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The List: Eight opinions

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Eight opinions to ponder
1. When Dean Taylor took over as Brewers GM this season, he knew that he had a difficult task ahead of him. Expectations were certainly deadened by the tragedy that took place in the building of the new Miller Park. So, what Taylor set out to do was try to get some live arms for the future. Well, with Jamey Wright, Jimmy Haynes and Jeff D'Amico all pitching well and Ben Sheets on the horizon for next season, Taylor has delivered hope and stability to the franchise. The Brewers may even re-sign free agent Jason Bere and the bullpen is good when the starters post innings, so this is a team to watch in the second half as they await the opening of Miller Park in 2001.

2. Atlanta is the perfect place for Andy Ashby, who will turn out to be one of John Schuerholz's best trades.

3. If you want to find the root of Arizona's offensive problems, look no further than Tony Womack's .305 on-base percentage batting out of the leadoff spot.

4. What's impressive about the Blue Ribbon Economic Study report is that it addresses reality, namely that baseball's economic problems are not owners vs. players. Rather they are owners vs. owners -- Yankees owner George Steinbrenner vs. Royals owner David Glass -- not Bud Selig vs. Donald Fehr. Good luck getting Steinbrenner, Mets owner Fred Wilpon, Red Sox owner John Harrington and Orioles owner Peter Angelos to give in to the best interests of the game. See you in court.

5. The Yankees couldn't do the Denny Neagle deal without the $24 million in international signings they've salted away, from El Duque to Alfonso Soriano to Jackson Melian, and so on. Of course, Boston has spent $12 million to $15 million on Juan Diaz, Robinson Checo, Julio Guerrero, Sang Lee, Jin Ho Cho, Sunny Kim and other internationals, and thus far have nothing to show for them. Count on the International Draft being in court soon, as well.

6. Darin Erstad, who is on pace to break the single-season hits record and the record for most games with a hit in a season (Derek Jeter holds the current record with 135), and Nomar Garciaparra are the two purest players in the game because neither one has any idea about statistics. They only care about winning. "I'm sorry," said Garciaparra, who was hitting .400 through Friday. "I can only answer team questions, nothing about myself."

7. Check the Giants upcoming schedule and tell me you don't think that if Russ Ortiz finds himself in the bullpen and Mark Gardner has a strong two months that they don't have a great shot at winning the NL West.

8. What virtually every Mets player feels about Roger Clemens is that they'd respect him more if he acted tough in NL parks when he has to bat. Clemens has hit eight batters in interleague games in his career, just one in an NL park.

This year, Clemens has hit one batter in five interleague games in NL parks, two in six interleague games in AL parks. By the way, Pedro Martinez has hitter one batter in three interleague games in NL parks, two in five in AL parks.

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Gammons: 2000 column archive

Gammons: News and notes

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