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The Beat

It's a running joke on the LSU women's tennis team that the form of their coach, Tony Minnis, is more Don Budge than Andy Roddick. But that old school technique came in handy last week when Minnis was called upon to coach Kate Winslet (below) and Mark Ruffalo for a tennis scene in the remake of the 1949 political drama All the King's Men. "Mark had more trouble adjusting from today's power strokes, but Kate caught on quickly," says Minnis, 39. "She's actually a really good athlete. I had to duck from her balls more than a few times." Minnis's 10--9 team requested that he bring Jude Law, who's also in the film, back to campus. (The scenes were shot in Jeanerette, La.) "I told the girls they would have to win a lot more matches for that," says Minnis.

When it comes to life, Karl Malone isn't just mailing it in. "Just because I am retired doesn't mean I have to head to the recliner," he says. "I always said I wasn't going to just sit back and smell the roses. I gotta be doing something." So now he's running the Malone Timber Company in Farmerville La., where he spends his days clearing lots and hauling wood. "I am like a big kid with a lot of big toys," Malone says. Last weekend he had another toy to play with: a race car. The Mailman took part in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, Calif., the day before the Grand Prix of Long Beach. After battling with Meat Loaf late in the race, Malone finished 14th in the 17-car field, well behind winner Frankie Muniz.

Earlier this spring, relief pitcher Billy Koch, who lives in Tampa, bought 240 tickets for his kids and their classmates to sit near the Toronto bullpen for the Devil Rays--Blue Jays game on April 4--a game he fully expected to play in for Toronto. Alas, the Jays released him before the season started. But Koch, 30 and a veteran of six major league seasons, showed up at the game anyway, wearing a Devil Rays jersey and a foam No. 1 finger, and spent much of his time heckling his former teammates. "I've always been a joker, and these guys [the Blue Jays] laughed harder than anybody," Koch said.

John Daly lived his dream in Augusta last week. No, he didn't win the Masters--he was given carte blanche for life at Hooters. Daly, 38, signed the restaurant chain as a sponsor, and its owl logo adorned his shirt and bag at Augusta. "It's really a perfect fit for me," said Daly, who bought patrons of an Augusta Hooters 100 beers after a practice round. "He's sort of like we are, a little politically incorrect," said Hooters chairman Bob Brooks. "He mirrors the everyday customer." ... How serious is the queen of England about her horse racing? During the wedding reception for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles at Windsor Castle, she briefly adjourned to watch the Grand National, Britain's most prestigious steeplechase race. And she began her toast at the party by saying, "I've got two things to announce to you of the greatest importance. The first is that the Grand National was won by Hedgehunter." She then likened the Prince of Wales's life to two of the obstacles on the racecourse.


The president of the United Arab Emirates introduced an initiative to create robot camel jockeys.

They Said It


Giants manager, when asked if catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who was released in the off-season, was more offensive-minded than new catcher Mike Matheny: "Yes, he offended everyone."




Please remain seated until the horses come to a complete and final stop! Irish jockey Tony Dobbin got a little too tall in the saddle during the three-day Grand National meeting in Liverpool. Dobbin, who was flying high last Thursday when he won three races,was thrown by his mount, Over The First, during the Topham Steeplechase the following day. The veteran jockey, who was unhurt, rode again later that day.