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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Casey Sputters to a Mighty Shaky Start

June 16, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Casey Martin's week at the U.S. Open got off to an ominous start. His cart broke down--twice.

Martin, who has been granted the use of a cart because of a circulatory disorder in his right leg, started out in a single-person cart at the Olympic Club in San Francisco like the one he used at the U.S. sectional qualifying earlier this month in Cincinnati.

It died after he reached his drive on the 533-yard opening hole. Martin wound up walking to the first green before USGA officials brought him another cart.

He hit his drive on No. 2, but the cart didn't have enough juice to get up the hill. So, Martin walked the rest of the way on the 394-yard hole, and he walked No. 3, a 223-yard par-3.

The USGA brought him a standard cart on No. 4 and he used it the rest of the way.

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Mistaken identity: Longtime Washington Post sports columnist Shirley Povich, who died recently at 92, won hundreds of awards and also achieved a small measure of fame in 1962, when he was included in "Who's Who of American Women."

The mistake drew national attention, and his friend, newscaster Walter Cronkite, sent him a telegram, asking, "Miss Povich, will you marry me?"

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More Povich: Of all the events he covered, his favorite was Don Larsen's perfect game against the Dodgers in the 1956 World Series.

"The million-to-one shot came in," Povich wrote. "Hell froze over. A month of Sundays hit the calendar. Don Larsen today pitched a no-hit, no-run, no-man-reaches-first game in a World Series."

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Trivia time: Who holds the record for goals scored in an NHL final series?

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Right on: Bernie Lincicome of the Chicago Tribune, writing before Sunday's Game 6 of the NBA finals:

"How much simpler for all concerned had the Bulls just closed the thing on schedule Friday night, for Utah, too, which must now fail in front of friends."

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Ode to Michael: Dan Shaughnessy in the Boston Globe: "Ted Williams, perhaps the greatest hitter who ever lived, homered in his final at-bat in the big leagues.

"Imagine that home run also winning the seventh game of the World Series, and you begin to understand the magnitude of Michael.

"Babe Ruth . . . Joe Louis . . . Jackie Robinson . . . Muhammad Ali. These are the athletes who defined sports in America this century. And now there is Michael Jordan."

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Split personality: St. Louis Cardinal third baseman Gary Gaetti, a .421 hitter at Wrigley Field, after going 0 for 12 at Comiskey Park, where he has a .215 average:

"At Wrigley, I feel like King Kong. Here, I feel like Donkey Kong."

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Negative thinking: Green Bay alderman Eugene Schmitz, after the council voted down a resolution to rename a city street Brett Favre Pass:

"I'm not saying he's not a great football player. But what if he commits a crime?"

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Trivia answer: Babe Dye of Toronto, nine, in 1922 in five games against the Vancouver Millionaires.

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And finally: A reporter for Japan's Fuji TV was told by a Cardinal official that it might not be possible to arrange a postgame interview with Mark McGwire.

"Then how about halftime?" she asked politely.

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