YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Inside Baseball

Down The Line

April 30, 2006|Tim Brown

Two Days in ...


The series is short, the New York Yankees won't pitch Randy Johnson or Mike Mussina, and the Red Sox won't pitch Curt Schilling.

But it's the first look of the season at baseball's best -- and, all right, becoming tedious -- rivalry. In the last four seasons, including two epic American League championship series, the Yankees and Red Sox have split 90 games.

Johnny Damon returns to Boston. In lesser news, so does Mike Myers.

The probables:

Monday: Chien-Ming Wang vs. Tim Wakefield

Tuesday: Shawn Chacon vs. Josh Beckett

D.C. ...


Industry insiders expect Commissioner Bud Selig to select a group headed by developer Ted Lerner to take ownership of the Washington Nationals, which then would be rubber-stamped at the owners meetings in New York on May 18, if not before.

Still, as Selig inched toward a decision last week, unwilling to publicly eliminate any of the groups, a Washington television station reported that, indeed, the Lerner group had won an eight-way fight to pay at least $450 million for the former Montreal Expos.

The awkward part: At that moment, Selig was meeting in New York with a competing bidder, that group led by Fred Malek and Jeffrey Zients.

Said one insider: "This thing is a lot like electing a pope. You're not going to know until you see the smoke coming out of the chimney."

We Need More ...


With general managers and scouts complaining about the dearth of quality middle relievers, don't be surprised to see more pitch counts approaching Schilling's 133 -- in only 6 2/3 innings -- Tuesday night in Cleveland, particularly as the weather warms.

Schilling hadn't thrown as many pitches since he needed 135 over nine innings July 7, 2000, when he pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies. His manager that day? Terry Francona.

The $64-Million ...


Adrian Beltre got $64 million, Paul DePodesta got a lot of grief, the Dodgers got a lot of new third basemen.

What did the Seattle Mariners get?

In nearly 700 at-bats as a Mariner, Beltre is batting .246.

This season, after hitting .109 through April 16, he has made almost as many plate appearances in the sixth and seventh places in the order as the fifth. He has six runs batted in. He has one home run.

For the moment not potent enough to protect Richie Sexson, Beltre has reverted to the pull-happy hitter he was until his breakout 2004 season.

The Devil Ray You ...

Don't Know

As the bat left his hands,

Delmon Young was batting .329 for triple-A Durham, his career course unobstructed. The only uncertainty was when he would arrive in the big leagues, and from where in the middle of Joe Maddon's Tampa Bay Devil Ray lineup he would begin lacing line drives.

When the bat landed, he'd become a troubled kid with an unrestrained temper and a cloudy future.

Two seasons and 19 games into his professional career, Young, 20, has bumped one umpire, publicly denigrated the Devil Rays for being cheap, and whipped a bat at a second umpire.

Suddenly, he's a long way from the big leagues.

One Last Thing From ...

Mark Loretta

On the rationale behind Jonathan Papelbon's mohawk haircut, to the Boston Herald: "That was from a bet he won -- a reward. Maybe there's a lack of fundamental understanding there on how to wager."

-- Tim Brown

Los Angeles Times Articles