlanta that looks like it is in the French Alps, while CBS covers it from a studio in France that looks like it could be in New York."

Trivia time: What does Nevada state judge and boxing referee Mills Lane tell fighters before a bout?

New kid on another block: Kevin Mitchell made headlines again Sunday. The Seattle Times featured the new Mariner in a lengthy article attempting to explain him, while Art Spander of the San Francisco Examiner wrote a column still trying to understand why the Giants traded him. Writes Spander: "One thing you can say for Kevin Mitchell. He's never tried to ram his car into anyone else's."

Add Mitchell: "Kevin, (Giant) president Al Rosen advised, was a combination of Saddam Hussein and Mike Tyson, a team wrecker, a malingerer, vicious, violent, suspicious, and a friend of those who have no friends. 'We'll win more than 75 games without Mitchell, and we'll have a better time doing it,' Rosen said. 'Write that down.' "

Says Spander: "We will, Al. Right alongside last year's prediction that Bud Black would have the best record of any pitcher signed as a free agent."

Last add Mitchell: Mitchell told the Seattle Times that he was offended that Rosen, who comes from affluence, told him he had to watch the gang-oriented movie "Boyz 'N the Hood' to understand him. Writes Bob Sherwin: "Just two years earlier, after Mitchell's huge MVP season (1989), Rosen told The Sporting News: 'I've always said there's no substitute for talent. You can't have 24 choirboys on your team.' "

I'm outta here: Always nervous before her daughter competes, Carole Yamaguchi has her own pre-skate routine--she paces the hallways at the rink before Kristi goes on. But at last year's World Championships in Munich, Carole had paced for about an hour when she spotted an exit sign and almost bolted out the door. "Then I thought, 'This is ridiculous,' " she told the San Francisco Examiner's Joan Ryan. "I had paid for a ticket and come all this way, I was going to stay and watch." Her daughter won.

Trivia answer: "Let's get it on!"

Quotebook: British speedskating coach Archie Marchsal, complaining that the ice at the Olympic practice rink is totally different from the main rink: "Ultimately it will affect our performance, because it's like asking Grand Prix drivers to do their warm-ups in Ford Escorts."

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