June 2005 - Baseball Wiretap
Give Biggio His Due Respects
While everybody is talking about Astros long-time secondbaseman Craig Biggio breaking the all time hit-by-pitch record, his other acomplishments should be recognized as well. Biggio, along with friend and teammate Jeff Bagwell, have been the heart and soul of the Astros? franchise for more than a decade. His gritty play day in and day out to go along with the all-star numbers he has put up has made him a fan favorite in Houston and a Hall of Famer in my book. At the dish, Biggio has complied 2.718 hits, 587 of which were his trademark doubles, and over 1,000 RBI on his resume, which puts him in the top five of power hitting second baseman of all time. In the field, he roamed the field as an outfielder, second baseman, and catcher. He has won multiple gold gloves during his career and stole over 400 bases, which shows his vast talents on the diamond.
Pitcher Steve Kline Earns Four Game Suspension
Baltimore Orioles pitcher Steve Kline received a four game suspension and was fined an undisclosed amount for aggressive actions during a June 27th game versus the New York Yankees. Kline was called for a balk during the eighth inning. He angrily protested the call, made by home plate umpire Marty Foster, and had to be restrained by first base coach Rick Dempsey and manager Lee Mazzili. Kline was ejected from that game and the Yankees went on to defeat the Orioles 6-4. The suspension will begin this evening unless the decision is appealed. Should that happen it would be held until the appeals process is complete. Last night?s game versus the Yanks was postponed due to rain. A makeup date has not yet been announced. The Orioles face the Cleveland Indians tonight at Camden Yards.
Redman Seeks A Contract Extension In Pittsburgh
Mark Redman has approached the Pirates about a contract extension that would keep him in Pittsburgh for years to come. Which, he made clear yesterday, is exactly how he wants it. "This is where I'd love to be," Redman said. "I thrive on defense, and these guys playing behind me ... why would I want to play anywhere else? I'm in a pitcher's ballpark, I love playing for Lloyd McClendon and I like the city." Redman's current contract is not a common one in the industry. He has a player option of $4.5 million for 2006 that he can exercise to guarantee that salary. The Pirates have a club option of $4.95 million, but Redman must agree to it or he can declare himself a free agent.
Biggio Breaks Modern Hit By Pitch Record
Craig Biggio set the modern record for being hit by pitches and added a solo homer, helping Roy Oswalt win his fourth straight start in Houston's 7-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday. "When you look at where he stands [with] offensive numbers, he's pretty impressive," Garner said. "The guys that are ahead of him are baseball icons that live forever. The guys that he's passed and he continues to pass are baseball icons too. So he's in high cotton he deserves to be there." Biggio was hit on the left elbow in the fourth inning by Byung-Hyun Kim, breaking Don Baylor's post-1900 record of 267 times hit by pitches. Biggio calmly turned and trotted to first as he had so many other times, but this time he pointed to the ball and asked the ball boy to send it back to the Astros' dugout as a keepsake for his years of pain. "Anybody that's been hit that many times, you have no understanding about how many times that is and how painful it is over the years," said Biggio, who had two hits to move into 52nd place with 2,718.
Quantrill And Stanton Could Be Released Or Traded On Thursday
Veteran relievers Paul Quantrill and Mike Stanton appear to have pitched their last games for the Yankees. Hoping to make their bullpen younger, the Yankees could release or trade both on Thursday, the New York Times reported. Quantrill and Stanton shook hands and exchanged hugs with teammates and club personnel after Wednesday night's rainout at Camden Yards. Quantrill would not comment after leaving the clubhouse, and Stanton said, "You can read between the lines." According to the Times, Yankees manager Joe Torre kept the clubhouse closed to reporters for about 15 minutes after the game was called. He said he had spoken with general manager Brian Cashman about reducing the Yankees' pitching staff to 11 from 12.
Sheffield On A Trade:
Gary Sheffield has no intention of leaving the New York Yankees, and manager Joe Torre said Wednesday that the team rejected a possible trade with the New York Mets involving the outfielder. Sheffield reacted emotionally when asked to comment on a story in the New York Post, which said the Yankees have held preliminary talks on a trade involving Sheffield and Mets outfielder Mike Cameron. "I can't sit here and blame the Yankees for other teams wanting me, so let's clear that up,'' Sheffield said. "I understand that. But I'm just letting you know if it happens, it becomes personal and I'm not going to accept this because of the concessions I made.'' Sheffield signed as a free agent in December 2003. He has become accustomed to playing with New York and said Wednesday that he doesn't want to drive to any ballpark but Yankee Stadium. But he does not have a no-trade clause in his contract, and that's one reason why he was surrounded at his locker before the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles were rained out. "All this is is talk, so since it's talk, I'm going to talk and that's all I'm doing,'' he said. "The media's just running their mouth, and I'm just running mine.'' The struggling Yankees might make deals before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline, but Torre said it won't be the one involving Sheffield and Cameron. "I talked to him, I guess after you guys talked to him. I just wanted to let him know that we turned down any inquiry about him from the Mets,'' Torre said. "We said, 'No, thank you.' I just wanted to tell him what [Yankees general manager Brian] Cashman told me.''
The Gambler Goes Berserk
Texas Rangers pitcher Kenny Rogers could face assault charges after shoving two cameramen Wednesday, sending one to the hospital in a videotaped tirade that included throwing a camera to the ground and threatening to break others. Rogers, who missed his last start for the struggling Rangers with a broken pinky he suffered during an outburst earlier this month, erupted at the cameramen as they filmed him walking to the field for pregame stretching before Wednesday night's game against the Los Angeles Angels. The 40-year-old left-hander first shoved Fox Sports Net Southwest photographer David Mammeli, telling him: "I told you to get those cameras out of my face." Rogers then approached a second cameraman. He wrestled the camera from Larry Rodriguez of Dallas-Fort Worth television station KDFW, threw it to the ground and kicked it. Rodriguez filed a formal police report against Rogers on Wednesday night, claiming assault. Police went to interview Rodriguez at about 9 p.m. ET at the Medical Center of Arlington where the cameraman was being examined for possible injuries. According to Lt. Blake Miller, detectives plan to interview Rogers sometime on Thursday. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound pitcher saw two other cameramen who were recording from the Rangers' dugout and walked toward them. He did not make contact with the men, who were backing away. "I'll break every ... one of them," Rogers said before he was escorted to the clubhouse by catcher Rod Barajas. The Rangers sent Rogers home about an hour later. Kenny Rogers could be facing a suspension -- and assault charges -- after Wednesday's pregame altercation. KDFW news director Maria Barrs said paramedics took Rodriguez to the hospital to be checked out. "He does have quite a bit of pain, in his shoulder and his arm and his leg," Barrs said. Rodriguez was treated and released. Fox Sports Net Souhwest spokesman Ramon Alvarez said Mammeli wasn't injured. Footage shot by Dallas-Fort Worth station KTVT shows Rogers pushing Rodriguez's camera, which goes over the photographer's head and falls to the ground. As Rodriguez puts the camera back on his shoulder, Rogers approaches again, pushing the lens away and having words with the photographer. As players begin to intervene, Rogers pulls the camera to the ground and kicks it before walking away. Rodriguez said that when he picked up the camera the second time, his intentions were to keep getting footage of Rogers. "I figured since now he vented that he was all good, but the second time was just a little bit too much," he said in an interview on KDFW. "There's no question he was upset. I don't understand why we were the ... I don't know if we were the stem of the problem or what," he said. "I don't think we did anything wrong." Rangers general manager John Hart said late Wednesday that the team had contacted Major League Baseball, and wouldn't say whether the team would suspend Rogers. Hart said he had talked to Rogers and "Kenny obviously realizes his actions were incorrect." "His comment to me was 'I didn't handle this right. I'm frustrated. My integrity and toughness is being called into question,' " Hart said. Rangers manager Buck Showalter, who did not witness the events, said the said the team will investigate. "It's not something we'll take lightly," Showalter said. "When I have all the facts, I'll deal with it."
Walker Returns To Cardinals Line-Up With A Home Run
Larry Walker, returning to the lineup Wednesday after missing five straight starts with a herniated disc in his neck, homered in his first two at-bats against the Cincinnati Reds. The often-injured outfielder hopes a cortisone shot he received on Monday will allow him to play to his ability. He's struggled while dealing with several ailments this season, hitting .247 with seven home runs and 29 RBI in 58 games. Walker, 38, has talked of retiring after the season. "Hopefully everything gets better quick because I'm tired of really talking about it," Walker said. "I'm back for a day, at least." Walker hit a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw from Ramon Ortiz in the second inning. He hit another two-run shot, his ninth, off Ortiz in the third.
The Cubs Call On Preston Wilson Again On Tuesday
The Cubs inquired again Tuesday about center fielder Preston Wilson. The Rockies have shopped Wilson, a free agent at season's end, but the Cubs have shown the most interest, while also focusing on Oakland's Mark Kotsay. Two factors emerged that could help accelerate negotiations. Wilson admitted before the game that he would be open to financial concessions to help facilitate a deal. And reliever Todd Wellemeyer, among the prospects the Rockies are seeking, was demoted this past weekend, perhaps influencing his availability. "I have conversations with a lot of teams," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "I think you can understand why I can't get into specifics." Wilson has $6.3 million remaining on his contract, a hefty price that looms large in all discussions. The Rockies want prospects - ideally shortstop Ronny Cede?o, who was called up Tuesday - and approximately $4 million in salary relief. It's hard to accomplish both, which is why Wilson's flexibility could play a role. "If I have a chance to go win, I would do what it takes to help the team(s) to make that happen," said Wilson, who broke up Roger Clemens' no-hit bid with a 422-foot fourth-inning home run.
Bucky Dent Becomes Earmarked To Replace Torre If A Firing Happens
Former Yankees manager Bucky Dent, currently the manager at the Triple-A affiliate in Columbus, said as much in Tuesday's editions of The Columbus Dispatch. "I'm sure my name would come up," Dent said. "I'm in the organization." Dent was named Yankees manager in August of 1989, finishing the season with an 18-22 record. He was fired the following season after the team started 18-31. "We just didn't have a very good club," Dent told the newspaper. "We were in a transitional phase, a bad cycle, with a bunch of young guys."
Sheffield For Cameron In A Tentative New York Deal
The Mets are believed to be interested in Sheffield, and are now waiting for the Yankees to make a formal offer. The deal would send the RF to Shea in exchange for Mike Cameron and Miguel Cairo.
Tomko Sent To Giants' Bullpen
"He took it like a man," said Dave Righetti, who acknowledged the move was a demotion, but denied it was punishment.
Perez Goes To DL After Breaking Toe Kicking A Laundry Cart
The Pittsburgh Pirates put pitcher Oliver Perez on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, two days after he broke his toe while kicking a laundry cart in the clubhouse in St. Louis.
Rogers Breaks Bone In Non-Pitching Hand
Kenny Rogers broke a bone in his non-pitching hand when he hit a water cooler in frustration, and the Texas Rangers pitcher will miss at least one start.
Marlins Are Shopping Burnett To Baltimore And Another AL Club
The Florida Marlins are considering trading righthander A.J. Burnett in a blockbuster move that would alter the pennant races in both leagues, Sporting News has learned.
Could Boone Return Home To San Diego?
Bret Bonone put on a display this past weekend that may prompt further discussions between Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi and his San Diego counterpart Kevin Towers. The two spent a considerable
Prior Gives Up Two Hits In Six Innings In First Start Off DL
"After the first simulated game, I didn't feel ready. After the second one, I did," said Prior, who threw 71 pitches -- 50 for strikes. "I just tried to go out there and throw a good game."
Guillen Returns To Tigers Lineup
Carlos Guillen returned to the Tigers lineup on Sunday being on the 15-day disabled list with a pulled hamstring.