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The Inside Track | MORNING BRIEFING

Royals Have Put a Hole in Middle of This Plan

May 02, 2003|Mike Hiserman

Kansas City baseball fans are in fat city for reasons other than their team's blazing 17-8 start.

Thanks to a promotion between the Royals and Krispy Kreme, fans can redeem home ticket stubs for a dozen doughnuts each time their club gets at least a dozen hits in a game.

That led to what the Kansas City Star reported as "a surreal, Homer Simpson-like chant of 'doughnuts, doughnuts' " from a crowd this week as the Royals neared 12 hits in a game against the Detroit Tigers.

Considering the club's tepid .256 batting average last season, Krispy Kreme executives surely thought they had a sweet deal. But the Royals already have 12 hits in a game three times -- on pace for 20 this season.

With average attendance near 20,000, that means Krispy Kreme would be more than $2 million in the hole.

As Homer would say, that's a lot of ... DOH!

Trivia time: On this date in 1939, Lou Gehrig's streak of 2,130 consecutive games played came to an end. Who took his place in the lineup?

Against all odds: The longest of longshots in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday is that any horse will run faster than Secretariat did in clocking 1:59 2/5 for the 1 1/4-mile race 30 years ago.

The odds are so long, Associated Press reports, Las Vegas bookmakers won't even have it on the board.

Follow the leader: In the Derby on Saturday, Indian Express will break from the No. 9 post, just outside Buddy Gil and veteran jockey Gary Stevens. So Bob Baffert, who trains Indian Express, isn't fretting over the race instructions to his 20-year-old jockey, Tyler Baze.

"[He] will be next to his idol, Gary Stevens, and he can just do what Gary does," Baffert said.

Seems like solid advice considering Stevens will be the only rider in the race to have won the Derby three times -- on Winning Colors in 1988, Thunder Gulch in '95 and Silver Charm in '97.

Split decision: Minnesota's basketball Timberwolves, hockey Wild and baseball Twins all played at home Tuesday in the Twin Cities.

For the playoffs, the fans came out in force. At basketball, 20,098, the largest crowd in franchise history, showed up at Target Center; at hockey, 19,394, the largest crowd to attend a hockey game in the state, came to Xcel Energy Center.

Meanwhile, at the Metrodome, 12,188 watched the Twins play the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. But at least they were happy. While the Lakers routed the Timberwolves and the Wild lost, 3-2, to the Vancouver Canucks, the Twins won, 5-3.

Trivia answer: Babe Dahlgren, a .261 career hitter, who stayed with the Yankees through the 1940 season. Gehrig never played again.

And finally: The City of Big Shoulders will, beginning the middle of this month, become a city of bobbleheads.

As part of Chicago's buildup to baseball's All-Star game, 35 life-size bobblehead statues -- each wielding a wood baseball bat -- will be installed around the downtown area.

The figures are molded from material designed to survive both harsh weather and belligerent fans.

"Everybody has their teams they don't like," a city spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times. "Hopefully the Yankee [bobblehead] will survive here."

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