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Morning Briefing

Chris Foster
Los Angeles Times

David Wells might be baseball’s most effective pitcher around the plate — the breakfast plate, the dinner plate, the blue-plate special — but as hurlers go, Dwayne Leverock may eat up more innings not to mention pizzas.

Leverock, nicknamed Sluggo, is known as the fattest player in international cricket. The 35-year old prison-van driver, who tips the scales at a reported 265 pounds, is the star bowler for Bermuda’s cricket team, which will play in the World Cup this month. He has already thrown his weight around, with an impressive performance against England this week.

“The image of cricket today is of athletic, lithe figures moving around the field like gazelles,” Bermuda’s Coach Gus Logie said. “There’s no two ways about it, the Bermuda cricketers do not fit the image.”

But, Logie added, “Human spirit is something we cannot put a price on.”

His lunch, on the other hand, can run up a tab.

One Bermuda player told the London Sun, “He is the team joker and by far the biggest personality, in more ways than one. He has a meal with the team, then scoffs a pizza in his hotel room.”

Trivia time:

From how many teams has Wells received per diem during his 20-year major league career?

Boston beaned:

Wells offered this as food for thought to any player considering playing for the Red Sox:

“Outside the ballpark, it was hard. You can’t go anywhere, especially if you’re not pitching well. You get the business from (fans). You can’t enjoy your family time. Your alone time is gone because you’re subject to photographs nonstop.

“It was the worst. You go to a mall with your kids and you have people always wanting to take pictures. They should call it ‘Picturetown’ not ‘Beantown.’ “

Insert your own “wide-angle lens” joke.

Pac-10, Little West:

Time to compare and contrast Thursday night’s left coast conference basketball tournaments, the Pac-10 and Big West:Pac-10: Played in the opulent airline hanger know as Staples Center, host of the Grammy Awards and home to the 14-time NBA champion Lakers.

Big West: Played in the Tomorrowland-styled Anaheim Convention Center, host of the Great Bridal Expo and home of something called the Anaheim Arsenal (is that a basketball team, a soccer team or a National Guard base?).

Pac-10: Televised on Fox Sports Net, which covers most big-time local sporting events.

Big West: Televised on KVMD, which has a five-hour evangelical show, in Spanish, and picks up the sports FSN has no time for — the Cerritos 5k run and pancake breakfast.

Pac-10: Between tournament games, viewers got half-hour looks at previous games, analyzed by FSN experts.

Big West: Viewers got half-hour infomercials on a skincare product.

OK, so the Big West wins one.

Friends in need:

Conference USA can now be considered the Elba of college football. Mike Price was already in exile at UTEP and now Bob Toledo has landed at Tulane.

The last time the two met on the field was Dec. 7, 2002. Price’s Washington State team beat Toledo’s UCLA bunch, 48-27, at the Rose Bowl. Shortly afterward, Toledo was stripped of his duties, while Price went to Alabama, only to be, uh, strippered of that job.

Toledo and Price, who once joked about opening a bait shop in Mexico together, can reminisce Nov. 10, when UTEP travels to New Orleans.

Could be a big day for the Miners. Toledo’s defense was known as the Big Easy long before he got to New Orleans.

Trivia answer:

Eight, including two tours each with the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Yankees and San Diego Padres.

And finally:

Recent calls from Canada to remove marijuana from the list of banned drugs in sports were joined by Joanne Mortimer, CEO of Athletics Canada, who said, “Get out of the social-drug scene. Let’s stick to high-performance drugs and not bother with (marijuana).”

Look for Canada to dominate Olympic snowboarding soon.