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BASEBALL

Whispers around the majors

May 24, 2009|Phil Rogers and Phil Rogers

Maybe managers should mess up their lineup cards more often. The Tampa Bay Rays' Joe Maddon and the Houston Astros' Cecil Cooper both hurt their teams with Managing 101 mistakes in the last week but won those games. . . .

The St. Louis Cardinals are getting really worried about Khalil Greene, who Tony La Russa says he'll treat as a "utility player" while Greene deals with anxiety issues. . . . .

Bryan Price, who resigned his pitching coach job with the Arizona Diamondbacks after A.J. Hinch was named manager, has taken a job as a pitching consultant/scout for the Philadelphia Phillies. He says the decision to promote Hinch from farm director to manager was "a slap in the face" to coaches Chip Hale and Kirk Gibson, and anyone with dugout experience. The Diamondbacks went 1-6 after Bob Melvin was fired but have turned things around, partially because of the contributions of rookie outfielder Gerardo Parra. He had a hit and an RBI in each of his first five big-league games, something no one had done since Mike Lansing in 1993. . . .

Veterans with big contracts are hardly the only guys that the San Diego Padres are making available. Jody Gerut went to Milwaukee in a dubious deal for Tony Gwynn Jr., and third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff is on the block, largely because of his strikeout totals and low on-base percentage. Trading him would allow Chase Headley to move from left field to third, opening up a spot for Will Venable or Kyle Blanks. . . .

Check out Blanks sometime. He's listed at 6 feet 6 inches and 285 pounds, making him the second coming of Frank Thomas, but he can run. He's been stuck behind Adrian Gonzalez at first but is playing the outfield in triple A. . . . How good is Evan Longoria going to be when he grows up? He drove in 131 runs in his first 162 games with Tampa Bay, a total that only Ryan Braun (134) and Albert Pujols (133) have beaten among active players. . . .

The Seattle Mariners are shopping shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, among many others..

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progers@tribune.com

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