If Ralf Schumacher were a baseball player, logic suggests, Germany's Formula One driving phenom would be one of those sluggers who rips 98 mph fastballs but can't put wood on a...

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If Ralf Schumacher were a baseball player, logic suggests, Germany’s Formula One driving phenom would be one of those sluggers who rips 98 mph fastballs but can’t put wood on a lollypop curve.

“Ralf causes the sort of accidents you would expect from women drivers,” Schumacher’s wife, Cora, told the German TV talk show Menschen bei Maischberger. “There have been a number of little accidents when it comes to getting into and out of parking spots.”

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For instance?

“Ralf was waiting for the beep to let him know how close he was to the car behind him, when we heard a different kind of noise.

“I certainly have the better accident balance.”

Lifting the gag order

Arturs Irbe, the Carolina Hurricanes’ Latvian goalie, lost something in the translation while trying to articulate the owners’ position in the NHL lockout.

“They are saying it’s their way or no way,” Irbe was quoted by the San Jose Mercury News. “This is a shove-it-up-your-throat kind of approach.”

Hell of a schedule

NBA schedule-makers saddled the Toronto Raptors with not one, but two, six-game road swings in the season’s first five weeks, meaning 14 away games in an 18-game stretch.

As Raptors coach Sam Mitchell told The Washington Post: “It wasn’t the man upstairs who gave us this schedule; it was the man below.”


You want strict? The 2-12 San Francisco 49ers are strict — their cheerleading squad, that is.

Witness that lonely cheerleader sitting in the Monster Park dugout after Saturday’s kickoff.

“Asked if she was injured, she said no,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. “She then explained that she was late and had to sit out the first quarter.”

High schticking

Devan Dubnyk and Ryan Stone were among the final cuts at Team Canada’s world junior hockey camp last week.

No mystery there, wrote Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun: “We’re pretty sure the coaching staff didn’t want to try to cross the border with players nicknamed ‘Doobie’ and ‘Stoner.’ “

Talking the talk

• Peter Vecsey of the New York Post, professing his jealousy and awe for Lakers lightning rod Kobe Bryant: “Kobe has alienated more people than any of us, all without the benefit of a byline.”

• David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, on Rick Majerus quitting after three days as USC basketball coach to remain at ESPN: “This gives new meaning to ‘Let’s go back to the studio.’ “

• CBS’s David Letterman, among his top 10 ways to improve the Department of Homeland Security: “At all border crossings, employ intimidating, locked-out NHL players.”

Odor in the court

Some 600 lawyers in the eastern Romanian city of Iasi are suing for nearly $2 million in damages, the Adevarul newspaper reported, because the local courtrooms “look like either cellars or stables (with a) pestilential smell.”

Authorities plan to quickly quash the uprising, we hear, with a change of venue to the nearest locker room.

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