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Originally published June 17, 2014 at 7:22 PM | Page modified June 17, 2014 at 7:32 PM

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Gwynn knew he could perform magic

The Seattle Times


Tony Gwynn: Padre, prodigy ... prophet?

Ex-teammate Tim Flannery recalled the night in Cincinnati when a rain deluge suspended a game with Gwynn set to hit with two runners on and the Reds leading 2-0.

“Because of all the rain delays, it’s now about 11:30 at night,” Flannery told The San Diego Union-Tribune. “Tony and I are walking back up the tunnel at Riverfront. He said, ‘Hey, Flan, I want you to be ready tomorrow, because this guy’s gonna throw me a first-pitch slider, I’m gonna hit it into the left-center gap, it’s gonna score two and we’re gonna be tied.’

“Sure enough, next day, first-pitch-slider, boom, left-center field, both runners score, tie game. Tony looks at me and smiles. I’ll guarantee you this: Before he went to bed that night, that lefty didn’t know he was gonna throw that. But Tony knew. Amazing. Just an amazing, amazing player.”

NBA headlines

• At “Celebrating Spurs fans mob downtown to clean streets, check on well-being of fellow citizens.”

• At “Report: John Calipari offered Cavaliers $20 million to leave him alone.”

Not so fast

The fastest 40-yard dash time ever recorded by an NFL prospect was by:

a) running back Chris Johnson (4.24 seconds), at the 2008 combine

b) defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (0.74), in 2013, in a Chrysler 300

3 strikes, they’re out

Saturday’s Yankees-A’s game in Oakland was delayed when the left-field lights suddenly went out.

Apparently some smart-aleck flushed three clubhouse toilets at the same time.

3 for 3

“If it’s any consolation to (co-owner Steve) Coburn,” wrote Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, “California Chrome did receive the Triple Crown’s coveted perfect-attendance award.”

Stat of the Week

According to, since 2004 there have been nearly seven times as many home runs hit on 0-2 counts (1,806) as ones hit on 3-0 counts (267).

Sorry I Asked Dept.

“Why not us?” asked LeBron James, of the Heat’s improbable title chances trailing 3 games to 1.

Here’s your answer, King: Spurs, 104-87.

Soccer talk

• Gary Bachman, via Facebook, after a multimillionaire officiated the U.S.-Ghana World Cup match: “He’s the only referee wielding a yellow card, a red card and a platinum American Express card.”

• Tom Peterson of McClatchy News Service, via Facebook, on being told he’d get his Father’s Day present at his son’s soccer game: “So glad it was a goal rather than a card.”

• Janice Hough of, on the Spurs’ roster featuring players from the Virgin Islands, France, Argentina, Italy, Brazil, Canada and Australia: “It’s like watching the World Cup, without soccer.”

• Greg Cote of The Miami Herald, on the one-name Brazilians such as Hulk and Fred: “I wish this became a trend in America, and the Super Bowl was won on a 48-yard pass from Ralph to Aquaman.”

Paging Mary Ellen

What do you get when you cross the World Cup and “The Waltons”?

Ghana defender John Boye.

Dwight Perry: 206-44-8250 or

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About Sideline Chatter | Dwight Perry

Times night-desk editor Dwight Perry uses Sideline Chatter as a not-so-safe haven for the humorous, offbeat and bizarre events and characters that color the sports landscape. His Page 2 column runs Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays in Sports. | 206-464-8250


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