MADISON, WI—Saying that he is constantly offering words of encouragement and various pointers on maintaining a proper stance, sources confirmed Tuesday that no one at Damen’s Sports Complex appears to know a middle-aged man leaning against the batting cages giving people hitting advice.
MIAMIFlorida Marlins pitcher Antonio Alfonseca dominated the MLB in appendages for the ninth straight year, finishing the 2005 season with a league-leading 12 fingers. Alfonseca, who made his debut with the Marlins in 1997 and wasted no time making this particular statistical category his own, led the NL for almost the entire season, only falling into a close second during an unusual two-week period in mid-August. Alfonseca's performance will trigger a $1 million bonus, as the Marlins signed him to an incentive-laden, oft-criticized, finger-enumeration-based contract. "Antonio has been through a lot this season, including some elbow problems and a trip to the DL," manager Jack McKeon said. "But in the end, he just went out there and had a lot of fingers." There was once again a tie for second place behind Alfonseca, with 214 pitchers amassing 10 fingers each, followed by Bob Wickman, who finished last with 9.7.