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Boggs named MVP of Legends of Baseball as AL wins

It only seemed fitting.

Tampa native Wade Boggs, playing in his first Legends of Baseball game, had three doubles, two runs and an RBI and was named MVP as he led the American League to a 6-3 victory over the National League at Florida Power Park on Saturday.

Boggs, however, had to share the spotlight with teammate and U.S. Olympian Michele Smith.

Smith, a pitcher on the U.S. Olympic gold-medal softball team in Sydney, had a two-run single in the fourth and pitched an entertaining scoreless third inning.

To most, however, the score mattered little. The night was more about the atmosphere and the legends and celebrities who made it _ like baseball greats Vida Blue, Brooks Robinson, Rollie Fingers, Ferguson Jenkins, Bob Feller and Harmon Killebrew.

"It's wonderful," Feller said. "It's a chance to mingle with my peers one more time."

Growing up in New York, baseball always was a passion for Palm Harbor native Don Kiceina and the event gave him a chance to stroll down memory lane.

"I remember going to see (Roger) Maris and (Mickey) Mantle in the Yankees outfield," said Kiceina, who moved here 15 years ago. "Baseball has always been important to me and to see some of these guys again is a great feeling."

Earlier in the night, Boggs and actor Mark Harmon teamed to win the Home Run Derby, outpointing Darrell Evans and Kevin Maris, the son of former Yankee great.

Not known for his power hitting, Boggs hit four home runs during the competition.

"He's a great hitter, isn't he?" Kiceina said. "After all, this is his hometown and it's good to see it happen on this stage, his stage."

D'BACKS: Left-handed pitcher Greg Swindell had gone to the clubhouse and was undressed for a shower when he was told he was pitching the ninth. He scrambled back into his clothes and retired the side in order with two strikeouts in a 10-2 win over the Rockies.

INDIANS: Third baseman Travis Fryman will avoid surgery on his right elbow, but he will not be able to throw for three or four weeks.

"I'm disappointed, but at least there won't be surgery and that's a relief," he said.

Fryman left spring training camp for Cleveland on Friday for an MRI exam, which showed a strained ligament. He has complained of discomfort since spring training started.

He will be re-examined March 26 by Dr. Louis Keppler, who will fly to Florida from Cleveland to check on Fryman. Rest and anti-inflammatory medicine were prescribed.

"I've been cleared to hit, but not without a brace that should arrive here Monday," Fryman said. "I'm not all that willing to accept that I can't throw for four weeks. Hopefully I'll show enough improvement when I'm re-examined to go from there."

METS: Catcher Jim Leyritz was released and outfielder Brian Cole was optioned to Double-A Binghamton. . . . Left-hander Bobby M. Jones still is experiencing pain in his pitching shoulder. "It's still believed to be rotator cuff tendinitis and we're getting him an MRI to make sure it's nothing more significant than that," general manager Steve Phillips said. "We're going to shut him down a little longer now."

ORIOLES: Cal Ripken's injured rib passed another stress test and the third baseman said he will take live batting practice for the first time this spring within two days.

Ripken fielded simulated bunts from strength and conditioning coach Tim Bishop on a practice field. Ripken made 15 or 20 throws in which he would charge a slow roller, field it and throw to first.

REDS: It will never be considered one of Ken Griffey's most impressive or most important hits.

The 11-time All-Star and former American League MVP will take a blooped single behind second base in the first inning of Cincinnati's 11-1 loss to Boston. It was thought to be his first hit off Pedro Martinez.

Griffey is 0-for-12 with five strikeouts during the regular season against Martinez.

Griffey tipped his hat to Martinez and asked for the ball. Martinez obliged.

"He's a funny guy and we always joke around a lot," Martinez said. "I guess he doesn't have any idea of how much respect I have for him. He's such a good hitter I have to be perfect pretty much to get him out."

Hundreds of fans were lined up outside the Red Sox ticket office three hours before the game for a chance to see Martinez and Griffey. The announced crowd of 7,837 was the second-largest in the eight-year history of City of Palms Park in Fort Myers.

RED SOX: Rightfielder Manny Ramirez took batting practice and is optimistic that his strained left hamstring is healing.

"I had no problems with the leg," he said. "It felt good."

Ramirez also hit in the cages and jogged lightly before talking with fans and signing autographs.

ROYALS: Third baseman Joe Randa signed a two-year contract extension through the 2003. Right-hander Brian Meadows, scheduled to be in the rotation, pitched in a minor-league game against Triple-A Toledo and gave up nine runs (seven earned) and 12 hits in three-plus innings. The team assigned seven players to minor-league camp: right-handers Doug Bochtler, Jason Rakers, Jared Camp and Mike MacDougal, left-hander Chris George, infielder Craig Wilson and outfielder Aaron Guiel.

_ Information from other news organizations was used in this report.

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