A Few Hits Sometimes Lead to a Few Hits

For as long as baseball has been around, some players burned the candle at both ends and wound up playing with a hangover. Not many liked to talk about it, but Cliff Floyd, the Florida Marlins' slugging outfielder, told Miami Herald columnist Dan LeBatard about his experiences.

"I've played great in [games I was hung over], if you can believe that. As bad as this sounds, you don't care when you are hung over. You feel so bad that you don't care, and you bring a carefree attitude to the plate. You figure out that if you don't hit, you know exactly why you didn't hit. And then you rake."


Trivia time: There have been seven Olympic Games held in the United States, four in the summer and three in the winter. How many times has the president opened the Games?


Whatta woman: Anitka Rolczewski, 33, is a Canadian whose Web site, www.racerchicks.com, is devoted to bringing women together with a passion for motor racing.

"A perfect day for me is one where I have the sound of engines in my ears, the scent of race fuel in my nose and brake dust in my eyes," Rolczewski, a Toronto investment manager, told the National Post.


Attn. AARP: Brian Schmitz notes in the Orlando Sentinel that "It surely was only a coincidence that Patrick Ewing and Horace Grant showed up at the RDV Sportsplex on the day 'Jurassic Park III' opened.

"The Magic have captured two live NBA dinosaurs, which should offer an intriguing exhibit for History Channel fans most nights."


Views of Pete: Oakland A's Manager Art Howe, who played against Pete Rose, told the Oakland Tribune's Dave Newhouse, "For me, Rose certainly belongs in the Hall of Fame for what he did on the field, but he doesn't belong in the game for what he did off the field."

Said Colorado Manager Buddy Bell, who was a teammate of Rose's: "All I know is this guy was one of the greatest hitters ever and he played the game like no one played it. If you're asking me if he belongs in the Hall of Fame, I'll say he does."


Dark glasses: Batters in the Pacific Coast League have something new to worry about besides high fastballs, curveballs and changeups.

How about the glare bouncing off the state Capitol's gold-plated dome in Des Moines? It has always been somewhat of a problem for squinting Iowa Cub players, but recently the dome was refinished and the reflection is worse than ever.

Team officials jokingly asked, "Maybe the governor could please move the Capitol."


Trivia answer: Twice. Ronald Reagan in Los Angeles in 1984 and Bill Clinton in Atlanta in 1996. No president has ever opened the Winter Games, although Franklin Roosevelt at Lake Placid in 1932 and Richard Nixon at Squaw Valley in 1960 presided over them before they became president.


And finally: Seattle Mariner relief pitcher Kazuhiro Sasaki told Chicago Sun-Times columnist Elliott Harris that one reason he and outfielder Ichiro Suzuki came to the United States was to escape the Japanese paparazzi.

"That's one of the things that attracted us to America," he said. "We thought they didn't have paparazzi here. That was one of the good things. Well, the Japanese paparazzi followed us to America."

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