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Their Key Statistic Is Found in Box Lunch, Not Box Score

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The High Desert Mavericks of the Class-A California League chart their success at home according to what food is served in the press box.

Earlier in the season, the Mavericks had a 3-0 record when hot dogs were the fare. When the menu was varied, they lost five of the next six games.

Recently, the Mavericks had a 2-0 home record with hamburgers on the menu. However, when hot dogs were combined with hamburgers, the Mavericks lost a game in extra innings.

Add Mavericks: Chicken sandwiches have been the big winner--victories in five of six games in April.

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Trivia time: Who is the oldest player to win the U.S. Open?

Slop specialist: John Kruk of the Philadelphia Phillies, on his teammate, soft-throwing pitcher Doug Jones, who was acquired in a trade with Houston for Mitch Williams: “He throws slop. He throws that slop when he’s behind in the count and he throws that slop when he’s ahead in the count.”

Outsiders: From David Letterman: “New York is in the grips of championship fever. The Knicks are playing for the NBA title, the Rangers are playing for (and have won) the Stanley Cup, and the Mets are playing for . . . why are the Mets playing?”

Stay away: Tom Watson understands why a huge pit of sand between the third and fourth holes at Oakmont Country Club, site of the U.S. Open, is dubbed the Church Pews.

“You pray that you can get out of that thing,” Watson said.

The Church Pews, a 100- by 40-yard bunker, contain eight grass-covered finger mounds. Hitting into the Church Pews means a certain bogey and perhaps worse.

Come again?Doug Kelly of Sacramento heard Chicago broadcaster Harry Caray describing a collision on the basepaths involving Cub shortstop Rey Sanchez:

“Sanchez is hurt--but he’s OK.”

Reasonable: Gil LeBreton, in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram: “Celebrities used to go to boxing matches. Now they’re Knicks’ fans. This may or may not be coincidental.”

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Hardship case: Chris Webber of the Golden State Warriors, the NBA rookie of the year, has some lofty goals for the future, such as being mayor of Detroit.

“I’ll probably have to wait until I’m in my 40s,” Webber said.

To be or . . . : The middle name of John Paxson of the Chicago Bulls? MacBeth.

Looking back: On this day in 1954, Rocky Marciano scored a 15-round unanimous decision over Ezzard Charles to retain the world heavyweight championship.

Trivia answer: Hale Irwin was 45 when he won the 1990 U.S. Open at Medinah Country Club near Chicago.

Quotebook: Charles Smith of the New York Knicks, on the Houston Rockets’ Vernon Maxwell: “When Vernon gets all riled up, you see his eyes get all big, and that’s the time to pressure him because you know he’s going to do something crazy.”

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