Montreal Expo outfielder Tony Tarasco walks to the batter's box, gives himself the sign of the cross and bends down and scratches the initials "C.P." in the dirt.
The initials stand for his best friend, Chris Pickett of Santa Monica, who was killed three years ago by police as a robbery suspect. Tarasco also has a tattoo that reads "In Memory of C.P." on his left shoulder blade and another tattoo for Pickett on his left forearm.
"I think what I do kind of bugs Chris' dad because it's a constant reminder," Tarasco said, "but I don't do it for him. I do it for Chris and me. It's about our relationship, not anyone else's."
Tarasco, who ran with the Santa Monica Graveyard Crips, visited with friends, some of whom still are gang members, during his three-day stay.
"I was never a soldier, and I didn't commit any crimes, but I ran with them," Tarasco said. "Sometimes, I wonder if the attention I give them is good. When you talk of gangs, you think of the bad influences. But there's a lot of good people. They're my friends."
Second baseman Delino DeShields, who plans to buy a barber shop this winter in Delaware, began practicing Wednesday when he cut Roberto Kelly's hair before the game.
"He did a pretty good job," Kelly said. "I don't know if I'm going to tip him, but it's nice having a barber on the team."
Rookie outfielder Todd Hollandsworth began his rehabilitation assignment Tuesday in San Bernardino by spraining his right hand while sliding into second.
Hollandsworth is expected to return to the San Bernardino lineup Friday, where he'll be joined by relievers Rudy Seanez and Antonio Osuna. Seanez (strained groin) worked out Wednesday, and will begin his rehabilitative assignment today. Osuna (strained groin) pitched in his first rehabilitation game Tuesday night but was suffering discomfort Wednesday.