Sunday, August 8, 2004
The debate over how and when Nomar Garciaparra injured his right Achilles tendon raged last week.
Around the majors: A jersey for a promise
Garciaparra gets to wear No.5, under a few conditions
Accusations from Boston were answered by denials from Chicago, where Garciaparra was settling into his first week as the Cubs' shortstop.
The back-and-forth, however, overshadowed a clubhouse pact between Cubs catcher Michael Barrett and his new teammate.
Barrett offered his No. 5 jersey to Garciaparra, who wore the number during his eight-plus seasons in Boston, only if the five-time All-Star promised to consider re-signing with the Cubs after this season.
"I said, 'You know what? I am definitely going to consider it afterward. But we'll address that when the season is over,' " Garciaparra said. "Let's get to the postseason and then get to our goal of winning the World Series."
The jersey exchange also included a deal both sides kept private.
"He asked me if I was working for (Cubs general manager) Jim Hendry," Barrett said. "I told him that, for me, it's been a great place to play and I've been really comfortable. I want him to be comfortable. I really hope he wants to hang around."
HIT MACHINE: With an incredible push the past five weeks, Ichiro Suzuki has moved into position to win the American League batting title.
The Mariners right fielder led the majors with a .359 average entering Friday - up from .314 on June 29 - but also has a chance to become the first player to start his career with four consecutive 200-hit seasons.
His major-league-leading 170 hits in 109 games through Friday put him on pace for around 250 hits this season.
"I'm not a big guy (5 feet 9, 172) and hopefully kids could look at me and see that I'm not muscular and not physically imposing, that I'm just a regular guy," Ichiro said. "So if somebody with a regular body can get into the record books, kids can look at that. That would make me happy."
COMMON GROUND: Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta engineered four trades involving 14 players before the July 31 non-waiver deadline - turning over 20 percent of a first-place roster in the process - and endured a considerable backlash for doing so.
As he later explained, the moves were dictated by an unwavering vision to help the Dodgers win their first World Series since 1988.
"It's a very calculated thing that every player we brought in (except catcher Brent Mayne) has some playoff experience and some playoff success," DePodesta said. "That was critical to maintaining our chemistry."
YOU COMPLETE ME: The Yankees found their backup first baseman Tuesday, signing 36-year-old John Olerud.
"I'm going to tell you what I was quoted as saying in 2001, and I got made fun of by a lot of people," said Yankees shortstop Alex Rodriguez, a teammate of Olerud's during the 2000 season in Seattle. "He's the best player I've ever played with. He just completes our team."
THE LAST WORDS: It has been a miserable season for the Diamondbacks, yet team officials decided against trading pitcher Randy Johnson.
The five-time Cy Young Award winner is signed through the 2005 season.
"I want to continue to work hard and try to make what was going to be one of my best years . . . into a year I can still be somewhat pleased with under the circumstances," Johnson said. "I'm in a boat with no oars, and the perfect storm is about to hit."
ODDS AND ENDS
After the Phillies lost six of seven games from July 26-Aug. 1, the issue of Larry Bowa's job security rekindled. The Phillies then swept a three-game series against the Padres and headed to Los Angeles for a three-game series this weekend.
The Astros intend to try to sign center fielder Carlos Beltran during the offseason. Beltran, who will be a free agent, has not ruled out a return to Houston.
Only two Royals players have avoided a stint on the disabled list: Ken Harvey and Mike Sweeney.
Pirates catcher Jason Kendall on Tuesday broke an 88-year-old team record for games caught. George Gibson, who held the record, caught 1,155 games for the Pirates from 1905-16.
Largest increase in batting average from 2003 to 2004 (qualifying batters in each season):
Career strikeout leaders (x-active):
|1. Nolan Ryan||5,714|
|2. x-Roger Clemens||4,246|
|3. Steve Carlton||4,136|
|4. x-Randy Johnson||4,051|
|5. Bert Blyleven||3,701|
|6. Tom Seaver||3,640|
|7. Don Sutton||3,574|
|8. Gaylord Perry||3,534|
|9. Walter Johnson||3,508|
|10. Phil Niekro||3,342|
|11. Ferguson Jenkins||3,192|
|12. Bob Gibson||3,117|
|13. x-Greg Maddux||2,860|
|14. Jim Bunning||2,855|
|15. Mickey Lolich||2,832|
|16. Cy Young||2,819|
|17. Frank Tanana||2,773|
|18. x-Curt Schilling||2,679|
|19. David Cone||2,668|
|20. Chuck Finley||2,610|
|21. Warren Spahn||2,583|
|22. Bob Feller||2,581|
|23. x-Pedro Martinez||2,569|
|24. Jerry Koosman||2,556|
|25. Tim Keefe||2,538|
The top relievers for July:
W-win; L-loss; Sv-save; BS-blown save; Pts-Rolaids Relief Man points.
MLB Power rankings
|1. St. Louis Cardinals||Walker makes Cards a juggernaut.|
|2. N.Y. Yankees|| Didn't get Unit; does it matter?|
| 3. L.A. Dodgers||Maligned for deals, but Penny's huge pickup.|
|4. Minnesota Twins||Pulling away from AL Central pack.|
|5. Texas Rangers||Bullpen just dominating.|
|6. Atlanta Braves||Everyone but Chipper contributing.|
|7. Oakland Athletics||Going back and forth with Texas for AL West lead.|
| 8. Chicago Cubs||Prior looking better.|
|9. Boston Red Sox||New SS Cabrera starting out slowly.|
|10. San Diego Padres||Swept by Phils. Ouch.|
|11. Anaheim Angels||Mondesi Mondesi-ed his way out of town.|
|12. San Francisco Giants|| Earache my eye, Barry!|
| 13. Philadelphia Phillies||Bowa saved his job - for now.|
|14. Chicago White Sox||Big Hurt - he gone!|
| 15. Cleveland Indians||Added Josh "Don't Call Me Michael" Phelps.|
|16. Houston Astros||Roger Clemens, Little League Father.|
|17. Florida Marlins||Deals give Fish new life.|
|18. New York Mets|| Bolstered rotation, but at what cost?|
|19. Cincinnati Reds||With Nuxgate over, let's get on with season.|
|20. Milwaukee Brewers||Slipping, but what a great story.|
|21. Tampa Bay D-Rays||Mark it down: Kazmir best deadline acquisition.|
|22. Pittsburgh Pirates||Should have gotten more for Benson.|
|23. Detroit Tigers||Trounced by Rangers.|
|24. Baltimore Orioles||Palmeiro just keeps on hitting.|
|25. Colorado Rockies||Finally prodded Walker out of town.|
| 26. Toronto Blue Jays||Frasor quietly effective closer.|
|27. Montreal Expos||Making their move - probably to D.C.|
|28. K.C. Royals||Injuries just keep piling up.|
|29. Seattle Mariners||Yeah, Olerud was the problem.|
|30. Arizona D'backs||Agent Jeff Moorad slithers into front office.|
Information submitted by other baseball writers was used in this report.
BENGALS / NFL TRAINING CAMPS
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Bengals notebook: Ross signs contract with Steelers
Meet the Bengals: Elton Patterson
Manning likes what he sees from Colts' WRs
Browns' Boyer could miss 10 weeks
Coaches, players ready for camps to get going
REDS / BASEBALL
Wilson not up to form in loss
Reds insider: Has Lindner had enough?
Book signing on deck for Nux
Larkin lessons helping Lopez
Still waiting on Larkin, Griffey
Knight reveals battle with heart condition
Around the majors: A jersey for a promise
Maddux wins No. 300
Playoff possibility lures Walker to Cards
Seattle manager Melvin ejected before game
NL: Standing ovation for Walker in win
AL: Lawton's homer sends Tribe to 2nd in Central
AAA: Bats, Tides split twin bill
MASTERS TENNIS IN MASON
Finally - Andre's back
Agassi wins in one for the ages
Hitting fast forward in evolution of serve
10th-seeded Hewitt gaining momentum
Woodbridge building another dynasty
In for the fight of his life
Lords of the ring
Billy Joiner embodies city's boxing legacy
Olympic boycott unlikely to occur
Edwards suspension merited, IAAF finds
Olympics special section
Photo gallery: A look at local Olympians
Editorial: Congratulations to our local Olympians
2004 Summer Olympics schedule
Olympics guide, multimedia
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