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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Forget Tantrum, McEnroe Left Speechless

May 26, 1997|MAL FLORENCE

After presenting its new fall shows, each television network throws a party, where its stars hobnob with the advertisers.

Observed at the USA Network's party: John McEnroe, whom the cable network had signed to a new contract as a tennis commentator, was in the tent mingling when a young guest sidled up to him.

"So," she said coyly, "would you throw a tantrum for me?"

McEnroe, speechless, turned and walked away.

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Trivia time: What is the NBA playoff record for largest first-quarter deficit a team had to overcome to win?

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A real bargain: Reader James Daily passes on this information on rates at the Kickapool Golf Club in Peoria, Ill. Initiation fee: $25. Dues: $12 a year plus $1 for a locker. Good deal? It was in 1916.

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The missile: Texas Ranger Manager Johnny Oates on the line shot that Juan Gonzalez hit recently off Cleveland Indian pitcher Charles Nagy:

"That's as hard as you can hit the ball. I've got some wet clothes at home that could have dried on that home run."

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Chess expert: While broadcasting a New York Yankee-Texas Ranger game on Sept. 4, 1992, Phil Rizzuto had time to comment on chess, of all things:

"A lot of money in that chess. I'll tell you that. It's got to be . . . Can't be . . . Not a good game for television. I'm not knocking it. But it's not a good spectator sport."

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L.A. expert: Bruce Jenkins in the San Francisco Chronicle: "Mike Piazza was once a joy to watch. Lately he looks bored and disinterested, like the game is a total drag. In doing so, he reflects the Dodgers' glaring lack of spirit."

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New Wild Thing: Texas Ranger pitching Coach Dick Bosman on the control problems of John Burkett: "He's up, he's down, he's in, he's out. He'll throw five or six good pitches, then four or five that are not in the same area code."

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FYI: Blue Valley Northwest defeated Shawnee Mission North, 1-0, late Tuesday night in 21 innings in Overland Park, Kan.

It was the fourth-longest high school baseball game in terms of innings played.

The game did set a prep record with 20 scoreless innings, surpassing the previous record of 17 innings in 1970 by Alhambra Mark Keppel High and Anaheim Western High.

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Looking back: On this day in 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched 12 perfect innings before losing to the Milwaukee Braves, 1-0, in the 13th on an error, a sacrifice and Joe Adcock's double.

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Trivia answer: The Lakers trailed the Seattle SuperSonics, 32-12, before winning, 97-95, on May 14, 1989, at Seattle.

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And finally: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Albert Belle isn't such a bad guy. You just have to know how to approach him. When you ask him for an interview, you might say something like, 'Got a minute, Albert, or should I just stick this tape recorder in my ear?' "

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