Bryce Harper, the Nationals' 20-year-old phenom, asked a teammate's permission before making a curtain call after hitting a home run.

What sophomore slump?

Bryce Harper, the Nationals’ 20-year-old phenom, hit back-to-back homers his first two times up on opening day, then asked teammate Chad Tracy’s permission before making a curtain call.

“As ridiculous as that sounds in principle,” wrote Jerry Crasnick of, “keep in mind that Harper isn’t all that far removed from asking his dad if he can borrow the car keys.”


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• At “Thrilling Duke-Albany game ends with last-second buzzer.”

• At “Second AAA club could move to Houston area.”


Rutgers’ next holiday cookbook, we assume, won’t include any recipes for Steamed Rice.

Yankee dollars

The Yankees’ payroll set baseball’s all-time record for opening day: $230.4 million.

OK, it’s $148 million — if you only count the ones healthy enough to play.

Bucking the trend

“They’ve come up with so many new baseball stats,” noted Len Berman of, “but here’s one they should consider: WAP. Wins Against Payroll.”

How long till October?

Among the top 10 signs your baseball team isn’t ready for the season, from CBS’s Late Night:

• “Your first baseman is so fat, he’s also your second baseman.

• “Your cleanup hitter has asked to work from home.

• “Minutes before first pitch, clubhouse kid runs to Dick’s to buy bats.

• “Opening-day giveaway is a letter of apology from the general manager.”

Stuffed trout

Game officials suspect that the record brown trout — 42 pounds, 1 ounce — reeled in by New Zealander Otwin Kandolf fattened up on food pellets that floated down a canal from a nearby salmon farm.

In other words, sort of like Tony Siragusa working a press-box buffet.

Rangers not laughing

This year’s best April Fool’s joke? The Astros entering the day with the best record in baseball.

Quote marks

• CBS’s David Letterman, on the Yankees’ Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez opening the season on the disabled list: “Jeter, of course, is recovering from a broken ankle. A-Rod is still getting over Cameron Diaz.”

• China’s Wocheng Ye, to AP, on qualifying for a European Tour event at age 12: “I’ve dreamed of this since I was a boy.”

• NBC’s Jimmy Fallon, on baseball’s opening day in New York: “It was so cold that one guy charged the mound just to cuddle with the pitcher.”

• NBC’s Jay Leno, on the Pennsylvania man charged with deer hunting in a Walmart parking lot: “He is being charged with reckless endangerment, but may plead guilty to the lesser charge of being a redneck.”

CGSU, anyone?

Andy Enfield — the darling of this year’s NCAA tournament — is the new basketball coach at USC.

Or as he prefers to call it, California Gulf Coast.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or