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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

He Had to Lick a Different Problem First

May 23, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Stories about longtime NASCAR crew chief Harry Hyde, who died last week, were on almost everybody's lips during the Winston Cup Select all-star weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

One occurred long ago on a very hot afternoon at one of the dusty bullring tracks where NASCAR ran in its formative years.

Buddy Baker, driving for Hyde at the time, was experiencing a handling problem and radioed to Hyde in the pits asking if he should come in.

"Not yet, son," the crew chief replied.

"But I got a handling problem," the driver said.

"Yeah, but me and the boys are eating ice cream cones right now," Hyde said. "I'll call you when we're done."

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Trivia time: Which team holds the NBA playoff record for the lowest shooting percentage in a game?

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Clang, clang: Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune on Shaquille O'Neal's poor free-throw shooting:

"To get any benefit from an O'Neal free throw, I suggest letting him fling a coconut or pineapple up there so the impact will crack them open into a nice fruit salad.

"If you can't beat 'em, feed 'em."

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Add Lincicome: "The way [Dennis] Rodman is selling himself, his next tattoo should be a bar code."

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Nowhere zone: Kansas City Royal pitcher Tim Belcher on the smaller strike zone leading to more offense:

"Guys have no fear of the inside strike, because there is no inside strike. You throw a ball over the inside corner, and Frank Thomas will jump out of there like it's going to hit him. So they call it a ball."

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Not a clue: Nick Canepa in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "This November, ABC will project a winner of the presidential election at 4 p.m. PST. I hope they use their Kentucky Derby predictors, who couldn't pick an orange in Florida."

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Bogart remembered: The International Herald Tribune ran an article on scuba diving off the Cayman Islands under the headline: "Here's Looking at You, Squid."

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Innovation: First a highlighted hockey puck on TV, and now a tennis ball that glows. It will be in play at Wimbledon June 24-July 7.

Slazenger has developed a ball that virtually glows in fading light. The company says the ball, first tried at the Australian Open in January, is covered with a cloth treated in strong dye to make the yellow coloring stand out in the dark.

Line judges are grateful.

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Looking back: On this day in 1984, the Detroit Tigers won their 16th consecutive road game, beating the Angels, 4-2, to tie an American League record.

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Trivia answer: The Golden State Warriors shot only 23.3% against the Lakers on April 21, 1973.

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And finally: The Salem Avalanche of the Carolina League offers an unusual view of its home games--from a hot tub built into the deck along the first base line. The cost of watching the game from the hot tub is $10. It holds 10.

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