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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

Be Sure the Vow Mentions for Better or for Worse

March 27, 1998|MAL FLORENCE

Bob Kravitz of the Rocky Mountain News, on Denver Nugget President Charlie Lyons' hiring of former coach Dan Issel as general manager:

"This is a marriage of convenience. Lyons needed Issel for credibility. Issel needed Lyons for NBA employment. The happy couple's bridal registry is at JC Penney, for those interested. . . .

"Give Lyons credit for this much, though. He is consistent. Once again, he is hiring somebody nobody else was looking to hire."

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Trivia time: Who holds the Final Four record for points scored in a game?

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The new Babe? Pete Rose, commenting on St. Louis Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire: "If I managed against him, he'd set a record for walks. I'd walk him with the bases loaded. He's like George Herman [Ruth]."

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Tar Heel connection: Bill Lyon in the Philadelphia Inquirer, comparing North Carolina basketball Coach Bill Guthridge to former coach Dean Smith:

"Guthridge, like Smith, is meticulous, a detail freak. It is an obsession shared by every successful coach, no matter the sport.

"He also has the same dry humor that marks Smith. Guthridge is a much earlier riser and begins every day with a jog. Smith begins every day with smoke."

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Out of his element: Howard Manly of the Boston Globe, alluding to two former North Carolina basketball legends:

"Listening to [Dean] Smith work as a CBS studio analyst during the NCAA tournament is a little like watching [Michael] Jordan play baseball."

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Incentive: Phil Collier of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Seattle Mariner infielder Joey Cora never has had a two-homer game.

"If Cora gets one this year, teammate Ken Griffey Jr. has promised to send Joey and wife Gabriela on a cruise of their choice."

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Slow motion: The Tampa Bay Devil Rays play in a domed stadium, not to keep the rain out but to keep the fans cool.

How hot does it get in St. Petersburg, Fla.? General Manager Chuck LaMar uses the old joke: "In July, you can see a dog chasing a cat and they'll both be walking."

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His only flaw? From Joe Torre, on CBS' news show "Sunday Morning," discussing what it's like working for George Steinbrenner:

"Whether it's good or bad, when he walks into a room it excites me. He has a knowledge of the game. The only thing he doesn't have is patience."

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Looking back: On this day in 1939, Oregon defeated Ohio State, 46-33, to win the first men's Division I NCAA basketball championship in Evanston, Ill.

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Trivia answer: Bill Bradley of Princeton, with 58 in a third-place game against Wichita State in 1965.

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And finally: New Jersey Net forward David Vaughn shocked everyone in Chicago's United Center--including himself--last week by blocking a vicious dunk attempt by Jordan.

Said Vaughn: "I was running down the court saying, 'Oh, my God, I just stuffed M.J.' "

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