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Morning briefing

He might be worse for wear

May 26, 2008|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Jason Giambi has been using a tiger-striped, gold-lame thong to help him break out of a hitting slump, as noted by Morning Briefing a week ago. He has also shared it with some of his New York Yankees teammates to help them during various slumps.

But Scott Ostler, in Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle, questioned how well the thong is working, considering the Yankees are still hovering around last place in the American League East and Giambi is hitting .230.

"Maybe Giambi's thong isn't all it's cracked up to be," Ostler wrote.

And we used to think a player on steroids wasn't a pretty sight.

Trivia time

Giambi's best season in the majors, in terms of batting average, was when he hit .342. He also hit 38 home runs that year. Which season, and with what team, was that?

A Giant rip

The San Francisco Giants' Barry Zito finally won a game Friday night after eight consecutive losses. He gave up only one run and three hits in 6 1/3 innings in an 8-2 victory over the Florida Marlins.

Dan Brown of the San Jose Mercury News wrote that Zito "finally got a 'W' in a season that had gone straight to 'L.' "

Pop quizzes

San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich was recently asked by the San Antonio Express-News about his frequent impatience with the media.

His answer: "It's a flaw. I should be less judgmental and more accommodating to ignorant questions."

When Popovich was asked about Game 1 of the Western Conference finals going up against "American Idol," Popovich said, "What is that? Is that where they dance with each other?"

More Pops

Popovich apparently runs practices in a dictatorial fashion.

"He has the floor all the time," Brent Barry told the Express-News. "He's got this bully pulpit up there, and he tells you what he likes and dislikes. And he asks you, 'OK, what do you think?' And before you can answer, he's like, 'OK, let's get started.'

"That's not fair. That's what my wife does."

Rocky sailing

It seems too often these days the Olympic spirit gets lost, or simply ends up blowing in the wind.

Take the case of windsurfer Nancy Rios, a 2005 high school graduate from Naples, Fla. She made the U.S. Olympic team, but only after seven months of legal wrangling.

According to the Fort Myers News-Press, another competitor, Farrah Hall, 26, of Annapolis, Md., thought the spot belonged to her after she finished second in the final race of 16 at the U.S. trials Oct. 14. But Rios, who finished fourth after a collision had torn her sail, convinced a jury she should be awarded second place and the spot on the Olympic team.

So how did Rios feel about her victory?

"I'm happy that I don't have to spend any more time doing this kind of litigation stuff that I've never had to do in my life, and just go sailing," Rios told the News-Press.

Extra incentive

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times sees a hidden benefit if the cost-conscious Seattle SuperSonics take O.J. Mayo as the fourth pick in the NBA draft.

"Sounds like somebody else has already paid the signing bonus," Perry wrote.

Trivia answer

The season was 2001, when Giambi was with the Oakland Athletics.

And finally

More from Ostler: "Giambi has his greatest days as an Oakland A, but if he winds up being voted into Cooperstown, you can bet he will go into the Hall of Fame wearing his Yankee thong."

--

larry.stewart@latimes.com

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