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Originally published Sunday, March 6, 2011 at 5:46 PM

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Sideline Chatter

And you thought there wasn't a Hornets in baseball

Just think of it as sting training. Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis had to run for cover when a swarm of bees — "like 10,000" ...

The Seattle Times

Just think of it as sting training.

Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis had to run for cover when a swarm of bees — "like 10,000" — descended upon him during a spring-training game against the Braves in Viera, Fla., on Friday.

For those of you scoring at home, it's: Bee Squad 1, Split Squads 0.

Emergency Ward

"Hines Ward is part of the new cast of 'Dancing With The Stars,' " noted Brad Dickson in the Omaha (Neb.) World Herald. "If the competition is close, this means we could see Kirstie Alley chop-blocked."

Picture this

Snippet from a TNT studio discussion of the NBA's top MVP candidates:

Charles Barkley: "Derrick Rose is the MVP, (Dwight Howard) is second and Dirk Nowitzki is probably third."

Kenny Smith: "That's in your book?"

Barkley: "Yes, that's the only book I read."

Ernie Johnson: "It has a lot of pictures."

Shocking news

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White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski got a speeding ticket on his way to a spring-training game in Goodyear, Ariz., but all was not lost.

"I have to pay the ticket," Pierzynski told the Chicago Tribune, "(but) they said in the dugout they would get a collection up if they let the cop taze me."

Music for $100, Alex

Sports quiz question, courtesy of RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com:

Q: What do you get if you combine a one-time NHL MVP with two Stanley Cup-winning brothers, a two-time NBA MVP and a former NFL MVP?

A: Crosby, Staals, Nash and Young.

No Cam do

What, ex-Alabama QB Greg McElroy worry that he's not as athletic as fellow draft prospect Cam Newton?

"I don't think I'm the only guy in the NFL that might have the same problem," McElroy told The Dan Patrick Show. "I don't think Peyton Manning is as athletic as Cam."

Pass the doughnuts

Four-time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon finally ended his 66-race winless streak in Phoenix last month, but his celebratory postrace tire-smoking still needs a little work.

"I was a little rusty," Gordon told NBC's Jay Leno. "It's been a little while since I've done a burnout. I was in the sport so long, when I used to win we didn't do burnouts. I've got to keep up with the kids."

Quote marks

• Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, on the NFL Network's 30 hours of NFL Combine coverage: "It was must-see TV for anybody who gets excited watching fat linemen run a 40-yard dash."

• Reader J.S., to ThatsSports.com, on the Colombian soccer player suspended for kicking the opposing team's owl mascot: "He can forget about ever getting endorsements from Hooters."

• Headline at TheOnion.com: "Empty seat wins autographed Pacers bobblehead."

• Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, on Florida's Billy Donovan never being voted SEC Coach of the Year despite winning two NCAA titles: "The ugliest travesty in SEC basketball since Wimp Sanderson's plaid jackets."

Football 101

Q: What is the code name for offensive linemen in the Caltech intramural football league?

A: The pocket protectors.

Dwight Perry: 206-464-8250 or dperry@seattletimes.com

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More Sideline Chatter

UPDATE - 8:15 PM
Sideline Chatter: And you thought there wasn't a Hornets in baseball

Sideline Chatter: Sideline chatter: A pitch clock? Nah, makes too much sense

Sideline Chatter: He's at the head of the class

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