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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

This Bonds Supporter Likes Him to a Point

November 23, 2001|Mal Florence

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News acknowledges that Barry Bonds, who turns 38 in July, stays in good shape and is not the traditional aging slugger. But he says that it would be a mistake for any major league team to offer him the five-year contract he is seeking.

"Mentally he seems to be enjoying the game as much as ever. Fair enough. Then give the guy a two-year deal worth fabulous money.

"But a five-year contract? Or even four?

"In 2001, Bonds was baseball's best hitter. He deserved every award and good word written about him. ... But none of that explains why Bonds should receive a five-year contract. ... It might be the most ill-advised and daft decision of the new millennium."

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Trivia time: Who holds the NBA record for most three-point field goals made in a season?

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Kelly-isms: Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle recalls the dry humor of Minnesota Twin Manager Tom Kelly, 51, who stepped down this year after 16 seasons:

* After a 5-4 victory over the Angels that lasted nearly four hours and featured eight pitching changes, 343 pitches and 12 walks, he said: "We won a battle of nutrition."

* He once said of his role, "I stay in the corner, send them out there and try not to trip anybody on the way by."

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Put down: Buffalo Sabre Coach Lindy Ruff, after 5-foot-6 New York Ranger Theo Fleury retaliated against Sabre winger Vaclav Varada for charging Ranger Eric Lindros:

"A tough case for Theo to be throwing rocks, especially for a guy who lives in a 3,000 square-foot glass house--or whatever it is he lives in with those 5-foot-11 ceilings."

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Stay away from him: From comedy writer Earl Hochman: "With former pro wrestler, and now governor of Minnesota, Jesse Ventura vehemently opposing the contraction plan to eliminate the Twins from baseball, Commissioner Bud Selig is hoping he won't try to settle the issue with a best-two-out-of-three falls."

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More Twins: Jim Armstrong in the Denver Post: "News must travel by dog sled in Minnesota. The Twins sold eight season tickets after the contraction announcement."

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Expectations: British bookmakers have listed Jaden Gill, the newborn son of Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf, as a 500-1 shot to win Wimbledon someday, and it's 1,000-1 on him to be elected German chancellor.

Said syndicated columnist Norman Chad: "I think the kid's a 1-9 shot to have great legs, a receding hairline and a really nice car."

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Looking back: On this rainy day in 1946, UCLA remained unbeaten with a 13-6 victory over USC at the Coliseum before a crowd of 93,714.

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Trivia answer: Dennis Scott of Orlando, 267 in 1995-96.

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And finally: San Diego Charger rookie running back LaDainian Tomlinson lost a pair of diamond earrings when they were knocked off in a game against Dallas in September.

"My helmet came off a couple of times and I think that's what did it. I came to the sideline and I couldn't feel my earrings anymore."

Oh, the hardships modern athletes endure.

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