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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

The 50 Greatest, and Then There's the 50 Worst

March 12, 1997|SHAV GLICK

Seattle Times columnist Steve Kelley recently put his twist on the NBA's 50 greatest players by anointing his worst 50.

Among those earning the dubious distinction were former Laker and current Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley, of whom Kelley said, "Before he was a genius, he was a stiff." Kelley also included Ed Manning, saying, "His greatest contribution to the game was his son Danny."

Trivia time: When amateur golfer Kellee Booth of Coto de Caza won a singles match in last year's Curtis Cup, what was unusual about it?

Burned out: The first mares bred to Cigar failed to become pregnant, raising the possibility that the two-time horse of the year may be sterile. Fertility specialists have been called in and more mares will be tested.

"All I can say is that it's a shock," said Allen Paulson, who owned Cigar during his racing career. "We were counting on his babies awful badly."

Reformed fly chaser: Remember John Shelby, the former Dodger outfielder? He's the manager of the Savannah Sand Gnats, a Dodger farm team in the Class-A South Atlantic League.

Only in Canada: Roger Clemens' first game with the Toronto Blue Jays was televised in Canada. With two out in the ninth inning, the network cut away--to a women's curling match.

Gotham grumbling: Responding to a spate of criticism from New York media over the selection of Tom Lasorda to baseball's Hall of Fame, Bob Keisser of the Long Beach Press-Telegram says, "I wonder how New York will react if Walter O'Malley is ever elected?"

And, for that matter, why hasn't he? All O'Malley did was stretch baseball across the continent.

Best of the best: When Ring magazine published its 75th anniversary issue, it selected Sugar Ray Robinson as the best fighter, Muhammad Ali-Joe Frazier III the best fight, Benny Leonard as the best boxer, Joe Louis the best puncher, the first round of the Marvin Hagler-Thomas Hearns fight the best round and Don Dunphy the best announcer.

Stop nagging: The San Francisco Chronicle's Scott Ostler, on college coaches crying about their players leaving early for the NBA: "That's like termites bitching about aluminum siding."

Confidence builder: After Philadelphia Phillie starter Mike Grace gave up three home runs, triple-A pitching coach Larry Andersen told him he "sent the clubhouse guy to move his car because it was parked beyond the center-field fence."

Trivia answer: It was a second-generation win. Her mother, Jane Bastanchury Booth of Whittier, won nine times in three Cup appearances in the '70s.

And finally: New Oakland Raider Coach Joe Bugel said the signing of free agent Desmond Howard was "probably the easiest decision I had to make in my first two weeks on the job."

To which Ron Borges of the Boston Globe commented: "The hard part will be trying to explain it a year from now."

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