Put up or shut up
The next time the neighborhood blowhard pops off about the 90 mph fastball he threw in high school, tell him to prove it.
By February, Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. expects to have on the market the Radar Ball, a baseball that shows how fast it was thrown.
The ball has the size and feel of a regulation baseball. To use it, the catcher stands (or squats) 60 feet, 6 inches from the pitcher, the standard distance from pitching rubber to home plate.
A sensor is built into the baseball that accurately measures time from the moment the ball is released until it is caught, said Randy Black, vice president of marketing for St. Louis-based Rawlings. A microprocessor inside the ball then divides the distance by the time and displays a reading in mph.
The ball may break millions of hearts of would-be and coulda-been major leaguers.
“There’s going to be a lot of fathers who have blown egos when they throw in front of their sons,” said Black.
He has a certain air about him
Jake Plummer, the rookie quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals, was told by veterans at training camp to carry a plastic bag that was supposed to contain snacks.
Instead, Plummer ended up being the key player in an elaborate prank.
Instead of goodies, the bag held a skunk.
After Plummer noticed liquid in the bag and threw it into a dumpster behind the players’ dormitory, fullback Larry Centers told him to retrieve it.
Plummer climbed into the dumpster, retrieved the bag and carried it into the dorm. The animal, apparently dazed, never moved as it was being carried.
While Plummer was distracted, other players then let the skunk loose in his room. When Plummer called security to have it removed, he had to admit he had carried it into the building.
“I aired the room out, and it never sprayed anywhere, so I was kind of lucky I didn’t have to lay there at night with the smell in there,” Plummer said.
The great nut caper
A veteran Dodgers Stadium vendor sacked after admitting he planned to sell some pilfered peanuts will return to work Aug. 11.
Aramark Corp., in charge of food services at the stadium, negotiated Richard Aller’s return.
Aller was fired in April after working in the stadium for 38 years. The dispute centered on the purchase of $4 worth of peanuts that everyone agrees was against the rules.
Specifically, Aller said, he bought two bags of salted nuts at a discount from two fellow vendors who got them free as part of their lunch allotment. Aller then resold them to fans for a profit.
Aramark said Aller violated the rules and fired him.
Fans called on Aramark to take Aller back, and about 50 other stadium vendors signed a petition asking the same thing.
The two vendors who sold their meal allotment peanuts to Aller were also reinstated.
The last word …
“I was watching some of these guys serving up meatballs. I’m like, ‘God, I can do that.’ I have done that. I can go back and do that.”
Former All-Star pitcher Jack Armstrong on why he hopes to pursue a comeback
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