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Sports Tweets of the Week, real and fake

Before we get to my choices for this week's favorite messages, some Twitter news. This past week St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa quickly settled a lawsuit he filed against Twitter over a user that claimed to be LaRussa. I don't know why a lawsuit was necessary. Surely if he had merely asked, Twitter would have shut down the impostor account right away. At any rate, he got some money out of them -- legal fees and a donation to his Animal Rescue Foundation.

Clearly this is going to be an issue that Twitter has to deal with. Todd Zolecki, who covers the Phillies for, wrote about a golfer named John Raser who claimed he was going to conduct a "Twitterview" with Phils second baseman Chase Utley. The problem is, Utley isn't on Twitter. There's a fake Utley but there are only three legit Phillies Twitter accounts: the team's own, as well as those of Chad Durbin and Jamie Moyer's Moyer Foundation charity. This so-called interview was supposed to be about "marketing, branding, the power of social media and obviously some baseball talk." Ummm, no. As Zolecki pointed out, "If you've ever interviewed Utley, you know it's like pulling teeth."

The Philadelphia Inquirer has joined other media outlets discussing Twitter in the sports world, and published a list of players and coaches using Twitter, according to, a site that tracks athletes' Twitter usage. (I've been using a similar site called, which tracks people in various categories, including sports.)

On to this week's goodies. San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito, he of the $126 million contract and the 23-36 record since signing said contract, needed to get something off his chest and took two Tweets to do it:

Twitter gives a chance for all the small minded, insignificant, s--t talkers to feel significant for 2 seconds, just check my inbox...
To the other 95 percent of you guys, I love reading your responses and appreciate the support. Go Giants!

Meanwhile, in the midst of his comeback attempt, Lance Armstrong took time to announce the birth of his son on Thursday:

Wassup, world? My name is Max Armstrong and I just arrived. My Mommy is healthy and so am I!

Armstrong also got a challenge from the sports world's most popular Twitter user, Shaquille O'Neal:

@lancearmstrong wht about our race whn and were, flat lands or mts and do I get a head start! If I get a head start, u will nva catch up

The big question is, will Shaq wear those spandex biker shorts? Those baggy NBA uniforms won't cut it on a bike.