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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Tigers So Bad Their Games Are Almost Unreal

May 24, 1996|MAL FLORENCE

Murray Chass of the New York Times writes that major league baseball should be more concerned with the Detroit Tigers than with Marge Schott's wild statements or Albert Belle's wild throws.

"What they should do is declare the Tigers' remaining games exhibitions, not to be counted in the standings, and declare their games already played to be exhibitions and remove them from the standings."

If the Tigers continue to play at their present pace, they would win 42 games and lose 120, record numbers for a 14-team league.

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Trivia time: Who is the only Los Angeles Dodger to have the initials L.A.?

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Indy bias: Bill Benner of the Indianapolis Star calls the U.S. 500, the Indy 500's new rival race, the "BogUS 500."

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The hacker: Neal Lancaster is one of the few PGA Tour players who smokes. He averages a cigarette a hole and a pack and a half a day.

"I'm the leading smoker on the tour without a doubt," the native of North Carolina told Golfweek magazine. "Hey, I'm from Tobacco Road. I've got to smoke."

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Tongue in cheek: Milwaukee Brewer Manager Phil Garner on the power surge of Baltimore's B.J. Surhoff, who reached double figures in home runs only once in nine years in Milwaukee, but had 10 by last Friday:

"Had we known B.J. was going to hit that many home runs, we'd have given him $45 million to stay in Milwaukee and 50% part ownership in the new stadium."

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The Kiner file: As the New York Mets prepared to play the Padres in San Diego recently, noted geography whiz Ralph Kiner reported:

"The next time the Mets are in San Diego, they'll be playing in Monterrey, Mexico," prompting Jayson Stark of the Philadelphia Inquirer to comment: "Which, apparently was recently annexed by the state of California."

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Friendly confines: Steve Howe of the New York Yankees on being booed by Yankee Stadium fans: "I've been in jail before, and it's more comfortable than being in this place."

Clip and save: Shaun Powell in the Sporting News: "The Magic won't fire [Coach Brian] Hill, even in the event of a Bulls' sweep for two reasons: One, Rich DeVos isn't that kind of an owner. Two, there is no better coach for the Magic at this moment than Hill."

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Looking back: On this day in 1936, Tony Lazzeri, batting eighth for the Yankees, drove in 11 runs with a triple and three home runs--two of them grand slams--in a 25-2 rout of the Philadelphia Athletics.

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Trivia answer: Luis Alcaraz, 1967-68.

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And finally: Phoenix Sun owner Jerry Colangelo on the longevity of Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons: "Heck, Cotton probably will come off his deathbed one more time to coach, 20 years from now."

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