Calvin Borel may be on the verge of winning an individual Triple Crown, but he's still really a farm boy from Catahoula, La.

He is nationally famous after winning the Kentucky Derby on Mine That Bird and the Preakness on the filly Rachel Alexandra, and will ride Mine That Bird again tomorrow in the Belmont Stakes.

He has been invited to everything in New York this week - agent Jerry Hissam estimated Borel has done 175 interviews since winning the Derby - and will cap a frenetic tour of personal appearances with a stint on the Late Show with David Letterman tonight.

Borel's fiancee, Lisa Funk, has been guiding him through the wilds of the Big Apple's media zoo, but he still hasn't quite figured it out.

Funk told Newsday she kept correcting Borel all week for asking, "When do we meet Jay Letterman?"

No. 300. The S.F. Giants' Randy Johnson became the 24th pitcher to win 300 games, with a 5-1 win over Washington yesterday afternoon, and the first to win 300 on his first try since Tom Seaver in 1985.

The 45-year-old Johnson is the second-oldest pitcher to reach the milestone. Knuckleballer Phil Niekro was 46 when he won his 300th with the New York Yankees in 1985.

Where's Padilla headed? Former Phillie Vicente Padilla, now of the Texas Rangers, was fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball for twice hitting Yankee Mark Teixeira in a game Tuesday night.

The Rangers responded by putting the righthander on waivers. Given that Padilla is due $8 million for the rest of the season and will be a free agent when it's done, there probably won't be any takers.

According to Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Rangers have been trying to unload Padilla for two seasons.

The pitcher is not a troublemaker or a clubhouse cancer. In fact, just the opposite. In Texas, as in Philadelphia, Padilla is the ultimate loner.

Or as Galloway put it, "to call Vicente Padilla a strange cat is an insult to strange cats."

Either way, if the Phillies want to rent a pitcher for the last four months of the season, Padilla could be their man.