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Tuesday, July 28, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Between The Lines

Percival To Cut Tobacco, Coffee

The Orange County Register: AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Troy Percival is not certain his use of smokeless tobacco and caffeine caused him to suffer dizzy spells so severe that he went to the hospital Saturday. But the Anaheim Angels' closer will not wait for additional tests before he takes action.

Percival said he will quit chewing tobacco and wean himself of his dependence on caffeine.

"The doctors told me all the symptoms I had could have been (a result of) the caffeine and nicotine," said Percival, who underwent a brain MRI and arteriogram. "I'm not going to dip (use smokeless tobacco), and I'm going to cut down on the coffee. . . . If I can cure it by cutting out caffeine and dipping, I can take care of it myself. My body just told me it's time to cut back."

Percival has been known to go through two cans of dip and 10 cups of coffee a day during the season. He said he had recently cut in half his intake of coffee and dip. Aware withdrawal symptoms could affect his pitching, Percival said he might use tobacco occasionally the rest of the season, "but come the offseason I'll be off it completely."

Percival, the American League leader with 29 saves, was available to pitch against Kansas City last night and warmed up in the ninth inning.

NOTES

-- Left-hander Chuck Finley, struck just above the left elbow by a line drive Friday night, is scheduled to start Thursday for Anaheim against the New York Yankees - one day later than originally scheduled.

-- Oakland called up outfielder Mike Neill from Class AAA Edmonton and optioned pitcher Steve Connelly to Edmonton.

-- The Diamondbacks brought up right-hander Bob Wolcott from Class AAA Tucson. Wolcott might take the place of Travis Lee on the roster if the rookie first baseman is placed on the disabled list. Lee has missed three games since getting hurt Friday trying to make a tag in a rundown play in Los Angeles.

-- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Ismael Valdes was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained oblique and intestinal muscle on his left side. To replace Valdes, the Dodgers purchased the contract of right-hander Sean Maloney from Class AAA Albuquerque of the Pacific Coast League.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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