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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

One Big Party Except When Sports Comes Up

October 12, 1998|LISA DILLMAN

In the arena of politics, party lines only extend so far when it comes to the baseball playoffs.

At a fund-raising breakfast in Los Angeles for California Republican senatorial candidate Matt Fong last Friday, headliners Rudolph Giuliani and Henry Kissinger were presented with tokens of appreciation by Fong--a San Diego Padre jacket for the New York mayor, a Padre cap for the former secretary of state.

Both Giuliani and Kissinger, dedicated Yankee fans, politely declined to don the souvenirs.

"I wish the Padres luck," said Giuliani, but only in winning the National League pennant. His honor suggested a Yankees-Padres World Series would be "interesting" but that his hometown loyalty will not swayed by a jacket.

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Add Rudy: Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News suggested that the New York mayor is on the sports airwaves a bit too much:

"Giuliani spends more time in the WABC radio booth than the engineer. In fact, he is now on the radio so much, and knows so little about baseball, we really should start calling him Rudy from Gracie Mansion.

"Pretty soon he'll be calling all the shows on WFAN:

"Hi guys, Rudy from Gracie Mansion. First-time, long-time."

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Trivia time: Why is Toronto's NHL team called the Maple Leafs?

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Iceman Singeth: Star singer Garth Brooks is not planning on stopping his day job any time soon to play with the Nashville Predators. But Coach Barry Trotz likes what he's seen of Brooks in skates, giving him the ultimate hockey compliment.

"He's a banger," Trotz said.

Trotz and Brooks became friends two years ago when Trotz was coaching the American Hockey League team in Portland, Maine. There was a Brooks concert at the arena one night and Trotz, when he heard that the singer and some of his band were hockey fans, helped arrange ice time afterward.

"We played shinny till 3 a.m.," Trotz said. "We had a great time."

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Cooler Runnings: If Jamaica has its own bobsled team, then why can't Grenada get its one-woman skiing team?

Elfi Eder has decided to compete for Grenada after leaving the Austrian team in an on-going dispute with the country's skiing federation.

"I want to become No. 1 again," said Eder, Olympic silver medalist in 1994 in Lillehammer, Norway.

She wants to continue competing through the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, saying: "I had to find a new country so that I could continue doing my job. Otherwise, I would have had to give up my sport."

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Trivia answer: The team was named after the Maple Leaf Regiment, a famous Canadian fighting unit in World War I.

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And finally: Rational thought went by the wayside when Andre Agassi found himself in the fourth set of an eventual four-set loss to Tim Henman in Sunday's final at the Swiss Indoors at Basel:

"In hindsight, I should have been pleased that I got back into the match. But I could have shot myself if I'd had a gun, I was so angry with myself."

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