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THE INSIDE TRACK | MORNING BRIEFING

Managers Must Always Look for the Union Label

March 24, 2001|SHAV GLICK

John McGraw, the legendary manager of the New York Giants many decades ago, once fined a player for hitting a home run because he had missed--or ignored--the bunt sign.

Bob Ryan of the Boston Globe says that if something like that happened today, "The next thing Mr. McGraw would hear would be a team employee saying, 'A Mr. Fehr is on the line.' "

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Trivia time: Who holds the NCAA basketball tournament single-game scoring record?

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Payback time: The University of Missouri, whose teams are known as the Tigers, is joining with Exxon and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to raise money for the Save the Tiger Fund, to preserve wild tigers.

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In the forest: Stanford's towering twin trees, Jason and Jarron Collins, impressed St. Joseph's Coach Phil Martelli in their NCAA meeting, but he wasn't so enthralled with Stanford's Tree--the goofiest mascot in the NCAA field.

"They have a tree," he told Andrew Bagnato of the Chicago Tribune. "What do you put down for activities: 'I was a tree.' How do you put that on a resume?"

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Thinking man: Mike Hampton, newly acquired left-hander of the Colorado Rockies, isn't bothered by all the talk about Denver's Coors Field being tough on pitchers.

"The park is the same for both teams," Hampton said. "As long as you pitch better than the other guy, you're going to win."

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Senior citizen: Ten-time National Hot Rod Assn. funny car champion John Force is close to 52.

"I'm so excited about the NHRA's future, I wish I were younger," Force said. "I would trade Ron Capps all of my trophies for his age, just to be able to start over."

Capps is 35.

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Provincialism: The Sporting News' sportsman-of-the-year awards for 2000 went to the St. Louis Rams' Marshall Faulk and Kurt Warner for their part in winning the Super Bowl in January 2000. Passed over, among others, was Tiger Woods.

Last year, six of the publication's covers featured athletes from the Cardinals, Rams and Blues. The Sporting News also named St. Louis "America's best sports city."

By the way, The Sporting News is published in St. Louis.

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Smart fellow: Former NBA player Rick Mahorn has a "Mother" tattoo and his children's names tattooed on his biceps, but nowhere is his wife's name.

Mahorn's logic: "You may get remarried, but you always have your mother and children."

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But did he hug him? Brent Abernathy, the probable starting second baseman for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, apparently didn't make much of an impression on Tom Lasorda when the former Dodger manager was managing the Olympic gold-medal-winning baseball team.

"He kept calling me Trent," Abernathy told the Tampa Tribune. "I would get a hit and he would say, 'Good job, Trent.' Finally, I told him, 'Tommy, my name is Brent.' "

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Trivia answer: Notre Dame's Austin Carr scored 61 points against Ohio University in a first-round game in 1970.

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And finally: Eddie Mathews, who went from Santa Barbara High to become a Hall of Fame third baseman, accomplished a lot during his 17 years in the major leagues but he was proudest of a record he set with Henry Aaron for most home runs in a career by teammates. Their 863 surpassed the Yankees' Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig combo.

"I'm not a crusader about race or creed," Mathews said, "but I think the fact Hank is black and I'm white, and we set the record together, that was kind of special."

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