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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

This Waiter Could Have Served Up Some Nice Pitches

March 02, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

It was a fantasy camp for Gary Pagano, who, for awhile, traded his waiter's tuxedo for a Cincinnati Reds' uniform.

The waiter and pastry chef at a four-star Sarasota, Fla. restaurant has worked out with the Reds for the last two weeks.

Although the Reds didn't let him throw to hitters, they allowed him to suit up, jog, play pepper and shag balls. He got to trade jokes and cooking tips.

"I could be 90 years old and I'll still remember this spring," said Pagano, 34. "I wish I could tell every little kid, 'Don't stop trying.' "

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Trivia time: Who holds the NBA record for most free throws made in a game without a miss?

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Insulting steal: An imposter pretending to be San Diego Padre star Tony Gwynn took a Ford Escort out for a test drive and never returned.

Said Gwynn: "A Ford Escort? What does that do for my reputation?"

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End of the line: Eddie Sefko in the Houston Chronicle: "If only he was a McPlayer: A fast-food chain of some note has released a new burger in the Chicago area called the 'Beef Wennington' named after the Bulls' 12th man, Bill Wennington."

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Cleaning crew: David Letterman on the U.S. hockey players' mess in the Olympic Village: "I thought this was a nice moment: When that happened, the U.S. curling team volunteered to come by and sweep up."

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Shame on you: Michael Hiestand in USA Today: "What was Jim Rome thinking when, on his Fox Sports Net Show 'The Last Word', he likened skater Tara Lipinski to a prostitute?"

He wasn't.

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Mob scene: The Houston Chronicle reported that Kansas City Chief running back Marcus Allen showed up for jury duty last week but was dismissed by the judge because he created a distraction by trying to accommodate everyone who asked for autographs.

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Some wimp: Boston Celtic Coach Rick Pitino on Golden State Coach P.J. Carlesimo's reportedly in-your-face coaching style:

"I've met college coaches that I've gone against that make P.J. look like Mary Poppins, and one was [Latrell] Sprewell's college [Alabama] coach, Wimp Sanderson."

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Really Big Red Machine: Phil Collier in the San Diego Union-Tribune: "No one will be eager to charge the mound against Cincinnati's pitching staff, which averages 6-foot-4 and 233 pounds."

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Looking back: On this day in 1962, Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors scored an NBA-record 100 points against the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa.

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Trivia answer: Dominique Wilkins of Atlanta, 23 against Chicago on Dec. 8, 1992.

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Quotebook: PGA Tour player Brad Bryant, 43, asked why he shaved off his mustache: "When I figured out that it was actually older than Tiger Woods."

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