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There's No Place Like Baseball for Recycling

The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

October 30, 2001|Paul Gutierrez

Old and fired baseball managers are not put out to pasture, much to the chagrin of Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post. Rather, they keep getting recycled like some old soda can:

"Nice to see baseball's good-old-boy network alive and well. To wit: Jim Fregosi and Jimy Williams are the finalists to take Larry Dierker's seat in the Astros' dugout. Don't worry, all you PC cops out there. Whoever gets the job will hire a minority to coach first base and hit fungos.

"Dusty Baker has the Giants in the hunt every year. Don Baylor got the Rockies to the playoffs and almost got there with the Cubs. Cito Gaston, meanwhile, has World Series rings on each hand. What part of these-guys-are-good doesn't the baseball establishment understand?"

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More Armstrong: "Michael Jordan's long-awaited return falls on the same day as a World Series game at Yankee Stadium. Which, of course, begs the question: Do we watch ballplayers running around the bases or MJ traveling every time he touches the ball?"

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Trivia time: When and where was the first World Series game played under the lights?

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Looking back: On this date in 1974, Muhammad Ali regained the heavyweight title by knocking out George Foreman in the eighth round of the epic "Rumble in the Jungle" in Kinshasa, Zaire.

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Paper or plastic? Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle has no empathy for UCLA after its loss to Stanford: "Before the game, UCLA Coach Bob Toledo said Stanford would draw only about 50,000 fans (64,495 showed up) for the game and he likened that to 'a Safeway parking lot.'

"You have to love it when college football coaches talk trash. Toledo must have been chagrined when his baby blue SUV got totaled by a runaway shopping cart in the hands of a second-stringer."

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Winning time: Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have replaced the Cowboys as "America's Team" as they elicit the most emotion from NFL fans today. "They're entertaining. They're glamorous. And they're controversial. Depending on loyalties, fans love the Rams or hate them. There isn't much ambivalence.

"For magnetic appeal, the Rams are the NFL's equivalent of 'Showtime' basketball, popularized by the Los Angeles Lakers during the Magic Johnson era."

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Trivia answer: Oct. 13, 1971, at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium, Game 4 between the Orioles and Pirates.

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And finally: The record book says Curly Lambeau--namesake of Green Bay's storied stadium--coached in the NFL for 33 seasons, starting with the Packers in 1921. It also says he was coach when the team was founded as a semipro operation two years earlier.

But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sunday that its review of records and newspaper stories shows William Ryan coached the Packers in 1919, and Joe Hoeffel was the coach when Green Bay joined the NFL in 1921. The Journal Sentinel cited Green Bay newspaper stories and programs listing Lambeau as the captain, but Hoeffel as the coach in 1921.

"I don't think there was ever any intent to cover that up," said Joe Horrigan, a historian at pro football's Hall of Fame. "It just was a sliding over of the facts."

So, who was the original Cheesehead?

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