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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

This Pitcher Has Plenty of Proof That He Can Win

March 17, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

Pitcher Scott Service of the Cincinnati Reds is finding spring training far more profitable than he could have imagined.

He recently purchased five Quick Picks on the Florida Fantasy Five, a daily five-number game. He got all five on the fifth, and won about $35,000.

Last Monday, Service bought gas at a convenience store near Plant City, Fla., and on his way out door, said to the clerk, "Oh, give me five bucks worth of Quick Picks."

You guessed it. Service had all five numbers again. This time he won nearly $22,000.

Just call him Service with a smile.

Trivia time: Who are the three managers in this century with more victories than Tom Lasorda without making baseball's Hall of Fame?

Obsession: New York Knick Coach Jeff Van Gundy admits that he is "absolutely obsessed" with the Chicago Bulls.

"I think about Chicago every day. I admire them so much and the standard they've set around the league. I want this team to get to that level."

No one home: Free-lance writer Norman Chad on the near-complete turnover of the Dallas Mavericks' roster: "It's no wonder that most Dallas players get fan mail that's addressed to 'OCCUPANT.' "

Double standard: Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune commenting on Gov. George Pataki signing a bill into law banning anything-goes ultimate fighting in New York:

"So you can't engage in bloody, barbaric activities in an arena there. Just on the streets of Manhattan."

Touchy: From Detroit News NBA writer Chris McCosky: "Rookies can be so sensitive. It seems New Jersey's Kerry Kittles, after an injury, was stunned when a reporter asked, 'Who kneed you?' He thought the guy asked, 'Who needs you?' "

Ouch! Jay Leno on Riddick Bowe's desire for another chance with the Marines: "I think we've finally settled the question as to whether boxing causes brain damage or not."

Relieved: Kansas City Royal Manager Bob Boone, on his son, second baseman Bret, who received a four-year, $11.45 million contract from the Cincinnati Reds and general manager Jim Bowden:

"Bowden has taken the pressure off me. Now he can give Bret his allowance."

No more incentive: Miami Heat point guard Tim Hardaway has a clause in his contract that awards him a $500,000 bonus if his team wins 45 games. They've already exceeded that figure.

FYI: Randall Cunningham, the former Philadelphia Eagle quarterback, recently worked out for the St. Louis Rams--as a punter.

Trivia answer: Sparky Anderson, Gene Mauch and Ralph Houk.

And finally: Lead vocalist James Hetfield of the heavy-metal band Metallica is a huge hockey fan who collects team sweaters in every city.

He recently got a Philadelphia Flyers' sweater with Eric Lindros' signature. "It's kind of cool that he asked," said Lindros, who is a big fan of Metallica.

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