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Morning briefing

June 13, 2008|Jim Peltz | Times Staff Writer

Now that is a loud foul ball

After Boston Red Sox broadcaster Don Orsillo made a nifty catch of a foul ball at Fenway Park this week, his loud yellow jacket seemed to get more attention than his good hands.

Orsillo was helping call the game for NESN (New England Sports Network) when Baltimore's Luke Scott fouled off a pitch into the press box, where Orsillo reached out and snagged it.

After the game, Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said "I can't believe that ball didn't look at that sport coat and take a right turn."

Trivia time

Which major league team originally drafted Francona as a player in 1980?

American idol

Speaking of the Red Sox (and coats), Dominican-born David Ortiz became a U.S. citizen Wednesday.

"Big Papi" joined 226 others from 57 countries to take the Oath of Citizenship at the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester, Mass.

"It's a great country -- proud to be here, now proud to be a part of it," Ortiz, 32, told the Boston Globe.

Before Wednesday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles, Francona said he didn't know that Ortiz had become a citizen.

"Is that why he had his sport coat on?" Francona said.

What fix?

The New York Daily News conducted an online poll asking readers whether they believed allegations of NBA game-fixing by banished referee Tim Donaghy.

An overwhelming 91% who responded said they believed Donaghy, who alleged that league referees affected the outcome of two playoff series this decade -- claims denied by the NBA.

But other readers had questions, including Steve Burke of Manhattan, who asked the newspaper: "Where were these refs for the Knicks?"

Down and out

Before a showdown with Fresno State for a trip to the College World Series, some of Arizona State's players held a fake scuffle among themselves to loosen things up.

Two Sun Devils pointed and jawed at each other and were separated by teammates in a "kind of boxing-style showmanship that would have done Don King proud," the East Valley Tribune in Arizona reported.

But then Arizona State was knocked out for real at Tempe's Packard Stadium, as underdog Fresno State won, 12-9, for its first trip to Omaha since 1991.

Bleacher bum

NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Kurt Busch is a huge Cubs fan and is enjoying the team's fast start this season.

"I love how hot the Cubs are," said Busch, who was raised in Las Vegas. "Hopefully around our Chicago race [July 12] I'll have an opportunity to make it over to Wrigley Field."

Asked where he'd sit during the game, Busch replied: "It doesn't matter, wherever we can get tickets. If it's a group of guys, of course we'll be 'bleacher creatures' out there."

Busch also was asked how he's different from his younger brother Kyle, currently NASCAR's hottest driver. "His sunglasses are pretty wild right now," Kurt said.

Trivia answer

The Montreal Expos. Francona played 10 seasons as an outfielder and first baseman for the Expos, Cubs, Reds, Indians and Brewers.

And finally

Georgia State is making plans to field its first football team, starting in 2010, and this week it hired Bill Curry as the team's first head coach.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, at a news conference to announce Curry's hiring, he stepped to the podium holding a blue T-shirt with white letters that read "Still undefeated."

--

james.peltz@latimes.com

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