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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Diplomacy Was Never Lasorda's Forte

May 30, 2000|MIKE TERRY

Former Dodger manager Tom Lasorda has a good reason for never having voted for President Clinton.

"I'm a Republican, my father was a Republican and his father was a Republican," Lasorda said at a recent dinner in Washington. "So someone once asked me, 'If your father was a thief and his father was a thief, would that make you a thief?' I said, that would make me a Democrat."

Moments later, President Clinton walked to the podium. If he knew of Lasorda's dig, he didn't let on.

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Said the president: "I'd like to recognize one of my heroes since I was a kid--Tommy Lasorda."

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Trivia time: Who was NBA Finals MVP in 1988, the last time the Lakers won a championship?

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Hardball heaven: Think New Englanders weren't a bit jazzed over the Pedro Martinez-Roger Clemens showdown in Yankee Stadium Sunday night?

"In this lifetime, we are not likely to see a better early season matchup," wrote Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe. "Baseball is a six-month marathon of 162 games, but this night offered a full year's worth of hardball history, tradition and talent. When will we ever again get Rocket and Pedro--the once and present aces of the Red Sox staff--dueling in a sold-out Yankee Stadium on Memorial Day weekend with first place hanging in the balance? It was Ali-Frazier on God's green grass."

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Punch stat: Boxing writer Ron Borges is urging former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield to retire.

"Holyfield has already been champion three times, a feat performed by Muhammad Ali and no one else," Borges wrote. "No one has done it four times. There's a reason for that, which Holyfield is choosing to ignore at 38. The reason is the calendar."

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Defining moments: Andre Agassi, playing in the French Open, is also playing for his place in tennis history, writes Glenn Dickey of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The best in history? Hardly," Dickey writes. "Putting him in the top 10 all-time would be an unrealistic stretch. But Agassi has surprised us all. This week is another test. If he wins the French and puts together another year like his last one, it will be time to reevaluate."

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Knightmare: Former Indianapolis Colt quarterback Art Schlichter was returned to Indiana where he will face money-laundering charges. "If convicted, he could do 'hard time,' " says comedian Jerry Perisho. "In Indiana, that means either 20 years in prison or a weekend with Bobby Knight."

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Trivia answer: James Worthy.

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And finally: The fourth season of interleague play in the major leagues starts Friday. Believe it or not, the Florida Marlins have the best record (31-18) in interleague competition.

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