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PHIL ROGERS / WHISPERS

Ryan's status, the Indians' choice and Matsui's lefty-lefty acumen

A quick look at some of the chatter in Major League Baseball this week.

September 20, 2009|PHIL ROGERS

Rather than a four-year contract, Nolan Ryan now admits he received only a handshake deal from the financially challenged Tom Hicks to be president of the Texas Rangers. He says he will walk away if a new owner doesn't want to keep him. . . . The Cleveland Indians are taking heat for insisting on getting 19-year-old Jason Knapp from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Cliff Lee deal. Knapp was on the disabled list at the time, but no one anticipated he would need shoulder surgery, which he had last week. . . . The New York Yankees find themselves with a difficult decision to make on re-signing left fielder Hideki Matsui, who is making a classic salary drive. Twelve of his first 25 home runs were lefty-lefty deliveries, giving him the most on the team off left-handed pitchers. . . . After dropping two of three at Fenway Park last week, the Angels have to be dreading a likely first-round series against the Boston Red Sox. . . . Frank Thomas lost a distinction when David Ortiz passed him as the all-time home run leader at designated hitter. Thomas, though, has 521 career homers. . . . The Washington Nationals are loving what they're seeing from shortstop Ian Desmond, who looks like a long-term fit. . . . One plank on Joe Mauer's MVP platform: He's hitting .381 with men in scoring position, compared with a .270 average for Mark Teixeira. Miguel Cabrera, the likely No. 3 in this vote, is hitting .295 with MISP, compared with .332 overall. . . . Joe McEwing's Class-A Kannapolis (N.C.) team was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, but Baseball America ranked the Chicago White Sox hire as the top managerial prospect in the South Atlantic League. . . . Jarrod Washburn's problems in Detroit stem from a bad left knee, which has knocked him out of the rotation for the foreseeable future. . . . The Colorado Rockies' Jorge de La Rosa was 0-6 in April and May but has run his record to 15-9 as his team has won 16 of his last 19 starts. . . . The Tampa Bay Rays' Wade Davis threw 124 pitches in only his third start. Eight teams haven't had any 120-pitch starts this season (Baltimore Orioles, White Sox, Oakland Athletics, Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, Florida Marlins, San Diego Padres and Nationals). . . . The St. Louis Cardinals aren't expected to talk contract with potential free agents Matt Holliday, Mark DeRosa and Joel Pineiro until their season is over. Holliday could be the Teixeira of the next free-agent period, in too much demand for the Cardinals to keep him. . . . The Rays are sold on outfielder Desmond Jennings, which means they will look to trade B.J. Upton or Carl Crawford.

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