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Originally published April 26, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified April 26, 2007 at 2:01 AM

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An open-and-shut case for those M's rainouts

So, when are they holding Umbrella Night? The Mariners, after having six of their first 21 games postponed by bad weather, were on pace...

The Seattle Times

So, when are they holding Umbrella Night?

The Mariners, after having six of their first 21 games postponed by bad weather, were on pace to play 116 games this season.

It's unherd of

The benefits must be good, because the pay is certainly baaaad.

Ivica Supe, a defender for Zagora FC in Croatia's third division, showed up at work to find 16 sheep waiting for him — one for each goal he's scored this season — courtesy of the team's lone sponsor, sheep farmer Josko Bralic.

"We are only a small club, and we could not get anyone else to sponsor us," a club spokesman explained to Ananova.com. "There is no industry in the area, it's only a small village, and we were delighted when Mr. Bralic offered to support us with sheep."

Still on the hook

Wisconsin tackle Joe Thomas — a likely top-five pick — says he will skip Saturday's NFL draft-day festivities in New York to go fishing, so the NFL Network wants to mount a camera on his boat.

"Jeez," wondered Steve Rosenbloom of ChicagoSports.com, "does the whole world have to see a guy's misery when he finds out he's a Detroit Lion?"

Lava Lou

The season isn't even three weeks old yet, and already new Cubs manager Lou Piniella has raged at pitchers on the mound, at umpires in the tunnel after games and at reporters in his office.

Apparently team management didn't want to put him on an early-season bitch count.

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Their Phil of losing

With the Phillies just 23 defeats from becoming the first team in major-league history to reach 10,000, one Web site is chronicling each misstep of the way with "The Road to 10,000 Losses" report.

"To put this in perspective," PhiladelphiaWeekly.com noted, "the Washington Generals, the team who used to play the Harlem Globetrotters, lost roughly 13,000 games. Yes, a team founded simply to lose games didn't lose that many more games than the Phillies."

12 shirts too many

Talk about bad timing: The Toronto Raptors celebrated their playoff opener by handing out 20,000 red T-shirts with the slogan "Go Red Go Raptors" printed on them.

Alas, the opposing New Jersey Nets showed up at tipoff wearing red jerseys.

Talko time

• Commentator Steve Kerr, during TNT's broadcast of Tuesday's Heat-Bulls playoff game, when Miami forward Udonis Haslem's errant pass went sailing toward his team's bench: "Trainer Ron Culp was open, but he's not a particularly good shooter from that spot."

• Times reader Bill Littlejohn, on Marlins pitcher Dontrelle Willis winning his fourth game Monday night on the eve of his daughter's birth: "I hear they gave out free beer in the C Section."

• CBS's David Letterman, saluting the 52nd anniversary of Albert Einstein's death by noting that scientists kept his brain inside a portable beer cooler: "Which, I believe, is the closest Einstein ever got to attending a NASCAR race."

Love ya, ref

Reuters reported that Cabofriense defender Cleberson, elated after getting a favorable call during a soccer match in Rio de Janeiro, gave referee Ubiraci Damasio a kiss on the cheek, who in turn gave Cleberson a card.

Good thing Brazilian refs carry all three varieties — red, yellow and Hallmark.

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

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