Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

If King Has Her Way, He'll Be the Rock of Aged

April 09, 1999|LISA DILLMAN

Fed Cup captain Billie Jean King was talking about tennis the other day and the topic turned to the man of the moment, Jim Courier.

The accolades keep coming Courier's way, and rightly so. His epic Davis Cup victory in five sets against Greg Rusedski--giving the United States a 3-2 victory over Great Britain--has generated a positive buzz about men's tennis for the first time in, well, quite some time.

If Courier were British, Oasis probably would write a song about him. But he's not, so we'll have to settle for the American way, a quick quote.

"He has been on 13 Davis Cup teams and every time Jim [has played], they have won," King said. "I would take him even when he is 80 years old as a mascot."

The Brits paid homage to Courier with a headline in the Guardian: "Britain broken on the Rock."

Of course the cruel tabloids had to be negative about Rusedski. The Mirror: "What a Choker." The Sun: "Choked to Brits."

*

Trivia time: Who was the only player since 1900 to hit four home runs in a game his team lost?

*

My house: Author Roger Kahn likes to tell this story of Early Wynn, the feisty major league pitcher who died last week:

"Early got hit with a line drive one day off the bat of Jose Valdivielso, a .219 lifetime hitter from the Senators. Ball caught him on the chin and he had 16 stitches. He was furious.

" 'This is my office,' Wynn said, 'And I don't like it messed up with blood.'

"For the rest of Valdivielso's career, as it were, when he faced Wynn, he either got knocked down or beaned. There was to be no more blood in Early Wynn's office, especially his own."

*

Italy's worm: Does this sound familiar?

The other day a coach chewed out his moody, ego-driven player in front of fans and other teammates.

"We're sick of your attitude. We've been putting up with it for a whole year now. You're 30 years old now and it's time you grow up."

The player had pushed things a bit too far this time. Earlier he had taken off for a party town during the season, abandoning his teammates.

The bad boy in question was Brazilian Edmundo, also known as "the Animal," a soccer player for the Italian club team Fiorentina.

Among other things, Edmundo took off during the season so he could play drums in a salsa band during the Rio Carnival.

*

Seve's save: Golf writer Jeff Rude, on the sound system problems during Seve Ballesteros' induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame: "But then, hey, Seve's been playing out of trouble his whole life."

*

Trivia answer: Bob Horner of the Atlanta Braves in an 11-8 loss to the Montreal Expos on July 6, 1986.

*

And finally: The Denver Broncos' Mike Shanahan, on the topic of coaching burnout: "It always seems to me that the guys who have burnout have a lot of money in the bank. I've never seen assistant coaches have burnout, have you?"

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|