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Good Evening



Hey, where's Ray? Jim Baumbach has a new weekly "Where Are They Now?"

feature catching up with former New York sports figures.

Dude, here's a real challenge for you: Get Ray Handley on the horn. When I

covered the Giants, he was considered the holy grail of ornery,

impossible-to-get sports interview subjects.

If I see Handley quoted next Friday - beyond something like "where the --

did you get this phone number?" - you will supplant Hank Steinbrenner as my New

York sports media person of the year. Good luck.


Why wait. I like challenges, especially when they include hunting down

blast-from-the-past New York sports figures. So Neil didn't have to ask me

twice to get Ray Handley on the phone.

Finding the former Giants coach did take some time, mostly because I

didn't realize right away that his name actually is Robert R. Handley. Once I

cracked that, I found him living in Nevada by Lake Tahoe. Getting him to talk,

however, proved to be impossible.

Here's the transcript of my 48-second call (which presumably includes the

time it took to ring three times).

Ray Handley: "Hello."

Me: "Is Ray there?"

RH: "Yes, this is he."

Me: "My name is Jim Baumbach and I'm a sports reporter from Newsday. I do a

weekly where-are-they-now column in which I like to catch up with former New

York sports figures."

RH: "How did you get this number?"

Me: "I looked it up through public records."

RH: "I doubt that. It's unlisted."

Me: "I apologize if you're not interested."

RH: "No, I'm not the least bit interested. Thank you very much."

And then he hung up. - JIM BAUMBACH /


Ethics class: The Baseball Writers Association of America has moved to

eliminate bonuses tied to our awards (Most Valuable Player, Cy Young and Rookie

of the Year). Starting in 2013, any player who has such bonuses in his

contract will be disqualified from consideration for the award. I think this

was an important move, especially in terms of Curt Schilling's $1-million

incentive for a single vote in the 2008 AL Cy Young voting. The BBWAA needs to

eliminate any appearances of conflict of interest. - KEN DAVIDOFF /


Hair today . . . Kellen Clemens came in to meet with the media after

Wednesday's practice, but not before he made a quick pit stop in the locker

room. He had an appointment with a razor.

Seems Clemens, who had been sporting a goatee in recent weeks, had made a

bet with QB coach Brian Daboll last week. The parameters are a little sketchy,

something involving making certain passes or plays in practice. Anyway, Clemens

lost and, according to the wager, had to shave half the goatee and go with a

mustache. Clemens welched a little bit - he didn't go with the stache, which PR

guy Dave Tratner said was a little Ron Burgundy-ish, for the game against the

Dolphins. I guess he was under the assumption that there actually would be

people watching the game on TV. Anyway, when the team got home Clemens finally

paid up and has been wearing the lip fuzz for a few days.

In Wednesday's practice, though, Clemens won back the right to dictate his

own facial grooming. So before he came into the press room, he grabbed his

Schick - do you really think any of the Jets would use Gillette? - and went to

work. - TOM ROCK /


Russian roulette: If a Russian basketball coach has her way, three WNBA

stars with no apparent Russian lineage could be playing for that country's

national team in the 2008 Olympics. Guards Becky Hammon of the San Antonio

Silver Stars (formerly of the Liberty), Deanna Nolan of the Detroit Shock and

Kelly Miller of the WNBA champion Phoenix Mercury could be considered for the

Russian team, Spartak Moscow coach Natalia Hejkova, an assistant for the

Russian national team, said in an interview with FIBA Europe. The Russians lack

backcourt help and can turn to naturalized Russians from America. No comment

from any of the three Americans, who play in Russia during the WNBA offseason.

Hammon and Nolan have had opportunities to play with the U.S. National Team.

Nolan has shown little interest, and Hammon has not been seriously considered

for a roster spot. - KAREN BAILIS /


This week's most-viewed sports stories on

1. Yankees will pull Santana offer after Monday, Dec. 3

2. Matthews: Strange to see Yankees doing it the old-fashioned way

3. Mets, everyone else, waiting for Santana deal

4. Yankees drop out of running for Santana trade

5. Omar Minaya, right, feels good, looks for pitcher

New York Sports