SOME World Series begin in a dazzling or dramatic way that hooks the public. Others, such as this year's, operate almost like delayed traffic lights, forcing fans to wait for an exciting game, a controversial play, or a superlative individual effort to ignite their interest.
Nothing especially gripping occurred in the first two games, in which the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies split victories, Toronto winning the first, 8-5, Philadelphia the second, 6-4. The most telling development may have been the Phils' ability to drive Dave Stewart from the mound in Game 2, scoring five runs against a guy with a wealth of big-game experience.
And now the Series shifts to Philadelphia for the next three games where, in one of the quirks of postseason play, designated hitters will not be used (DHs are always benched in the National League park). This could be a bigger hindrance to the Blue Jays, since DH Paul Molitor is one of Toronto's key players. Manager Cito Gaston may have to alter his regular lineup to make room for Molitor, lest he be limited to a cameo appearance. Molitor had three hits in the first two games. Longhorn football stuck in reverse
With some fluctuations, the traditionally strong schools in college football remain so. The University of Texas, therefore, may yet return to the sport's upper echelon, but why it is down at all is puzzling. Since 1960 it has had five undefeated seasons, but this is definitely not one of them - a 1-3-1 start is its worst since 1938. The school has many things working in its favor, including that it's a huge state university in a zealous football state. Certainly the Longhorns have not been helped by the decline of the Southwest Conference, which was parochial to begin with, but now is even more so since Arkansas, the lone out-of-state entry, defected to the Southeastern Conference.
The Longhorns had last week off following a 38-17 loss to Oklahoma. This Saturday they meet Southern Methodist University in San Antonio. Touching other bases
* In an upset that received little attention but ranks as a shocker, Paraguay beat host Scotland in last week's opening round of the Dunhill Cup, an international team golf event for professionals. Most people probably don't envision the Paraguayans even playing golf, and certainly not on a par with the Scots. Nonetheless Raul Fretes sank a 35-foot putt on the 18th hole at storied St. Andrews to win his match and secure his team's place in the next round.
* Tom Gullikson is being hailed as an excellent choice to renovate the United States Davis Cup tennis team in his new capacity as captain (that is, coach). John McEnroe was frequently mentioned in discussions about who would replace Tom Gorman.In Gullikson, however, the US gets someone every bit as competitive as McEnroe but without the same reputation for volatility.