APPIER UPSET: Kevin Appier is angry -- at the way he is pitching and the way GM Herk Robinson is running the Royals.

All that dissatisfaction came bubbling over Wednesday after Appier lost to Detroit, 10-5.

"I don't know what their plan is," said Appier, who underwent shoulder surgery during spring training in 1998 and has not rebounded to the form that made him the ace of the staff. Appier will make more than $5.5 million next season in the option year of his contract, but has been on the trading block all year. . . .

Fred McGriff thinks his days with the Devil Rays might be numbered, and GM Chuck LaMar said the first baseman might be right. McGriff, 35, is coming to the end of a two-year, $11 million contract, but doesn't believe he will be re-signed.

BREWERS TRIBUTE: The Brewers will hold a tribute July 30 to the three ironworkers who were killed in a construction accident last week at the team's new stadium in Milwaukee. The Brewers will donate $3 for every ticket sold for the game against the Expos to a fund organized to aid the families of the victims. The team also will give two game tickets to every construction worker at Miller Park, which is scheduled to open for the 2000 season.