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Hammy whammy (cont.)

Posted: Wednesday April 2, 2008 2:25PM; Updated: Wednesday April 2, 2008 4:22PM
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Holy Moises: He tries to save Bartman

Moises Alou may be mellowing after hernia surgery because he has apparently changed his mind about who's to blame for the Cubs blowing their chance to make the 2003 World Series. Alou seemed quite convinced that night (Game 6 of the NL Championship Series against the Marlins) that Steve Bartman famously got in his way on an eighth-inning foul pop right before the Cubs fell apart, blowing a 3-0 lead in the game and a 3-2 lead in the series, and adding to the lore of their now 99-year drought.

Alou acted like he would have caught the ball by emphatically gesturing, then said later that he could have caught it. But now he says no, it was Bartman's ball all the way.

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"Everywhere I play, even now, people still yell, 'Bartman! Bartman!' I feel really bad for the kid,''' Alou told Associated Press writer Jim Litke. "You know what the funny thing is? I wouldn't have caught it anyway.''

Alou appears to be either misremembering or rewriting history in an attempt to spare Bartman. But that's only right. This Cub jinx: It's bigger than Bartman.

Around the Majors

• This year's eight Opening Day blown saves broke the all-time record of seven, according to research done using baseball-reference.com.

• Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki made a diving stop on a one-hopper by Chris Duncan of the Cardinals and flipped to Jayson Nix to start a double play in the first inning of their opener. Tulo's spectacular play prevented Albert Pujols from coming up with two men on and none out in the Rockies' 2-1 win. Tulowitzki appears determined to win the Gold Glove after losing out to Jimmy Rollins last year.

"He has a swagger about him -- like Jeter,'' one AL scout said, paying about as high a compliment as you can pay.

• The consensus is that Robinson Cano gave away the store when he signed for $32 million guaranteed for four years and two team options that could take him to $55 million over six years.

• The AP reminded us that Alex Rodriguez ($28 million) makes more than the entire Marlins team ($18 million). My question is: Who will draw more fans and create more interest this year, A-Rod or the Marlins?

Edgardo Alfonzo and the Mets have talked, and he might try to come back with his old team. Whether it be Alfonzo or someone else, the Mets could use someone to spell Jose Reyes at shortstop so he doesn't wear down like last year.

• One scout says not to worry about Jimmy Rollins' atrocious spring (.188 with zero homers). "He's a solid underrated player. I don't see any change.''

Yankee Stadium, The Official Retrospective, by Mark Vancil and Alfred Santasiere III is a beautifully done book filled with striking photos, touching words and fond remembrances from the magical place in the South Bronx.

• A missing apostrophe is creating a stir in Wrigleyville, home to a lot of bad baseball, much angst and famed jinxes (just ask poor Bartman). The new Ernie Banks sculpture at Wrigley is accompanied by Banks' famous phrase "Let's Play Two.'' Only the apostrophe is missing from the Let's so it reads LETS PLAY TWO. Folks in Chicago are upset about their latest error, and apparently it will be fixed. "I'm the sculptor, I'm not a writer,'' Lou Cella told Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich.

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