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It must be a pop-up book

Times Staff Writer

Children’s book or autobiography?

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez has written a book aimed at youngsters, but with a familiar plot that has had many adults at Yankee Stadium saying very bad words during recent seasons.

The book, which hit the stores this week, is titled, “Out of the Ballpark,” which is where you generally find A-Rod and the Yankees after the first week of October. The plot involves a young boy named Alex who makes a key error in a playoff game and puts so much pressure on himself his play only worsens.

But this is fiction, so little Alex’s team reaches the championship game in spite of his poor play and Alex prepares to do better next time by throwing a ball against his bedroom wall 500 times a day.

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Briefing came across a stray manuscript that may or may not be the book’s final draft. In part, it reads:

See Alex run.

See Alex run to the bank.

See Alex run into Tigers.

See Alex fall into tank.

Trivia time

“Out of the Ballpark” is Rodriguez’s second book written for children. Name the first.

Can’t Stand Losing

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The Chicago Cubs have agreed to give up a night game in exchange for the right to hold two night concerts at Wrigley Field in July, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The newspaper reported that one possibility as concert headliners is Sting and the Police.

If true, Cubs fans are expected to flock to the park to hear the Police medley designed especially for them: “So Lonely/King of Pain/Driven to Tears.”

Don’t spend it all in one Wal-Mart

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After the Baltimore Orioles signed Jamie Walker away from the Detroit Tigers with a three-year, $12-million contract, Tigers closer Todd Jones mused about how Walker might deal with his newfound fortune.

Noting Walker’s Tennessee heritage, Jones, who lives in Alabama, told the Detroit Free Press, “Twelve million dollars is a lot of money, but $12 million in Tennessee? He might as well be Donald Trump.

“That’s a lot of generic-brand beer, and a lot of NASCAR tickets.

“You know how many fishing lures you can buy at Wal-Mart with $12 million?”

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Jamie Walker

can tell them

NASCAR driver Juan Pablo Montoya told the Orlando Sentinel that “in Europe, NASCAR is not regarded as high as it should. You know, I think people don’t know what it is exactly, how competitive it is.”

Note: Despite appearances, Montoya received no payment from the Another Reason to Consider a Move to Europe Council.

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Trivia answer

“Hit a Grand Slam,” a 40-page biography authored by a ghost writer, was released in 1998, when Rodriguez was with the Seattle Mariners.

And finally

Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, to CBS, on why becoming a TV broadcaster sounds so appealing: “I can’t lose a game up here.”

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mike.penner@latimes.com


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