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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

If It Looks Like Indy 500, Sounds Like Indy 500 . . .

May 27, 1996|Allan Malamud

I must confess that the Indianapolis 500 looked the same as ever to me on Sunday. . . .

Then again, how many people could tell the difference between the Breeders' Cup Classic and a $10,000 claiming race? . . .

The three-game sweep at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, which used to be their house of horrors, might be just the thing to turn the Dodgers' season around. . . .

What they have to do is make sure the bases are loaded more often when Mike Blowers comes to the plate. . . .

In three days, Mike Piazza, who is leading the National League in batting at .370, gained 23 points on Tony Gwynn, who is down to .362. . . .

Shortstop Greg Gagne still might prove to be an outstanding free agent signing by L.A., but he is hurt again after sitting out 42 games for the Kansas City Royals last season and 55 in 1994. . . .

I'll always remember the smile that often lit up the face of Mike Sharperson, the former Dodger infielder who died in an auto accident in Las Vegas early Sunday morning. . . .

The highlight of Sharpie's career was being the only Dodger representative in the 1992 All-Star game at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego. . . .

On Memorial Day, which used to be packed with doubleheaders, only 10 major league games are scheduled. . . .

No team in the NL West has a losing record and no team in the NL Central has a winning record. . . .

Albert Belle shouldn't be bothered by a media crush if he approaches Roger Maris' home run record because Belle rarely talks to the media. . . .

Don't put too much blame on the designated-hitter rule for those inflated earned-run averages in the American League. . . .

I mean, the Angels are badly in need of a starting pitcher or two, but so are almost all the other teams. . . .

Greg Maddux, who has won four consecutive Cy Young awards, is 4-8 at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, where he didn't get a decision on Sunday. . . .

Despite playing in the Homerdome, the Minnesota Twins are next-to-last in the league in homers. . . .

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Julio Cesar Chavez's sparring session before the races at Hollywood Park on Saturday was responsible for nearly half the crowd of 20,169. . . .

In preparation for his June 7 defense of the World Boxing Council super-lightweight title against Oscar De La Hoya, Chavez boxed 10 rounds against three sparring partners and hardly took a deep breath. . . .

Promoter Bob Arum has nothing against the San Antonio Spurs, but he was delighted when they were eliminated early from the NBA playoffs. That meant 30,000 seats at the Alamodome would be available for the Chavez-De La Hoya closed-circuit telecast. . . .

Rafael Ruelas will fight Livingstone Bramble on an Aug. 23 card at Atlantic City topped by Dana Rosenblatt vs. Vinnie Pazienza. . . .

Thoroughbred racing got some good news for a change when it was revealed that TV ratings for the Preakness, as well as the Kentucky Derby, were up considerably from last year. . . .

This could be a big day for trainer Richard Mandella, who has Sandpit running in the $500,000 Hollywood Turf Handicap and Afternoon Delites in the $400,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont. . . .

A.P. Assay, a 2-year-old filly who won her debut by six lengths in a 4 1/2-furlong race at Hollywood on Saturday, is the first winner sired by A.P. Indy. . . .

L.A. Open winner Craig Stadler, a longtime King fan, has moved to Denver and is a Colorado Avalanche season-ticket holder. . . .

A few Las Vegas sports books have begun to offer wagers on Major League Soccer games. . . .

By the way, why isn't it known instead as the Major Soccer League? . . .

Defending Pacific 10 Conference football champion USC, which undoubtedly will be the preseason favorite, has fewer starters, 11, returning than any team in the conference. Arizona State has the most, 19, and UCLA has the second fewest, 12. . . .

Look-alikes: Seattle SuperSonics Coach George Karl and actor John Lithgow. . . .

All-Star Utah guard John Stockton has had better series than this one against Seattle. . . .

In Game 3, the Chicago Bulls shot 58.1% from the free-throw line, which was terrific in comparison to the Orlando Magic's 41.7%. . . .

That's some salary drive that Dennis Rodman is staging. . . .

Former NHL player Ken (The Rat) Linseman would have gone over big in Miami.

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