Lemieux doing a book signing in Center City. Imagine being that nauseated over anything sports-related that isn't an Eagles' draft.

That's what New Yorkers had to deal with

yesterday, when Red Sox slugger David Ortiz signed copies of his autobiography "Big Papi" in Manhattan, which is hard-core Yankees territory.

Ortiz got out alive, which is more than

we can say lately about the 9-14, last-place

Yankees, who have lost five of six to Boston the last two weekends.

"It's surprising," said Ortiz, who is hitting .297 with seven home runs and 22 RBI. "You sign a book in New York and you don't know what to expect, but everything's been pretty cool. People show

their respect and like the way I do my thing out there," the Associated Press reported.

Ortiz, who is friends with Ryan Howard, writes about growing up poor in the Dominican Republic, signing with Seattle and going to

Minnesota. The Twins released him in 2003

and he since has become a Fenway folk hero.

This season, Ortiz is hitting .297 with seven home runs and 22 RBI as Boston is 16-8 and in first place in the AL East.

Ortiz isn't poor any longer. He will make $12.75 million from the Red Sox this season. The book royalties will be gravy.

You guys need a fourth?

This is one power twosome, Mr. Tiger Woods and Mr. Michael Jordan, playing

together in the Wachovia Championship

pro-am tomorrow in Charlotte, N.C.

The fellows, way wealthier than even David Ortiz, will tee off at 7:30 a.m. with Skipper Beck, president and CEO of Beck Imports of the Carolinas, who supplied the tournament with courtesy Mercedes-Benz cars.

Can you imagine Mr. Beck's jitters and his absolute inability to breathe on the first tee? *

- Chuck Bausman

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