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INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

This Guy Steals Bases From His Team, Not for It

August 29, 1996|CHRIS BAKER

Maybe some American League team should sign Jim Wright.

Wright, a longtime Mariner fan, leaned over the Kingdome's right-field wall Monday night and caught an apparent home run ball hit by Edgar Martinez in the Mariners' 2-1 victory over the New York Yankees.

Martinez rounded the bases but third base umpire Durwood Merrill ruled that Wright had caught the ball before it could hit and was therefore a double.

It was deja vu for Wright.

Two years ago, he reached over the same fence and caught a ball hit by Mike Blowers during a game with the Detroit Tigers, reducing that shot to a double.

"I think it was a home run, that's why I caught it," Wright said. "Feet on the ground, ball comes to you, you catch it. You think it's a home run."

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Trivia time: How many relief pitchers are in baseball's Hall of Fame?

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Material boy: Dennis Rodman, Madonna's former companion, is becoming as overexposed as the "Material Girl."

In the new ad campaign for a national chain of lingerie stores, a shirtless Rodman, complete with tattoos and body piercings, flirts with Norwegian supermodel Helena Christensen.

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Shaqman: Laker center Shaquille O'Neal, who moonlights as an actor and a rapper, will star in "Steel," the story of a mild-mannered steelworker who becomes a Batman-like superhero by night.

Wonder if O'Neal will drive the Shaqmobile in the movie.

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No. 1 in Titletown: Green Bay Packer wide receiver Robert Brooks, who leaps into the stands after every touchdown, has recorded a hip-hop song in tribute to Packer fans.

"Jump in the Stands," has been No. 1 in Green Bay since a local FM station began playing it three weeks ago.

"Any song that mentions the Packers is destined to be No. 1 here," program director Dan Stone said.

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Big brother watching? Someone may be watching you the next time you attend a sporting event.

In an effort to control rowdy fans, some stadiums and arenas have installed surveillance cameras. Yankee Stadium, for example, has installed two pan-and-tilt cameras and 25 stationary cameras.

The system has helped provide evidence against unruly fans, said Yankee executive Kirk Randazzo.

But some think it's an invasion of privacy.

Said Norman Siegel, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, "It reeks of big-brotherism."

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It's a kicker's life: Want to be an NFL kicker? In the last few weeks: --The Miami Dolphins traded Pete Stoyanovich, due to earn $800,000 this season, to the Kansas City Chiefs for a fifth-round pick.

--The Chicago Bears waived Kevin Butler, due to make $500,000, and the Oakland Raiders cut Jeff Jaeger, due $675,000.

The veterans can kick about it all they want but for the teams unloading them, the decisions were easy. Each of the replacement kickers will make less than $200,000.

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Trivia answer: Two, Hoyt Wilhelm and Rollie Fingers.

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And finally: Mighty Duck Coach Ron Wilson, coaching Team USA in the World Cup of Hockey, is sporting a shorter haircut.

"You know that in golf, you've got to aerate the greens once in a while," he said. "Well, I'm just aerating my head. Maybe with the air getting at it, I'll get smarter."

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