Anything Else Will Be an Improvement

Todd Benzinger, who has played for four teams in three years, is trying to catch on with the San Francisco Giants. Benzinger, who can play a lot of positions, is ambivalent about his traveled career. "The way I look at it, if you're not fortunate enough to play with one team your whole career, you might as well play for eight or nine," he told Tim Keown of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Benzinger played for the Dodgers last season and said that was his worst year.

"Sitting on the bench for a team that loses 99 games--that's as close to the bottom of the barrel as you can get," he said.

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Trivia time: Who holds the major league record for most runs batted in in a game?

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Sanity check: The Dallas Mavericks, with a 4-56 record, are on pace for the NBA's worst record, now held by the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished 9-73.

Columnist Dan Barreiro of the Star Tribune of Minneapolis recalled that a reporter spotted a book called the "Psychology of Winning" in the locker of Dallas' Derek Harper.

"Why are you reading that book?" Harper was asked.'

"It's keeping me sane," Harper replied.

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Is that all? From Tim Layden of Newsday: "Let's see, what does the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament have that the Big East Tournament doesn't?

"1. Lots of good teams; 2. Lots of good players, and 3. Lots of tradition."

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Enemy identified: Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe interviewed Bo Jackson at the Chicago White Sox training camp in Sarasota, Fla., and got this response from Jackson:

"You guys (reporters) doubt me. But I leave the doubting up to you guys. If I should be (angry) at anybody--which I'm not--it should be you guys. But I'm not. You all got a job which you got to do and I like making you guys look like . . ."

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FYI: New Orleans Saint quarterback Bobby Hebert, who is an unrestricted free agent, plans to meet Tuesday with the Raiders. Hebert will turn 33 on Aug. 19.

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Rookie voice: Sherry Davis, the legal secretary who is the first full-time female public address announcer in major league history, made a three-inning debut Saturday when the San Francisco Giants played the Oakland Athletics in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"I was scared to death, and then I settled down," said Davis, who made some rookie mistakes.

"I'm a rookie, rookies make mistakes and I'm human," she added. "I'm here until they kick me out--like most jobs in baseball."

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No honeymoon: When Santa Anita trainer Ron McAnally placed an Australian champion named Let's Elope in a stall directly opposite Wedding Band, he wasn't too concerned about life imitating appellation. Let's Elope and Wedding Band are mares.

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Trivia answer: Jim Bottomley of the St. Louis Cardinals, 12 in 1924.

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Quotebook: Boston Red Sox pitcher Matt Young on criticism from the media: "We get paid a lot of money to read nasty stuff about ourselves in the paper."

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