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THE INSIDE TRACK | THE HOT CORNER

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

July 22, 1999|LARRY STEWART

What: "Goin' Deep"

When: Sundays, 9 p.m., Fox Sports West

This one-hour weekly magazine show that is televised nationally on Fox Sports Net and seen locally on Fox Sports West began its third season last Sunday, and the quality continues to improve. Because it is a weekly show, it is always topical. The host, Chris Myers, is one of best interviewers in the business, and the production staff headed by John Terenzio and H. Read Jackson is a good one. It's a combination that works well.

The formula is simple. Two or three stories are wrapped around a one-on-one interview by Myers, who also does a commentary at the end of the show.

Myers, who goes one-on-one with Randall Cunningham in the next show, interviewed Hall of Fame inductee Nolan Ryan for last Sunday's show.

Asked about his toughest out, Ryan said, "Henry Aaron was as tough an out as there was in the National League. I think George Brett was as tough an out as there was [in the American League]. Pete Rose gave me a lot of trouble."

On the state of baseball, Ryan said, "The entire length of my career, every change that they made in baseball went against pitching. All those changes have created an offensive game. . . . I would like to see them raise the mound back to where it was [before it was lowered after the 1968 season]. I would like them to expand the strike zone."

Ryan also talked about his fight with Robin Ventura of the Chicago White Sox in 1991, when Ryan, at 44, pummeled the 24-year-old Ventura. "At first I was disappointed in myself, then embarrassed when the media made such a big thing out of it. But I later realized, because of the age difference, why it captivated people."

Asked if anyone else ever charged the mound on him, Ryan mentioned Willie McCovey and Dave Winfield. His comment on those two: "I noticed right away they're both big guys."

The stories last week were about inner-city baseball, night baseball in Alaska and Harlem Globetrotter summer camps for kids. This week the stories will be about NASCAR's popularity, reported by Tom Murray, and African American swimmer Sabir Muhammad, reported by Alex Flanagan.

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