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THURSDAY, FEB. 8, 1996

D-H - the only thing missing is U

Already lamenting the perils of interleague play is Tigers pitcher John Doherty, though he doesn’t have to worry until 1997.

“What I’m not excited about is having to hit,” Doherty said. “Knowing myself, I’d end up doing something stupid, like pulling a muscle or getting a blister.”

Sonic boondoggle

To test the power of suggestion, Sonics coach George Karl bought tickets to Super Bowl XXX for his players, assistant coaches and trainer, then used the club’s charter to fly them to the game.

Shawn Kemp, Vincent Askew and David Wingate were the only no-shows.

“I was right on the 50-yard line,” Karl said. “The other guys divided the (tickets) up. Some of them were on the 40. The rookies (Eric Snow and Sherell Ford) had second-tier on the 10-yard line.”

Karl said he wanted the Sonics to experience “the championship mentality and the specialness of the event. If you’re going to win a championship, this was the game of the world at the time.”

Hmm. Last year they must have visited Dr. Heimlich’s clinic to get their playoff faces on.

Nashville Cats

That would be the obvious nickname to hang on the Houston Oilers once they’re safely ensconced in Tennessee. Nonetheless, the Daily Times of Maryville polled its readership and came up with more. Music City Strummers. Nashville Notes. Tennessee Elvi.

Elvi? Reader Bill Remy suggested Tennessee Tuxedos after one of our favorite cartoon shows. “They could be very creative with the uniforms,” Remy explained.

Race fixing, yes, but story fixing?

An historic Eclipse Award sweep in the writing categories by Stephanie Diaz has come under fire amid allegations she made up quotes and incidents.

A story on jockey Donna Barton in Backstretch magazine prompted the rider to complain Diaz never interviewed her - but Diaz said she understands why Barton may not remember their interview.

“It was in one of those group settings,” Diaz said. “I sort of followed her around (1995) Derby week.”

And yet an injury to a horse Barton was quoted about did not happen until after May 29. The Kentucky Derby was run May 6.

Another story on Braulio Baeza is full of errors.

“First, she got me married to my daughter and she got me riding my first horse as a winner,” said Baeza. “The first horse I rode finished last. She said I rode for my grandfather. My grandfather died when I was 5.”

Then Diaz writes that jockey Ramon Perez, like Baeza, is from Panama and quotes him as saying: “Braulio, Laffit (Pincay) and Jorge (Velasquez) are legends at home. I grew up having them as idols.”

Perez was born in Michigan, has never been to Panama and is of Cuban descent.

The last word …

“Seahawks owner Ken Behring says the franchise’s name, colors and logo can all stay in Seattle. So I guess what will be going down to the Rose Bowl are the greed, the pandering and the carpetbagging.”

- Sacramento Bee columnist Mark Kreidler

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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