In today's column, Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe credits Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly for not avoiding difficult subjects. Mattingly has been less than thrilled with the club, which hasn't produced much despite its hefty price tag. “They wanted to make a big splash with the new ownership,” said an American League executive. “They wanted to show their fans they were going to spend the money and put what they thought was the best team on the field money could buy. Well, not so much. You can win with All-Star teams. The Yankees have won with one. But the mix has to be right.” As far as Cafardo is concerned, Mattingly doesn't deserve to be fired. Here's more from today's column..
- Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli has not heard from the club on an extension. Meanwhile, he has told his agent, Brian Grieper, that the environment around the team is even better than it was in Texas, which Napoli thought was great. Grieper said he’s open to talks, but “we’ll let it play out and show during the course of the season that Mike is healthy.”
- The combination of Elliot Johnson and Chris Getz at second base isn't getting it done for the Royals and they're on the lookout for help. It won't be easy, however, and with Miguel Tejada now 39, he wouldn’t seem to be the answer, either. The Royals knew coming into the season that they might struggle offensively at the position, and they have.
- Chris Bootcheck is having a resurgence at the Yankees’ Triple A affiliate, posting a 2.80 ERA with 7.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9. The Yankees haven’t called the right-hander up yet and he has a late-June opt-out. If he’s still pitching well, he would be in demand.
- If Reid Ryan's thinking is similar to his father's, then there might not be much room for a lot of statistics-driven analysis with the Astros under their new regime.
- Some have wondered if Roy Oswalt has lost the fire to pitch. He'll have four starts for the Rockies' Double-A affiliate to show that he's still got it and worthy of a callup to the big league roster.