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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Will Graf Be Greener at Wimbledon?

June 15, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Steffi Graf, who hasn't played extensively since undergoing knee surgery last year, has an added incentive to play well at Wimbledon

For one thing, she wants to prove to younger players, especially Martina Hingis, that she still has it.

Tennis magazine quoted Hingis as saying of Graf, "It's a faster, more athletic game now than when she played. She's older now. Her time has passed."

Graf, a seven-time Wimbledon winner, turned 29 on Sunday. Hingis is 17.

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Trivia time: What was Jerry Sloan's record as coach of the Chicago Bulls from 1980 through part of the 1982 season?

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Calculating Worm: Ken Rosenthal of the Baltimore Sun thinks Chicago Bull forward Dennis Rodman's errant behavior is taken far too seriously, saying:

"Is Rodman a selfish, childish fool? As sure as his hair is green."

"But strip away his artifice--his dresses, his tattoos, his hair dyes--and you're looking at a ruthless, devious capitalist, laughing all the way to the bank."

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Out of it: Even though the Capitals are in the Stanley Cup finals, Tony Kornheiser of the Washington Post says the nation's capital is not a hockey town.

"You say forechecking here," he writes, "and people automatically ask: 'Is that interest-bearing?' "

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Here he goes again: ESPN's Chris Berman offers his annual nicknames for the NHL finals: A sampling:

Detroit: Chris "Wizard of" Osgood; Martin "Shot From" Lapointe; Washington: Brian Bellows "Lugosi" and Dale "Good Will' Hunter.

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Everybody goes: Dan O'Neill of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gets the feeling baseball's biggest garage sale might not be over:

"The Florida Marlins are offering 3.9 APR financing on Todd Zeile, or any other veteran on the lot."

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Welcome mat: Not everybody in France, the host country, is enthusiastic about the World Cup. According to the Washington Post, a poster spotted in the country advises: "Exploit an idiot, rent a room to a [soccer] fan."

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Return engagement: U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller, on playing for Millwall in England's second division in 1992: "Once, two fans were nice enough to usher my wife out of the stadium when they sensed a riot coming on. Of course, they then ran back in and started hammering people and ripping out seats."

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Looking back: On this day in 1925, the Philadelphia Athletics, trailing, 15-4, in the eighth inning, scored 13 runs and a 17-15 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

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Trivia answer: Sloan had a record of 94-121.

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And finally: Ernie Banks, whose "Let's play two!" was a favorite saying while he was the Chicago Cubs' shortstop and first baseman, recently shared the microphone with former White Sox player and coach Minnie Minoso in a guest rendition of the late Harry Caray's seventh-inning songfest.

"We're going to sing two today," Banks said.

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