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the HOT Corner
Jeff Pearlman
August 23, 1999
Wade Boggs chose on Aug. 8 to make a serious pitch to remain with the Devil Rays: He spoke out in the press, declaring that "3,000 hits is not a termination point....
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August 23, 1999

The Hot Corner

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Wade Boggs chose on Aug. 8 to make a serious pitch to remain with the Devil Rays: He spoke out in the press, declaring that "3,000 hits is not a termination point....

You'll have to rip the shirt off me." Tampa Bay holds an option for next year at approximately $750,000 and says it will make a decision in the off-season. The Devil Rays, who played young third baseman Bobby Smith much less frequently than they would have so Boggs could reach 3,000 this year, may be ready to let Boggs go....

When Reds first baseman Sean Casey learned that Shane Whiteman, a 22-year-old fan whom he had befriended, had lost his stepfather to a heart attack in June and that Whiteman could not afford a funeral, Casey offered to pick up the tab. Whiteman initially refused but relented on the condition that others in the community benefit as well. Thus Casey appeared at a Dayton memorabilia shop and signed 600 autographs for $10 apiece, the money going toward funeral costs....

In seven games and 26 at bats against the Rangers this year, Blue Jays first baseman Carlos Delgado is batting .538 with six home runs and 12 runs batted in, including II for 17 (.647) with five homers and 10 RBIs in a recent four-game series in Texas. His 13 career homers at The Ballpark in Arlington are tops among visiting players....

Braves righthander John Smoltz's ailing elbow has made it too painful for him to throw a slider from his normal delivery, so he has come up with a three-quarters curve to keep pressure off the joint. He unveiled it on Aug. 9 in a 5-3 victory over the Astros. "It's like facing a different pitcher," says Houston second baseman Craig Biggio. "You face a guy for however long with one arm angle, then he changes everything."

...The Tigers have inquired about a trade for Rangers slugger Juan Gonzalez, but he says that Comerica Park, opening next season with a distance of 402 feet from home to left center, would be too roomy for his liking....

Through Sunday the Mets were 136-101 since the arrival of Mike Piazza, acquired in a trade with the Marlins on May 22, 1998; the Dodgers were 117-123 since trading Piazza to Florida seven days earlier....

Forget about Tony Gwynn's becoming a DH to extend his career and run up his hit total. "I'm a National League guy," he says, "It would be weird to make a living DH'ing. That's a lonely life." Gwynn says hit No. 3,006, which he got on Aug. 10, was important because it gave him 3,000 without the six hits he has had as a DH in interleague play.

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