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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

They Want to Use Mules to Fuel the Gambling Fever

April 20, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Larry Swartzlander, the general manager of the Eureka Downs track in Eureka, Kan., would like to race mules for parimutuel gambling but can't get permission from the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.

Myron Scafe, director of the KR & GC, isn't sold on the idea, saying, "It might be kind of humorous and they're welcome to try it. They'll just have to do it without the parimutuel gambling.

"I don't have any idea how you'd even get a mule to run. Maybe if you use a 2 by 4, but we don't allow that."

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Trivia time: In 1968, USC had five players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. Who were they?

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Mr. Whiff: Weak-hitting pitchers are the norm in the major leagues and reader Dick Bank recalls that Bob Buhl of the Milwaukee Braves was one of the worst.

He had a lifetime batting average of .089 and in 1962, a season in which he played for the Braves and Chicago Cubs, he was 0 for 70 at the plate.

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Close call: A naked male streaker jumped out of the left-field stands in a recent game at Coors Field and chased Colorado Rocky slugger Dante Bichette.

Said Bichette: "If he had run me down with 50,000 people watching, I don't think I could ever show my face again."

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Futile fixers: Kevin Blackstone of the Dallas Morning News on the Northwestern basketball point-shaving scandal:

"With all due respect, I didn't think most of them could influence the outcome of the layup drills, let alone the game."

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Curious statistic: Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs set an unusual record recently when he hit his 210th home run, none coming with the bases loaded.

That set a major league record for most homers without a grand slam from the start of a career.

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Wait a minute: On a recent radio talk show, sports agent Leigh Steinberg said that his client, Nebraska running back Ahman Green, ran 4.18 seconds in the 40-yard dash at a workout for the NFL.

If so, he's the fastest man who ever lived!

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Just another golfer? Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune commenting on Tiger Woods failing to defend his Masters title:

"Unofficially, the [Tiger Woods] hysteria is now over, a relief no doubt to Woods himself and the rest of us who no longer consider Woods as anything more than what he is, a pleasant young man who plays the silliest of all games."

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Looking back: On this day in 1943, Boston Brave Manager Casey Stengel suffered a broken leg when he was hit by a Boston taxicab--an injury that would sideline him for much of the season.

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Trivia answer: Ron Yary, Mike Taylor, Tim Rossovich, Mike Hull and Earl McCullouch.

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And finally: Hall of Fame baseball broadcaster Ernie Harwell, on Sparky Anderson's new autobiography, "They Call Me Sparky," his third book:

"Sparky's the only guy I know who's written more books than he has read."

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