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Knowledge of the arts

Jack McKeon's devotion to baseball is admirable. And a little scary.

This is not to suggest the Cincinnati manager is too single-minded, but we're not sure he'd be a good Trivial Pursuit partner.

He might be able to name baseball's last 30-game winner, but discerning a Picasso from a Van Gogh would not fall under his area of expertise.

"I've been to New York 500 times and have never seen the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. I haven't visited the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall in Philadelphia," McKeon said.

"I haven't been to the Capitol building in Washington, but I have been to Ebbets Field, the Polo Grounds, Yankee Stadium, Shibe Park and Griffith Stadium. I've never been too much into arts, unless it's Art Fowler or Art Houtteman."

THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT: Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio are huge fans of former Astros coach Yogi Berra, saying he has an outstanding baseball mind. But Bagwell is not sure about the Hall of Famer's baseball body.

"He always tells me now that the ball is juiced. When he played, the ball was dead and now it's juiced," Bagwell said. "The guy has, what, 340, 350 home runs? And he's 5-1. He's telling me the ball is juiced now?"

For the record, Berra had 358 home runs. And he is 5 feet 7.

WARTS AND ALL: The Orioles were inundated with remedies to remove a wart on the index finger of Mike Mussina's pitching hand.

Among the suggestions were the masochistic (nitric acid and then shave off the skin), the culinary (raw onions and potatoes), the new age (vitamin A) and the vile (urinate on the wart daily).

Mussina went the conventional route. The wart was frozen with liquid nitrate. But keep a spud handy, just in case.

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