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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Bobblehead Promotions Fit Them Perfectly

November 01, 2001|Paul Gutierrez

With the NBA season underway and ceramic bobblehead dolls making a comeback as collectors' items, Joe Hawk of the Las Vegas-Review Journal sees a correlation.

Writes Hawk: "We kid you not: On Nov. 10, the Los Angeles Clippers will give away 5,000 bobblehead dolls of none other than former Rebel recruit Lamar Odom, who, ironically, was something of an academic bobblehead at UNLV in 1996 after Sports Illustrated questioned the validity of his SAT score.

"We kid you, sure: The Denver Nuggets were considering a similar promotion with former UNLV player Isaiah "J.R." Rider but figured they'd show up late--if at all."

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More Rider on the storm: Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post writes that Rider fits in perfectly with the Nuggets, so to speak:

"If there's any justice in this world, Isaiah Rider will keep his mouth shut, show up at practice every day, mind his own business and go for 18 a night for the Nuggets. Or haven't you noticed that this is the most snake-bitten organization in the business?

"Before Antonio McDyess, there was LaPhonso Ellis. If Phonz hadn't busted up his knee way back when, Dikembe Mutombo still would be here and the Nuggets would have made the playoffs every year since the early 1990s."

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Trivia time: Which three players shared the 1981 World Series most-valuable-player award?

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Cry me a river: Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe objects to the Arizona Republic's Living section printing a baseball primer for the uninitiated:

"I could tolerate a swimming pool beyond the outfield fence in right-center. I could get over the fact that the Diamondbacks have been in existence only four years and their fans haven't paid enough dues to deserve hosting a World Series. Five uniform combinations, all including purple? Knock yourselves out. Eating chimichangas between innings? Make my day. It was even OK [sort of] that they couldn't sell out some division series and league championship series games.

"But not this. Not 'Baseball For Dummies.' Any town that needs this feature in the local daily shouldn't be allowed to play host to the World Series and certainly doesn't deserve to win the thing."

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Deja vu all over again: Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle explains baseball's hot topic:

"Contraction, in this case, refers to decreasing the number of teams by eliminating such godforsaken franchises as the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins. Four short years ago, the Marlins won the World Series by doing what practically everybody agrees was cheating.

"They paid players salaries far beyond their means, and the year after the Series, they betrayed their fans' trust by getting rid of those players. This is such a corrupt, devious way to do business that the Arizona Diamondbacks might be in the process of doing the same thing."

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Trivia answer:Dodgers Ron Cey, Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager.

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And finally: Happy birthday to Fernando Valenzuela, who turns 41 today. The left-hander won the Cy Young Award and was rookie of the year with the World Series-champion Dodgers in 1981. He went 173-153 with a 3.54 earned-run average for the Dodgers, Angels and four other teams. Feliz cumpleanos , Fernando.

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