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MORNING BRIEFING

Pitchers and Catchers Report; Ryno Merely Has to Show Up

February 19, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Ryne Sandberg returned to the Chicago Cubs' spring training site Thursday in Mesa, Ariz., after a 16-month retirement.

Gene Wojciechowski of the Chicago Tribune told of this exchange between a reporter and Cub Manager Jim Riggleman.

Reporter: "How does he look to you so far?"

Riggleman: "Well, I haven't seen him do anything except show up. He showed up well."

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Trivia time: Who is the all-time leading money winner on the LPGA Tour through 1995?

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That's show biz: Calgary Flame right wing Sandy McCarthy, who will portray Jim Thorpe in a TV documentary this summer, last acted in elementary school, when he was cast as a rooster.

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The Z file: A little-known fact from the the "Home Run Encyclopedia": Todd Zeile needs eight homers to pass Don Zimmer and move into third place among all players whose last names start with Z.

Fascinating.

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Nowhere men: Utah basketball Coach Rick Majerus blames Texas El Paso Coach Don Haskins' exclusion from the Hall of Fame on the fact he works in the Western Athletic Conference.

Said Majerus: "Everyone in our league lives where they live because they can't sell their home or they've been relocated in the witness protection program."

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Wilt's world: Another observation from Wilt Chamberlain as told to Stan Hochman of the Philadelphia Daily News:

"You hear about unselfish players. The only unselfish player I knew was me. I gave up what I could do best to help guys who could do less."

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Crummy deal: In a recent interview with Irv Kaze on KIEV radio, Byron Nelson recalled that after he won a PGA-record 11 consecutive tournaments in 1945, he was pictured on a cereal box. He got the grand sum of $200, tip money for Michael Jordan today.

Nelson, who won the Los Angeles Open in 1946, is the honoree for this week's tournament.

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Dilemma: Mike Lupica in the New York Daily News: "Does Los Angeles have anything to say about taking in the Seahawks? No football team, or the Seahawks--to me, that's a pretty tough call."

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Desperate: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Is there a parable here? Fellow in Gilbert, Ariz., won two Super Bowl tickets by diving headfirst in 2,000 pounds of cow manure."

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Taking after Pigpen: The San Jose Sharks are in last place in the Pacific Division but earn points for having a line with an odd nickname. The Jamie Baker-Chris Tancill-Jeff Odgers trio is being affectionately called the "Dirt Bag Line" by teammates.

The Dirt Bags, put together three weeks ago, include a captain who previously didn't play much (Odgers), a checking-line regular (Baker) and minor league veteran who has spent brief periods in the NHL (Tancill).

Instead of becoming a fourth line, the Dirt Bags have 32 points in the last 10 games.

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Looking back: On this day in 1978, Gil Morgan won the Los Angeles Open at Riviera Country Club, beating Jack Nicklaus by two shots.

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Trivia answer: Betsy King, with earnings of $5,374,022.50.

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Quotebook: Denver Nugget guard Bryant Stith on his sub-.500 team: "We made our bed hard, and we must lie in it."

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