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Apparently, Women Drive Him to Stupidity

Times Staff Writer

Formula One chief Bernie Ecclestone, 74, of Britain, commenting on Danica Patrick, told reporters in Indianapolis last week that he was surprised how well she did in the Indianapolis 500.

He then added, “You know, I’ve got one of these wonderful ideas that women should all be dressed in white like all the other domestic appliances.”

He called Patrick the next day to apologize, then inexplicably told her the same thing.

Ecclestone on Wednesday offered a clarification to The Times’ Martin Henderson, blaming his English sense of humor.

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“What I was trying to say was that I’ve been completely wrong about women race car drivers,” Ecclestone said. “I was so impressed with the way she had driven, because I always thought women couldn’t drive and should be in the kitchen with the other domestic appliances.

“I was surprised at the job she did and I was happy for her.”

Oh, now that explains it.

Maybe a simple, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have said that,” would have sufficed.

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Trivia time: Game 7 tonight at San Antonio will be the Detroit Pistons’ second road Game 7 in this year’s playoffs. They won Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals at Miami, 88-82, on June 6. How many teams in NBA playoff history have won two road Game 7s?

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What objectivity? The San Antonio Express-News’ Tim Griffin reports the foreign media covering the NBA Finals apparently are unaware of press etiquette, with some reporters outwardly rooting for the Spurs.

“One newspaper representative from an Asian news source appeared in the Spurs’ locker room after a game with the Spurs’ logo painted on her face,” Griffin wrote. “Even worse, she was wearing an ‘I Love Manu’ tattoo on her arm.”

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A bit of an overstatement: Bill Walton, known for his hyperbole, said of tonight’s Game 7: “The fate of the known world is in the balance. ... Miss this at your own peril.”

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Incidental information: The Pistons had only five turnovers in Game 6 and have 60 in the series, including an all-time Finals low of four in Game 4.

The record for fewest turnovers in a seven-game series is 87, set by Detroit against the Lakers in 1988. However, the Lakers won Game 7 that year.

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Looking back: On this day in 1917, Ernie Shore of the Boston Red Sox was credited with a combined no-hitter in relief against the Washington Senators. Starting pitcher Babe Ruth walked the leadoff batter and then was ejected after punching the plate umpire. The runner was caught stealing, and Shore retired the next 26 batters.

Note: Ruth drew a 10-day suspension.

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Trivia answer: None.

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And finally: Eric Gagne, who now will have more time on his hands than he thought he would, was asked by Steve Lyons on an FSN West 2 Dodger telecast last week if broadcasting might interest him while he heals.

Gagne seemed to like the idea, saying, “You guys get plenty of food. Free food. That’s awesome.”

Larry Stewart can be reached at larry.stewart@latimes.com.


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