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May 08, 2000|LARRY STEWART

A consumer's guide to the best and worst of sports media and merchandise. Ground rules: If it can be read, played, heard, observed, worn, viewed, dialed or downloaded, it's in play here.

What: "Big League Rocks" CD

Price: $16.97

Can big league ballplayers make a CD that is marketable? Apparently they can. The idea for this CD came from Loren Harriet and Mark Weiner of EMI Music in Woodland Hills.

There are 12 original segments, plus a bonus track of Harry Caray singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." There is also an introduction by Bob Costas. Does Costas do the introduction for everything?

The songs vary in style--pop, rock, alternative, gospel, jazz and Latin--but a current or former major leaguer is involved in all of them.

After Costas' introduction comes "Welcome to the Show," featuring Mark Langston on acoustic guitar. Next, Paul O'Neill plays drums for "Just Like Baseball."

Jack McDowell ("Black Jack") sings lead and plays guitar on "Silence," a track he originally co-produced for the first of four albums he recorded under the name Stickfigure during the 1990s.

Seven of the songs were written or co-written by players.

The Angels' Scott Spiezio sings "Past Due," with backup provided by noted musicians Leland Sklar, Tim Pierce and John Molo. Spiezio wrote the song with members of his band, Sandfrog.

David Wells performs lead vocal on the track "OB Trolls." Luis "Gonzo" Gonzalez of the Arizona Diamondbacks plays congas on "Take a Swing."

Ernie Banks offers his own rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Ozzie Smith sings lead vocal on "We Are the Future," a track he wrote.

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