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WATCH OUT, YANKEES! WE GOT ALEX S. GONZALEZ!

Wow! Strike up the band and pop the champagne corks. After a winter of hemming and hawing, Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar finally pulls the trigger on a free agent signing and we get . . . drum roll please . . . Alex S. Gonzalez! Quick, where do I get season tickets?

It's hard to believe that a 32-year-old shortstop coming off a wrist injury and a robust .225 season was even available. I mean, what a coup by LaMar. And for only $1.75-million.

Now, for fun, let's move this offensive powerhouse, a lifelong shortstop, to third base. According to LaMar and manager Lou Piniella, that'll automatically make Gonzalez put up power numbers since he's moving to traditionally a power position. Great logic, fellas.

Bill Filippone

Tampa

BOGGS NEEDS NEW HOBBY

I read Dave Scheiber's story (Trophy Dad, Jan. 2) and lost all respect for Wade Boggs. Any responsible person who kills innocent animals strictly for pleasure and the self-gratification of having a head or skin is repulsive. Especially having a zebra skin on the family Christmas card. I have never had a problem with hunting for meat, but trophy killing should be illegal. The picture accompanying the article should never have been taken by the Times. Surely there are more worthwhile people than Wade Boggs to write about.

Warren L. Surrett

Via e-mail

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