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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

If Griffey Gets a Hit, Then His Car Gets to Run

March 04, 2001|MAL FLORENCE

Ken Griffey Jr. of the Cincinnati Reds owns four Mercedes-Benzes, a Range Rover and a Suburban. But the lineup is subject to change.

"If I drive a car and get no hits, I switch cars," he told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I will not drive a car if it doesn't have any hits in it. I won't actually get rid of it. I'll keep it in the rotation."

What if all the cars go into a slump at the same time? Does he buy more cars?

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Trivia time: Who holds the Pacific 10 single-game basketball record for steals?

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No timetable: Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Penn State football Coach Joe Paterno, 74, isn't thinking of retiring soon.

"I know I could wake up tomorrow and have a heart attack," Paterno said. "But my plan is to go four more years. Maybe I'll go longer. I'm not sure I want to coach when I'm 80. But I'm not sure I won't want to, either."

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Not even close: A poll on Sportstalk.com last weekend asked the question: "Who has the least amount of control?" And the winners were:

Mark Chmura chaperoning a high school party, 49%; Rick Ankiel with a man on third, 21%; Shaq with two free throws, 20%; XFL fans, 10%.

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Ouch! Bill Conlin of the Philadelphia Daily News figures Gary Sheffield might affect the National League East in unforeseen ways: "He wants the Dodgers to trade him to the Braves or Mets, which is good news for the Phillies."

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Job description: Jay Leno on Dallas Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman's 10 concussions: "One more concussion and they'll make him an XFL announcer."

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Parting of the blob: Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune on quarterback Ryan Leaf, who was recently released by the Chargers:

"Leaf, as it turned out, was an iceberg. Above the surface was his incredible ability. Below it was this dark, enigmatic blob no one was able to figure out."

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Bulletin! Toronto Sun columnist Bill Lankhof: "The latest Gallup China poll gives Beijing 94.9% support to host the 2008 Olympics. In other news, 5.1% of respondents to the latest Gallup China poll are now in jail."

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Trivia answer: Tyus Edney of UCLA, 11, against George Mason on Dec. 22, 1994.

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And finally: Charlie Hough is the New York Mets' new pitching coach.

Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post says old-timers in the Dodger organization can still picture the old knuckleballer on an exercise bike, sweat dripping from his graying hair, and a cigarette dangling from his lip.

"Got to give it up," Hough said, climbing off the bike.

"The cigarettes?" somebody asked.

"The bike," he replied.

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