It is pretty hardto foul up the start of a sailboat race, though it has been done. But thefinish of a race, especially an ocean race, ah, there is where a creative racecommittee can really achieve something—like havoc. Take the 1956 Bimini race,when the committee concluded nobody would possibly finish until about 6 a.m.When Dr. Luis Vida√±a's Criollo came boiling along at midnight, the sea in thevicinity of the finish line was empty, save for one pinpoint of light whichSkipper Vida√±a took to be the committee boat. He headed for the light, and didnot discover until he ran onto a sandbar that the light was someone's picturewindow on shore. The committee was still home in bed.
Or take, moreurgently, last week's Newport Beach, Calif, to Ensenada race, in which the windvanished as the early finishers of the 340-boat armada were about to enter thenarrow channel leading to the finish inside Todos Santos Bay. Other boatsdrifted into the flat spot until 40 vessels were gathered in one tight clutch.Then the wind came back, and 40 boats—followed by three dozen more—tried tocharge through a channel wide enough for 12. Before the entire fleet squeezedacross, 80 boats had been damaged; one, John Arens' Tomahawk, was rammed threetimes.
We suggest to theEnsenada race committee, and to all others like it, that yachtsmen deserve abetter fate. They deserve a safe, commodious finish, even if it means that therace committee has to bob around in a boat offshore.
May 19, 1963
A season ago we were regaled with sweat shirts bearing across their fronts thelikenesses of Bach, Beethoven and Brahms. They gave to sweat a certainimprobable cachet of culture. Now sweat is back where sweat belongs. TheWallachs stores in New York City, which are sporting enough to have a "dogbar" (drinking puddle) in front of their Fifth Avenue establishment, havebeen selling a sweat shirt for New Frontiersmen. Blazoned across the chest isthe simple word VIGAH, and beneath it a rocking chair crest. The shirt ismanufactured by a company that calls itself F.I.T.
A REAL PATSY
The growlingabout managers that goes on continuously in the major leagues got us tothinking about our favorite manager, Patrick J. (Patsy) Donovan, who pilotedfive different big-league teams in the years from 1897 through 1911. Off hisrecord, Patsy must be rated the worst manager of all time, for both performanceand consistency. Most of Patsy's teams got progressively worse under hisguidance, and each improved as soon as he left, four of them remarkably so.Patsy finished eighth with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1897, dropped themanagerial reins in 1898 but took over again during the season in 1899 andfinished seventh. He left Pittsburgh then and in the next four years thePirates finished second, first, first and first. Patsy managed the St. LouisCardinals in 1901 and finished fourth with 76 wins. He managed them again in1902 and fell to sixth with 56 wins. He tried again in 1903 and was eighth with43 wins. Patsy left, and the Cardinals jumped to fifth place with 75 victories,an improvement of 32 games.
Patsy managedWashington in 1904, his only year with that club. He wasted no time. TheSenators finished dead last. Moreover, they won only 38 games. Only one team inmodern baseball history has won fewer (not the Mets; they won 40 last year).Next season, with Patsy gone, the Senators moved up to seventh and won 64games, a 26-game improvement. Patsy rested in 1905 but in 1906 he managed theBrooklyn Dodgers, who finished fifth with 66 wins. They finished fifth again in1907 with 65 wins, but in 1908 they jelled and fell to seventh with 53 wins.After Patsy left they improved to sixth, though they won only 55 games.
Patsy's careerreached its zenith with the Boston Red Sox. He did not manage in 1909, when theRed Sox finished third with 88 victories, but he took over in 1910. Theyfinished fourth that year with 81 wins and dropped to fifth in 1911 with 78. Hestepped aside, and in 1912 the Red Sox won 105 games, took the American Leaguepennant by a wide margin and beat the New York Giants in the World Series.Patsy's cup ran over. He never bothered to manage in the major leaguesagain.
A very competentjockey is New Zealand's Garry Jenkins—no Arcaro or Baeza, you understand, but afellow who always gives a race the best that's in him. He did just that theother day in the Tarua Hurdles Handicap. Scratches had reduced the field from16 to six entrants, and of the six horses that ran, three of them fell.Jenkins, aboard King's Mate, finished in third place. Once under the wire, heweighed in, then went back down the track, where he caught and mounted theriderless Brave Warrior. He took Brave Warrior back to where the horse ditchedhis original rider, then brought him in to the finish and weighed in for fourthmoney.
According to therules of racing, it was all quite correct.
THE DOG LOVER'SDR. SPOCK
As beagles are better than spaniels when it comes to hunting rabbits (though weonce knew a collie who used to point grouse rather well), so some people arebetter than others when it comes to training beagles and spaniels to do theirjobs. One of the best is Clarence Pfaffen-berger, vice-president of Guide Dogsfor the Blind, Inc., who has just published a book, The New Knowledge of DogBehavior (Howell Book House, $5.95), which should serve as an excellent guideto anyone contemplating the purchase of a pup. Much of what Pfaffenberger hasto say was published in these pages (SI, June 13, 1960), especially thatportion covering the "critical periods" in a puppy's life, when hischaracter is being formed. But there is sound advice also as to how you canapply tests to determine whether the pup will be an excellent, good orindifferent performer. Pfaffenberger himself has developed puppy-testing tosuch a degree, he reports, that he is able to predict with some 90% accuracywhether a given pup will, as an adult, make a suitable Guide Dog.
ASHES TO EVIL
In the noisome aftermath of the first Patterson-Johansson fight, which crackledwith tales of chicanery and underworld control, Promoter Bill Rosensohn plungedinto obscurity as a man might leap from a burning building. He found his SaintHelena in Philadelphia, where, for the past few years, he has been engaged inthe coin-operated dry-cleaning business. Last week he emerged, it that's theword for it. Rosensohn plans to produce a horror movie in England. "It'scalled The Grand Guignol—Altar of Evil," Rosensohn says, "and it willbe the most horrible horror movie ever made."
Now that theyhave lost the charming ineptitude that endeared them to connoisseurs of thefumble and the bobble, the New York Mets—this year winning almost as many gamesas they lose and a mere 4½ games or so out of first place—have begun to beattheir American League rivals, the New York Yankees. They have been beating theYanks in attendance at the park, including one absolute sellout of the PoloGrounds, and they have been beating them most severely in television ratings. Avast segment of the New York City population, former Dodger and Giant rootersmostly, people who cannot abide the Yanks and are bored by consistent success,have taken the Mets to their hearts.
Last weekend, forexample, the Mets achieved on Friday night a 9.1 rating, with a 14.9 share ofthe available audience (that means 450,900 homes watching), as against a 2.8rating for the Yankees, with a 4.6 share (138,700 homes). Next afternoon theMets scored with a 10.7 rating and a 38.6 share (530,200 homes), while theYanks had a mere 3.7 rating, 13.6 share and 183,300 homes.
What afascinating subway Series there will be one day!
The long, coldwinter has blighted the grass on many golf courses in the Northeast and hasthrown U.S. Open officials into a dither. Injury to the greens at The CountryClub in Brookline, Mass., site of this year's Open, has been so severe that theclub is a full month behind in its preparations for this June'schampionship.
If it is anyconsolation to the New Englanders, golfers of the Northwest have been havingtheir weather troubles, too. Twenty-two days of April showers, whatever theymay have done for May flowers, have led to peculiar golf in Oregon andWashington.
The first twodays of the annual Oregon Open were played in a continuous downpour. DukeMatthews of Eugene stroked a five-inch birdie putt and watched his ball floatright over the top of the hole when water suddenly gurgled up from the cup.Harry Clow of Vancouver, Wash, had an even greater shock at Oregon's LakeOswego Country Club. Near a small lake that had been stocked with fish he wasamazed to see a 12-inch black bass swimming across the fairway.
MR. CHIPS IN THEDUGOUT
Among thesporting achievements of Jim Whatley, University of Georgia baseball coach,have been the development of Ronnie Braddock as 1962 NCAA batting champion andthe winning of a Southeastern Conference title. He has, however, done more thanappears in the record books. He is the sort of man who will give equal time tocorrecting a batting stance and a lapse in grammar. "I" can't decide ifhe's an English professor or a baseball coach," one of his players hasmused.
He has otherqualities, too.
Don Woeltjen, 6feet 2, 180 pounds, came to Georgia as a hot major league prospect. But inthree years of varsity play he was never a consistent winner. Early in thisseason, his senior year, he started against little Oglethorpe University and,trying to fog his fast ball past the batters, was rocked for eight earned runsin a single inning. Grimly, the game went on, with Woeltjen sweating it out onthe mound. The imperturbable Whatley made him stay there while Woeltjen and histeam, not to mention Coach Whatley, absorbed a most humiliating beating.
Came last week'scrucial game of the season against Georgia Tech. Twenty minutes before gametime Whatley advised Woeltjen that he would pitch. Instead of depending on hisfast ball, Woeltjen changed his delivery, mixing curves with fast balls. Hestruck, out 1 I Tech batters and pitched a perfect game, the second inuniversity history.
About thatOglethorpe game, Whatley had this to say:
"I wanted himto pitch until he found out what he was doing wrong. I wanted him to growup."
Sonny Liston will train for his July 22 fight against Floyd Patterson at TheDunes Hotel in Las Vegas. Four other fighters have trained at The Dunes overthe years. All four have lost.
THEY SAID IT
•Johnny Pesky, Red Sox manager, on the effects ofvictory: "When you win you eat better, sleep better and your beer tastesbetter. And your wife looks like Gina Lollobrigida."
•Bud Winter, San Jose State track coach, onfiber-glass poles: "They cost $65 each, and we've broken so many we'reworking on the 1965 budget already."
•Doug Sanders, golf professional, on Arnold Palmer'sdecision to play in fewer tournaments and devote more of his time to his manybusiness interests: "Ar-nie ought to take a week off just to count hismoney."
•Gabe Paul, Cleveland Indian president: "A managerreally gets paid for how much he suffers."
•Judge M. Joseph Blumenfeld, of Hartford, Conn., whoawarded $1,750 damages to a golfer scarred by a drive, answering a defenseclaim that the injured man was too slow leaving the green: "Golf is still aleisurely sport for many golfers and haste in completing a round is not anobject of the game."
•Casey Stengel, Mets' manager, on his second-stringcatcher, Chris Cannizzaro: "He's the first defensive catcher I've had whocan throw but can't catch."