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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Bonds Still Reeling From Talk of Fished-Out 500th

April 22, 2001|HOUSTON MITCHELL

Joe Figone landed a whopper when he snagged Barry Bonds' 500th home run from the San Francisco Bay.

Figone, in his inflatable power boat, sped to where the ball splashed down in McCovey Cove on Tuesday night. Armed with a hand-held fishing net, he deftly scooped it up.

Bonds became the 17th major leaguer to hit 500 homers in his career with his eighth-inning blast that gave the San Francisco Giants a 3-2 victory over the Dodgers.

Afterward, Bonds said he was "negotiating" with Figone for the ball.

It was the second historic ball Figone has fished out of the bay. He hooked the first ball hit over the right-field wall at Pacific Bell Park, also by Bonds, on May 1, 2000.

The value of Bonds' 500th is anyone's guess, although some have said it's worth up to $500,000, the sum that Eddie Murray's 500th home run.

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Trivia time: What is the record for fewest pitches in a nine-inning complete game?

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I got you, babe: Former Red Sox owner Harry Frazee is fast asleep when Babe Ruth appears to him in a dream--the start of a recurring nightmare for Boston fans.

"With me goes the gaiter that held up your Sox and will leave wrinkles that you'll never ever steam," croons the Babe.

Yes, sports fans, "The Curse of the Bambino" is now a musical.

Amateur playwright David Kruh and composer Stephen Bergman have set to stage and music the saga of the Boston Red Sox, who have not won a World Series since 1918, just before Frazee sold the Babe to finance a musical of his own, "No, No Nanette."

The play opened Friday at the Lyric Stage Co. in Boston. It's a musical told as a Greek tragedy, with four fans as the chorus.

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Shake a leg: Julio Gonzalez is being touted as Roy Jones Jr.'s toughest opponent for his undisputed light heavyweight title. He still doesn't figure to shake up Jones nearly as much as the earth did in January 1994.

Jones was in Los Angeles when the region was hit by the powerful Northridge earthquake.

"I woke up shaking, and everything was going crazy," Jones recalled Tuesday at a news conference at Staples Center, where he will fight Gonzalez on July 28 in a scheduled 12-round bout. "I thought I was going to die. I said, 'Thank you God for letting me live a good 25 years.' "

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Foreign appeal: To accommodate interest in Maverick center Wang Zhizhi, the first Asian to play in the NBA, the league's live Webcast of Dallas' playoff games will be available to fans worldwide in Mandarin Chinese.

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Trivia answer: Red Barrett of the Boston Braves threw 58 pitches in a 2-0 victory over Cincinnati on Aug. 10, 1944.

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And finally: Hall of Famer Willie Mays, who hit 660 homers, when asked where his 500th home run ball is: "I don't know where mine is. I wish I could find it."

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