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TRADITION COULD LURE GRIFFEY TO REDS AND, UH, MARLINS

SHARE TRADITION COULD LURE GRIFFEY TO REDS AND, UH, MARLINS

Agent Eric Goldschmidt could just be trying to stir things up, but he says Cincinnati is on the short list of cities Mariners superduperstar Ken Griffey Jr. would like to play for if the situation in Seattle doesn't improve.

He grew up in Cincinnati while his dad played for the Big Red Machine. "I don't want to give the impression that he's counting the days until his contract is over, but Kenny grew up around the Reds and the whole idea that baseball is such a religion in Cincinnati," Goldschmidt said."He feels the attitude is just too casual in Seattle right now." Maybe, but the other teams on the list are supposedly the Braves and Marlins. The Marlins? There's a team with a great tradition.

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- Nobody misses Terry Mulholland more than Darren Daulton. Mulholland is the best in baseball at holding runners on base. Now that he's gone, Phillies pitchers seem to have forgotten how. And why.

QUOTE-UNQUOTE: Balding Giants third baseman Matt Williams, whose 21 homers have him on a pace to challenge Roger Maris' record of 61 homers in a season, on being told that the stress of chasing Babe Ruth's record in 1961 caused Maris's hair to fall out: "I wouldn't have that problem."

- Pirates manager Jim Leyland, on why his nickname as a high school football player was "Blue Bayou": "I was a kick returner. Fake left, fake right, blew by you."

ETC. Roger Mason is not only the first pitcher to lose five games to the Rockies, he's done it in three different uniforms. Against Colorado, he's 0-1 as a Padre, 0-3 as a Phillie and now 0-1 as a Met after giving up two unearned runs in the eighth inning Tuesday night.

- An interpretive dancer who performs as Topsy Curvy ran onto the field at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium last Sunday and planted a smooch on Braves pitcher Mike Bielecki. "Now I have to go home and explain to my wife why I didn't run away from her," Bielecki said.

BY THE NUMBERS: Preferably Padres hitting machine Tony Gwynn, who has as good a chance as anybody, says he doesn't have a chance to hit .400 because he doesn't walk enough. "I'm too busy up there trying to hack," he said. Gwynn has 21 walks in 220 plate appearances this year. Ted Williams is the last major leaguer to bat .400. When he hit .406 in 1941, he walked 145 times.

-The Braves are 20-2 against the National League West this year.

-Oakland is 8-1 on artificial turf this year. Unfortunately, they play most of their games on natural grass, where they are 9-40.

CHEERS: To umpire Joe West, for ordering Marlins pitcher David Weathers to throw a pitch that was called a strike while Dodgers hitter Raul Mondesi dawdled outside the batter's box Tuesday night.

JEERS: To Dodgers reliever Todd Worrell, for refusing manager Tommy Lasorda's order to hold the tying run on first base during the Marlins' winning rally in the ninth inning. The two exchanged shouts in the clubhouse later. Worrell wouldn't use the slide step with Chuck Carr on first and Carr stole second. "We were just going to concentrate on getting the hitter," Worrell said. Replied Lasorda: "I'm just sick."