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Friday, May 26, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sideline Chatter

Hitting longballs, downing highballs

The Seattle Times

Babe Ruth, of course, was also the Sultan of Shots.

Tommy Henrich, who broke into the Yankees' outfield three years after Ruth's departure in 1934, recounted the legendary story about the time the White Sox tried to drink the Babe out of the lineup. "They took him out [and told] the bartender, 'Charlie, mix me up one of those things,' " Henrich said in HBO's "Babe Ruth" documentary. "The Babe [drank it] all the way, ice cubes included. For Pete's sake, that guy has a throat like a trombone."

Scroll ahead to the next day.

"Three minutes before the game, here comes the Babe. [Manager] Miller Huggins says, 'Look at him, he ain't even been in bed all night. That guy's gonna play.' OK, he played — he butchered the White Sox.

"OK, the game is over. Babe hurries up the steps to get to the White Sox before they disappeared and said, 'Hey! Where we going tonight?' "

Altitude adjustment

So much for the annual Rocky Horror Pitcher Show.

Colorado's mound staff, incredibly, has yielded the fewest home runs — 35 — in the major leagues this year.

Booting down

On a global scale, maybe the United States' apathy toward soccer is a healthy thing.

"The rest of the world needs to dial back its World Cup insanity," wrote Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot. "Perhaps the U.S. is a counterweight to the madness. That's one way of looking at it.

"We truly don't invest as much emotion into our soccer team as we do a single episode of 'American Idol.' That kind of apathy is hard to fake."

The Drive II

Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer has been given a summons for trying to injure or destroy property for a road-rage incident in Englewood, Colo., in which he allegedly reverse-slammed his pickup into a car stopped at a traffic light behind him, the Rocky Mountain News reported.

Or, as the ramming tactic is now known in Colorado law-enforcement circles, a Plummer's butt.

Talking the talk

• Jack Finarelli of sportscurmudgeon.com, on the Arizona Cardinals — the NFL's worst rushing team last season — losing yardage on 47 plays and getting stopped for no gain another 90 times on just 360 total attempts: "That means that, on almost 40 percent of their running plays, they were better off before they snapped the ball."

• Jerry Greene of the Orlando Sentinel, on the Angels' upcoming road trip: "Think about it: Devil Rays vs. Angels on 6-6-06. Game starts at 4:15 p.m. — followed by world ending at 4:16."

• Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post, on this year's Triple Crown possibilities: "As of Wednesday afternoon, Albert Pujols was on pace for 81 homers, 201 ribbies and 12 steroid tests."

• Bud Geracie of the San Jose Mercury News, on Barry Bonds' struggle to surpass Babe Ruth's HR total: "Let's give the guy some steroids and get this thing over with."

• And, from the archives, the late columnist Jimmy Cannon, on the late Howard Cohen — better known as TV's Howard Cosell: "Cosell's the only guy who ever changed his name and put on a toupee to tell it like it is."

Show me the bait

Florida angler Bucky Dennis, fishing near Fort Myers on Tuesday, staked claim to an all-tackle record for a hammerhead shark after reeling in one weighing 1,280 pounds.

Or, to put such a monster's weight and voraciousness into proper perspective, the equivalent of seven sports agents.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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