Sunday, May 4, 2003

Mix up makes Choi the NL rookie of month



By Nancy Armour
The Associated Press

CHICAGO - Zach Day isn't the NL rookie of the month for April, after all.

One day after the Montreal Expos right-hander was picked as the NL rookie for April, the honor was rescinded and given instead to Chicago Cubs first baseman Hee Seop Choi.

It turns out Day spent a few days too many in the majors last season to still be considered a rookie.

"I didn't know that," Choi said after the Cubs' 6-4 loss to the Rockies on Saturday afternoon. "Wow."

But Day wasn't too bothered by the disappearing award.

"I'm not even thinking about it. It's in the past," he said in St. Louis, where the Expos lost 3-1 to the Cardinals. "I didn't know about it until yesterday. Today it's already gone. It's not a big deal."

Day was 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in April. But he began the season with 81 days of major league service - including 52 days before Sept. 1.

According to rules established by the Baseball Writers Association of America, rookies cannot exceed 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched, or have been on an active roster for more than 45 days before Sept. 1.

"Actually, coming into this year, I didn't think I was a rookie," Day said. "I felt like I had enough experience and I didn't feel like a rookie."

And he wasn't. But Choi definitely is. Choi, the first Korean-born position player in history, didn't make his major league debut until last Sept. 3.

"It's just an award," Day said. "I take my hat off to Choi. It's a big accomplishment to get that award."

Besides, it's not as if he has to give back any goodies.

Each month, five media members covering each team are asked to pick the top player, pitcher and rookie in their league. The honorees were just announced Friday, so Day hadn't gotten his commemorative trophy yet.

Choi will likely get his trophy in the next couple of weeks.

"I don't even think about that," Choi said. "I just want to play hard every game. I hit, play defense, I do everything hard because I want to win games."

Choi hit .241 with five homers and 14 RBIs in April, and had a .552 slugging percentage. He hit safely in his first five games, and homered three consecutive days - April 15-17 against Cincinnati.

During his homer binge, he also reached base in 10 of 11 plate appearances.

"He's doing well. He's doing very well," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "That's a great honor. I'm hoping he gets the same honor at the end of the year."

At least he won't have any competition from Day.




FLYING PIG MARATHON
Locals win Flying Pig
Complete results

REDS SUNDAY GAME
Giants 6, Reds 1
Reds Box, Runs

REDS SATURDAY GAME
Giants 9, Reds 6
Reds notebook: Riedling prepared to start
Harnisch putting in his innings
First win of season gives Graves shot of confidence
Aussie takes American game for a kick and a jog
Reds chatter
Reds Q&A

MORE BASEBALL
Fay: MLB power rankings
NL: Pujols, Cards hot
AL: Pedro twirls five-hitter
Notes from Saturday's games
Louisville 4, Buffalo 1
Cy Young vs. Cy Old
Mix up makes Choi the NL rookie of month
Ex-Astro Lugo says he didn't strike wife

KENTUCKY DERBY
Funny Cide up in Derby
Jockey Santos realizes dream with a gelding
Frankel accepts defeat in stride
A win for owners, and their home state
In a N.Y. minute - or two
No fade at finish for humbled Patton

BENGALS
Bengals begin to take shape
Newest receiver should fit right in
Bengals Q&A
Kitna comes out with early praise for Warrick

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Price fired as Alabama football coach
Tide president made the right call
Alabama players upset by coach's firing

PREP SPORTS
Daugherty: O.J. Mayo
Prep Insider
Prep results, schedule

BASKETBALL
Cronin's goal is to outfox ex-employers UC, U of L for recruits
Pictures worth 1,000 words for Missouri English major
Court: newspaper may be entitled to Knight records
Duncan to repeat as MVP

AUTO RACING
Ky. Speedway still hoping for Cup race
Driver Nadeau critical but improving

HOCKEY
Giguere pulled in loss to Stars
Clones lose finale

GOLF
Verplank maintains 3-shot lead

TENNIS
Venus advances

BOXING
De La Hoya stops Campas

SUNDAY SPORTS SPOTLITE
Ignorance is bliss for Thomas More
Some college coaches can't be trusted
'I made some very, very poor decisions'
Division II Lewis beats BYU for NCAA title
Top Of The Second power rankings

PLAN YOUR DAY
This weekend's sports on TV, radio

Return to Reds front page...