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Apolitical blues

Special to

June 24

Wharf rat
If you purchase the popular video game "Triple Play 2000," you will find there are some players missing. Among them are Rick Reed, Benny Agbayani, Brian Daubach and Shane Spencer. If you have noticed, there is a trend -- all were replacement players in spring training in 1995 and because the game has to be co-licensed by major league baseball and the MLBPA, those players are not allowed in the games.

"In the Sammy Sosa game, they use different names for us," says Daubach.

Pay you back with interest
The Tampa Bay Devil Rays started the season with eight players making $3 million or more. They're still paying all eight, but as of this weekend only two -- Fred McGriff and Roberto Hernandez -- were active. And one of them they released in Kevin Stocker. To make matters worse, they let the insurance lapse on Wilson Alvarez after last season, so they have to pay his entire $9 million salary this season despite the fact that he hasn't pitched an inning for them.

Against the wind
Jim Edmonds was batting .337 through Friday and is on a pace to strike out more than 150 times this year. If he remains on that pace, he will break the record for the highest average of anyone striking out 150 times in a season, snapping Mo Vaughn's .322/154 strikeout mark in 1996.

Stretch armstrong
How good was the White Sox' recent run on the road? They are the only team in the last 100 years to win 10 in a row on the road against teams that were above .500.

Think about that.

Orange crush
While the city of New York and major league baseball are prepared for John Rocker's arrival at Shea Stadium with more security than would be provided for a visiting Head of State, at Fenway Park this week there was a different security measure. Anyone who purchased a plastic soft drink bottle was not allowed to have the plastic screw top, for fear that they would be thrown at Yankee players.

Maybe someone remembers that in a Sept., 1974 game, a fan was so upset at an umpire's call that he threw a dart that stuck in current Yankees batting coach Chris Chambliss' arm. "I had the scar for a long time," says Chambliss. "But Sandy Alomar (Sr.) took it and kept it for years."

Fool on the hill
"The Red Sox can play at Braves Field for two years while Fenway Park is renovated."
-- Boston Democratic City Councilman Michael Ross.

The fact that Braves Field doesn't exist is the greatest Massachusetts political statement since then Gov. Michael Dukakis and Lt. Gov. John Kerry held a press conference declaring that there was no drug problem in Boston in 1985.

Climb on a back that's strong
"See, anyone can do that."
-- Derek Jeter to Chuck Knoblauch after Knoblauch threw a ball into the seats. As if anyone would wonder why players consider Jeter to be one of the great internal leaders in the game today.

It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to die
"Mr. Seven Train is up in the Braves bullpen."
-- Legendary Braves announcer Skip Caray.

Stuck on you
A quick poll on the best infield hands in the AL:

1. Deivi Cruz, Detroit
2. Cristian Guzman, Minnesota
3. Mike Bordick, Baltimore


  • During the last two seasons, David Wells is 29-12 while Roger Clemens is 18-16.

  • The Indians are paying $6,135,000 this season to Scott Kamieniecki, Steve Reed, Ricardo Rincon and Danys Baez.

  • Ryan (Space Needle) Anderson has 113 strikeouts in 78 2/3 innings pitching for the Mariners' Triple-A team in Tacoma.

  • Released Brewers pitcher Jaime Navarro and infielder Sean Berry represent 20 percent of the club's payroll this year.

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  • Gammons: Trade talk won't die down
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