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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Grissom, 38, retires after 'a pretty fun ride'
Published March 29, 2006
MESA, Ariz. - Marquis Grissom announced his retirement Tuesday after a 17-year major-league career.
The 38-year-old outfielder signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago Cubs in January and had hoped to make the team as a backup. But he batted just .200 in 17 spring training games.
Grissom is among seven players with 2,000 hits, 200 home runs and 400 stolen bases, joining Craig Biggio, Roberto Alomar, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor and Joe Morgan.
"It's been a pretty fun ride along the way," Grissom said.
His departure opens the way for rookie outfielder Angel Pagan to make the team.
"He's such a great human being that you want him to go out on his terms," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said of Grissom. "Very rarely do guys get to go out on their terms, how they'd like to go out. He just told me it was time."
Grissom finished with 429 stolen bases, including a career-high 78 in 1992. He was a two-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner, playing in the majors with six teams.
Grissom batted .272 with 386 doubles, 56 triples, 227 homers and 967 RBIs, and he compiled .988 fielding percentage in 2,165 major-league games. He was the MVP of the 1997 AL championship series in his only season with the Cleveland Indians.
In other Cubs news, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood were placed on the 15-day disabled list, meaning Chicago will start the season without both star right-handers. Neither move came as a surprise, as both have been rehabbing from injuries. The moves were retroactive to March 27. Also, right-hander Todd Wellemeyer was traded to the Marlins for minor-league pitchers Lincoln Holdzkom and Zach McCormack.
Reporters anger Tavarez
FORT MYERS - One day after pitcher Julian Tavarez punched the Rays' Joey Gathright, Tavarez approached two reporters to ask who had written that he threw the punch because he wasn't pitching well. "It was one hit, two errors and they write down those things?" he said. "I'm done with the media. No mas."
Meanwhile, teammate Trot Nixon called on commissioner Bud Selig to consider having fewer games between division rivals to lessen tensions. Nixon said having teams play division opponents 19 times each season can build up stress. "The run-ins that we've had in the past four years have been with the Yankees, with Tampa and maybe a couple with Baltimore," Nixon said. He suggested a balanced schedule, which was used in the AL from 1977-2000.
MARINERS: Centerfielder Jeremy Reed has a sprained right wrist and not a broken wrist, as the team originally thought.
NATIONALS: Ryan Church was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans, meaning rookie Brandon Watson and Marlon Byrd will share time in centerfield. "Shocked. Only word I can say," Church said. GM Jim Bowden said Watson had a better spring. Watson entered Tuesday with a .311 average. Church was hitting .200.
ORIOLES: Reliever Jim Brower has earned a spot on the opening-day roster despite a 6.75 ERA in spring training. Manager Sam Perlozzo said Brower's experience was a big factor.
ROYALS: Infielder Tony Graffanino was claimed off waivers, returning to the team that traded him to the Red Sox eight months ago. "I loved every minute of it, playing in that stadium (Fenway Park) with those fans," he said.