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|MLBeat: Perez honors Febles
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08/20/2002 8:38 pm ET
MLBeat: Perez honors Febles
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
TORONTO -- Royals shortstop
Neifi Perez insists he's merely showing
respect for a friend by writing
Carlos Febles' No. 3 on his cap.
Febles, who was Perez's double-play partner for most of the season at
second base, was demoted to Triple-A Omaha on Aug. 11. Perez and Febles were
constant card-playing buddies in the Kansas City clubhouse.
"It's just between Febles and me," Perez said. "It's nothing against the
organization. Carlos is my friend. When I left
Colorado, I took
Todd Helton's number."
Tony Peña said he doesn't take it as any kind of protest.
"Maybe some people might see it that way, but I don't," Peña said. "I
believe he (Perez) is trying to show a lot of respect to Carlos Febles.
Players can come out with some different ideas. It doesn't affect me."
Beltran's streak ends:
Carlos Beltran wasn't in the Royals' starting
lineup Tuesday, ending his streak of 184 consecutive starts dating back to
July 26, 2001. Beltran had the longest streak in the Majors in games
started, but Peña decided a night off from center-field work or designated-hitting was in order for Beltran.
"He's one of the guys who hasn't had an off-day yet," Peña said. "When
he's chasing the breaking ball, it's not that he's physically tired, but
mentally tired. If Carlos stops swinging at those breaking balls out of the
strike zone, he will see some fastballs. The opponent doesn't want to face
Mike Sweeney with a runner in scoring position. They don't want to walk
Beltran because he's likely to steal second."
Beltran had the fourth-longest streak in games played behind
Miguel Tejada (396),
Terrence Long (363) and
Alex Rodriguez (349).
Mindset remains: Third baseman
Joe Randa is having a solid season at the
plate with a .280 batting average and 66 runs batted in. A series of
special hitting drills in Spring Training helped Randa go in the right
direction after he had a subpar .253 batting average in 2001.
"The drills have changed as the season has gone on, but the mindset has
stayed the same," Randa said. "In Spring Training, I was trying to break a
bad habit at the plate."
Randa has a shot to approach .300 with 36 games remaining.
"I fell into a little rut after the All-Star break, but otherwise it has
gone pretty well," Randa said. "The whole thing is about consistency and I'm
hoping to finish strong in August and September."
Royal rumblings: The Royals have played one indoor game and one outdoor
game so far in their series with the Blue Jays. On Monday, the Skydome roof
was shut because of suspect weather. But it was bright and pleasant
Tuesday. The roof was pulled back so the fans could enjoy the sunshine and
fresh air. ...
Chuck Knoblauch was a late scratch Tuesday because of
tightness in his left forearm. That's the same forearm that caused Knoblauch
to spend 39 games on the disabled list. He had been scheduled to lead off
and play left field, but Aaron Guiel was inserted at the last minute.
Fantasy Edge: Royals right-hander
Paul Byrd continues to shine even
though he hasn't won in his last four starts. Byrd's earned run average in
August is 2.67. His overall ERA is down to 3.35.
Robert Falkoff covers the Royals for MLB.com. This story was not subject to
approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.