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THE INSIDE TRACK | Morning Briefing

His Appearance Drew a Nasty Philly Reaction

August 11, 1999|SCOTT HOWARD-COOPER

The name's Drew. As in boo.

J.D. Drew finally played at Veterans Stadium on Tuesday, more than two years after the Philadelphia Phillies drafted him. Of course, seeing as how he was there with the St. Louis Cardinals, after refusing to sign with Philadelphia, the locals were not about to let him off the hook.

The crowd of 48,514 showered Drew with derisive chants all night and in the eighth inning some fans threw batteries at the center fielder. On the orders of Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa, Drew left the field with one out.

After a meeting of the umpires, Drew returned after an announcement was made that the game would be forfeited to the Cardinals if more objects were thrown. That drew more boos.

"I've heard some rumors around that they do it every now and then," said Drew, who had two hits in four at-bats in the Phillies' 7-5 victory. "In the back of my mind, I was hoping that they wouldn't. I think they did a good job the way they handled it."

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More Philly phun: St. Louis won the series opener (which Drew missed with a bruised hand), but at least Ron Gant, who feuded with Cardinal Manager Tony La Russa in spring training before being traded, hit two home runs.

Said Gant afterward, smiling, "What feud?"

Asked if he'd spoken with Gant, La Russa said, "No need to." Asked to elaborate, he said, "Meaning, no need to."

Got it.

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Trivia time: USC players have finished first or second in the Heisman Trophy balloting eight times. Who was the only one who wasn't a tailback?

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Write on, man: In his book "Finding the Winning Edge," written last year, San Francisco 49er personnel boss Bill Walsh wrote, "While a new lease on life or being reborn is theoretically possible, it is foolish for a team to acquire a free agent whose circumstances are contemptible--regardless of how well he performs on the field."

Yes, that's the same Bill Walsh who recently signed problem-plagued Lawrence Phillips.

"I feel like George Bush saying, 'Read my lips. No new taxes,' " Walsh said when reminded of his own words. "But times changed, he's changed, and we have a need."

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Not so Brave: Play was halted for 34 minutes in the ninth inning Sunday in Atlanta when a severe thunderstorm hit the area. After initially trying to get through the top of the inning, umpires stopped the game when a bolt of lightning struck nearby.

Not that everyone stuck around, waiting for their decision.

Pinch-hitter Stan Javier dropped his bat in fright. Gerald Williams sprinted in from left field. Atlanta third baseman Chipper Jones ducked into the dugout to escape--the San Francisco dugout.

"I got a lot of high-fives in the tunnel," Jones said. "They can fine me if they want to, but I was getting the hell out of there."

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Trivia answer: Quarterback Rodney Peete, in 1988.

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And finally: Blackie Sherrod in the Dallas Morning News: "It must be in the delivery. Golf daddy Earl Woods brushed off his racist remarks about Scots [in Icon magazine] with the explanation of 'Just kidding.' Didn't work for Fuzzy Zoeller at Augusta."

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