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MORNING BRIEFING

He wasn't traveling just to get his kicks

September 06, 2008|Grahame L. Jones | Times Staff Writer

Because the Republican National Convention was held in their neck of the north woods, the Minnesota Twins were forced into a 15-day, 14-game trip in which they racked up 6,234 miles.

Don't look for U.S. soccer player Maurice Edu to have sympathy. While the Twins bounced around, Edu put in some real travel.

He was in China with the Olympic team, then back home in the U.S., then in Scotland to finalize a trade to Rangers, then in Guatemala with the U.S. national team, then back to Scotland to sit on the bench during the Rangers-Celtic derby, and then off to Cuba for today's World Cup qualifier for the U.S..

Makes 6,234 miles seem like a stroll.

Trivia time

How many NFL players have been born in Alaska?

He's no bat man

Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire told the St. Paul Pioneer Press that he has no idea why his team is shattering so many bats this season.

"I don't know why," he said. "I'm not a bat maker and I'm not a termite, so I can't tell what's good wood and what's bad wood."

Crowning glory

Talk about a royal welcome, Benjamin Boukpeti certainly received one.

In Beijing, Boukpeti won Togo's first-ever Olympic medal -- a bronze in kayak slalom; when he returned home he was made a prince.

Match that, Michael Phelps.

Stealing Thunder

The NBA's newest old team this week made it official and said it would be called the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"It's very unique," said forward Desmond Mason, managing to mangle usage and fact.

It's not unique at all, but Mason is far too young to have been around for the San Antonio Thunder of the North American Soccer League.

More Thunder

The death this week at age 92 of golfer Tommy "Thunder" Bolt recalled the comments he made when he was elected into the Hall of Fame.

As famous for his language and his club-throwing as for his swing, Bolt said his temper was blown out of proportion.

"I threw a couple of clubs," he admitted. "I'm human just like the other guys. But I threw them at the most opportune time, it seemed like. They always had the camera on me when I was throwing one."

Naming rights

The NFL has recognized Cincinnati receiver Chad Johnson's legal name change to Chad Ocho Cinco and the new name now joins the No. 85 on his jersey. Dave Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has his own take on the switch.

Wrote Thomas: "Headline writers across America are wishing that T. J. Houshmandzadeh would have changed his last name instead of Johnson."

Trivia answer

Ten.

And finally

Columnist Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times, noting that Starbucks founder Howard Schultz had withdrawn a lawsuit seeking to reverse his sale of the SuperSonics:

"The best minds in law and coffee came to the same conclusion on this one: insufficient grounds."

--

grahame.jones@latimes.com

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