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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Thanks to Anesthesia, the Truth Hurts Less

March 09, 2003|Larry Stewart

Winger Jeff Odgers of the Atlanta Thrashers has a 12-inch jagged scar that runs across his abdomen. According to Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic, when Odgers was asked about the scar, he said, "You want the story I tell all the guys or the real story?"

Odgers' story: "I was in a bar fight, fighting a guy, and he broke a beer bottle and comes up from the side and slashes me. My buddy threw me in the back of a pickup truck, drives me to the hospital to get sewn up, and they tell me later, a quarter-inch deeper, I'm dead.

"Well, three months later, I see the guy who cut me. I nail him, pin him down, put my knees on his chest, take out my pocket knife and cut him from his ear to his chin, just deep enough to scar him so he'll never forget it."

Asked if that was that the real story, Odgers said, "No, that's just the one I tell all the rookies. Their mouths drop open, I walk out of the room, and they're like, 'Oh, my God!' Then I tell them the truth the next day."

Which is?

"Hernia surgery," he said.

Trivia time: The New York Yankees have made 38 World Series appearances and their record is 26-12. Which team has made the second-most and what is its record?

Second guessing: Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel: "The Magic will give away thousands of T-Mac baseball bats at [today's] game against Denver, but maybe they should save one for Jerry West. He'll need it to beat himself over the head for trading Drew Gooden and Gordan Giricek for Mike Miller. This could go down as the worst trade since Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich swapped wives.

Golf joke: Have you heard the one about the bride coming down the aisle and noticing that the groom has his golf clubs by his side? When she reaches the altar, she says, "What are your golf clubs doing here?"

The groom replies, "This isn't going to take all day, is it?"

He handled it: John Wooden, in a book he wrote with Steve Jamison, said he once learned a lesson from Wilt Chamberlain. Wooden was at the news conference after Chamberlain was traded to the Lakers. One of the reporters asked Wilt, "Do you think coach Butch van Breda Kolff can handle you? It's been said you're hard to handle."

Wilt replied, "You handle farm animals. You work with people. I can work with anyone."

A book Wooden had written, "Practical Modern Basketball," had been sent to the publisher only two days earlier. One section was called "Handling Your Players." Wooden called the publisher and had it changed to "Working With Your Players."

Good scraps: Musher Martin Buser says he dines on tenderloin steak and butter-drenched shrimp along the lonely stretches of the Iditarod Trail sled-dog race.

"I hear what I leave behind at food stops gets scarfed up, it's so good," Buser said.

Trivia answer: The Brooklyn-Los Angeles Dodgers have appeared in 18 World Series. Their record is 6-12.

And finally: ESPN's Peter Gammons asked Oakland Athletic General Manager Billy Beane why he rejected a job with the Boston Red Sox that would have paid him more money and offered him a higher payroll. Said Beane, "You sound like my wife."

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