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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Barkley Wanders a Bit Too Far Off Course

July 09, 2001|Mike Davis

From the San Diego Union Tribune, describing Charles Barkley's adventures during the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Stateline, Nev., over the weekend:

"Barkley--who played blackjack at Caesars' high-limit tables into the wee hours Friday morning--mumbled obscenities, threw his clubs, knocked his bag to the ground and sent his caddie scrambling for safety at one point as he hacked his way to 35-over-par 107 on Saturday.

"Barkley shot a 56 on the front nine, including taking a 10 on the par-four ninth after his approach shot sailed 30 yards over the green behind the grandstand.

" 'I'm 40 strokes off the lead,' Barkley said. 'It's going to be hell to make that up in two days.' "

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More Barkley: The former NBA great rates this year's Lakers the best team in NBA history, along with the Kevin McHale-Larry Bird-Robert Parish Celtics. "They would make Shaq work," he said. And what about the Magic-Kareem Lakers? "Shaq would kill Kareem, and they've got no answer to Kobe."

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Trivia time: Who holds the American and National League records for grand slams in a career?

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Barking up the wrong tree: From Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: "It's official: The worst player-personnel move in sports during the past year was the Dodgers' signing of Darren Dreifort for five years, $55 million. He's 29, a sub-.500 pitcher with a medical rap sheet as long as his arm. And now he's having his second Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery.

"Surgeon Frank Jobe says, 'I think he'll do as well this time as he did before.' Yikes! If Dreifort ever requires a third surgery, the ligament will come from his dog."

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A future flyweight? Boxing commentator Teddy Atlas gave San Jose Mercury News columnist Tim Kawakami this take on Oscar De La Hoya: "He reminds me of that movie 'The Fly,' where the guy mixed up his molecules with a fly and as time went on he became more of a fly than he was a person. The longer he goes on, I'm wondering if he was in that chamber with a con artist and the con artist is starting to take over."

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Facing his fears: Atlanta Brave pitcher John Burkett told the Miami Herald's Dan LeBatard about his most frequent sports nightmare: "I dream of line drives being hit right back at me all the time. It's right in front of your face and then you wake up. That dream is common for pitchers. I'll wake up jerking, and my wife will say, 'What happened?' I'll say, 'Gave up another bullet.' "

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Looking back: On this date in 1966, Jack Nicklaus won the British Open with a 282 at Muirfield to join Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan and Gary Player as the only men to win the four major championships.

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Trivia answer: AL, Lou Gehrig, 23; NL, Willie McCovey, 18.

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And finally: Temperamental Wimbledon finalist Goran Ivanisevic says if you're going to throw your racket, you may as well do it right: "Today's players, they do not know how. If you are going to throw it, you break it. You have to show commitment."

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