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It Sounds as if Madsen Needs Full Metal Jacket

April 12, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Dan Barreiro of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, asking Laker rookie Mark Madsen what it's like to guard Shaquille O'Neal in practice:

"Well, I get beaten up, bruised and battered," Madsen said. "Totally and completely. It's a joke. I can't stop him. You can't stop him. Nobody can stop him.

"But the good thing for me is that after he punishes me, he always talks to me and tells me what I'm doing right and where I can improve."

There is a perk for the beating. Madsen said that O'Neal lets him wear his oversized black leather jacket.

Trivia time: Who is the only major league pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game?

Bet on Tiger: Jay Leno challenged Tiger Woods to a golf game--$1,000 a hole--on his Tuesday night show. Miniature golf, that is.

Leno is banking that Tiger would have trouble on the Dracula's Castle hole. After all, he has never tried a drawbridge shot, or has he?

Old habit: At a news conference to introduce Dave Odom as South Carolina's new basketball coach, Athletic Director Mike McGee several times referred to Odom as the new football coach.

Listeners to the late Jim Healy's radio show may recall that every time former USC basketball coach George Raveling's name came up, Healy played a tape of McGee, then USC's athletic director, introducing his newly hired coach as "Jim Raveling."

Blossoming: Brian Grant of the Miami Heat, on the 76ers' Allen Iverson:

"[He's] the best player in the league. No player in the world has more heart. He was a seed in the soil for years, but now he's got the nutrients and fertile soil around him in Philadelphia, and he has grown into a flower."

Bad omen? The only glitch during Coach Butch Davis' first day of practice with the Cleveland Browns came when the lights suddenly went out in the field house at Berea, Ohio.

"Not a metaphor," Davis said.

He better hope not.

Go for it! Steve Rosenbloom in the Chicago Tribune: "The Cubs should know that the major league record for men left on base is 1,334 by the 1944 St. Louis Browns.

"Today, that would require an average of 8.2 a game. After their first series, the Cubs had left an average of nine."

Altering factor: Noting that President Bush's opening day pitch in Milwaukee bounced in the dirt, Phil Sheridan of the Philadelphia Inquirer said, "After a recount in Dade, it was a 92-mph heater right down Broadway."

That's hockey: From the Caught on the Fly column in the Sporting News: "Yes, that was Stevie Yzerman planting a smooch on the cheek of [Red] Wings free-agent-to-be Martin Lapointe last week. Chalk it up to the bizarre mating rituals of North American hockey players. 'It's called courting a free agent,' Stevie says."

Looking back: On this day in 1964, Arnold Palmer won the Masters for the fourth time, finishing six strokes ahead of Dave Marr and Jack Nicklaus.

Trivia answer: Tony Cloninger of the Atlanta Braves, on July 3, 1966.

And finally: After scoring a game-tying goal, William Pereira Farias, of the Pontaporanense soccer team in Brazil's far-flung Mato Grosso do Sul state, tore off his shirt and shorts at an away game on Sunday.

Television showed him prancing around in skimpy briefs before slinging the shorts into the stands full of jeering fans of the home team, Nova Andradina.

For his, ahem, exuberance, he was charged with indecent exposure, a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum six-month sentence.

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