August 5, 1997 in Sports

Cheap Seats

 
Tags:column

‘Dances with Stockton’ also works

Utah Jazz forward Karl Malone has long been known as “The Mailman” for his ability to deliver the goods.

Malone has another moniker now, at least among members of the Avikan Witanuche Ute Indian Tribe in White Mesa, Utah.

MVP Malone was blessed by a tribal holy man and made an honorary member of the tribe during a conference celebrating the role of American Indians in the settlement of Utah by Mormon pioneers 150 years ago.

Malone’s new name: Kwiagat Muikway - meaning the bear who leads with dignity.

Rumor has it Charles Barkley will get a name that means the weasel that leads with a right cross.

He never comes up short

He’s the ultimate short reliever. Literally.

John Cangelosi’s the name. He’s 5-foot-8. And he’s an outfielder for the Florida Marlins.

But once in a while, they put him on the pitcher’s mound. And he’s effective when he gets there.

Cangelosi recently pitched a hitless inning, finishing up a 10-2 loss to the Padres. He even kept Wally Joyner (who had a single, double and triple off the real pitchers) from hitting for the cycle.

“He wasn’t going to hit a home run off a 72-mile-an-hour fastball,” said Cangelosi, who also throws a “backup curve” that has no bend to it at all.

But despite that 72-mph fastball and that curve that doesn’t curve, Cangelosi now has pitched four shutout innings in his career. He hasn’t even given up a hit since 1988.

Marlins coach Rich Donnelly said Cangelosi clearly uses his height to maximum advantage.

“It’s like hitting against a groundhog,” Donnelly said. “The ball comes right up out of the ground. If they allowed him to pitch from behind the mound, he’d be unbelievable - because you couldn’t see him. You couldn’t even see him winding up. You’d just see the top of his head.”

Timlin and Spoljaric were spoken for

Infielder Mariano Duncan, his wish granted when he was traded by the Yankees to the Blue Jays last week, was all smiles on his way out of New York.

“Who’d we get for you?” teammate Derek Jeter asked.

“Toronto’s left-handed batting practice pitcher,” Duncan joked.

You just can’t win

Bud Selig is relying on focus groups and fan surveys to tell him if people like his realignment plan.

This brings to mind the joke former L.A. Dodgers manager Walt Alston used to tell. Alston would ask audiences what to do with a runner at first and none out.

Should they steal? Typically, some said yes.

Should they hit-and-run? Others would say yes. Should they hit away? Yes.

“See?” Alston would say. “No matter what I do, two-thirds of you think I’m wrong.”

Imagine the possibilities

Fox Sports made a splash, landing football, baseball and hockey, introducing the glowing puck and the catcher’s mask camera.

Ratings are something else.

“(Fox) ratings trail CBS’ old football and baseball numbers,” writes USA Today’s Michael Hiestand.

However, Fox Sports president David Hill has more tricks up his sleeve: cameras on the bases and in football helmets.

And if that doesn’t work, he’s thinking of hiring Frank Gifford and hiding a camera in the booth.

The last word . . .

“There are six, seven, eight teams with the same shot to win the championship. Maybe all 10.”

- Penn State coach Joe Paterno, apparently forgetting there are 11 teams in the Big Ten

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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