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Original Issue

The Beat

ESPN baseballanalyst and Hall of Fame scribe Peter Gammons, long known as a maestro of thekeyboard, is now a wizard of the fretboard too: His debut album, Never SlowDown, Never Grow Old, will be released on July 4. Gammons, 61, sings and playsguitar on a collection of originals and covers that include The Clash's Deathor Glory and Warren Zevon's Model Citizen. Gammons got help from rock and rollpros such as George Thorogood and Juliana Hatfield and musically inclined bigleaguers like the Reds' Bronson Arroyo and Red Sox pitchers Tim Wakefield andLenny DiNardo.... NASCAR fans will get to see Dale Earnhardt turn left all overagain in 2007. Earnhardt, who died in a crash at the 2001 Daytona 500, is thesubject of a documentary narrated by Paul Newman and scheduled for release atthe start of the 2007 Nextel Cup season. Dale will include unseen home videosand interviews with the Intimidator's friends and family.

• When it comesto his birthday, celebrating is a marathon, not a sprint, for nine-time Olympicgold medalist Carl Lewis. Lewis, who's trying to launch an acting career, turns45 on July 1 and is marking the occasion with a party pentathlon: five themedfetes (Sexy Sports Night and Polynesian Paradise, for example) across thecountry. The first was in Los Angeles on June 14, where Vivica A. Fox (left)helped him celebrate at a Brazilian-themed bash. The rest of Lewis's scheduleincludes parties in Houston (June 21), Atlanta (June 23), Miami (June 25) andAtlantic City (June 30).

• The NFL issaying "Na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye!" to a beloved stadiumanthem, Gary Glitter's Rock and Roll, Part 2. In March, Glitter, who recordedthe song in 1972, was sentenced to three years in a Vietnamese prison for childmolestation, and this month NFL officials decided it was best to distancethemselves from the 62-year-old English rocker, whose real name is Paul FrancisGadd. They requested that teams not play his tune during games. "We're notlooking to play the role of Simon Cowell," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthytold USA Today. "But we do advise teams on a series of game-daypractices."

• The linebetween art and life is beginning to blur for at least one member of the castof Entourage, HBO's series about the cushy existence of a young Hollywood starand his posse of pals. Jerry Ferrara, who plays Turtle, one of the hangers-on,helped a friend build a backyard Wiffle ball diamond in Los Angeles and starteda weekly game with members of his own real-life entourage. The Brooklyn native,who still calls New York sports radio stations to talk baseball, even shelledout $3,000 for a video camera and editing equipment for a Wiffle balldocumentary he shot and screened for his pals. To hear Ferrara tell it, Turtleand his friends would feel right at home in the game: "That's when you knowyou're good friends; when you can curse each other out and not take itpersonal."


What if Edvard Munch had been a soccer fan? He mighthave created something like this soccer goal sculpted by Italy's GianniSchiumarini, who is one of the few Italians to see the net in recent days. (TheAzzurri scored only three goals in their first two World Cup matches.)Schiumarini joined 34 of the world's top sand sculptors in Berlin last week forthe 4th Sandsation International Sand Sculpture Festival, which will stay ondisplay through July 16.


Ukrainian World Cup players blamed their 4-0 loss toSpain on a lack of sleep caused by croaking frogs that live outside theirhotel.

They Said It

JIM LEYLAND, Tigers manager, on pitcher NateRobertson's ability as a hitter: "He's not afraid of the ball. He can't hita hog in a ditch. But he's not afraid."