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The Inside Track | Morning Briefing

Pedro, if You Were No Good, Who'd Care?

May 26, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Boston Red Sox pitcher Pedro Martinez, regarded as almost unbeatable, suffered a 3-2 loss to Toronto on Tuesday, his second loss at home this season.

Interviewed by Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe, Martinez said, half-smiling:

"I'm only a little man pitching out there and trying to do my job. You [reporters] are the guys who got me so big. You write all that [stuff] about me."

Much is expected of Martinez, who entered the game with a record of 7-1 and a 0.90 earned-run average.

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Trivia time: Who holds the Laker record for rebounds in a playoff game?

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Active octogenarian: Ernie Harwell, 82, veteran announcer for the Detroit Tigers, has a workout ritual each morning at 6:30.

"I jump rope 300 times without stopping," he said. "If I stop, I just keep going."

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Creative scoring: Bruce Molder, the NCAA's No. 4-ranked men's golfer, told Maximum Golf magazine about a recent round with President Clinton at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock, Ark.

"Playing with the president was weird," Molder said. "He shot a 90. At the end of the game, his scorecard said 84."

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Unlucky seven: The Houston Astros blew a 9-2 lead in the ninth inning at Milwaukee on Monday, then lost a 7-0 lead at home Wednesday in a 9-7 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it was the third time in major league history that a team has been embarrassed that way.

Call it the seven-run jinx. It happens every 50 years.

The St. Louis Cardinals twice let seven-run leads get away during a series at Boston in June 1900.

The Cleveland Indians did the same thing half a century later, also at Boston, in August 1950.

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Liquid courage: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Here's what I want to know: Just how many beers do you have to drink to want Chad Kreuter's cap?"

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More Armstrong: "About that second game of the NBA's Western Conference finals . . . Jack Nicholson hasn't has that bad a day since Tom Cruise got him on the stand in the courtroom."

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Comedy club: The death of Frenchy Bordagaray, one of baseball's all-time great names, recalled memories of when he caused a sensation by showing up at spring training for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1936 wearing a mustache and goatee.

After two months, the New York Times noted, Dodger Manager Casey Stengel told him to shave.

"If anyone is going to be a clown on this club," Stengel said, "it's going to be me."

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Looking back: On this day in 1959, Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched 12 perfect innings before losing to the Milwaukee Braves, 1-0, in the 13th on an error, a sacrifice and Joe Adcock's double.

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Trivia answer: Wilt Chamberlain, 33, against Chicago on April 4, 1971.

And finally: Arizona's Matt Williams on batting leadoff to get more at-bats during a rehabilitation assignment at double-A El Paso:

"I'm the first leadoff hitter in the history of baseball who has the stop sign."

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