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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Cardinals Deserved Fax About Big Mac

November 14, 2001|Mal Florence

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Mark McGwire's retirement announcement: "Big Mac fanned on Sunday night. The retirement fax to ESPN was fine, but McGwire didn't play baseball for ESPN.

"McGwire owed a phone call to Cardinal General Manager Walt Jocketty. And McGwire certainly should have informed his friend and longtime manager, Tony La Russa.

"Then again, maybe there was a reason for McGwire's lapse in manners. Ram running back Marshall Faulk, a superstar in his field, offered a theory on why McGwire didn't inform La Russa or Jocketty of his decision.

"'Maybe he didn't want them to try and talk him out of it,' Faulk said."

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Trivia time: What was the largest crowd in the USC-UCLA football series?

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Have them sail away: Jim McCabe in the Boston Globe:

"There is substantial evidence that the wrong Minnesota franchise is about to be removed from the professional sports landscape. Keep the Twins. Ditch the Vikings.

"They are officially the biggest dogs in the NFL. Slapped silly by Philadelphia, 48-17, the Vikings fell to 3-5, as they provided as much opposition as Roberto Duran did for Sugar Ray Leonard.

"But at least Duran went into the eighth round before yelling, 'No mas.'

" The Vikings hung their white flag virtually after the opening bell had sounded."

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Let's wait a bit: John Feinstein of the Washington Post notes that venerable basketball Coach "Lefty" Driesell, now at Georgia State, could break Dean Smith's NCAA Division I record of 879 victories.

"All Driesell, 69, has to do is average 24 victories a year for five seasons. That's possible at Georgia State.

But Driesell isn't getting too excited about the mark, saying, 'Heck, if I ever got close, Dean would come back."'

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Tainted record? The Toronto Raptors broke their NBA record by blocking 24 shots in a recent victory over Golden State.

Yet, there was some skepticism about some of the calls. Said Warrior Coach Dave Cowens, "Maybe some of those layups we missed were so bad that they made them blocked shots."

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A new Yogism: In an effort to boost the city's tourism industry, New York's celebrities are appearing in TV spots out of character. For example, Yogi Berra, dressed in a tuxedo, asks, 'Who is Phil Harmonic?"

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Modern times: Tom FitzGerald in the San Francisco Chronicle: "A thought about the swimming pool at Bank One Ballpark: Could this be the first time in baseball history that a World Series share goes to a lifeguard?"

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Looking back: On this day in 1888, USC played its first football game, defeating the Alliance Athletic Club, 16-0.

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Trivia answer: 103,303 for the 1939 game at the Coliseum, a scoreless tie.

And finally: Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Brian Dennehy, last seen in Chicago and on Broadway as Willy Loman in 'Death of a Salesman,' will play Bob Knight in an ESPN movie, according to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal."

Better yet, why not have Knight play Knight?

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