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Thursday, June 26, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Sideline Chatter

Combo induces double vision

The Seattle Times

Brandon Berdoll, the Atlanta Braves' 27th-round draft pick out of Temple (Texas) Junior College, dreams of becoming just the fifth pitcher to throw with both arms in a major-league game.

The Montreal Expos' Greg Harris was the last big-leaguer to double-wing it, in 1995, and the previous three pitched in the 19th century.

Berdoll, 20, uses a custom-made, six-fingered glove that works on either hand, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Berdoll told the newspaper he started throwing right-handed at age 10 after a coach told him left-handers couldn't play shortstop.

And now that he has perfected the skill, seeing still isn't believing — as in the umpire who took time out after one inning for a little cold water on the head.

"It must be way too hot out there," the ump reportedly said, "because that could not be happening."

Glove Story II

Harvard also boasts a two-way pitcher: Matt Brunnig, who went 4-3 with a 3.55 earned-run average as a freshman. Nicknamed "The Freak," the 6-foot-7 Brunnig throws 87-90 mph as a righty and 85 mph as a lefty.

"Someday he's going to be our No. 1 starter," Crimson coach Joe Walsh told Bloomberg News, "and our No. 3 as well."

Caught in a bad lie

Muhammad Said al-Sahaf, the former Iraqi information minister, was taken into custody by U.S. troops in a Baghdad suburb on Monday, unconfirmed sources told the Times of London.

When asked to account for his whereabouts since the fall of Saddam Hussein, "Comical Ali" reportedly insisted he had been in California the entire time, playing golf with Rick Neuheisel.

His own Kodak moment

Gary Effenberger will ride alongside Winston Cup champ Tony Stewart for a few laps around Shawano (Wis.) Speedway on Monday night after topping all bidders in a fund-raising silent auction.

Take two safety precautions, Gary: Wear a seat belt, and resist the urge to snap any pictures.

Thriving in a Bear market

Now that Bank One has purchased "presenting rights" to the Chicago Bears' name, locals are taking a renewed sense of ownership in the team.

"My bank — the one entrusted with my entire life savings of $238.74 — just agreed to contribute tens of millions of dollars to the Bears over the next 12 years," wrote Mike Imrem of the Chicago Daily Herald. "I can imagine the deposit slips already: 'Is this for savings, checking or Olin Kreutz?' "

Talkers

• Bob Molinaro of The (Norfolk) Virginian-Pilot, after a London tabloid set up phone counselors for fans grieving over the sale of soccer star David Beckham: "Tell me that this isn't the same country that survived the Blitz."

• Bill Lankhof of the Toronto Sun, on the Denver Nuggets' likely No. 1 pick today: "Carmelo Anthony isn't entering the draft early; he's just running away to join the circus."

• Dan Daly of the Washington Times, on Jose Canseco testing positive for steroids: "Does this mean his victory in that bar fight a while back will be declared a no-contest?"

Tell it to the judge

Mike Tyson's three best excuses for getting into that 5:30 a.m. street brawl outside a New York hotel:

• "Hey, I was just getting in a little extra road work."

• "I must've had a 'Rocky' flashback — and mistook those three people for slabs of locker beef."

• "The SpectraVision was on the fritz, or else I'd have been up in my room watching 'Anger Management.' "

Copyright 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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