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Mike Lupica

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Artists and Writers Play Lovely, Eloquent, Mediocre Softball

Mort Zuckerman
Any event that allows politico Mark Green and sportswriter Mike Lupica to engage in hip-hop-style fist bumps is worth the price of admission, especially when it's free. That's why hundreds (including an incognito Heather Mills) gathered for the 59th annual Artists and Writers Charity Softball game in East Hampton on Saturday. It was a perfect day to watch knock-kneed wordsmiths and paunch-addled sculptors shuffle around the diamond for charity. Despite an all-star lineup that included catcher Walter Isaacson, first-baseman Ken Auletta, and (mysteriously calf-bandaged) pitcher Mort Zuckerman, the writers fell 13-5. This bucked a recent string of scribe triumphs and sent a frustrated Lupica into a hilarious spiral of hypercompetitive melodrama, including red-faced screams and a slide into first base. Yeah, first base. But the game was clean, and just in case you were wondering, so is Auletta. "I've never taken steroids," the 65-year-old media critic clarified for fans. —Selim Algar

A-Rod Accusations Just Bad End to Great Week?

Alex Rodriguez
Professional winner Alex Rodriguez just can't win this week. He's been on the clock to break Barry Bonds's home-run record for exactly three days, and the tabloids are already 'roid raging. First, Braves third-baseman Chipper Jones said anyone who nears Bonds's record will have to answer doping questions — which the Post turned into yesterday's back-page headline "A 'ROID SHOCKER." Then, Mike Lupica's levelheaded Daily News column today about the Players Association became the back-page banner "UNDER SUSPICION." All this because money-hungry whistleblower Jose Canseco vaguely claims he has "other stuff" on Rodriguez in a book he's shopping.