MLB Notes

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BONDS' BALL: The fate of Barry Bonds' record-breaking home run ball is now in the public's hands after its buyer announced he was taking votes on whether to give the ball to the Hall of Fame, brand it with an asterisk or blast it into space.

Fashion designer Marc Ecko revealed himself as Saturday's winning bidder in the online auction for the ball that Bonds hit last month to break Hank Aaron's record of 755 home runs. The final selling price for No. 756 was $752,467, well above most predictions.

Ecko had not even taken possession of the ball before setting up a Web site that lets visitors vote on which of the three outcomes they think the ball most deserves. He plans to announce the final tally after voting ends Sept. 25.

CARDINALS: Pitcher Mark Mulder might have additional tests on his surgically repaired left shoulder after struggling in three starts this month.

Trainer Barry Weinberg said that an MRI exam could be scheduled for Mulder, who was to be examined by St. Louis team physician Dr. George Paletta. Mulder, 0-3 with a 12.27 ERA, experienced discomfort during Sunday's 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs.

RED SOX: Players didn't need an interpreter for this: With one quick wardrobe change, Daisuke Matsuzaka went from star pitcher to Teletubby.

Many teams use a late season trip as a chance to have some fun with the rookies, dressing them in outlandish costumes that must be worn on the flight to the next city. Dice-K had to don the outfit following Sunday night's 4-3 loss to the New York Yankees at Fenway Park.

In addition to Matsuzaka, Boston's veterans dressed reliever Hideki Okajami and outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury as female pirates, pitcher Clay Buchholz as Minnie Mouse and outfielder Brandon Moss as Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz." Third baseman Mike Lowell said Matsuzaka and translator Masa Hoshino - also a Teletubby - wore the funniest outfits.

"That was pretty original, I thought," Lowell said.

YANKEES: Mariano Rivera was available, one night after the pinkie on his pitching hand was bruised by a stray throw as he loosened up in the bullpen at Fenway Park.

The star closer was stretching late in Sunday night's game against the Red Sox, preparing to warm up, when an errant toss hit him on both bare hands.


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