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Whispers around the majors

White Sox have used disabled list fewer times than any other team this season.

September 06, 2009|PHIL ROGERS

Because teams rarely use the disabled list in September, it looks like the Chicago White Sox will finish as the healthiest team in the majors this season, at least by one standard. They have used the DL eight times, fewer than every one else. The Texas Rangers are competing for a wild card despite 23 DL moves, the most in the majors. The New York Mets (22), Cincinnati Reds (21), Houston Astros (21) and San Diego Padres (21) are also at 20-plus. . . . There won't be any coin flips for home-field advantage in one-game playoffs this season. The rule was changed to award the team with the edge in the season series after the White Sox hosted the Minnesota Twins in Game 163 a year ago. The San Francisco Giants swept the Colorado Rockies last weekend to take an 8-7 lead, with three head-to-head games remaining. If they tie, the next tiebreaker is intra-division record. . . . The terminal diagnosis for 91-year-old Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell is terrible news. He has been the nicest man in baseball for at least three decades, probably longer. . . . The Pink Pony, baseball's greatest restaurant, closed after a 60-year run in Scottsdale, Ariz. It's going to be missed by many scouts and executives. . . . Jim Thome is a career .215 hitter as a pinch-hitter, with three homers in 65 at-bats. Not exactly Manny Mota, but Joe Torre says of the Dodgers acquisition, "If I'm on the other side and he comes up to the plate, he's going to get my attention." . . . Ken Griffey Jr. is trying to decide whether to retire at season's end. He entered the weekend hitting .221 but had 14 homers for the Mariners. . . . The Kansas City Royals are pushing David DeJesus for a Gold Glove even though no left fielder has won an AL Gold Glove since Rickey Henderson in 1981. . . . Scott Kazmir became the 14th pitcher to start for the Angels this year, the most in the majors. . . . After a stay in the minors, J.J. Hardy is hoping the Milwaukee Brewers trade him. He's not in favor of a position change, which would allow him to play alongside kid shortstop Alcides Escobar. "We're both shortstops," Hardy told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I don't think you'd ask a plastic surgeon to go fix your car." . . . With Kurt Suzuki getting an unusual amount of playing time for a catcher, Landon Powell has remained a well-kept secret. The Oakland Athletics' backup hit a grand slam Wednesday, giving him 27 RBIs in 36 career games.

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progers@tribune.com

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