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Mike Piazza wore the tools of ignorance, but he wasn't stupid

The ex-Mets catcher had hatched a detailed plan to charge the mound on Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens -- and avenge a regular-season beaning -- when the teams met again in the 2000 World Series. But when the opportunity came in Game 2, Piazza didn't budge -- even when Clemens buzzed him with a pitch and flung a broken-bat shard his way.

"There were complications," Piazza wrote in Long Shot, his new book. "The least of them was the realization that Clemens was a big guy, and I stood a pretty fair chance of getting my ass kicked in front of Yankee Stadium and the world. That was a legitimate concern."

NBA headlines

At TheOnion.com: "Kobe Bryant holds Kobe Bryant-only meeting to discuss Lakers."

At SportsPickle.com: "Latest check from 'Linsanity' copyright nets Jeremy Lin $1.37."

Hold that line

Nothing tight about this tight end: Patriots star Rob Gronkowski ventured into a Las Vegas bar on Super Bowl Sunday -- and ran up a $9,615 tab.

He knows C-sickness

"I've seen worse," bragged one passenger as he disembarked from the ill-fated Carnival Cruise ship Triumph. "But then again, I'm a Cubs fan."

A fetching idea

"Winners at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show were selected on criteria including countenance, carriage, coat and attentiveness," noted Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald. "If I was in charge, it'd solely be based on Frisbee-catching ability."

Cats or dogs?

The 12-40 Charlotte Bobcats have a better chance of winning:

a) the NBA playoffs.

b) the Westminster Dog Show.

Quote marks

Seattle Times reader Bill Littlejohn, after Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said it's "ridiculous" for Big Ten teams to schedule non-conference football games against FCS foes: "Yeah, tell it to Michigan and Appalachian State."

Seattle Times reader Charlie Gay, on golfer Phil Mickelson's new one-man political crusade: "The anti-tax Tee Party."

Comedy writer Alan Ray, on the Yankees' aging roster: "That's not Gatorade in their dugout jug -- it's Metamucil."

NBC's Jay Leno, after Pope Benedict XVI cited physical problems for his surprise resignation: "Apparently it's an old football injury from throwing all those Hail Marys."

Not so fast, Wayne

Maybe Wayne Gretzky should take up speed golf.

"The genius of Gretzky was that he took the world's fastest game and slowed it dowwwwn," wrote Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle. "He can't do that with golf, which is already slower than room service in Hell."

--The Seattle Times

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 24, 2013 A1

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