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Boggs declines shot at Olympics

By JOHN ROMANO

© St. Petersburg Times, published June 29, 2000


ST. PETERSBURG -- A month ago, playing in the Olympics sounded like a dream to Wade Boggs. Turns out, it will remain just that.

Boggs said Wednesday he was offered an opportunity to be considered for this year's Olympic team, but he declined when told he would have to play for an independent league team for two weeks to prove he was game-ready.

"I didn't have much interest in dropping everything and finding some place to live for two weeks, especially with no guarantee I would make the team," said Boggs, who works as a special assistant to Devil Rays general manager Chuck LaMar.

"I just didn't think it was beneficial for me at this point in my life to go through that."

Boggs, 41, said he had been taking batting practice and fielding ground balls in recent weeks, and he thought he was in good enough shape to help the U.S. team.

"I wasn't sore; I was feeling good," he said. "It wasn't like I retired five years ago and had gotten fat."

Boggs' agent was told that only two or three former major-league players would make the Olympic team.

Former All-Star catcher Terry Steinbach has been playing with a semi-pro team in Minnesota and is considered one of the top candidates. Apparently, Olympic officials wanted to see other players follow Steinbach's lead to stay in shape.

"It was nice being considered," Boggs said. "It was fun for a while to think about actually playing in the Olympics."

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