Quick hits column

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

THE PRICE OF PAUL

- The Blue Jays claimed Angels catcher Josh Paul on waivers earlier this month and the teams seemed to have a common ground to work out a deal. The Angels wanted a minor-league outfielder from the Jays system. However, the teams could not agree on the outfielder. Could the Angels have asked for Gabe Gross for a third-string catcher? Paul was hitting .188 in 31 games. After Paul was recalled off the waiver wire, he sprained his right thumb and was placed on the disabled list. The Jays were looking for Paul to back up Gregg Zaun.

THE C STANDS FOR?

- Baseball players wearing the letter C on their uniform top was, still and always will be a silly habit? How about Mike Sweeney of the sad-sack Kansas City Royals.

"Hey Sweeney," we can hear fans yelling, "what are you captaining next, the Exxon Valdez?"

FATHER AND SON

- Maybe you've heard about baseball's bond between father and son. Markham's Joel Lustig tells of taking son Aubrey, five years old at the time, to Cooperstown, N.Y. in 1995. They watched a sandlot game at Doubleday Field. After three days at the Hall of Fame and Cooperstown they left Doubleday headed for the car. An upset Aubrey said "the best three days of my life are coming to an end." Old dad headed back to the park, convinced the groundskeeper to allow his son to run the bases. After three trips Aubrey said: "We can go home now." Now, Aubrey plays for the North York/Leaside Twins minor midgets and on some nights at Christie Pits his father Joel and grandfather Ernie Lustig watch from the hillside.

OH DEER!

- Cristian Guzman of the Washington Nationals is hitting .191 for the season, which puts him in select company. Only Rob Deer, who hit .179 for Detroit in 1991, and Eddie Joost of the Braves (.185 in 1943) had lower averages over 300 at-bats. GM Jim Bowden has ordered that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, the team's top draft pick and currently at double-A Harrisburg, play the rest of the season at shortstop. And the Senators have Guzman for THREE more years as this is Year 1 of his four-year, $16.8-million US deal.

SCUFFLING

- San Diego's Woody Williams is 1-4 with a 7.75 ERA over his past six starts -- 29 runs on 42 hits in 33 2/3 innings -- for an ERA of 7.75. Williams gave up six runs on six hits in the first 1 2/3 innings he worked Wednesday in Florida, then retired the final 10 Marlins he faced.


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