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Injecting a little bit of levity

Times Staff Writer

The seven members of the executive board for the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Assn. are faced with a difficult decision: Do they go ahead with plans to have Roger Clemens deliver the keynote speech -- titled “My Vigorous Workout: How I Played So Long” -- at the group’s annual convention in Waco next month?

If they decide against having Clemens speak because the Mitchell Report cited him as a user of performance-enhancing drugs, Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times has some pinch-hit suggestions that include:

* Alex Rodriguez: “Know when to use the take sign.”

* Barry Bonds: “Don’t let success give you a big head.”

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* Jose Canseco: “Bench-jockeying and other ways to needle players.”

Trivia time

What announcer has done play-by-play for both Rose Bowl teams, USC and Illinois?

Taking the plunge

Jeanie Dulski and Jamy Knittle recently got married at the airport in Hazelton, Pa., then 45 minutes later, according to the Associated Press, the 30-year-old newlyweds parachuted out of a plane.

Said Dulski: “Getting married is scarier than jumping out of a plane.”

Not a good stat

David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram suggests it’s time for a new baseball statistic: “MIMR: Mentions in the Mitchell Report.”

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An example: “Eric Gagne signed a one-year, $10-million contract with Milwaukee. In 2007, Gagne was 4-2, with 16 saves, a 3.81 ERA and 21 MIMR.”

Fond memories

The late John McKay, who after legendary success at USC left to coach the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to an 0-14 record in 1976, provided a lot of material for Morning Briefing over the years.

HBO’s “Inside the NFL” recently showed old tapes of McKay offering these postgame critiques of those woeful Buccaneers:

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* “Well, we didn’t block. And we made up for it by not tackling.”

* “We can’t stop a pass or a run, otherwise we’re in great shape.”

Name game

Dan Daly of the Washington Times, after Larry Bigbie’s name popped up on the Mitchell Report: “Guess we know now where the ‘Big’ came from. I figure if Bigbie had been born 25 years earlier, he would have been Roy Smalley.”

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And this from a Baltimore Sun reader, posting an online comment: “Does this mean we can change Clemens’ nickname to Booster Rocket?”

Shortchanged

“If there is one thing the Mitchell Report proved,” wrote Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun, “it’s that steroids are equal-opportunity performance-enhancers. Sluggers, pitchers, speedsters, stars and stiffs are all mentioned in the report.

“If I’m Chad Allen, Mike Bell, Cody McKay or half the other no-names on Mitchell’s naughty list, I want a refund.”

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Trivia answer

Mike Walden, who was the voice of Illinois for seven years and called USC games for five.

And finally

Walden recently emceed the Southern California Sports Broadcasters Holiday luncheon at Lakeside Golf Club in Toluca Lake, where Rose Queen Dusty Gibbs and the six Rose princesses were honored guests.

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One of the princesses, Kelsey MacDougall, is planning to attend Fordham after she graduates from La Canada High, so Walden, on the podium in front of the gathering, asked her if she knew what famous broadcaster attended Fordham.

She said, “No,” so Walden informed her it was Vin Scully.

“Oh, no, don’t tell me he’s here,” MacDougall said, slightly embarrassed.

Although an SCSB member, Scully was not there.

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larry.stewart@latimes.com


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