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Sports Beat

The 7 train, the New York City subway line that runs from
Manhattan to Shea Stadium, has historically been unkind to
out-of-town pitchers. Just ask John Rocker. But Phillies reliever
Randy Wolf is hoping for a better mass transit experience. Last
Thursday he was waiting at Grand Central Station for the train to
the ballpark when he met a woman in brown suede bell-bottoms.
After a brief chat they went their separate ways. Wolf, a
26-year-old bachelor, couldn't stop thinking about his mysterious
fellow traveler ("There was something about her eyes," he said)
and decided to try to track her down. His quest has become a
cause du jour in New York, where it drew mention in the tabloids
and on the evening news. At press time the sultry
straphanger--who Wolf thinks might be named Liz or Linda and who
stands about 5'6" and has brown hair with frosty streaks--had yet
to come forward.

Back in December, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner criticized
his star shortstop, Derek Jeter, for his late-night partying
ways. Apparently all is forgiven. The two star in a new ad for
Visa, in which Jeter and the Boss spend a night on the town, at
one point dancing in the same conga line.

Gene Washington was a four-time All-Pro receiver with the 49ers,
but his best catch might have nothing to do with football.
Washington escorted national security adviser Condoleezza Rice to
a state dinner for the president of the Philippines, Gloria
Macapagal-Arroyo, last week. It wasn't their first date. Last
year Washington joined Rice at a dinner for the president of
Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski. The two met in the 1990s at
Stanford, where Washington, who is now the director of football
operations for the NFL, was an assistant athletic director and
Rice was provost.

Mixed triples, anyone? It looks as if Steffi Graf won't be
keeping the promise she made to her husband at the Australian
Open. Andre Agassi said Graf told him at the season's first major
that she would be his mixed doubles partner at the French Open if
he won Down Under. Agassi held up his end of the bargain, beating
Rainer Schuettler in the Aussie finals. Yet Graf won't be playing
with him at Roland Garros. She has a good reason: She's pregnant.
The couple's second child (son Jaden turns two in October) is due
in November. "It wouldn't be wise for a pregnant woman to play,"
Agassi said.

New York Giants tight end Jeremy Shockey was recently blown off
by Britney Spears when he approached her in New York's Capitale
restaurant. He appears to have landed on his feet, though. The
brash fan favorite, who was an All-Pro as a rookie, was seen
cuddling with Tara Reid at a recent Red Hot Chili Peppers concert
in New Jersey.... We knew IRL driver Kenny Brack, who won at the
Indianapolis 500 in 1999, could really roll, but who knew he
could rock? Brack, 37, spent most days in May preparing for
Sunday's Indy 500, in which he finished 16th. Meanwhile by night
he played in his band, The Subwoofers, who opened for Cracker at
the Brickyard last Thursday, just hours after Brack turned the
fastest lap on Carburetion Day, the final day of practice before
the race. The band plays classic rock cover tunes, but Brack's
bandmates try to steer him from the music of his native Sweden.
"We've asked him if we could stay away from ABBA," said lead
singer Kathy Prather.


COLOR PHOTO: AHN YOUNG-JOON/AP (BARTENDER) PICTURE THIS Uh, we asked for a Bud Light. Still, Cho Jin-Young, 23, could be a contender in the International Contest of Bartenders--if Red Adair doesn't parachute in during his signature move. Cho was one of 14 mixologists who competed in Seoul, South Korea, for the chance to display their skills in the finals next February in Dallas. In the meantime, when this man says "Last call," we'll listen.



The groundskeeper for the Class A Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws was
ejected by an umpire for insisting that it was raining hard
enough to roll out the tarp.


Rangers coach, on the art of hitting pop-ups to the catcher in
fungo sessions: "I just pretend I'm back in my playing days with
the bases loaded and two out."