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Tim Raines Jr. Signed by Orioles

From Associated Press

The Baltimore Orioles secured a second-generation outfielder Monday by signing 1998 sixth-round draft pick Tim Raines Jr.

The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder is the son of Tim Raines of the New York Yankees, who was drafted by Montreal in the fifth round of the 1977 draft.

“It’s a good day for the Raines family,” the elder Raines said. “I never thought my son would be a professional ballplayer. I thought he’d be something else, but this is the decision he made. I hope I can stay up here long enough to play with him.”

Tim Jr. will join the Orioles’ Gulf Coast League team Friday. He will play outfield and second base.

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“This is a dream come true. I’m ready to get out there and start playing,” he said.

He would be delighted to have a career like that of his father, who has won four stolen base titles and took a .296 lifetime average into this season, his 18th in the majors.

“It’s definitely some big steps to follow. His career has been exceptional,” Tim Jr. said. “It gives me something to shoot for.”

Said the father: “He reminds me so much of myself . . . He has the same sort of speed, maybe a little more power than I had. He’s probably a little more physical.”

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The Orioles also announced the signing of left-handed pitchers Randy Perez and Jason Pruitt; right-handed pitchers Eliot Tomaszewski and Denis Gratton; and shortstop Derrick Gutierrez, all recent draft picks.

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The Atlanta Braves are still America’s baseball team, according to the Harris Poll. The Braves came out No. 1 for the sixth consecutive year when fans were asked to name their favorite baseball team.

The New York Yankees were second, followed by the Chicago Cubs in a telephone poll of 1,007 adults between May 21-28.

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The Braves were designated as their favorite team by 16% of those surveyed, and the Yankees were picked by 12%. The Cubs were the favorites of 7%.

Interleague baseball again won overwhelming approval in the survey, even increasing its huge rating of the previous year. This time, 81% of those polled said interleague games were a good idea, up from the 73% who approved last year, the first season of the innovation.

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Umpire Eric Gregg, assigned to first base, was a late scratch from the Pirate-Phillies game at Philadelphia and was replaced by Greg Gibson. There was no immediate word on why Gregg missed the game

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The Detroit Tigers activated Bip Roberts from the 15-day disabled list and optioned infielder Paul Catalanotto to Triple-A Toledo. Roberts, who was Detroit’s designated hitter Monday, went on the DL on May 28 with a strained right hamstring.

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Cleveland recalled pitcher Paul Shuey from his rehabilitation assignment at triple-A Buffalo and designated former Dodger outfielder Matt Luke for assignment.

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