Joy Rider Sporting About Car's Return

Chicago Cub pitcher Jason Bere drove his new, silver Porsche 996 to Milwaukee for Saturday evening's game against the Brewers, leaving the $112,000 car with valet parking at a downtown hotel. Or, so he thought.

Shortly after Bere had dropped off the car, a man approached a valet and confidently asked for the Porsche, according to a police report. The valet turned over the keys and the driver sped away.

The driver returned the car unharmed about an hour later, and left on foot. It is not known how many miles he drove, or whether he had the courtesy to buy gas.

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Trivia time: Who is the all-time Laker leader in free-throw percentage?

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Success by subtraction: Norman Chad, in his column for America Online, says, "Over the last three years, the Mariners have lost Randy Johnson, Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez--and today they have the best record in baseball.

"This would be like the Beatles losing Paul, John and George--and then recording 'Can't Buy Me Love.' "

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Sunstroke? After the Philadelphia Phillies lost three fly balls in the sun during a game at Shea Stadium, outfielder Doug Glanville was wondering if more than one sun was in the sky.

"Actually, I thought there were about three of them," he told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark. "If there had been three, that would have meant we were in some other galaxy. So I'm pretty sure there was actually only one. I thought I had gone to Jupiter or something."

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Looney Tunes II: Ron Rapoport in the Chicago Sun-Times: "Now that Orlando Hernandez has been placed on the disabled list, the New York papers are on fire with the rumor that David Wells is headed back to the Yankees.

" 'He's going to do something to aggravate me,' Manager Joe Torre told the Daily News, sounding as if the move had already been made. 'But that's fine. He's a colorful character, a cartoon character.' "

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Big ballpark guess: Lee Hamilton, a sports talk-show host at XTRA (690), reported that a blind mountain climber reached the summit of "Mount Everest in Nepal, South Africa."

Said Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune, "Close. There's only about 5,300 miles between the two countries."

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Early start: Colin Dempsey recently set a world record for Quarter Midgets of America at a speedway north of Philadelphia.

"I want to be a NASCAR driver," said Dempsey, who topped 30 mph while driving a seven-horsepower, quarter-scale race car in a time trial.

Colin plans to say in quarter midget racing until he's 16. He's only 8 now.

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Done deal: Bud Geracie in the San Jose Mercury News: "Tony Gwynn says he wants to be the next baseball coach at San Diego State. That pretty much wraps up the interviewing process."

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More Geracie: "That's a long-overdue favor the Montreal Expos did Felipe Alou."

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Looking back: On this day in 1982, the Philadelphia 76ers routed the Lakers, 135-102, in Game 5 of the NBA Finals at Philadelphia. However, the Lakers won two days later at the Forum to wrap up the series, four games to two.

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Trivia answer: Cazzie Russell, 87.7%

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And finally: Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times poses some questions on the Laker-76er NBA Finals:

"Who do the 76ers put on [Kobe] Bryant? How does the fragile, constantly flying [Allen] Iverson keep from getting injured if the Lakers decide to treat him rudely whenever he penetrates? . . .

"Nobody expects much of anything from the 76ers. Which is as good as a bad thing gets."

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