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And another thing ..

I want you back

The Reds, who had ignored Frank Robinson when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame -- having apparently washed their hands of the man they traded to the Orioles after he'd starred 10 years for them -- unveiled a statue of F. Robby outside Great American Ballpark last week. Said a clearly touched Robinson: "You can come back home. I am home!"

Off he goes

Theo Epstein's friend, Eddie Vedder, the lead singer for Pearl Jam, gave the Reds a private concert during his visit to the ballpark Thursday. He borrowed Juan Castro's guitar and played a few songs.

"That's one of the top two coolest things I've ever seen," Reds first baseman Sean Casey said. "The birth of my kids is first. Eddie Vedder sitting there playing is next."

Tell me what it means

Before Barry Bonds hit his 658th home run Friday night, 72-year-old Willie Mays was in the Giants clubhouse, helping Bonds stretch his hamstrings. Mays, Bonds's godfather, has 660 home runs, the third most in major league history.

"There was a time he didn't want to pass me," Mays said. "He understands history. He realizes what it means. We talked a few years ago about this. When he said he didn't want to get 660, I said, `Wait a minute. Forget about that. You do the best you can on the field, regardless.' I told him long ago, `Don't feel sorry for anybody you pass. Keep going.' He's making history, and he's doing it as a Giant. We have a lot of history here, and he's right along with us."

Feel the need

Mariners shortstop Carlos Guillen, a native of Venezuela, wanted to help young Latin players in the Mariners' system. So this past summer, he set up an account in his name at a Latin restaurant near the ballpark in which the Everett (Wash.) AquaSox, Seattle's Single A affiliate, play, and told the Latin players that their meals were on him. Said Guillen, "I thought it was a good idea to help these kids. The Latin ballplayers eat different food, rice and beans. And it's a chance to speak the language. I remember I would eat doughnuts or a hamburger before a game. That's no good. I would get sick."

Two steps behind

Why the Cubs were anxious about playing a doubleheader yesterday after having Friday's game against the Pirates rained out: In the last 52 doubleheaders the Cubs had been involved in, they had swept a total of four. In the last 10 years, in 16 twin bills, they'd swept two and been swept in four.

You can do it

Jack McKeon, the 72-year-old manager who took the Marlins from 10 games under .500 to a wild-card spot, on a team with one of baseball's lower payrolls ($50 million): "It says that payroll doesn't matter. Players matter. If you get winning players that want to give you a supreme effort, you can win."

Logical progression

The Toronto Blue Jays' crack PR staff came up with this after Carlos Delgado's record-tying four home runs Thursday night: Delgado hit his first major league home run April 4, 1994, and that was the only one he hit in that game. He hit his 100th home run as part of a two-homer game Sept. 17, 1998, and his 200th homer as part of a three-homer game April 20, 2001. He had reached three homers in a game four times before Thursday, when he hit his 300th career home run.

Compiled by Gordon Edes

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