Don't count Mike Schmidt among the old-timers who take shots at players who may have used steroids or other illegal drugs and supplements to rewrite baseball's record book. He says he might have been one himself if he had started his career later.

Last month Schmidt told HBO that he "would have taken steroids" had he played in the late 1990s. While the Hall of Fame third baseman wasn't as absolute yesterday at a ceremony inducting former C Bob Boone to the Phillies' Wall of Fame, he acknowledged that he may not have been able to overcome the temptation to use performance-enhancing drugs.

"I'm not saying I definitely would have, but I'm not going to sit here and tell you there's no way," he said. "Who knows? I truly can't make the statement, 'I wouldn't have gotten caught up in it.' "

* POOR CHOICE OF WORDS: Talk-show host Larry Krueger of the Giants' longtime flagship radio station KNBR has apologized for racial remarks made about the team's Latino players.

On the air late Wednesday after a Giants' loss, Krueger went off about the struggling club and its "brain-dead Caribbean hitters hacking at slop nightly."

Later, he said, "You have a manager in Felipe [Alou] whose mind has turned to Cream of Wheat."

"I'm sad to hear that," Alou, 70, said. "I never heard anything like that here. I heard it in the South and in some other cities, but not here."

* REDS TO THE RESCUE: Cincinnati players rallied around a 6-year-old boy after his grandfather collapsed in the stands during Wednesday night's home game.

While paramedics were working on the grandfather, who later died, a security officer took the boy, Antonio Perez, to the Reds' bullpen, where he sat with players for the last two innings of the game. OF Ken Griffey Jr. took him to the team clubhouse when the game ended, and the boy was given bats, wristbands and autographed baseballs as players entertained him until his parents arrived.

"We play a game," Griffey said. "What he was going through doesn't compare. It was important that the little guy not be by himself."

-- From News Services

Mike Schmidt, shown last year while managing at Class A Clearwater, says he might have been temped to use steroids.