Pine tar? It certainly beats the alternative for George Brett.

As the Royals Hall of Famer — noting that the 30th anniversary of his infamous pine-tar rant is July 24 — told The Associated Press : “Pretty much every time I play golf, they always want to check my clubs for pine tar.”

Not that he’s complaining.

“Before the pine-tar game, I was known as the hemorrhoid guy,” he told Newsday. “I think I heard every hemorrhoid joke in the world. Pine tar saved me.”

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.


• At “Wide-eyed minor-leaguer never thought he’d one day be playing in NBT Bank Stadium.”

• At “Days since an NFL player was arrested: 0.”

Ultimate letdown

The minor-league Lehigh Valley (Pa.) IronPigs are giving away a funeral in an upcoming promotion.

Or as Bob Uecker might describe the prize, low and in the dirt.

Twisting the dial

Among the 10 lowest-rated ESPN programs, from CBS’s David Letterman:

• “Mike and Mike in the Shower”

• “Two and a Half Mets”

• “How I Met Your Equipment Manager”

• “Monday Night Tee-Ball”

Boys in the band

The two-man Black Keys rock band — both of whom once played in the West Akron (Ohio) Baseball League — sponsored an unbeaten team of 6- to 8-year-olds there this year.

Coincidence? The Li’l Keys also led the league in hits.

No lateral moves

Butler coach Brad Stevens shocked the hoops world when he jumped to the NBA’s Boston Celtics.

The Sacramento Kings wanted him first, but he didn’t want to coach at another mid-major.

Quote marks

• Len Berman of, after Chris Wondolowski scored three first-half goals for the U.S. in a 6-1 soccer win over Belize: “Impressing everyone but his seamstress who misspelled his name on the back of his jersey.”

• NBC’s Jay Leno, after Joey Chestnut ate 69 hot dogs in 10 minutes to win the annual Nathan’s Fourth of July contest: “How is that possible? My garbage disposal doesn’t work that fast.”

• At, on ESPN ratings down 32 percent from 2012: “Most of it is because America is sick of the network’s fascination with the Heat, Lakers, Jets, Pats, Sox, Yankees and Tebow.”

• Reader Will C., to, on a surefire way for baseball to improve its All-Star Game TV ratings: “Announce the suspensions during the seventh-inning stretch.”

Replace that divot

No truth to persistent rumors of a 5.2 earthquake in Cleveland last Sunday.

Alas, it was just Prince Fielder stealing second against the Indians.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or