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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Yankees Got Lots of Bash for Little Cash

August 16, 2000|SHAV GLICK

Jose Canseco, once a superstar who loved the night life as much as the baseball limelight when he was one of the Oakland Athletics' "Bash Brothers," says he has given up the bright lights in the autumn of his baseball career. However, he says he was surprised that the New York Yankees were able to get him from Tampa Bay for only a $20,000 waiver price.

"I would have thought the Yankees might have had to give up something," he told USA Today Baseball Weekly, "like maybe a box of Twix bars or something from the kitchen."

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Trivia time: Who was the youngest winner of the PGA Championship?

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Cause for thought: Dave Hart of Florida State is reportedly the highest-paid athletic director in the country, causing Orlando Sentinel columnist Mike Bianchi to ask, "How can he be . . . when Florida State's overall program is barely ranked in the top 50?

"I don't believe Al Davis ever said, 'Just finish 46th, baby.' "

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Incentive: As 55-year-old Joe Ruttman was strapping himself into his Dodge last week at Indianapolis Raceway Park, truck owner Bobby Hamilton leaned into the window and told him a victory would mean a new one-year contract. Ruttman proceeded to dominate and win the NASCAR Craftsman race.

"I'm sure I'll have to give him a raise, but I guess the old guy is worth it," said Hamilton, a Winston Cup driver.

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Songbird: Gary Hall Jr., who came back from a suspension for using marijuana and a collapse from diabetes to make the Olympic swim team for the second time, said a song flashed through his mind when he realized what he had done.

"It's a Clash song," said the second-generation swimmer. "It says, 'I been beat up, I been thrown out, but not down.' That's me."

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Long drive: A section of Interstate 44 in Missouri has been dedicated as Payne Stewart Highway.

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Looking back: On this day in 1920, shortstop Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians was hit in the head with a pitch in the fifth inning by Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. Chapman suffered a fractured skull and died the next day. It is the only field fatality in major league history.

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Another look back: On this day in 1948, Babe Ruth died of cancer in New York at 53.

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Rugby FYI: The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club, based in San Diego, won the USA Rugby National Sevens Club championships, defeating Sacramento, 27-17, in the title game at Philadelphia. OMBAC also won in 1985 and 1995.

"We used to be a big, physical team," said captain Craig Hartley, who played on both previous winners. "Now, we're smaller [all 6 feet or less], fitter and more aggressive. It's a smaller, faster man's game."

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Trivia answer: Gene Sarazen, 20 years 5 months 22 days, in 1922.

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And finally: It is illegal for PGA players to accept appearance fees for U.S. tournaments, but Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wonders if Tiger Woods didn't find a way around the rule by playing in last week's Buick Open.

"Woods is now a huge price tag spokesman for Buick," wrote Mushnick. "No-showing at Buick events would hardly represent much return on the millions Buick is paying him.

"Team Tiger has gotten around rules before, including the USGA rule that prohibits amateurs from having agents. When Woods was an amateur, his father was hired by International Management Group. Tiger, already with endorsements in place, was delivered to IMG the moment he turned pro."

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