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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Padres' Gwynn Puts Great Stock in Giants' Bonds

May 17, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres, who is leading the National League in hitting again, said his favorite player is Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants.

"He's the one guy in our league I would pay to watch," Gwynn said. "I've said on many occasions that he's the one guy who can do whatever he wants to do.

"If he wants to carve a ball down the left-field line, he can do it. If his team needs a long ball, he can do that. He can hit .350 if he wants. He's the best player in our league."

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Trivia time: How many grand slams did the Dodgers hit in 1995?

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Short attention span: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Memorable backstretch observation from ole Charlie Whittingham on trainers advising jockeys:

" 'There's no use giving them instructions, because by the time they go from the paddock to the track, they've already forgotten. There's a reason why jockeys wear size-3 1/2 hats.' "

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Tuning out: Mitch Albom in the Detroit Free Press: "The lesson of both [Marge] Schott and [Michael] Irvin is clear: We make too much of sports people. We revere them as if they really contributed something to society, and we hang on their often stupid words and equally stupid actions, as if Moses himself had come down from the mountain."

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Movie junkie: Montreal Expo outfielder Rondell White, on how he has passed the time since bruising his kidney making a diving catch: "The people at Blockbuster know me."

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Paper shortage: The St. Louis Cardinals are struggling to get out of the cellar in the National League Central Division, but Manager Tony La Russa sees a silver lining:

"There's only one newspaper in St. Louis. How wonderful is that?"

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Select few: Paul Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that if Mickey Tettleton of the Texas Rangers finishes the season leading the American League in strikeouts and walks, he will join some impressive company.

"Only six players in this century have led their leagues in strikeouts and walks in the same season--Babe Ruth, Hack Wilson, Hank Greenberg, Mickey Mantle, Mike Schmidt and Dale Murphy."

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Use an alias: Keith Gregor, the University of Cincinnati forward who referred to Kentucky basketball fans as "rednecks," has taken a job as a computer sales representative--in Lexington, Ky.

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Looking back: On this day in 1961, Roger Maris hit his first home run of the season at Yankee stadium and his fourth overall on his way to a record 61.

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Trivia answer: Four--two by Mike Piazza, and one each by Delino DeShields and Raul Mondesi.

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And finally: Atlanta real estate developer Taz Anderson, on a tower he designed in the form of a torch and intended as a lasting legacy for the Olympic city: "My intent has been to have something in place that is memorable and worth photographing, something that will become part of Atlanta for years to come."

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