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Marlins' antics may hurt future Series coverage

Baseball left the World Series with a giant black eye. The Florida Marlins exposed the commissioner's office as a paper tiger.

Several newspaper reporters said serious thought would be given to reducing future World Series coverage. For many of the country's 1,600 or so newspapers, the lateness of the games and the Marlins' uncooperative tactics made coverage largely irrelevant.

The Marlins attempted to ban reporters from their dugout, refused to give interviews between Games 5 and 6, played music so loudly after games that reporters could not work in their clubhouse and did not appear in the interview room after Game 7.

The senior vice presidents of both leagues argued with Marlins' security when they attempted to throw media out of the clubhouse about 50 minutes after Game 7.

Officials in the commissioner's office said teams essentially "laugh at us" when told what their post-season responsibilities are.

"Making it difficult for the media is just making it difficult for ourselves. This is a no-brainer," acting commissioner Bud Selig said. "Baseball and everybody in it _ players, front office, the players association _ needs to be fan friendly every day. Our greatest link with the fan is the media. Cooperation should be second-nature."

RIPKEN SKIPS SURGERY: Orioles 3B Cal Ripken has decided to allow his back to heal instead of having surgery to correct a herniated disc. Ripken said his back pain isn't as sharp as during the last two months of the season. Atrophied muscles in his left leg are recovering and his range of motion is almost normal, he said.

PHILLIES: OF Gregg Jefferies waived his protection rights in the expansion draft but said he wants to continue playing for Philadelphia. "The reason I did this is I want the Phillies to be able to protect a younger player that will help us be a better team. I don't want to be selfish and say, "No, you have to protect me,'

" Jefferies told the Philadelphia Inquirer.