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A uniform reminder

Under their uniform, the Toronto Blue Jays wear a T-shirt, one that reminds them that the American League East championship is only the first step, that they have never won an AL pennant or a World Series.

On the front, the blue shirt with white lettering reads: "3 for 3 in '92." And on the back, words of confidence: "We Can, We Are, We Will."

Jays' Winfield honored

Dave Winfield was named winner Tuesday of the first Branch Rickey Award, given for "outstanding achievement in baseball."

The award, named after the man who broke baseball's color barrier with the signing of Jackie Robinson to a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Denver and will be given annually to the major-league player, manager or executive who epitomizes service to the community.

In 1977, Winfield formed a foundation to provide health-care services, nutritional counseling, academic scholarships and outreach programs to children in North America.

The pitching rotations

The Oakland Athletics are expected to use four pitchers (Dave Stewart, Mike Moore, Ron Darling and Bob Welch) in the AL playoffs, while the Blue Jays likely will go with a three-man rotation (Jack Morris, David Cone and Juan Guzman). But Toronto's plans could change, depending on how the first three games go.

"I guess if we're up 3-0, something could change," manager Cito Gaston said. "But right now, we're looking at going with Jack (in Game 4)." Gaston said Jimmy Key, normally part of the starting rotation, "could be used in long relief" or to get a particular batter out.

With those two rotations, a pair of ex-Mets won't have a chance to pitch against each other. The Blue Jays picked up Cone, the Game 2 starter, from New York in August to help their pennant and post-season drives. Darling, Oakland's Game 3 starter, came to the Athletics from New York by way of Montreal last year.

They said it

Dennis Eckersley, on the swirl of changes on the Oakland roster: "I'm sure Tony (La Russa) sometimes wondered who was who. I didn't. All I said was, "What's the score? Give me the ball.'

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Rickey Henderson, holding court: "Reggie Jackson was my idol. He was Mr. October. That was his time of the year. Maybe it's time you started calling me Mr. October. I told him I wanted his name."

_ BRUCE LOWITT

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