Some of John McEnroe’s antics as a player were nearly as offensive as Jeff Tarango’s tirade against umpire Bruno Rebeuh last weekend.
So it was sort of incongruous when McEnroe, now an NBC commentator, came down hard on Tarango.
“Totally unprofessional,” McEnroe said of Tarango’s actions. “He’ll never forget the mistake of walking off the court in the third round of Wimbledon. He’s only going to hurt himself, and in the end result, what is he going to gain by it? He’s going to gain the notoriety that he was a quitter at Wimbledon.”
Tarango in turn read a statement that thanked McEnroe and others for supporting him.
“I’m a little puzzled myself,” McEnroe said. “All I can think of is I didn’t support a couple of the fines.”
Tarango was fined $15,500, topping the Wimbledon record of $10,000, which was previously held by - you guessed it - McEnroe.
Add McEnroe: Regarding Tarango’s allegations that Rebeuh has manipulated matches because of friendships with certain players, McEnroe said:
“I support the idea of investigating. I don’t think they’re going to find anything, and I think Tarango’s going to find himself looking pretty stupid through all this.”
Judging McEnroe purely as a commentator, he’s tremendous. He knows when to speak and when not to, never talking through a point. He’s smart and knowledgeable, yet throws in a dash of humor and isn’t afraid to poke fun at himself.
He’s sort of a combination of Bill Walton and Johnny Miller, and his willingness to say anything that pops into his mind may be his most endearing quality.
Baseball on network television is in disarray these days and became even more so on Thursday with word that David Alworth, the Baseball Network’s chief executive, was either fired or had abruptly resigned… . One thing we know for sure is that Tuesday’s All-Star game will be on ABC, with coverage beginning at 5 p.m. This will be ABC’s first All-Star game since 1988. Al Michaels, Tim McCarver and Jim Palmer will announce the game. Reporting from the bullpen will be former catcher Rick Dempsey, currently the manager of the Albuquerque Dukes… . For those who like celebrity golf events, NBC has a good one this weekend - the Isuzu Championship from Edgewood in Lake Tahoe, which concludes today starting at 2 p.m.
Showtime Entertainment Television (SET), the carrier of the Aug. 19 Mike Tyson-Peter McNeeley pay-per-view fight, has apparently worked out its differences with cable companies threatening not to carry the fight. Now, almost all will. The fight will also be available via C-band satellite dishes (the big ones) and digital satellites (the smaller ones). DirecTV passed on the fight, but USSB, a service offered on DirecTV systems, will show the fight on Channel 900. The price on most systems will be $39.95-$49.95 until Aug. 17 and, after that, as high as $59.95.
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