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Cheap Seats

Going straight to paperback

Dennis Rodman’s ex-wife, Anicka, is joining the jockliterati. She’s signed a six-figure deal to write a tell-all book about her turbulent seven-year relationship with the bad boy of basketball with the inevitable title “Worse Than He Says He Is: Off the Court with Dennis Rodman.”

The book is expected to hit the racks in May to coincide with the NBA playoffs.

As well as the new line of spring fashions.

The Somerset Zoo?

Lou Piniella saw it in his morning newspaper and said, “They can have a cheeseburger before they pitch.” Fran Healy was told the news and said, “There will be no curfew, and the pitchers won’t have to run.”

Sparky Lyle laughed, too.

“You probably didn’t believe it,” said the former Yankees relief ace. “Yeah, I’m the same guy, just more mature. But not that much more. Don’t get carried away.”

Some baseball players are born to manage, but no one - least of all his old Yankees teammates - ever thought that of Lyle. No matter. At age 52 - 15 years after he last wore a major-league uniform - he’s been hired as manager of the Somerset Patriots - a prospective member of the independent Atlantic League scheduled to begin play in 1998.

Piniella, the Seattle Mariners’ manager, gave Lyle the benefit of the doubt, based on his own experiences.

“Could anyone ever imagine me being a manager?” Piniella said. “Probably not, right?”

Still, it’s bound to be amusing watching Lyle’s attempts at becoming a disciplinarian.

“Jim Fregosi asked me who’s going to check curfew,” Lyle said, referring to the unemployed major-league manager. “He said, ‘You’re gonna be out.”’

A grave matter

Tedy Bruschi, a rookie linebacker with the Patriots, related that the team was given this advice during Super Bowl week by coach Bill Parcells:

“He said to stay away from certain places; the casinos, public parks, cemeteries. I don’t know why I would want to go to a cemetery. But he said a lot of bad things happen. I believe him.”

The world’s fastest closing sport

If you’ve been waiting to take the family on vacation to see the Soccer Hall of Fame, you’re too late.

The sport’s shrine in Oneonta, N.Y., has closed its doors.

The closing stems from a financial squeeze brought on by a lack of state funds. Payments that were thought to be forthcoming through a $4.5 million Empire State Development matching grant are unavailable.

“Given the seasonal nature of our cash flow, we had to take this action to minimize our expenses,” board of trustees president John Biggs said. “We have to step back and look at what we’ve crafted from nothing.”

He said it, we didn’t.

Oh him

When Charlotte Hornets guard Dell Curry checked into a recent game against Cleveland, he informed the scorer’s table he was going in for Tony Smith, “the guy shooting all the bricks.”

The last word …

“In Canada, when they send their children off to strange coaches, they call it junior hockey; in the United States, we call it women’s gymnastics.”

- Bernie Lincicome, Chicago Tribune

, DataTimes

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