Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Not Even Fans of Klein Would Argue

May 12, 1999|SHAV GLICK

The Sporting News' ranking of the 100 greatest baseball players brought a protest from Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post. He was flabbergasted that not one player who has been active in the 1990s, especially Ken Griffey Jr., was included in the top 33 by the publication that once billed itself as "the bible of baseball."

"If Griffey's career continues and concludes on what, for him, is a normal arc, he would probably pass Willie Mays as No. 2 on most all-time lists," Boswell wrote of the Seattle Mariner star, who ranks 93rd on the list. "Junior's not the Babe. But he may be the next best thing. And we've got him. Even though the baseball bible ranks him behind Chuck Klein."

*

Trivia time: What was the last Cuban team to play in the minor leagues?

*

Leno's lessons: Jay Leno, who will drive the pace car for the May 30 Indianapolis 500, commented on his opportunity:

"Driving a car is like sex. Everybody thinks they're good at it. Because they drive a car, they think racing a car can't be much different. They don't realize how much skill, how much ability is actually needed.

"Just going around [Indy] at 100 mph, you're saying, this is a scary thing. But you must realize these guys are running at twice that speed."

*

Imagine that: More females play basketball than any other team sport, reports American Sports Data, in Hartsdale, N.Y.

*

Journalism's loss: Before the New York Yankees' David Cone realized he could become a major league pitcher, he yearned to be a baseball writer.

"It came from watching too many reruns of 'The Odd Couple,' " he said. "I thought I'd fit perfectly with the cigar, the pizza boxes and being a slob covering a major league team.

"Like, you mean I get to write about this stuff and get paid?"

*

Only in Chicago: Legend has it that when the Chicago Cubs released outfielder Lou "The Mad Russian" Novikoff in the 1940s, it was because he was afraid to go near the ivy-covered Wrigley Field wall because of a fear of spiders.

Henry Rodriguez, the Cubs' left fielder, can sympathize with him.

"I don't know what's back there," he said. "I don't even want to see what's down there. I always look at it, but I've never stuck my hand in it."

*

About that flair: Boston Celtic Hall of Fame guard Bob Cousy, after watching the Sacramento Kings' flashy Jason Williams and hearing him compared to Pete Maravich:

"I saw much more [John] Stockton in him than Maravich. Every pass he made was solid, conservative. He's got the range, he can penetrate, he's solid on his dribble. I love the kid. I love him without the flair."

*

Trivia answer: The Havana Sugar Kings, Cincinnati's triple-A club, who moved to Jersey City, N.J., in 1960.

*

And finally: After second baseman Craig Biggio was moved into left-center field to give the Houston Astros four outfielders when Mark McGwire was batting, Biggio posed an interesting question:

"If he flies out to me out there, how would you score it?"

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|