By MARC TOPKIN, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published September 8, 2002
BOBBLING ALONG: Following in the footsteps of Fred McGriff and the even larger ones of mascot Raymond, Steve Cox today becomes the third Ray to have his own bobblehead doll. (Unless you count Jason Tyner, whose bobbleheads were left in a warehouse after he was sent to the minors, or Toby Hall, who originally was to be today's subject).
To Cox, the bobbleheads are more than a novelty. He collects the popular promotions, acquiring about 40 different ones that he displays at home.
"When they gave out the Fred McGriff ones I just thought it was neat," Cox said. "I asked (public relations vice president) Rick Vaughn if he could get me any other ones, and he got me around 20. Then in the last year I've bought some on eBay and gotten some when we've gone to other stadiums."
His most prized bobbleheads? "I've got both Ichiros."
So will he add the Steve Cox bobblehead to his collection?
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SHE WRITES THE SONGS, HE THROWS THE PITCHES: If nothing else, Amanda Carter should have good material for some heartfelt country verse. As her husband, pitcher Lance Carter, worked his way back to the majors after a second major elbow operation, Amanda stood by her man, putting on hold a move to Nashville to boost her aspiring country music career.
Lately, she has been singing at a few restaurants in and around Bradenton, including the Bridge Tender Inn, compiling material for a demo cd, writing songs and working on the guitar, banjo and piano.
So, we wondered, whom does she sound like?
Wynonna? Faith Hill? Reba McEntire?
"Not a fair question," Lance Carter responded. "I don't really know enough about music to say who she sounds like. I really don't know."
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STAR QUALITY: Jim Morris has been breathlessly traveling the country promoting the home video and DVD release of The Rookie, the movie that documented his amazing rise at age 35 from high school science teacher to Rays pitcher. "People love the story and they love the extra stuff at the end of the DVD (such as documentary style interviews and baseball tips)," he said.
Morris' time in the spotlight would seem to be shrinking rapidly, but he says that isn't the case. "I'm booked for the next few years with motivational speeches," he said. "And I want to get back to the classroom."
* * *
EXCERPTED: From Baseball America editor Allan Simpson's recent online chat: "There isn't another organization that can touch the Devil Rays group of young outfielders. If only (Josh) Hamilton could get healthy and stay healthy. He could still be the best of the lot. The challenge now is for the Devil Rays to round out their system with pitchers and infielders, and signing (top draft pick B.J.) Upton would go a long way to accomplishing that. They've made a very fair offer in relation to this year's bonus scale."
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ONLINE ITEM OF THE WEEK: What is billed as Rocco Baldelli's first-ever baseball card -- showing him as a high school All-American -- had a high bid of $3 (to a buyer named Rocko 125) on eBay Friday night.
* * *
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "I went to college for three years but I really don't like to think too much." -- DEWON BRAZELTON, Durham pitcher, complimenting catcher Paul Hoover for making his job easy in Friday's playoff win.
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OL trades papers for pigskins
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A simple plan: score more
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College football notebook
Rubin hopes to sustain start
NIU's top tailback Hammock sits out
C-USA: Nix fights way back in win for S. Miss
ACC: Gamecock turnovers lift Cavs
Big 12: Colorado scores win without QB
Pac-10: FSU transfer Darling has 3 TDs for Wash. St.
Around the state
Big Ten: Coach wakes Spartans in time
Big East: Texas A&M converts on Pitt's PAT woes
Irish win despite offense
SEC: Bama's bid bobbled: Sooners avoid upset
Miami AD would like to play UF regularly
UM runner seems here to stay
At right time, DBs emerge for Miami
Serena wins 3rd straight in sister slam
Men's final a flashback for two 'old-timers'
Davenport surprising even herself
Wells loses two teeth in attack at diner
AL: Mulder stops A's skid at one
NL: Giants win on final swing again
A-Rod: Let's begin promoting the good
Highs and lows
Spurrier's struggles should be short-lived
A Heisman primary yields no early leader
Winners over U.S. compete for gold
Junior still dominant force in Busch series
Stewart denies assaulting woman after Bristol race
Kenseth survives Richmond
Mustangs boys, girlsmake strong showings
CCC girls, Largo boys run strong
Wharton crashes the party
Patriots gain little respect
Activated receiver Smith will start for Jaguars
Daily fishing report
Sampras: role model for fans and Roddick