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Cheap Seats

Sun., June 1, 1997

From the halls of Montezuma …

To the fairways of Prestonwood Country Club!

Three U.S. Marines on a joy ride across the Prestonwood grounds in Cary, N.C., earlier this month damaged the greens, stole 25 flags and a ball washer. They all face charges in the surprise attack.

The Nike Carolina Classic continued despite the damages estimated at $50,000.

We’re guessing the ball washer is for some unmentionable hazing ceremony.

Indiana gives us the Bird

Well, Larry Bird is back in the NBA, and questions whether he’d be able to tolerate the modern player seem less important than whether everyone else can deal with him.

For instance, his view on conditioning techniques: “When (Kevin) McHale told me he was getting in shape, he said he’d go from Miller to Miller Lite.”

On asking advice from another ex-teammate, Suns coach Danny Ainge: “I would never consult Danny Ainge on anything. The only thing I ever told him was I wished he’d do something on the court so his man would quit defending me.”

On coaches’ obligations to talk to the press every day: “I heard they used to.”

Curses, foiled again

In case you missed it, there was a classic name-game pitching matchup in a recent Astros-Marlins game: Reynolds-Rapp. Shane Reynolds started for Houston, Pat Rapp for Florida.

“We need to check all of baseball to see if there’s a man named Saran out there,” Florida’s Jeff Conine said.

Nor did he invite them for a sleepover

After getting caught in traffic jams that caused most players to arrive late for the game they lost to the Hawks in the NBA Eastern Conference semifinals, the Bulls discussed staying in a downtown Chicago hotel before Game 5. Said Steve Kerr, “No vote was taken. Michael (Jordan) said he didn’t want to do it so we didn’t.”

Kiner, gentler announcers

Everyone loves Ralph Kiner, but no one as passionately as Philadelphia Inquirer baseball writer Jayson Stark, who keeps a catalog of the Mets announcer’s malaprop foibles. His current favorite:

After a close pitch in a Mets-Cubs game was called strike three, Ralph’s broadcast partner, Rusty Staub, observed that that kind of pitch “makes you want to commit hari-kari.”

To which Ralph the quick thinker replied: “And he’s right next door.”

But it’s not as if Kiner has the corner on oral errors. Indians broadcaster Herb Score had this to say recently: “Coming on to pitch is Mike Moore, who is 6-foot-1 and 212 years old.”

And, of course, there’s old reliable Jerry Coleman of the Padres who noted that the Pittsburgh Pirates’ payroll is “the lowest in the history of major league baseball. At least this year.”

Great moments in marketing

The Fort Worth zoo sponsored Tiger Woods in the Colonial tournament program.

The last word …

“It’s left me as impotent as the Nevada State Boxing Commission.”

- Mr. Burns of “The Simpsons,’ on the effects of owning a nuclear power plant

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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