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Saturday, June 6, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports

Cheap Seats

Gimme, gimme, gimme the ball

When Oakland’s Mark McGwire unloaded his 538-foot home run at the Kingdome, Andy Justice, the 17-year-old who who snagged the souvenir, was offered an autographed bat. He tried to hold out for a bat, an autographed ball and a signed McGwire jersey in exchange for the ball.

“It’s always gimme, gimme, gimme with fans,” McGwire said. “What’s wrong with an autographed bat? We told him to hit the road.”

But for 25 bucks, McGwire would sell him an autograph.

Soft porn or just a soft gutt?

British sports minister Tony Banks is urging sports journalists to “concentrate more on women’s tennis abilities rather than their underwear and figures.”

Banks condemned tabloid tennis coverage of Wimbledon, calling it “sexist” and likening it to “soft porn.”

His comments came after a week in which the British tabloid press focused heavily on the clothing and bodies of 16-year-olds Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova.

The papers have also run unflattering photos of Monica Seles, with closeups of her thighs, and stories suggesting she has cellulite.

“It is appalling the way so much of women’s tennis is treated like soft porn,” Banks said.

Banks noted the British press had not run stories or photos about the “underwear or body shape” of Britain’s top male players, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski.

“Yet Monica Seles is having her body examined as though she was on an operating table and references to top players like Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova are as much about their looks as their tennis.

“This sort of reporting is both sexist and insulting to women. Little wonder so many are put off sports activities and that media coverage of women’s sports seems to concentrate more on sex rather than skills.”

Unless, of course, it’s the WNBA, which welcomes all kinds of exposure.

Money miseries at Mizzou

A Columbia, Mo., couple who offered to donate $10 million toward a new basketball arena at the University of Missouri withdrew the gift, saying the university was not moving fast enough.

Bill and Nancy Laurie said they took back the offer because the university had not fulfilled its end of the bargain by making the new 16,800-seat arena a priority.

The family also said the university had not made any effort to seek out other donors for the $60 million project.

And it’s commitment toward winning is equally invisible.

Hope they have good talk radio

Word from Japan is that vehicle traffic at next February’s Nagano Winter Olympics will be “burdensome” and could back up as long as 75 miles.

The revelation came as the coordinating commission of the IOC toured the Olympic site to inspect venues and, ironically, report on transportation plans.

So quit your complaining about a 2-mile backup to Husky games in Seattle.

The last word …

“To be honest, it felt like a spring training game to me,”

- Cleveland’s Sandy Alomar on interleague play

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

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