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Only on the set, never in the newsroom

What’s harder to believe in the movie “My Best Friend’s Wedding”, asks Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Sun-Times: that Cameron Diaz and Julia Roberts would fight for the love of a sportswriter or that anyone would stage a romantic scene in the upper deck of Comiskey Park?

Is it Jerry McGuire or Mark McGwire?

Mark McGwire would like to have a few words with J.D. Drew, the outfielder selected as the overall No. 2 pick in the nation last month by Philadelphia.

Drew and his agent, Scott Boras, are holding out for a payday that would include a massive $10 million bonus. Last year’s No. 1 pick, pitcher Kris Benson, received $2 million from Pittsburgh.

“These kids are screwing themselves,” McGwire said. “Their agents are totally wrong. There should be a cap of say $200,000 for first-round picks.”

“These kids have no right to ask for these amounts,” McGwire said. “They’re in for such a rude awakening when, and if, they get to the big leagues.

McGwire received $145,000 when he was the 10th pick in 1984.

Now he’ll settle for nothing short of the moon.

Don’t expect Spaghetti-Os at the O-rena

Neal Barnard, a research nutritionist and president of the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine, surveyed the menus of all 29 arenas in the NBA, looking for the ones offering the healthiest choices.

The Orlando Arena was the undisputed leader.

“They (Orlando) are the cream of the - I guess I shouldn’t say cream - they are the top of the list,” said Barnard, who has written four books on nutrition.

And what makes the O-rena food so good?

Pasta with marinara sauce, for one. Garden salads, for another. Or veggie fajitas. Or hot pretzels. Or baked - not fried - nachos, cheese optional.

Nine NBA facilities, particularly in the older, more-established cities such as Milwaukee and New York, specialize in artery-choking items.

But despite the salads and pastas, Becker said, O-rena patrons still spend the bulk of their concession money on longtime favorites: hot dogs, popcorn, beer and soft drinks.

But the biggest hot dog has been out of the O-rena for one season now.

Wonder what the GSL All-Star series cost?

An entrepreneur’s trading cards, which feature some of the nation’s top prep athletes, could create problems for colleges with the NCAA.

John Garner, of Norfolk, Va., is marketing a set of 79 cards featuring top college-bound football, basketball and baseball athletes. The offer was accepted by 30 football, 31 baseball and 18 basketball players, whose cards are now on sale at a price of $5 for a set of 10.

The business deal could ultimately embroil Garner in a controversy with the NCAA, because college athletes are forbidden from lending their names or likenesses to such business ventures.

The students’ eligibility is not in jeopardy now, but there could be a future problem if a card purchaser decides to sell them while the athlete is still enrolled at a university.

The last word …

“Like Las Vegas and White Hen (convenience stores), Mel Rojas never closes.”

- Bernie Lincicome, Chicago Tribune columnist

, DataTimes

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