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July 05, 1999|LARRY STEWART

What: "Hardcore Baseball"

Where: Fox Sports Net

As the title suggests, this weekly show is for hardcore fans. But casual fans can enjoy it too. It has an easy-to-follow format and a theme each week that neatly ties everything together. The somewhat-hyper Steve Lyons, a former player, and the more laid-back Kevin Kennedy, a former manager, are the hosts, and complement each other quite nicely.

The show's regular time is Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m., but since the various regional networks that make up Fox Sports Net sometimes have live baseball at that time, the airtimes vary. This week's edition of "Hardcore Baseball" will be on Fox Sports West at 4 p.m. Thursday. There are several replays, including one at 11:30 p.m. Thursday on Fox Sports West 2.

"Hardcore Baseball," which made its debut in June, is an offshoot of the popular "Hardcore Football" that made its debut in September 1997.

The theme of this week's show will be managers past and present. It's a topic Kennedy, who came close to getting the Dodger job, knows something about. The featured guests will be Sparky Anderson and Dusty Baker.

Last week's show featured an in-depth interview Lyons did with Arizona third baseman Matt Williams, but there is a lot more to the show than interviews. Regular segments include "Plays of the Week," "Tricks of the Trade," and "Skip's Tips," with Kennedy at the telestrator. Last week Arizona Diamondback basestealing wizard Tony Womack was on "Tricks of the Trade," and the week before it was Dodger closer Jeff Shaw, who showed viewers how he throws his split-fingered fastball.

There is also an interactive segment in which viewers can log on to www.foxsports.com and vote on a question of the week. The question last week was: Who is the best third baseman in the last 50 years? The candidates were George Brett, Eddie Mathews, Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt. The winner will be announced on this week's show.

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