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Wednesday, October 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Cheap Seats

A manager who’s a real card

Jeff Richardson, who is managing the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Class-A Augusta (Ga.) baseball team, was a replacement player during the 1994 players’ strike.

According to Paul Meyer of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Richardson said his baseball card had an error.

“That part where it says, ‘Hits - Right’ is wrong,” he said. “Mine should read, ‘Hits - Doesn’t.”’

Like there’s a lot of filling to begin with

A Taco Bell television commercial featuring basketball star Shaquille O’Neal repeatedly tilting his head so the filling doesn’t fall out of his taco is intended to be lighthearted.

Shaq eats so many tacos, the ad implies, his head tilts permanently. “Taco Neck Syndrome,” it calls it.

But victims of spasmodic torticollis - a painful neurological disorder that afflicts an estimated 83,000 Americans - are offended. Shaq’s symptoms, they say, are too close to their own.

Patricia Murray of Orange, Calif., executive director of the National Spasmodic Torticollis Association, said she has been deluged with letters, faxes and telephone calls from incensed members.

“Our members are very much offended,” said Murray, who has the disorder. “They won’t want to go into any Taco Bell. They’re scared somebody will say, ‘Nice Shaq imitation,’ or something.”

When Murray asked the company to withdraw the commercial, she received a letter from Taco Bell Inc., based in Irvine, Calif., thanking her for her concern, but refusing to take the ad off the air.

Apparently when Taco Bell executives tilt their heads, their brains drain out their ears.

She gets the main floor, he gets the couch

Bulls fan Joanne Wood had an emergency hearing in divorce court to ask a judge to order her estranged husband to let her go to Chicago’s NBA playoff games. Their season tickets were in dispute in the couple’s pending divorce.

Judge Mark Dwyer of DuPage County Circuit Court didn’t agree to Wood’s demand that she get all the tickets, but he did split the difference.

She gets the main-floor tickets for the Bulls’ opening playoff game, then she and estranged husband Scott Wood are to alternate home games.

Bring me the head of Billy the Marlin

Mascot Billy the Marlin’s lost head is still at large.

A caricature of a giant, smiling Marlin was lost April 2 before Florida’s home opener. A Navy paratrooper dressed in the fish costume made a jump that was supposed to end inside the Marlins’ stadium. A gust of wind ripped the head from the paratrooper as he was preparing to leap, sending it falling from 6,000 feet.

Although the Marlins have increased the reward for the safe return of the mascot’s head to four season tickets from two, no one has produced the head. So the club has ordered a replacement.

“Unfortunately, we now have to take precautionary measures to make sure we always have Billy’s head around here,” said Susan Julian-Budd, the Marlins’ director of in-game entertainment. “But we’re still holding out hope for his return.”

Have they tried the soup at the nearest seafood restaurant?

The last word …

“If the trends continue in baseball and basketball, how long will it be before, one spring night in Denver, the Rockies outscore the Nuggets?”

- Kevin Modesti, Los Angeles Daily News

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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