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Ripken shows he's
an All-Star PTPer


July 16
Each week I will post my "Dick's Dow Jones" report on whose stock is up and whose is down from across the world of sports.

My stock goes up for one of the classiest players to ever play baseball, Cal Ripken Jr. What a dramatic moment. He got an opportunity to start in the All-Star Game and prove he can still play, and he took Chan Ho Park long, baby!

He got a standing ovation from both the Seattle crowd and his peers. And there is nothing more special for an athlete than being honored by his peers. At the end of the season, Ripken will enter the elite group of great athletes who have stepped aside in recent years -- John Elway, Dan Marino and Michael Jordan. Ripken has been a blue-chip PTPer in every possible way.

And then Ripken had a great finish to his week. On Saturday, he hit two home runs against the Braves and received a standing ovation from the Atlanta fans. His big day gave him a 15-game hitting streak, which ended Sunday. But Ripken, who was once laboring this year around the Mendoza line, has now raised his average about 40 points to .246. Ripken is class personified and a role model to youngsters on how to carry on in life both on and off the diamond.

Also, Glendon Rusch's stock is up. The Mets' left-hander has had his name bandied about in trade rumors, but Rusch was absolutely superb against the hard-hitting Boston Red Sox on Saturday. He limited them to one hit and struck out 10 in eight shutout innings. And then the game was closed down by Armando Benitez, who is a perfect 20 for 20 in save opportunties, baby.

Talking about save opportunities, Cleveland thought it was getting a dynamite left-hander when the Indians traded Steve Karsay and Steve Reed to Atlanta for the controversial John Rocker. But Rocker has disappointed in recent appearances.

On Saturday, Rocker had a chance to close out a game for the Indians, but he couldn't get them into the winner's circle. He lost his second straight game and his third in his last four outings. If the Indians have any chance of closing the gap on the Twins, who are legit and won't go away, Rocker must step up and close the door.

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