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Rollins could streak into ‘06

Associated Press

NOTES

Jimmy Rollins stretched his hitting streak to 36 games Sunday in Philadelphia’s regular-season finale against Washington – and can pursue Joe DiMaggio’s major league record of 56 next year.

Sort of.

For the purpose of baseball records, Rollins’ hitting streak will extend into 2006, and he can add to it. The major league marks for longest hitting streak in one season and longest hitting streak spanning two seasons are separate records, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

DiMaggio holds both marks with his 56-game streak in 1941, but there is a difference in the National League records: Pete Rose (1978) and Willie Keeler (1897) share the N.L. mark at 44 games. However, Keeler got a hit in his final game of 1896, so his run of 45 games overall is the first record Rollins can chase, Elias said.

“Not worried about next year right now,” Rollins said after Philadelphia beat Washington 9-3 but finished a game behind Houston in the NL wild-card standings. “Worried about getting my garage cleaned.”

McKeon steps down

Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon told his players he was calling it quits before Sunday’s win over Atlanta.

McKeon led the Marlins to the 2003 World Series title and a winning record in each of his three seasons as manager. Now 74, he said he told his family last year that this season would be his last, and he decided almost two months ago to keep that pledge.

The third-oldest manager in major-league history, McKeon will remain with the Marlins as an adviser – and he’s open to offers from other teams.

Clearing the bases

Giants general manager Brian Sabean thinks Barry Bonds could be physically ready to play about 120 games for San Francisco next season. Sabean and Bonds both have acknowledged the slugger needs to shed some weight Bonds put on while recovering from three operations this year on his right knee. … The Astros announced a contract extension for Craig Biggio through 2006, which will be his 19th season – all in Houston. … Nationals second baseman Jose Vidro is going to wait to decide whether to have right knee surgery after being told he might be able to avoid it. Vidro will rest for a week, then do a three-week exercise program, then get another exam by a team doctor. … Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield said interim manager Pete Mackanin will not be considered for the managerial job. … An average of 2.06 home runs per game were hit this season, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, down 8 percent from 2.25 last year. Just 27 players had 100 or more RBIs, the fewest since there were 19 in 1995. … Indians closer Bob Wickman, who finished with a career-high 45 saves, is eligible for free agency and said he’ll wait until after the World Series before deciding if he wants to come back for a 14th big league season. … Texas’ Mark Teixeira finished with 144 RBIs, the most by a switch-hitter in major league history.

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