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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Shaq Stepped Forward to Foot the Bill in a Big Way

July 12, 2001|Shav Glick

Shaquille O'Neal will be in Commerce, Texas, this month to do a basketball camp for boys 7-18. Sam Walker, coach at the host Texas A&M-Commerce University, recalls working with O'Neal at a camp in California.

"I looked up one afternoon to see an 18-wheeler coming down the street," Walker said. "Shaq had noticed some of the kids were wearing ragged shoes. So he got on the phone and had a pair of new shoes trucked in for every player."

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More Shaq: From Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury News:

"Ford's soon-to-be-released Shaq SST Expedition SUV will be the perfect vehicle to run over those who have position in the lane."

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Trivia time: Has the British Open ever been played anywhere other than England or Scotland?

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Good to bad: It doesn't pay to be most valuable player on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Quinton McCracken, 1998 MVP, injured his knee in 1999 and was released last year. Roberto Hernandez, 1999 recipient, was traded to Kansas City after last season.

Gerald Williams won the honor in 2000 and was recently released.

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Pressure: Kwame Brown, the high schooler drafted No. 1 by the Washington Wizards, told Sports Illustrated: "I'm conscious that if I screw up, I'm messing with Michael [Jordan's] reputation."

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Home run: When Native Americans in Cleveland were upset that John Rocker, who made derogatory comments about minorities, would be the Indians' closer, humorist Paul Giles told Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle: "Rocker wasn't fazed at all. He told them if they didn't like it, they should go back to where they came from."

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More Rocker: Hubert Mizell asks in the St. Petersburg Times, "Is it the first time a politically incorrect pitcher [John Rocker] left one team with a politically incorrect nickname [Braves] to join another [Indians]?"

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Eastern bias? The U.S. Postal Service is introducing stamps honoring 10 of baseball's greatest parks--and it doesn't include the jewel of the West--Dodger Stadium.

In fact, no park west of St. Louis is included. Not even the Coliseum.

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Wait a minute: "Elton Brand wanted out of Chicago, and the fact he'd rather play for the Clippers demonstrates what a mess the Bulls have become," observed Rick Bonnell in the Charlotte Observer.

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Tough love: After Dominik Hasek was traded from the Buffalo Sabres to the Detroit Red Wings, the all-star goalie said he left because the Sabres weren't a legitimate contender for the Stanley Cup.

The Buffalo News' Jerry Sullivan asked Hasek how his former teammates must feel about that.

"I think it could motivate them," replied Hasek.

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Especially No. 3: P.J. O'Rourke's three rules for achieving a perfect golf swing:

1. Keep your head down.

2. Follow through.

3. Be born with money.

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Trivia answer: Once, in 1951, it was played in Portrush, Ireland.

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And finally: After Boston Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield came close to a no-hitter, he told the Boston Globe: "It's just one of those things that didn't happen."

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