FROM THE BULLPEN: The recent lunacy in the bullpen at Wrigley Field had several players recalling memorable moments with fans at Wrigley and other places.
Steve Trachsel was with the Cubs in 1995 when John Murray, a 27-year-old bond trader, climbed over that very same wall near the visitors' bullpen at Wrigley and ran to the mound to confront Chicago reliever Randy Myers. "The guy told his buddies if Randy gives up a homer I'm going to tell him that he s---- to his face. Randy gives up a homer and this guy jumps over and meanders his way to the mound. He walks right by Mark Grace. Gracie said he was kicking the dirt and looks up and thinks, "What the . . .?' The next thing you know, he's at the mound and Randy has him in a death lock on the ground. Randy is crazy as it is. He wasn't letting go. He had the guy by the neck and the guy was turning blue. He said, "I ain't letting go. I don't know if he has something in his pocket.' "
Roberto Hernandez recalled a time when he was with the White Sox in Oakland and three drunk fans were shouting lewd comments near the bullpen. Hernandez said he asked the fans to quiet down because there were families nearby. "I said, "You've got kids sitting here. You don't need to be saying stuff like that.' It continues, continues, continues. I approach them the next time and all three of them stand up. I assumed they were going to throw beer, so I punched a guy in the chest to sit him down. All the parents spoke up for me and said I had every right because those three individuals had no concern for the people around them. It's unfortunate some people have to act that way."
Rick White said he has learned to ignore fan insults because that seems to be the best way to shut them up. There was, however, a time in Boston . . . "(Jeff) Sparks was warming up, and I was standing there watching. This good-looking girl leans in and says, "Hey, White.' She looked like she was about 18 or 19, maybe a college student, nice-looking, so I look up at her thinking she wants a ball or something. She says, "You f------ s---.' I thought, "That was pretty good.' She flat-out got me."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Dot Jeter, the mother of Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter, appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman and read this entry from the Top 10 Good Things About Being the Mother of Someone Famous: "Sometimes, when they're playing the Devil Rays, Derek lets me come in for a few innings."
RAYS VS. RAYS VS. RAYS
After 41 games Overall
Year W-L Pct. P-GB W-L .Pct. P-GB
1998 19-22 .463 4/11.0 63-99 .389 5-51
1999 21-20 .512 3/3.0 69-93 .426 5-29
2000 14-27 .341 5/12 57-107 .341+ ---
+ projected. P-GB: Place in East-games behind first
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
"I guarantee you June and July will be fun around here. There are a lot of new guys here and we're still getting to know each other. In another month, we're going to be a real team and we're going to play like a team. We're just one step away."
_ OZZIE GUILLEN, Rays shortstop on how team is jelling
Player Injury Likely return
Wilson Alvarez shoulder tendinitis uncertain
Juan Guzman shoulder tendinitis early June
Jim Mecir biceps tightness this week
Damian Rolls shoulder surgery uncertain
Tony Saunders fractured left arm uncertain
BY THE NUMBERS
.186: Opponents' batting average against Sparks, the best on the team. Yet Sparks also had 18 walks in 20 innings, prompting his demotion to Triple A on Friday.
.405: Greg Vaughn's average with runners in scoring position.
11-31: Record of Rays starting pitchers dating to Sept. 1.
_ Compiled by John Romano.