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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOTES ON A SCORECARD / ALLAN MALAMUD

A Losing Proposition All the Way Around

August 12, 1996|ALLAN MALAMUD

Cigar paid more to place, $2.40, than he would have to win, $2.20, on Saturday. . . .

His defeat at Del Mar, where each horse in the Pacific Classic carried 124 pounds, again showed that pace is a more important factor than weight. . .

Cigar didn't seem to be his usual, cool-as-can-be self before the race. He was edgy in the walking ring, hesitant to enter the starting gate, and sweating moderately. . . .

It was yet another blow to the tobacco industry. . . .

A few hours after Cigar's winning streak ended at 16, Jim Abbott's losing streak was extended to 11. . . .

The best thing about his demotion to Vancouver of the Pacific Coast League by the Angels is that it will probably prevent Abbott, whose story is one of the most uplifting ever in baseball, from becoming a 20-game loser in the American League this season.

How badly did things go for the Angels during their 18-3 loss on Saturday night? Kansas City catcher Mike Sweeney was 3-3-0-2. He was hitless in three official at-bats, but drew three walks, scored three times, and collected two runs batted in with bases-loaded walks. . . .

Let's hear it for Tim Wallach, one of the nicest guys in the game. . . .

That's quite a battle for the Dodgers' RBI lead. Mike Piazza has 77 and Eric Karros 74 after their solo home runs Sunday at Cincinnati. . . .

Faster is better for Pedro Astacio, who is more effective now that he doesn't loiter so much between pitches. . . .

Five of the first six hitters in the Colorado Rockies' lineup on Saturday night at Atlanta had batting averages of .305 or more. The other, Andres Galarraga, was .293 after getting two hits in the 9-7 victory. . . .

Former Angel president Richard Brown has returned to the Los Angeles office of the law firm of Jeffer, Mangels, Butler & Marmaro LLP as a partner. . . .

Look for Tony Granato to become a San Jose Shark despite getting an attractive offer to re-sign with the Kings. . . .

The struggles and triumphs of a young black hockey player, portrayed by Stephen Smith, are explored in director Marius Balchunas' powerful short film "Faceoff" that had its premiere last week at the USC School of Cinema. . . .

Derek Smith, the Washington Bullets assistant coach and former Clipper player who died of a heart attack at 34, was a class act on and off the court. His scoring average of 22.1 points in 1984-85 has been topped since by only one Clipper, Danny Manning in 1992-93. . . .

Oscar De La Hoya, not hometown favorite Miguel Angel Gonzalez, was treated as the hero at a news conference in Mexico City last week for their Oct. 12 lightweight title bout at Caesars Palace. . . .

Not only was the crowd of 12,851 on Saturday night for the exhibition game against Indianapolis the smallest ever to see the Houston Oilers at the Astrodome, the crowd of 22,490 for the game against Cincinnati was the smallest ever to see the Arizona Cardinals at Sun Devil Stadium. . . .

It's tough watching a Raven game on TV, rooting for the city of Baltimore, but against owner Art Modell. . . .

Republican vice-presidential candidate Jack Kemp and New Orleans Saint Coach Jim Mora were teammates on the Occidental College football team. . . .

Kemp and Jack Disney, associate director of publicity at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, were best friends at Fairfax High in L.A. . . .

UCLA freshmen football players report to campus today and the rest of the roster on Thursday, but practice for the Sept. 7 opener at Tennessee doesn't begin until Saturday. . . .

USC Coach John Robinson doesn't like the new, tougher NCAA grounding-the-ball penalty, believing it might result in even more injuries to quarterbacks. . . .

The Trojans, at No. 7, and Arizona State, at No. 20, are the only Pacific 10 Conference teams in the top 25 of Associated Press' preseason poll. USC is No. 6 and Washington No. 22 in the USA Today/CNN poll. . . .

USC is ranked ahead of Penn State in both polls, but the Nittany Lions are slight favorites for the Kickoff Classic on Aug. 25 at the Meadowlands. . . .

Strange that the PGA Championship, which used to have a match-play format, has been decided by a sudden-death playoff the last two years. . . .

After the Olympics, NBC is known in fistic circles as the No Boxing Company.

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