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Boggs and Duncan want out; Rogers happy to be back

July 11, 1997

NEW YORK (AP) _ Hideki Irabu wasn’t the only one causing a circus atmosphere at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night. Wade Boggs and Mariano Duncan repeated their desires to be traded.

As the second half of the season began, Kenny Rogers and Duncan returned to the Yankees, the team they left last Friday night when they were traded to San Diego in a deal centered around Greg Vaughn. But the trade was voided the following day when the outfielder flunked the Yankees’ physical.

``I want to be out of here so bad, I’ll do anything I can to get out of here,″ Duncan said Thursday. ``Please, please let me go.″

Boggs, unhappy that Charlie Hayes has taken over as the starter at third base, also wants out. Boggs is hitting .240 with 16 RBIs.

``Like Johnnie Cochran said, if you don’t fit, you got to get rid,″ Boggs said Thursday, referring to O.J. Simpson’s lawyer.

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner closed his team’s clubhouse to reporters just hours before Irabu was to make his major league debut. He then made sure any player reporters wanted to speak with was brought to an interview room, giving Duncan, Boggs and Rogers a forum to explain their feelings.

Duncan, whose defense displeased Steinbrenner, did not start for 17 straight games from May 30 to mid-June, then played three straight games. He has not been in a game since June 25.

``They don’t ever play me. They don’t trade me. They don’t give me my release. What am I doing here?″ said Duncan, hitting .247 in 158 at-bats.

``If he’s a piece of garbage, let the piece of garbage go away,″ he said, referring to himself.

Rogers, demoted to the bullpen, thought another trade had been worked out when Steinbrenner had him summoned to the interview room.

``I’ve been coming and going since I’ve been here,″ he said. ``Being in limbo _ I’m getting used to it.″

Rogers, 4-4 with a 5.90 ERA this season, still doesn’t regret leaving the Texas Rangers after the 1995 season to sign a $20 million, four-year contract with the Yankees as a free agent.

``I came here for one reason, to get to the playoffs,″ Rogers said. ``I got the ring that I wanted. Maybe not the exact way, but for myself I was proud of last season.″

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