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DOWN THE LINE

Three Days in ...The O.C.

July 30, 2006|Tim Brown

The biggest series of the Angels' first four months opens Monday, three games against the A's in Anaheim, and for it they will fly from Boston after tonight's 8:05 Eastern-time start at Fenway Park.

A three-hour game, say, a couple hours to pack up and get to Logan Airport, six hours to L.A., grab the bags, drive home, put the cat out and fall into bed at, oh, 6 a.m.

Thanks, ESPN.

The A's, meanwhile, play the Blue Jays this afternoon in Oakland. If all goes as scheduled, they'll be at The Catch in time for dinner, over which they can watch the last few innings of the Angels-Red Sox game.

The collective bargaining agreement does not provide for a day off following travel from the East Coast to the West Coast, only from West to East, even after a night game. ESPN is within its rights to put the Angels at a competitive disadvantage, and so it will.

"It's part of the agreement," Angels vice president Tim Mead said. "We don't get to make it an issue."

The probables: Monday -- Danny Haren vs. Ervin Santana; Tuesday -- Joe Blanton vs. Joe Saunders; Wednesday -- Esteban Loaiza vs. Kelvim Escobar.

On Dodgers Weaklings, Nats Musings, etc.

The Dodgers rank in the bottom half of the National League in home runs at three of their four corner positions, all but in left field, where rookies Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have each had their power binges. Nowhere are they lower than at third base, where the loss of Bill Mueller has left them with nine homers, ranking 14th of 16 NL teams and 25th in the majors, one more than the Mariners, who have their own issues at third. They watched Shea Hillenbrand go to the Giants, however, because he is so far inferior defensively to Cesar Izturis at third, and because they would not have dealt their equivalent to Jeremy Accardo -- Jonathan Broxton.... Removed from the Cubs by a team, an uncomfortable congressional hearing and an apparent retirement, Sammy Sosa remains a topic for the Cubs and their manager. This week, Sosa told the Chicago Tribune that: a) He hadn't ruled out a 2007 comeback, perhaps with the Cubs, and b) Dusty Baker granted permission for him to leave the ballpark during a late 2004 game, a dust-up that didn't go over well at all in Chicago. Baker denied it.... Observation: J.D. Drew with the Dodgers: 10 home runs in 323 at-bats, including none between June 1 and his grand slam Friday night. Cody Ross with the Dodgers, Reds and Marlins: eight home runs in 132 at-bats, including four since July 19.... Another: Ethier: 225 at-bats, .347, nine homers, 39 RBIs. Milton Bradley and Antonio Perez combined: 215 at-bats, .219, six homers, 27 RBIs.... Red Sox right-hander Matt Clement on Wednesday passed the one-year anniversary of taking a Carl Crawford liner off his head, and since is 8-8 with a 5.75 ERA, and is now rehabbing a shoulder injury or biceps tendinitis, depending on the report.... Why Alfonso Soriano would not find happiness in D.C., beyond all the obvious reasons, by Stan Kasten in the Washington Post: "I've never in my career -- three teams, all these many seasons, [even with] All-Stars, Hall of Famers -- no one has ever had a no-trade contract. That's just a matter of history.... I have a philosophy about that." ... Trying to figure what's worse: Tom Hicks paying nearly half of Alex Rodriguez's salary to beat the Rangers in Texas, or Frank McCourt paying most of Paul DePodesta's salary to beat the Dodgers in L.A. Probably A-Rod.

One More Thing

From ... Terry Francona

On the re-re-emergence of David Wells, this one beginning with a start Monday night against the Indians, in the Boston Globe: "I say this respectfully, he's kind of a freak of nature. The [dude] can come out there and throw strikes. He gets out of bed, has a beer, whatever, he can throw strikes."

*

-- Tim Brown

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