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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

In New York, They Have This Coach Down Pat

May 09, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, on Miami Heat Coach Pat Riley and his team's playoff series with the New York Knicks:

"He needs this series as much as he needed his first title with the Lakers, the one that finally put him on the map, on his way to what will someday be the gaudiest lifetime won-lost record in the history of pro sports.

"He is the best since [Red] Auerbach. The last time he won a title was 1988 [with the Lakers]. His pop-psychology book was called 'The Winner Within.' It is worth mentioning again that it has been a while since the winner within was able to get out."

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Trivia time: Who holds the major league season home run record for switch hitters?

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Just relaxing: Martin McNeal of the Sacramento Bee on the Kings' demoralizing 27-point loss to the Lakers on Friday:

"If there is one memory that should stay with them all summer, it should be Laker guard Ron Harper sitting on the bench in the fourth quarter of the blowout.

"Harper wore a fishing hat on his head while L.A's reserves were jacking up their own stats at the Kings' expense."

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Know-how: Total Sport, the British sports magazine, in a story on the Dallas Cowboys, took note of official Cowboy barbecues, fighter planes and $100 game jerseys, and commented:

"The Cowboys could teach Manchester United a thing or two about merchandising."

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Friendly advice? As part of a charity event, Philadelphia Phillie Manager Terry Francona bagged groceries for an hour at a supermarket. According to ESPN.com, one shopper suggested, "You ought to do this for a living."

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FYI: Walking is the most popular exercise among adults trying to lose weight, says a survey by the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.

Walking was cited by 37.7% of men, followed by running and jogging, 10.7%; weightlifting, 9.6%, and golf, 8.1%. Among women, 52.5% said walking, followed by aerobics.

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Looking back: On this day in 1993, the Phoenix Suns defeated the Lakers, 112-104, in overtime to become the first NBA team to lose two playoff games at home and come back to win three in a row and the series.

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Looking back again: Baltimore's Eddie Murray became the first major leaguer to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in consecutive games as the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox, 15-6, at Comiskey Park.

Trivia answer: Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees, 54 in 1961.

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And finally: Skip Bayless in the Chicago Tribune: "Next he'll threaten to sit out the Preakness. He'll call a news conference at Barn 41 and say he wants more peppermint candy or he's not running. He'll refer subsequent questions to his new agent, David Falk.

"He'll sign a horseshoe contract with Nike. Spike Lee will be seen riding him on the backstretch, gathering movie material.

"He'll do TV ads for Quaker Oats, winking his approval. Mobil endorsements will be a natural for Fusaichi Pegasus."

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