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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Sir Charles Owes Nothing to Suns and Vice Versa

August 19, 1996|SHAV GLICK

Charles Barkley, traded Sunday to the Houston Rockets, might not think so, but the way Joe Gilmartin of the Arizona Republic sees it, the Phoenix Suns don't owe Barkley a thing and vice versa.

"He didn't build their building . . . he didn't fill it . . . and he didn't put a banner in it," Gilmartin wrote. "He did make the Suns more entertaining, give them a stronger national identity, increase their already substantial profits and make this a much livelier town.

"But, on the other hand, the Suns rescued him from a fate worse than death [i.e. Philadelphia], provided him with what even he admits [was] a great forum for his skills [not to mention a great place to play golf] and pretty much let him do what he wanted when he wanted to do it."

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Trivia time: How many 200-game winning pitchers in the major leagues had losing records?

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Sounds like fun: Travis Fryman, the Detroit Tiger third baseman, lives in Pensacola, Fla., home of the Blue Angels. Last week he flew with them. "It's the only time I've thrown up and passed out and had a good time," Fryman said.

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Air Johnson: Miami Dolphins safety Louis Oliver, on the way new Coach Jimmy Johnson conducts practice: "Jimmy's like the air. He's everywhere."

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The I's have it: In 15 Indy car races on the Mid-Ohio road circuit, nine have been won by drivers whose name ended with the letter "i." Last week's Alex Zanardi followed Teo Fabi, 1983 and 1989; Mario Andretti, 1984; Emerson Fittipaldi, 1988, 1992 and 1993; and Michael Andretti, 1990 and 1991.

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Double talk: Some of Ralph Kiner must have rubbed off on Pittsburgh Pirate announcer Bob Walk, who had this to say about Steve Carlton: "One of the all-time greatest pitchers of all-time in this game."

Kiner set the standard a few years ago with, "The reason the Mets have played so well at Shea Stadium this year is that they have the best home record in baseball."

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Father knows best: Former Detroit Lion coach Monte Clark, after watching the Lions go through a pass-rush drill, wasn't impressed. "It's Lamaze," he said. "All pushing and shoving."

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Real punishment: The NFL has suspended Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin for five games of the regular season for his drug conviction. From the Denver Post: "Talk about mixed messages. If the NFL really wanted to punish Irvin, they'd make him play the preseason games."

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Critical review: Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotte calls Dennis Rodman's new book, Bad As I Ought to Be, "an autobiography that wasted a lot of trees."

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Trivia answer: Two. Jack Powell was 245-254 from 1897 to 1912, and Bobo Newsom was 211-222 from 1929 to 1953.

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And finally: The Sporting News' Dave Kindred has the scoop on U.S. goalkeeper Briana Scurry, who said she would "run naked through the streets of Athens" if her soccer team won gold in Atlanta.

Scurry made the run as promised, at 2 a.m., but Kindred reveals that she wasn't entirely naked.

"I had my medal on," she told him.

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