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Morning briefing

Their signs start from scratch

September 09, 2007|Robyn Norwood | Times Staff Writer

Milwaukee Manager Ned Yost scratched an itch, and the Brewers got smacked.

"It all started with a mosquito bite," Yost told reporters after an 11-4 loss to Cincinnati on Friday.

Say what?

Yost said third base coach Nick Leyva saw him scratching in the first inning after being bitten earlier, and thought the manager wanted Gabe Gross, who had doubled, to steal third.

Gross was thrown out trying to steal as Ryan Braun struck out.

"It set the tone for the night," Yost said. "I looked up and saw Gabe coming and thought, 'What the heck is going on?' "

Recommendation for the clubhouse staff: A generous supply of bug repellent.

Trivia time

Which NFL team has won the most league championships?

Tennis-loving tenor

Bud Collins, tennis commentator extraordinaire, is among those mourning the late Luciano Pavarotti.

"The man could sing," Collins wrote at

"But you know what? Like all of us he had a secret passion. Luciano Pavarotti would have loved to be a professional tennis player.

"He told me that one day in 1980 while we were watching John McEnroe gliding toward a second U.S. Open title at Flushing Meadow.

"Pavarotti, who died Thursday, [at] 71, in his hometown, Modena, Italy, adored tennis, and could empathize with the pros. He, too, especially in concerts, stood alone before a critical audience, and, like them, he was essentially a roadie. He said that if he made an unforced vocal error in an opera house, he heard and/or read about it. I called him the MVT (Most Valuable Tenor), and he didn't object."

News from down under

Actor Russell Crowe, interviewed by Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, on his part-ownership of the Australian rugby team the South Sydney Rabbitohs:

Question: "South Sydney is the Yankees of your sport, does that mean you are the George Steinbrenner of the Rugby League?"

Crowe: "No because it's not that sort of money. We are heavily controlled by a salary cap of $4 million."

Among Crowe's notable contributions: He cut the cheerleading squad, saying the scantily clad women made some spectators "uncomfortable" and detracted from the game.

Kobe takes goodwill tour

Who knew Kobe Bryant just needed to go to Asia?

From the Philippine Star: "He took the metropolis by storm, answered politely phrased sensitive questions magnanimously, and touched the hearts of children."

Ammerin' Ank

That's what St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz dubbed Rick Ankiel after his transformation from struggling pitcher to slugger, a story that summoned images of Roy Hobbs in "The Natural."

Now Miklasz and others don't know what to think after reports that Ankiel received shipments of human growth hormone (HGH) in 2004, before it was banned by Major League Baseball.

Miklasz: "Frankly, I don't trust any player. I can't. We've been fooled too many times before. It's sad. Feel-good stories should come with a warning label."

One last App State item

This from "Michigan Coach Lloyd Carr has entered a rehab facility to fight a cupcake abuse problem. 'I've wolfed down cupcakes for years,' Carr said. 'Scheduled my life around them. But too much of a good thing can turn on you. I'll never have another cupcake.' "

Trivia answer

The Green Bay Packers, with 12.

And finally

Justine Henin, on her insistence on wearing a watch:

"No. I cannot live without my watch," she said. "I don't know, I never saw another player playing with a watch. But I always keep my watch. I sleep with that. I take my shower, everything.

"I cannot live without my watch. It's good. Except on holidays, I take it off."


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