Brewers outfielder Glenn Braggs swings so hard that he has broken three bats across his back on his follow-through this season. Former Oriole slugger Jim Gentile used to do the same thing, so he wore a pad across his back.
THE NEW MATH
When Oriole pitcher Kevin Hickey changed his uniform number from 23 to 45, reporter Tim Kurkjian of the Baltimore Sun asked him why. "It's closer to my age," said Hickey.
"But you're listed as 33," said Kurkjian.
"Well, that's why I got an F in math," replied Hickey, who many have long suspected is actually 36 years old, and not 33.
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN
The Yankee rotation is made up of Andy Hawkins and a load of question marks: Dave LaPoint? Clay Parker? Chuck Cary? Greg Cadaret? Consider some of the Yankee pitchers who have been sent packing in recent years: Rick Reuschel, Tim Belcher, Jose Rijo, Ed Whitson, Jim Deshaies, Mike Morgan, Doug Drabek, Dennis Rasmussen, Jay Howell and Tim Burke. At week's end, that group had a combined record of 69-53 for the season with a 2.78 ERA and 37 saves.
YOU CAN'T GO HOME AGAIN
When Montreal manager Buck Rodgers returned to his hometown of Anaheim to serve as a coach for the National League All-Stars, the official bat he was given had his name spelled R-O-G-E-R-S.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
The Franconas, Tito and his son Terry, hold the father-and-son record for most major league teams played for. Tito played first base and outfield for nine clubs between 1956 and '70. Terry, now a first baseman with the Brewers, has played for five teams.
WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME
Consider the plight of Junior Noboa, who plays second base for the Expos' Triple A affiliate, the Indianapolis Indians. Through July 15 he led all of professional baseball with a .386 batting average, yet he couldn't crack the Montreal roster, which has three second basemen, Tom Foley, Rex Hudler and Damaso Garcia. This isn't the first time Noboa has been blocked. In 1985 he hit almost .500 for Cleveland in spring training, but Tony Bernazard still beat him out, and Noboa was sent down to the Indians' Triple A team, the Maine Guides. Bernazard was traded in July '87, but Noboa struggled that year because of a case of food poisoning he had contracted during the off-season in his native Dominican Republic. So Tommy Hinzo became the Cleveland second baseman. Noboa was ready when Hinzo faltered in '88, but the Tribe moved Julio Franco from shortstop to second to save his arm. Noboa asked to be traded, and he ended up in the Angel system, behind talented second basemen Johnny Ray and Mark McLemore. In December 1988, Noboa signed with the Expos as a free agent. Noboa, 24, has toiled 8� years in the minors. At least he has one consolation this season. Because of his hot start with the bat, his teammates have given him a new nickname: Lucky.