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MORNING BRIEFING

You Call It: Double Play or Hit-and-Run?

March 20, 1995|MAL FLORENCE

Richie Ashburn, former Philadelphia Phillie standout recently named to the Hall of Fame, was adept at fouling off pitches while waiting for one he could drive.

Unfortunately, one of his many intentional foul balls once struck a woman in the face. The next day, he visited her in the hospital and apologized for hitting her.

"That isn't the half of it," she said. While she was being carried out, she added, "You got me again on the leg."

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Trivia time: Who was the first winner of the John Wooden Award recognizing the outstanding college basketball player of the year?

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Garage mentality: Pitcher Rob Dibble on why he chose the White Sox over the Cubs, Yankees, Athletics and Red Sox:

"The color of the uniforms is great. My last five cars and my truck have been black. It's a good look on me."

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Career decision: Dave Cowens, 46-year-old assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs and a former Celtic star, briefly considered making a comeback as a back-up center to David Robinson.

Cowens said he asked Robinson about the idea, who said: "Aren't you in the Hall of Fame?' " Cowens: "Yeah." Robinson: "Would they take you out of it if you come back?"

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For the record: Jimmy Bryan was also one of the drivers who won the Indianapolis 500 when it was part of the Formula One schedule. He won in 1958.

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Can he croon? Gonzaga guard John Rillie, an Australian, made 20 of 28 three-point attempts in the recent West Coast Conference tournament.

"That was an out-of-body experience," Gonzaga Coach Dan Fitzgerald said. "He's about as athletic as one of our alums--Bing Crosby."

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Yawn: Field goals from 50 yards and farther will be worth four points when the World League of American Football begins its season on April 8.

"We think the four-point play is an exciting rules change," said Jerry Vanisi, vice president for football operations of the new league.

Yeah, nothing more exciting than a field goal.

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Keep it up: The quality of play doesn't measure up to big league standards, but at least, the spring training replacement games are faster.

Friday night, the average was a speedy 2 hours 34 minutes, as calculated by the Associated Press. That's compared with regular-season averages of 2:48 in the National League last year and 2:59 in the American League.

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Is that an error? Jay Leno says it's obvious that replacement players aren't up to major league quality: "They showed one guy who went to grab his crotch and missed."

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Trivia answer: Marques Johnson of UCLA in 1977.

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Quotebook: Cincinnati Red pitcher Jose Rijo after watching a recent replacement game between the New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves: "This is funny. It's like a softball game."

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