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the HOT corner
Stephen Cannella
August 14, 2000
After a nightmarish first half of the season, in which he hit .245 with four home runs and had a sickly .372 slugging percentage, Rangers outfielder Gabe Kapler spent the All-Star break reconstructing his swing with Texas hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Jaramillo added a leg kick to Kapler's stride to keep him from starting his swing too early. The tinkering worked: Through Sunday, Kapler had a career-high 20-game hitting streak and was batting .344 with six homers and a .645 slugging percentage since the break....
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August 14, 2000

The Hot Corner

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After a nightmarish first half of the season, in which he hit .245 with four home runs and had a sickly .372 slugging percentage, Rangers outfielder Gabe Kapler spent the All-Star break reconstructing his swing with Texas hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo. Jaramillo added a leg kick to Kapler's stride to keep him from starting his swing too early. The tinkering worked: Through Sunday, Kapler had a career-high 20-game hitting streak and was batting .344 with six homers and a .645 slugging percentage since the break....

Words you never thought you'd hear: The Rockies, who led the National League in scoring, had hit the fewest home runs (109) in the league. If both trends continue Colorado would become only the second team since 1900—the 1943 Dodgers also did it—to finish a season first in runs and last in homers....

What does third baseman Ed Sprague, who was traded to the Red Sox last month, think of teammate Nomar Garciaparra, who led the majors with a .394 average through Sunday? "I played with [Dave] Winfield, [Roberto] Alomar, [John] Olerud when he was hitting .400, Tony Gwynn and Paul Molitor," says Sprague. "From what I've seen, Nomar is the best hitter I've played with."...

The Padres sued Lloyd's of London last week, accusing the consortium of underwriters of refusing to pay up on an insurance policy that San Diego took out after the club's August 1998 acquisition of lefthander Randy Myers, who has missed the last two seasons because of a rotator cuff injury. According to Padres general counsel Bob Vizas, Lloyd's promised to pay $4 million for each of the 1999 and 2000 seasons if Myers couldn't pitch. Myers, who signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Blue Jays in '97, has been on the disabled list since April '99. Lloyd's has not commented publicly on the suit....

Conventional wisdom holds that the Astros' staff was done in by the move to Enron Field this season, but the numbers showed that Houston, which had the National League's second-highest team ERA (5.43) through Sunday, hadn't been much worse at home (5.52) than it had been on the road (5.36). What's more, starters Shane Reynolds and Chris Holt and closer Octavio Dotel, all righthanders, have lower ERAs at Enron than on the road....

Last week the Giants made their final trip to Milwaukee's County Stadium, which will close after this season, and it didn't sound as if they were heartbroken. "The coldest game I ever played was here, and the game with the most bugs I've ever seen was here," said San Francisco pitching coach Dave Righetti. "I've seen a dugout flood here, and I always knew I was going to get achy when I pitched here. The mound seemed flat, and I always left this place hurting."

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