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MORNING BRIEFING

After 90 Years, Baseball Stories Sound the Same

November 14, 1994|SHAV GLICK

The headline "Salary Slicing: The American League Is Treating Its Players Fairly, But Will Not Submit to Hold-ups by Players" has a contemporary ring to it.

The article was dated Feb. 11, 1905, in the weekly newspaper "Sporting Life."

In it, American League president Ban Johnson was quoted: "Both (major) leagues have clubs who cannot afford to pay heavy salaries."

Sounds a lot like Bud Selig.

Add salaries: According to the Amateur Athletic Foundation's Newsletter, what prompted Johnson to speak out was a demand from center fielder Mike Mitchell, who said he would accept "not less than $2,000" to sign with the Chicago Cubs after helping Syracuse win the New York League title in 1904. The Cubs were offering $1,400.

Mitchell stayed in the minors two more years.

Today's scale: Rafael Belliard signed a $1.1 million contract with the Atlanta Braves even though he failed to hit a home run or steal a base in 120 at bats.

Trivia time: Only three players in the last 50 years have hit .340 six times. Who are they?

The way it is: Commenting on the reopening of Seattle's Kingdome, after roof repairs were completed, The Oregonian's Dwight Jaynes observed: "About $30 million later, the building is open again--and as ugly as ever. Inside, the place still looks like the belly of a cement mixer. Outside, well, it's probably more ghastly than ever. If your roof looked as filthy and unsightly as this one, the neighbors would get up a petition to have you run out of town."

Horse sense: Steve Carlton, the Philadelphia Phillies' Hall of Fame pitcher, refused to talk to reporters during most of his career. Now retired on his ranch in Colorado, Carlton has a favorite horse named Rio.

"Rio's just like me," Carlton said in a recent interview. "He's very independent. He doesn't cooperate with the media whatsoever."

A winner: Chris McSorley, brother of King forward Marty McSorley, might have been the most successful coach in America the last two years.

In 1993, he coached the Toledo Storm to the East Coast Hockey League title and then led the Anaheim Bullfrogs to the inaugural Roller Hockey International championship. This year he repeated with Toledo in the ECHL and then guided the Buffalo Stampede to the RHI title.

He's not through. He's currently coaching the Las Vegas Thunder in the International Hockey League.

FYI: San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young plays tennis left-handed and golf right-handed.

Double threat: Atlanta Brave pitcher Greg Maddox not only won a third consecutive Cy Young Award, he also outhit his opposition. Maddox had a batting average of .222, while National League hitters managed only .207 against him.

Trivia answer: Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Wade Boggs.

Quotebook: Jack Haley of the San Antonio Spurs, on controversial teammate Dennis Rodman, in the San Jose Mercury News: "Dennis is very stable and extremely intelligent. He understands completely what he's doing. I don't think by any shape or form that he has a psychological or mental problem."

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