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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Team Fell for This One Hook, Line and Sinker

July 29, 1998|ROBYN NORWOOD

It was worse than being traded for a bucket full of baseballs. Worse than being traded for a player who had already retired. Worse than . . . well, it could hardly have been worse.

In one of the most bizarre deals in Western Baseball League history, the Pacific Suns in Oxnard recently traded minor league pitcher Ken Krahenbuhl to the Greenville (Miss.) Bluesmen for a player to be named, cash . . . and 10 pounds of catfish.

"I still can't believe they traded me for some catfish," Krahenbuhl said. "It's totally ridiculous."

Krahenbuhl made the most of the deal for his new team soon after the trade, though, pitching a perfect game for the Bluesmen.

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More Bluesmen: The strange deal was nothing new for the Greenville team.

Last year, the Bluesmen acquired a second baseman by sending an unopened Muddy Waters blues record and 50 pounds of pheasant to Sioux Falls of the Northern League.

"The Suns could have gotten some players in exchange for me to help their ballclub, instead of the stinking catfish, but they just don't care," Krahenbuhl said. "They traded me for catfish. Can you believe that?"

Sure. Maybe they were thinking Catfish Hunter.

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Trivia time: Hale Irwin won the U.S. Senior Open at Riviera Country Club on Sunday with a score of 285, one over par. What was his score when he won the Los Angeles Open at Riviera in 1976?

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Wrong number: Why are we even surprised anymore that everyone in professional sports seems to want to renegotiate?

Only this time, it's Ameritech Corp., a sponsor of the Chicago Bulls.

Ameritech officials say they'll push for lower rates with the six-time NBA champions if Michael Jordan doesn't return next season, Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal reported.

"The harsh reality is that with a rebuilding team, the [Bulls] don't have the marketing icons that they've had," the company's director of external affairs, Brian Fitzgerald, told the magazine.

What, did the Bulls try to change the deal with every Jordan buzzer-beater?

Sounds to us like Ameritech is just another player who wants a better deal--and wouldn't mind getting out of training camp in the bargain.

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Intimidating foe: The Philadelphia Inquirer's Bill Lyon on the Tour de France: "In only one sporting event can you hear this ominous announcement: 'Here come the mountains.' "

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See Spot run: Simon Lessing didn't know the Goodwill Games triathlon course would include obstacles. But anything can happen in New York's Central Park.

"We nearly ran over a dog on the bike course. That was quite exciting," said Lessing, who won the gold medal.

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Trivia answer: Irwin shot 272, 12 under par.

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And finally: At the moment, promising Belgian teenage tennis player Xavier Malisse is still better known for his ever-changing hair color than his tennis game.

Asked at the U.S.-Belgium Davis Cup match what color his hair will be when he returns to Indianapolis for a tournament in August, Malisse hesitated.

"It might be different. Probably be different," he said. "I don't know yet. I'm too tired. I guess I'm going to take a day off and then think about my hair color."

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