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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

They're Turning Baseball Into World Miniseries

October 16, 2000|MAL FLORENCE

Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post is weary of the tedious length of postseason baseball games:

"If the sport wants to become obsolete in the 21st century and drive away anybody with a pulse--young or old--who might want to be a fan, then the game is doing a wonderful job.

"Contests, even excellent ones with a pennant or World Series at stake, are unwatchable when they take nearly four hours. The reason postseason television ratings are down by more than one-third from last season is that they deserve to be.

"America is voting with its TV clickers."

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Trivia time: When did Oregon first play in the Rose Bowl game?

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Who's winning? Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle on the Great Debate:

"Being a red-blooded American, I switched over occasionally [from the baseball game] Wednesday to the debate between Bush and Gore. But for some reason, the running score wasn't displayed on the screen, which was annoying."

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Spooked: Don Pierson in the Chicago Tribune, writing about how paranoid coaches are about spying by opponents: 'When Hamp Pool coached the Los Angeles Rams, fullback Joe Marconi said he was so wary of spies he held impromptu practices.

"The Rams would stay in Milwaukee during trips to play Green Bay or Chicago. They would pile into a bus to go to a practice site, and Pool would suddenly tell the driver to stop. He would see a city park or parking lot and order players to practice on the spot."

Scoop! Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "Both [the New York Times] and HBO gave great exposure to revelations that many baseballers are on steroids.

"Next they'll rush from the labs, reporting that infield grass is found to contain green."

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Futile exercise: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "Just wondering: If the final two minutes are all that matter in a regular-season NBA game, how meaningful are NBA exhibition games?"

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High-flying Ducks: Oregon has beaten Washington, UCLA and USC in the same season for the first time since 1948. Moreover, the Ducks are 3-0 in the conference for the first time since 1957.

USC is 0-3 in conference play for the first time since 1957. That Trojan team had a 1-9 record that season, beating only Washington.

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Trivia answer: 1917, when the Ducks beat Pennsylvania, 14-0.

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And finally: Bernie Miklasz in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "In Gotham, all the fast talk is about a Yankees-Mets Subway Series. This baseball Armageddon is a foregone conclusion, of course.

"The prospect of an all-New York World Series is being hyped by a breathless New York media that are all but showing up for games dressed in cheerleader skirts and face glitter."

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