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DEAL PUTS CONINE'S FUTURE IN DOUBT; DAULTON'S GANG GONE

Jeff Conine has been a starter since the Marlins' first game in 1993, but Florida's acquisition Monday of Darren Daulton leaves Conine's future in doubt. He likely is bound for the bench, or perhaps another team, because Daulton is expected to become the regular first baseman.

"Obviously I can't do anything about it," Conine said after the trade was announced. "This won't go down in the books as a memorable year for me."

The Marlins, who hope to acquire a starting pitcher before the July 31 trading deadline, reportedly were close to a deal involving Conine and the Kansas City Royals, his former team.

Conine, a two-time All-Star left fielder and a .290 career hitter, moved to first base this season so newcomer Moises Alou could play left. Conine is batting just .232 with eight home runs.

Daulton, acquired in exchange for minor-league outfielder Billy McMillon (who hit .352 to win the International League batting title last year), played mostly right field this season for the Philadelphia Phillies, but he is also experienced at first.

The Marlins are last in the majors in home runs, and switch-hitter Bobby Bonilla has been their only power threat from the left side. Daulton bats left-handed.

Daulton was a star as a member of the rollicking "Macho Row" that powered the 1993 Phillies to the National League pennant. He had spent 18 years with the Phillies organization.

He took his farewell from the team that signed him as a 25th-round pick in 1980 by waving to the sparse crowd that had assembled for Monday's game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Veterans Stadium.

Daulton, along with Lenny Dykstra, John Kruk and Dave Hollins, formed Macho Row, that band of players who made the Phillies the wonder of the 1993 baseball season, taking them from worst to first.

Now only Dykstra remains and he's in his second season on the disabled list.

Daulton's numbers this year are only impressive -- he's hitting a still-respectable .264 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs -- when you consider he tore an anterior cruciate ligament midway through the 1995 season and has had nine knee surgeries. His career numbers as a Phillie: a .245 average, 134 homers and 567 RBIs.

"I grew up from a boy here to being a man," Daulton said of his years in Philadelphia as his wife, Nicole, choked back tears. "And I'll always respect that.

"I know it's an opportunity for the club to pick up a player. It's an opportunity for me to go play for a club that has a chance to get to the playoffs."

Yanks' Whiten arrested

MILWAUKEE -- Yankees outfielder Mark Whiten is out of jail on a $10,000 bond after being arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a 31-year-old woman.

Whiten admitted having "consensual sexual relations with the woman," an unidentified police source told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a story for today's editions.

The police source also told the paper the woman has credibility problems, and there are questions about her mental stability.

Whiten, 30, was arrested Monday afternoon and was released on $10,000 bond, according to his attorney, Steve Glynn.

The district attorney's office planned to review the case today and decide whether to file a criminal charge.

In other news: Mo Vaughn will not be charged with assault until 24-year-old Scott Bird, a man who says the Boston Red Sox first baseman hit him in the mouth, can present more evidence that his story is true. "We're not doing anything at the moment," chief prosecutor Carolyn Allen said.

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