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CUBS DRAFTEE APOLOGIZES: Ben Christensen apologized again to Anthony Molina on Saturday. It won't be the last time.

Christensen, who hit Molina in the eye with a pitch while Molina was in the on-deck circle during warmups of a college game, addressed the media before Saturday's game between the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies.The Cubs drafted Christensen in the first round and he signed with the team on Friday.

Christensen had requested the time to face the media, Cubs general manager Ed Lynch said.

"It was obviously a bad accident that happened and I feel horrible about it, that I could hurt somebody like that, so I can see how it can get to where it is now," Christensen said.

"If people knew me, they'd know I'm not that kind of person who would do anything intentionally to hurt anybody. I've been brought up to respect people. If they knew me, they'd know it was an accident."

On April 23, Christensen was on the mound warming up for Wichita State's game against Molina's Evansville team. Molina was about 15 feet away near an on-deck circle and Christensen threw a ball that hit Molina in the left eye. Christensen was allegedly upset that Molina was timing his pitches.

Lynch said the Cubs decision to draft Christensen does not legitimize or condone what the young pitcher did.

"There will be consequences," Lynch said. "The incident will not go unaddressed."

It also will not change Christensen's approach at the plate. He said he's not afraid to throw inside.

ASTROS DON RETRO UNIFORMS: It was a time when 25 players could be louder than 25,000 fans, simply by donning their uniforms.

The 1970s returned to the Astrodome on Saturday as the Houston Astros wore their infamous bright orange-and-yellow "rainbow stripe" jerseys some would just as soon see burn in a disco inferno.

"These are bad," Astros closer Billy Wagner said, grimacing, as he examined the jersey and pylon-orange hat he prepared to wear. "That's really bad right there."

M's CUT TAYLOR: Brien Taylor, once destined for stardom by the New York Yankees, was cut by the Seattle Mariners after failing to get past extended spring training in Arizona.

It happened early this month, but no one said anything about it until Saturday.

"We just didn't see what we wanted to," Mariners assistant player development director Greg Hunter said. "He showed some arm strength, but just no consistency."

Taylor, 27, made big news in 1991 when he got a $1.55 million bonus, then a record for a draft pick, when was signed by the Yankees.

That was after he struck out 476 batters in 239 innings in high school at Beaufort, N.C., going 29-6 with a 1.25 ERA.

But Taylor has struggled since undergoing reconstructive surgery on his pitching shoulder in December 1993. He was injured in a fight with a childhood friend.