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"GMA' did give Dome its due

Published Oct. 16, 2005

Good Morning, St. Pete: There's local miff over Good Morning America's two-hour Tuesday shot, especially among downtown St. Petersburg developers who say geriatric stereotypes were exaggerated. Me? I'm not upset, since ABC-TV did give exposure to the town's soon-to-open domed stadium, which only the baseball blind can't see as No. 1 contender for the next franchise. Best GMA segment was a package by Channel 10 news anchor John Wilson on what the Tampa Bay area is about. Whatever happened to David Hartman?

Funds 'n games: Anybody know where University of Florida quarterback Kyle Morris and other now-exposed gambling athletes at Texas and South Carolina got the money to make lavish bets?

Different strokes: Remember when Lee Trevino, for idiotic reasons, would play every tournament but the Masters. This year, the new senior is competing in all golf majors except the U.S. Open. Reason is, Trevino's exempt status ran out, and he refuses to endure qualifying. "I won the Open twice," he said, "so why would I want to play 36 holes trying to get in another one?"

Boom! Orlando Magic games keep selling out classy, comfy Orlando Arena, and the first-year NBA franchise does so many marketing things right, but it's a headache-causing error to turn the public-address system so loud it keeps sharks awake 10 miles away at Sea World.

Crooked but nice: Pete Rose, the baseball exile, stopped by North Shore Park to umpire a softball game featuring real old-timers, St. Pete's famed Kids & Kubs. When George Bakewell, 97, came to bat, 48-year-old Pete decided to cheat. Bakewell hit a roller, and the throw beat him to first base by 99 tiny steps. "Safe!" shouted ump Rose. Everybody laughed, and Pete slapped ol' George on the butt. "Now that," said Rose, "is power. Feels like God."

Switch-putting: PGA Tour veteran Roger Maltbie, on putts shorter than 25 feet, is now stroking left-handed on shots with left-to-right breaks. But, on right-to-left putts, Roger is still a right-hander. What about straight putts?

Uninformed: Longtime friend of mine who lives in Carrollwood says she had no idea Pinellas County was more populous than Hillsborough, and that more Tampa International fliers are bound for P.C. than H.C., and that St. Pete's newspaper outsells Tampa's. "I've been so misinformed," said my pal, Terry Lee. "Must've been listening to the wrong sources."

Here's whatever: Jack McGill of Port Richey answers a recent whatever happened question, with information that Vegas Ferguson, standout late-1970s Notre Dame football running back and a first-round draft pick of the New England Patriots, is now in sales for Chicago's Belden Manufacturing.

Here's whatever II: Keith Smart, hero of Indiana University's 1987 national championship basketball win over Syracuse, after not making it with Golden State of the NBA, has played in the CBA and now in the Philippines. Data on that whatever happened? subject comes from IU faithful Bob Maxwell of Bayonet Point.

Who's calling? Most businesses receive a tremor of fright when word comes, "Mike Wallace is on the phone." But not Kansas City's baseball franchise. Most likely, it won't be the 60 Minutes newshawk. Another Mike Wallace is the Royals' new clubhouse man, who deals in dirty linen of a different sort.

Gentle touch: Bill Shoemaker, the great and retiring rider, says of his career, "I found out early that you get more out of a horse by coaxing him, talking to him through your hands, than by beating up on him." Common sense, I'd say.

Pub for Kubs, and Kids: Those wondrous, lovable Kids & Kubs get another sweet dose of mass exposure in Friday's editions of the new sports daily, The National. Written by columnist Dave Kindred, the article will note that, if Babe Ruth were still alive, he'd be three years younger than George Bakewell.

Whatever happened to Bob Friend?