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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Here I Am, Stuck in the Middle With You

March 22, 1998|LISA DILLMAN

Andre Agassi was having a tough time the other day when he was asked to predict the winner of a match between Chilean Marcelo Rios and rising American Jan-Michael Gambill.

He then engaged in double-speak. Sort of.

"I think Gambill should win, but he's probably pretty spent," Agassi said. "I'm going to say Rios. Kind of giving you a Nick Bollettieri prediction there."

What, pray tell, is a Nick Bollettieri prediction?

"He likes hedging both sides and then telling you, 'See, I know.' "

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More tennis: For Agassi, it's simply too easy to poke fun at his former coach.

"You know what it is? It's not really motivated from a point of wanting to diss him," Agassi said. "He's just a very extreme character, who is easy to pick on. I probably should stop pretty soon. It just comes into my mind. I can't help it. It's what I say behind closed doors too."

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Trivia time: Who were the first men's and women's singles champions at the Lipton Championships at Key Biscayne, Fla., in 1985?

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Spin cycle: Kentucky alumna Diana Shelton went one step beyond rooting for the Wildcats during their Southeastern Conference and NCAA tournament games in Atlanta: She does their laundry.

It started in 1985 at the SEC tournament, after she and her husband, David, got a call from Bill Keightley, the school's equipment manager.

"He called asking if I knew of a Laundromat near the hotel where they were staying in downtown Atlanta," said Diana Shelton, who lives in suburban Marietta.

No way. She wasn't about to let the Wildcats' laundry fall into just anyone's hands.

"There are no losses with my laundry," she said.

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Shock absorbers to the Shock: Mimi Morgan is taking a six-week leave from her job with an auto parts supplier to chase her dream of playing professional basketball.

Detroit's WNBA expansion team, the Shock, will add six players in tryouts early in May.

The 5-foot-7 Morgan has been working out and shooting baskets at the YMCA every night after work.

"I'm getting all kinds of support from men and women at work," said Morgan, who played at LaSalle. "I'm going after a dream that a lot of people talk about but never pursue. Everyone is saying I'm going to need hundreds of tickets because they all want to come watch me play."

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Trivia answer: Tim Mayotte and Martina Navratilova.

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And finally: Former King and current Hartford Wolf Pack goaltender Robb Stauber, upset at several proposed rule changes in the American Hockey League aimed at increasing goal scoring: "Just order a soccer net and it will be 75-67 every game, if that's what they want. I think it's just a joke. I have no idea who thinks of this stuff, but I'd like to have a debate with them. We're not guinea pigs. We're not test tubes. This is a serious lack of respect for the players playing here."

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