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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Hop Aboard the Splinter's Diet Express

April 01, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Phil Rogers in the Chicago Tribune: "During his visit to a Red Sox-Phillies [exhibition] game on March 24, Hall of Famer Ted Williams offered a somewhat baffling dietary tip:

" 'There's more protein in kangaroo than any other meat,' Williams said. 'It will bring back the living dead.' "

Not to mention putting some real spring in your step.

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Trivia time: How many times have the Lakers won 60 or more games in a regular season?

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Hardship cases: New Jersey Net center Rony Seikaly on whether the players, earning an average salary of nearly

$3 million a year, could weather a potential NBA lockout this summer:

"You'd be surprised. Nobody saves anything. Along with higher salaries, the more expensive the toys. The houses have gotten bigger, the cars have gotten more exotic, and the entourages have gotten longer."

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Underachieving department: Stephen A. Smith in the Philadelphia Inquirer: "Bust of the year: Christian Laettner, Hawks. If you have seen him play, you should understand. Lethargic doesn't begin to describe how he has looked this season.

"And this is the man who turned down a seven-year, $63-million offer from Atlanta before the season began."

Smith won't be able to kick Laettner around for a while. He's on the injured

list.

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Sick stuff: Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "The fan-friendly White Sox signed convicted wife-beater Wil Cordero to a one-year contract for

$1 million.

"But they hope to soften their loathsome image by naming Lorena Bobbitt as the new batgirl."

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Relief factor: Greg Hansen of the Arizona Daily Star writes that one of the attractions of Bank One Ballpark, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, is a "massive roof that can turn a 108-degree day into a 78-degree day in several minutes.

"The air-conditioning alone will draw thousands of people, not necessarily baseball fans."

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Similarities: Chicago Cub General Manager Ed Lynch on "Titanic": "Three hours and 17 minutes. Just like an American League game."

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Anxious moments: With a payroll of more than $70 million, the off-season acquisition of Chuck Knoblauch and the ownership of the always impatient George Steinbrenner, there are great expectations for the New York Yankees this season, beginning with tonight's opener at Edison Field.

"Everybody's getting tired of hearing how good we should be," starting pitcher Andy Pettitte said. "Now we have to prove it. Wednesday night we start that mission."

After all, the Yankees haven't won a World Series since 1996.

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The Yogi file: "We made too many wrong mistakes," said Berra, explaining why the Yankees lost the 1960 World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

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Sole food: From comedian Bob Lacy: "Nike is coming out with a new Reggie White shoe. It's designed to fit in his mouth."

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Trivia answer: Eight, the last in 1989-90.

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And finally: In the movie "The Apostle," Robert Duvall portrays a fire-and-brimstone preacher.

Duvall will throw out the first pitch at the Toronto Blue Jays' opening game tonight, and Garth Woolsey of the Toronto Star wonders "if he might take the opportunity to deliver a sermon on the mound."

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