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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

For Orioles' Sake, Forget 'The Streak'

September 22, 1997|EARL GUSTKEY

Should Cal Ripken take a day off, now that his consecutive-game streak approaches 2,475 games and the Baltimore Orioles have clinched a playoff berth?

The Baltimore Sun's Ken Rosenthal says yes, after watching the Oriole infielder struggle with an injured back and a batting slump:

"Ripken said he feels 'pretty confident' that a few days off wouldn't help him.

"But how would he know? It's not like he has tried it.

"Sorry, every argument for continuing The Streak is now invalid.

"Ripken is hurt, and he's hurting the Orioles. If he doesn't rest his back before the postseason, he might even hurt them when it counts the most.

"There, we said it.

"And no, it wasn't easy."

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Trivia time: Defensively, who is baseball's best catcher?

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Shipmates: During the 1987 America's Cup races, skipper Dennis Conner accused then-rival Chris Dixon of cheating.

Now, since they're to skipper the same boat in the 33,000-mile Whitbread Race, all is forgiven.

"Obviously, since we're going around the world together, we don't have a problem at this point," Conner said.

Conner and Dixon will split time at the helm during the eight-month race.

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The ultimate woman: England's irreverent sports magazine, Total Sport, recently published an article about pro golfer Laura Davies under this headline:

"She boozes, gambles and loves football. . . . Why can't more women be like Laura Davies?"

In the article, Davies, 33, told Total Sport she has lost "roughly" a half-million pounds ($795,000) gambling the last 12 years.

She also lamented the pro golf lifestyle for making it difficult for her to find a husband with whom she would like to have two children, she said.

"One of the downsides of my life is that you are never in the same place for more than a week," she told the magazine.

"I'm not the kind of person who can meet someone one afternoon and have a date that evening. I'm the last person in the world for hurriedly-forged relationships."

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Add Total Sport: The magazine also offered free advice to Tiger Woods, seen recently in the company of "The Red Menace," its nickname for Sarah Ferguson. The "Ginger Jinx" is another.

"The last sportsman to fall victim to Fergie's enthusiasm was tennis star Thomas Muster," the magazine said.

"When she began following him [Muster] around the ATP tour, he was No. 1. Within weeks, he slipped down the rankings."

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Trivia answer: Florida's Charles Johnson. He hasn't committed an error this season and holds the major league record of 165 consecutive errorless games. He hasn't allowed a passed ball since Sept. 3, 1996, a streak of 133 games.

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And finally: New York Jet Coach Bill Parcells, on his search for replacements for his injured defensive linemen: "There are a lot of guys available . . . some of them are in rest homes."

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