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Struggling Jordan Worth Price of Admission in Fan Gimmick

On television, on posters, just about anywhere you look, Michael Jordan has been marketed (and marketed and marketed) for his triumphs.

So, the Memphis Chicks figured, why not market his mediocrity?

The Chicks, who in their last home game Monday play Jordan’s Birmingham Barons, have announced that Jordan’s batting average at the start of play will determine the price of general admission tickets that day.

If Jordan is hitting .195, tickets will be $1.95. And so on.

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“A lot has been made of Michael Jordan and his batting average,” said Chick President David Hersh. “This is a way for us to have some fun with it and hopefully the fans will benefit from the lower price.”

Add Jordan: General admission tickets at Memphis’ Tim McCarver Stadium are regularly $5, and Jordan’s batting average as of Thursday was .191.

In a statement that just might fire up Jordan’s competitive instincts, Chick spokesman Mark McClellan said he figures the price will be $1.90 by Monday.

Trivia time: The run-and-shoot Houston Oilers added former Ram Pat Carter last off-season and plan to play him as their first regular tight end in five years. Who last caught a pass for the Oilers as a tight end in the regular season?

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How’d they do that?If any team was going to feel the effects of the NFL salary cap, shouldn’t it have been the San Francisco 49ers?

That’s apparently what a lot of other clubs are wondering about the perennially high-paying team that found ways to sign high-profile free agents Ken Norton, Richard Dent and Rickey Jackson.

“We’ve been accused by half the league already,” owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. said. “Some are trying to find out how we’re cheating.”

One way the 49ers maneuvered under the cap was to load up the contracts with incentives for this season, which, if reached, will count against the 49ers’ 1995 salary structure, sending it well beyond cap limitations.

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You could say it has made DeBartolo a bit proud of himself and his team.

“I’ve said it before and will continue to say it,” DeBartolo said. “We have the best organization in football. Teams that win and are competitive have a certain aura about them.”

For the record: Joe DiMaggio hit 47 home runs in 1937 but that wasn’t his rookie season, as Morning Briefing reported in Friday’s editions. DiMaggio’s rookie season was 1936. He hit 29 homers that year.

When you explain it . . . The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Jayson Stark figured that one team that might be looking forward to a long strike would be the Seattle Mariners, who have been on a long trip because of problems with the Kingdome ceiling.

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Wrong, says Mariner outfielder Jay Buhner.

“Let me put it this way,” Buhner told Stark, “I’ve got a chance to lose a million bucks if we strike. So you tell me if it’s good or bad. Somehow, I think I could suck it up for a couple of more months for a million bucks.”

Trivia answer: Bob Morosko, in 1989.

Quotebook: Baltimore Oriole pitcher Mike Mussina, on management negotiator Richard Ravitch’s responses to baseball players’ questions: “He just brings out a story. He’s like Aesop, but there’s no moral.”

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