Palmeiro's award made of goldbrick


Those old Soviet elections were more legitimate than the Gold Glove voting. Rafael "The Phantom" Palmeiro played 28 games at first base last season. Will "Iron Horse" Clark more than doubled that total.

But don't tell that to the American League managers and coaches who viewed Palmeiro's 28 games as genius not seen since Mozart, and voted him his third straight Gold Glove.

Never again can Palmeiro complain about a lack of recognition. He conceded that Texas teammate Lee Stevens was more deserving, and how about the New York Yankees' Tino Martinez, who only made seven errors in 151 starts? Martinez deserves the award simply for putting up with Chuck Knoblauch's throws.

"I laughed when I heard about it," Palmeiro said. Laughed all the way to the bank. Palmeiro received a $50,000 incentive for winning the award -- maybe the easiest $50,000 ever earned by a major leaguer, and that's saying something.

This just in: The AL managers and coaches today will endorse Dan Quayle and Elizabeth Dole as their presidential ticket for 2000, even though both have withdrawn their candidacies.

Everyone in baseball loves Shawn Green, and at 27 he only figures to get better, but $14 million per season for a player who is not yet established as a feared late-inning threat?

Green batted .328 in innings one through six last season, .268 in innings seven through nine. He also hit .274 with men in scoring position -- 95 points lower than Harold Baines -- and .214 with men in scoring position and two outs.

Hey, don't mind me. I'm just wondering if I can write a free-lance article for the Dodgers' game program, and get paid like Norman Mailer.

Syd Thrift says: "General manager is a bad term. It's a term that Peter Angelos does not want to use. He thinks it's obsolete and I agree with him 100 percent." Sorry, Syd, you're supposed to agree 110 percent -- especially if you want to keep playing general manager.

Actually, we're not going to be too hard on the five-man committee running the Orioles. If Syd and the rest of the Faultless Five can trade Albert Belle, we'll carve their faces into Federal Hill, and turn it into Baltimore's Mount Rushmore.

Speaking of The Committee, is there any doubt that the Orioles will target closer Mike Jackson (35 in December) and starter David Cone (37 in January)? Oh, and by the way, forget about Alex Rodriguez as long as he is represented by Scott Boras.

Forget about Ken Griffey, too -- the Orioles' farm system is still not deep enough for the team to part with pitchers like Matt Riley and Sidney Ponson, and one can only imagine Pat Gillick's inner thoughts as he met with Thrift at the GMs' meetings.

Griffey's transparent attempt at damage/image control -- "I've never quit on anything. Why would I quit on the Mariners after all these years?" he told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer -- should fool no one. The Mariners say both Griffey and his agent signed off on the news release announcing his request for a trade.

In lieu of finding a minority investor, the Modells will stage a garage sale at PSINet Stadium. For sale: Photographs of Art Modell and Al Lerner, copies of the infamous Andre Rison contract and Ted Marchibroda's old game plans -- you know, the ones that included plays for Jermaine Lewis.

Super Bowl trophies?

Uh, not available.

Actually, we've finally figured out what took the debt-ridden Ravens so long to play their most talented quarterback: They were running from Banks.

Not to harp on Jermaine Lewis' disappearance, but he's third on the team with 15 receptions, behind Qadry Ismail (29) and Justin Armour (24). Fullback Chuck Evans has caught as many passes, for heaven's sake.

Media mortal to Cyber Coach, media mortal to Cyber Coach:

Please click on No. 84.

Give Matt Stover credit for surviving The Joe Nedney Era. The Ravens could reach a Super Bowl with Stover, and they would still bring in a kicker during Super Bowl Week, just to keep him properly terrified.

Peter Boulware collapses on the sideline after his shoulder pops out, Stevon Moore faces arthroscopic knee surgery on top of two reconstructions never forget that professional football is our most brutal sport.

One more reason to root against the Redskins: Before it's over, owner Danny Boy Snyder could make Peter Angelos look as harmless as a Teletubbie.

Hey, whatever happened to Jim Speros?

Wade Boggs can retire with the knowledge that he remained a tough out through the end of his career. His .310 batting average with two strikes last season led the American League.

So much for Bud Selig's minority-hiring push: While the Cubs (Don Baylor) and Brewers (Davey Lopes) added minority managers, the game remains without a minority GM -- and yes, that's counting The Committee.

Lopes, by the way, will be Rocky Coppinger's worst nightmare.

Here's the big question: For the Holyfield-Lewis rematch in Las Vegas, are the judges at least sitting in the state of Nevada?

And finally

Good for Tamir.

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