Tuesday, Apr 18, 2006


Morning Briefing It's harder for umps to hear no evil


Heckling baseball umpires is a long-standing tradition. But some of the old mainstay lines - "You're blind!" and "Kill the umpire!" - are outdated.

Dwight Perry of The Seattle Times found heckledepot.com, a Web site that offers more modern rips. They include:

"I've got Internet stocks in better shape than you."

"They're putting your strike zone on the back of milk cartons!"

"That's a bad call. ...Telemarketer! Telemarketer! Telemarketer!"

"Hey, ump, is this your cell phone? It's got three missed calls."

Trivia time

What incident inspired Bernard Malamud to write the book "The Natural," which led to the movie starring Robert Redford?

Overly charitable

Of Baltimore Oriole pitcher Daniel Cabrera's having walked 16 batters in only 6 1/3 innings this season, Dan Daly of the Washington Times wrote: "Too bad Cabrera can't write off the walks on his tax return - under 'charitable contributions.' Of course, the number is so unbelievable that he'd probably get audited."

Priorities in order

Mike Brown, coach of the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers, was a recent guest of James Washington, the former UCLA and Dallas Cowboy defensive back, and Craig Shemon on Fox Sports radio.

Washington, mentioning that Brown is a coach of the year candidate, inquired, "Will we be adding that to your resume?"

Said Brown: "Not that, though I would like to see in my bio: 'Coached LeBron in his first MVP year.'"

Safe answer

Asked by Time magazine to make a prediction about what she was going to do this year, Michelle Wie said, "I'm going to turn 17 in October. That's not much of a prediction. Hey, it's true! OK?"

Strange name

Racehorses sometimes have the oddest names. One example is the Tom Grether-owned Tontine Too, who won the eighth race at Santa Anita on Saturday and, as a 45-1 shot, paid $95.80.

A tontine is an investment scheme involving a group of investors; it dates to 17th century France. As each investor dies, his or her share is divided among the surviving investors. But tontines have been banned in Britain and the U.S. because of the incentive for investors to kill one another.

And finally

Jay Leno, on Florida's victory over UCLA in the NCAA championship game: "Florida got a congratulatory phone call from President Bush. UCLA shot so poorly, [the Bruins] got a phone call from Dick Cheney."