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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Armstrong Didn't Win Affection of French

July 30, 2001|Earl Gustkey

The New York Daily News' Filip Bondy wrote about contrasting European and American perceptions of Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

He interviewed oncologist Dr. Larry Einhorn, who guided Armstrong's triumph over testicular cancer several years ago. The subject: Suspicions that Armstrong, like many other cyclists, has used performance-enhancing drugs.

"The whole thing is laughable," Einhorn told Bondy.

"Someone going through chemo like he did, there's nothing that causes more fatigue than that. He wouldn't put himself in that position, taking more drugs."

Bondy also used a quote by Jean-Marie Leblanc, director of the Tour de France, from an interview with Le Journal de Dimanche:

"Armstrong is a respected rider. But he is not loved. He doesn't speak French, he has no warmth and is followed to the start and finish by two gorilla bodyguards. He lives under suspicion and the most recent revelations about his relationship with Dr. Ferrari have only added to the doubts."

The reference was to Armstrong having consulted with Michele Ferrari, an Italian doctor facing a Sept. 21 trial on charges of "sporting fraud and administering products dangerous to health."

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Trivia time: What pitcher holds the record for most grand slams allowed?

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Get some K guys: During a recent visit to Denver, Reggie Jackson had some advice for the Colorado Rockies.

"They need guys that miss bats--guys that strike people out," he told the Rocky Mountain News' Sam Adams.

"You can't put the ball in play here (Coors Field). A strikeout pitcher here has so much more value than a sinkerball pitcher."

And hitting lots of home runs is overrated, said the man who hit 563.

"The Yankees have had one guy hit 40 home runs since 1980, but they win the World Series every year."

Jackson hit 41 in 1980 and Tino Martinez hit 44 in 1997.

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Heat's on, guys: The Pittsburgh Steelers will go into a pressure cooker this season, writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Cook.

Reason: The club maintained for years it could not win without a new stadium. Now it has one, Heinz Field, paid for by taxpayers.

Cook: "There is no other way to say it. The Steelers are coming off three consecutive seasons in which they failed to make the playoffs and are moving into a publicly financed stadium--they had better win.

"The pressure on [quarterback] Kordell Stewart will be enormous. How many more chances does the guy get? How many more offensive coordinators will be fired before the blame for a poor passing game comes down to him?"

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Something fishy: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Chuck Finder, commenting on an ESPN-televised bass fishing tournament:

"I heard something uttered I'd never heard in 20-plus years of sportswriting: 'He fishes well under pressure.' "

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Trivia answer: Nolan Ryan, 10.

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And finally: The New York Post's Jay Glazer, incredulous the San Francisco 49ers let Jerry Rice get away to the Oakland Raiders:

"Imagine if Joe DiMaggio became the Phillies Clipper."

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