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Morning briefing

Aaron can still get his hits in

May 20, 2008|Chris Foster | Times Staff Writer

Hank Aaron, in Wisconsin to give the commencement address at Concordia University on Saturday, had to field the traditional Barry Bonds questions and spoke well of the man who broke his home run record, the Associated Press reported.

Of course, Aaron then went out and took a mighty swing, telling students, "This is advice from an old man who has been a lot of places, seen a lot of things. Be careful before you make choices. Avoid shortcuts. They are quick fixes and unrewarding."

Hmm, let's see . . .

Choices? Shortcuts? Quick fixes? Unrewarding? Gosh, that does seem to bring someone to mind. Just can't quite recall the name.

Trivia time

What two NHL teams have played the most regular-season games without winning the Stanley Cup?

Yo-ho-ho

Former Philadelphia 76ers president Pat Croce appears to have found a way to tap his years of experience dealing with sports agents and TV executives. He is making a movie about pirates, and, no, not the Pittsburgh variety.

Croce received the go-ahead from Dreamworks on his idea for a realistic look at Blackbeard, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Croce is not out of his depth on this one. He did found the Pirate Soul Museum in Key West, Fla., which features authentic artifacts, many from Croce's personal collection.

"It'll be a period piece," Croce said. "Gritty. None of this 'Pirates of the Caribbean' stuff. Facts are even better than fiction."

Of course, sometimes facts are even stranger than fiction. See the 76ers' Larry Brown-Allen Iverson era as an example.

Glory days

Five of the six division leaders in major league baseball -- the Angels, Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and Florida Marlins -- have won World Series championships since 2000.

And the sixth team? Well, the Chicago Cubs had a pretty good run at the turn of the century, as well. The 1900s started out just fine.

USA! USA!

The International Hockey Federation ranked the top 100 stories of the last 100 years, with Team USA's "Miracle on Ice" at the 1980 Winter Olympics coming out on top.

Not making the list was Team USA's trashing of dorm rooms in 1998, that rampage by NHL players after being eliminated from the Nagano Games.

Ump strikes out

Umpire Bob Davidson made a postgame confession Sunday, admitting he made a mistake in overruling a home run call by fellow umpire Mike Reilly.

Davidson ruled that a ball hit by the New York Mets' Carlos Delgado, which replays showed hitting the left-field foul pole for an apparent three-run homer, was foul. But the umpire later told reporters in an expletive-laced confession that he made the wrong call.

"I'm the one who thought it was a . . . foul ball. I saw it on the replay. I'm the one who . . . it up, so you can put that in your paper."

Only one way to respond to that kind of tirade: Davidson, yer out of here!

Ah, if only life were that easy.

Trivia answer

The Kings and St. Louis Blues.

Footnote: Wayne Gretzky played for both.

And finally

New York Yankees co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner proved once again that the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. In criticizing his team's last-place effort so far this season, he told the New York Post last week, "These players are being paid a lot of money and they had better decide for themselves to earn that money."

And that comes from a man who has never been handed anything . . . well, except the Yankees.

--

chris.foster@latimes.com

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