Derek Jeter drew quite a crowd for this at-bat -- President Bush waving in the stands, Mickey Mantle studying from the dugout.
It made for a perfect picture on Jeter's new baseball card. Of course, the game never happened.
Instead, this Topps triple play was just someone's idea of a visual gag. It was a card trick -- somebody at the company produced it through digital manipulation.
"We saw it in the final proof and we could have axed it," Topps spokesman Clay Luraschi told the Associated Press yesterday. "But we decided to let it run, we wanted to print it. We thought it was hilarious."
The card will be changed when Topps issues a complete set at midseason, Luraschi said.
Jeter said he had not seen the card, which shows him swinging at Yankee Stadium.
The Jeter card could join other famed oddball cards, like the 1969 Topps of Aurelio Rodriguez. That one featured a photo of a bat boy instead of the infielder.
A collector said the joke would raise the price of the card, which currently goes for $2 on eBay.
· MARLINS:Florida officials were unhappy to hear that their manager last year, Joe Girardi, gave rival pitcher Jon Lieber helpful tips during the season.
Lieber said his season with the Phillies turned around shortly after he was roughed up by the Marlins last July 31, and he credits a phone call from Girardi. They played together with the Cubs from 2000 to '02.
"He just mentioned that the hitters said everything that was coming in was just very flat," Lieber told the Philadelphia Daily News.
Both teams contended for the NL wild-card berth, and Lieber beat the Marlins twice in September.
· RANGERS:Sammy Sosa and No. 1 starter Kevin Millwood will play in a "B" game Friday for Texas instead of the Cactus League opener.
Sosa and Millwood will be on a back field facing a team of lesser-known players from the Royals, the other club that uses the complex, instead of the spring opener in the main stadium.
· GIANTS:Tim Lincecum got a pair of fly balls and a four-pitch strikeout.
San Francisco's top draft pick in 2006 threw all of nine pitches in an intrasquad game in Scottsdale, Ariz., seven for strikes.
"This kid has a chance to be real special," Manager Bruce Bochy said.
· TWINS:Reliever Jesse Crain agreed to a three-year, $3.25 million contract. The 25-year-old Crain went 4-5 with a 3.52 ERA in 68 games last season.