And now for something completely different, Odds and Ends:
- ESPN reports that the Yankees optioned Ian Kennedy to Triple-A. To take his place, they recalled Darrell Rasner who in 5 Triple-A games is 4-0 with 0.87 ERA and 27 K in 31 IP. Kennedy relies on control and control he has had not. He has the highest percentage of working into hitters counts of anyone in the bigs.
- The Rays are the first team ever to hold the first pick in back-to-back years, and unlike last year when they selected David Price without thinking twice, they are presently undecided. According to Marc Lancaster, "It’s a safe bet their choice will come from the following pool: Vanderbilt 3B Pedro Alvarez, Griffin (Ga.) High SS Tim Beckham, Florida State C Buster Posey, Missouri RHP Aaron Crow, University of San Diego LHP Brian Matusz and Riverside (Calif.) Patriot High C Kyle Skipworth."
- Art Spander in the Oakland Tribune calls on Billy Beane to sign Barry Bonds. Mike Sweeney and Frank Thomas aren’t enough. Says Spander, "[Bonds] still can put balls in the seats and… butts in the seats. As opposed to you putting a tarp over them. The A’s have to stop being a secret and start becoming an attraction."
- Brian Cashman: Phillies GM? So speculates Jim Salisbury. With no Johan but an injured Phil Hughes and ineffective Ian Kennedy, Cashman could find himself jettisoned by default from the organization should they miss the playoffs. Pat Gillick’s contract is up after this year and Cashman once looked favorably on that gig. But if you ask me, Mr. Salisbury is getting way ahead of himself.
- Billy Wagner tells the New York Post’s Steve Serby that he expects to retire after 2009. And he still hasn’t had a bagel. That blows my mind.
By Nat Boyle