August 2005 - Baseball Wiretap
Crosby Goes To DL With Broken Left Ankle
Oakland Athletics shortstop Bobby Crosby went on the disabled list for the second time this season Wednesday, this time with a broken left ankle. The move is retroactive to Aug. 28. The A's recalled infielder Keith Ginter from Triple-A Sacramento to take his roster spot. Crosby, the 2004 AL Rookie of the Year, missed nearly two months with two fractured ribs early in the season. He was injured again last Saturday at Baltimore in a collision with Orioles catcher Sal Fasano. Crosby is batting .286 with nine home runs and 38 RBI in 77 games. He was sidelined April 5 to May 30 with the rib injury that happened on opening day in Baltimore.
Wagner Extends Deadline For Contract
Billy Wagner pushed back the Aug. 31 deadine he set for negotiating an extension with the Phillies because he believes a deal is close to being completed, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Wednesday. "I am optimistic," Wagner told the paper of working out a deal to remain the Phillies' closer. Wagner did not discuss specifics, but it seems he is willing to make concessions on some aspects of his request for a three-year, $27 million deal with a full no-trade clause, the paper reported. The Phillies are believed to have offer a deal that includes two guaranteed years, with a partial no-trade clause for the second year, and an option for a third year that could bring the maximum value of the contract to $24 million. "That whole deadline thing was to make sure that they said, 'Hey. Let's talk,' instead of, 'Let's wait until the end of the year to talk to Billy Wagner,' " Wagner told the paper. "I get frustrated like everybody else. I say things off the cuff that I shouldn't. ... I'm a pretty aggressive player. I want things to happen now. But dealing with a baseball game and dealing with baseball [management] people is different. "You want a certain level of courtship. If you want somebody, you do whatever it takes to get him."
Giants Trade Cruz And Christiansen
The Giants made two trades on Tuesday, as Deivi Cruz and Jason Christiansen were dealt. Cruz, 32, was San Francisco's starting shortstop for most of last season, but was relegated to bench duty with the acquisition of Omar Vizquel this year. He was traded for right-handed pitcher Benjamin Cox, 23, from Washington's Class A Savannah. Christiansen, 35, was designated for assignment last Friday after appearing in 56 games from the bullpen this year, logging a 6-1 mark and 5.36 ERA. He was also an outspoken critic of manager Felipe Alou's use of the relievers. Acquired from Anaheim were left-handed pitcher Dusty Bergman, 27, who pitched for Triple-A Salt Lake this season and has played seven years in the Minor Leagues. He pitched two innings in one contest for the Angels last year. Also traded from Anaheim was right-hander Ronnie Ray, 21, who was a combined 7-6 with a 4.40 ERA for Class A teams Rancho Cucamonga and Cedar Rapids this year. In nine starts, he was 4-2 with a 3.51 ERA. Alou said it was a good move for Cruz, who will likely see regular action at Washington.
Piazza Might Be Done For Season, Done In Queens
Mike Piazza will be sidelined until mid-September and perhaps the rest of the season because of a broken bone in his left hand. After Piazza was hit by a foul tip during a game against Pittsburgh on Aug. 16, New York Mets manager Willie Randolph said his catcher would miss at least a few games. Piazza had a CT scan Monday, and the 12-time All-Star said doctors determined the hand needed six-to-eight weeks to heal from the time of the injury. "I know we don't have a lot of season left, but I'm still optimistic that I'll be able to try to come back and help as much as I can," Piazza said. Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Piazza was day to day but probably wouldn't be back until mid-September. Piazza tried his hand out in recent days but wasn't able to catch or hit.
Padres Activate Khalil Greene
Shortstop Khalil Greene was activated from the 15-day disabled list and started against the Diamondbacks. Greene had been out since breaking his left big toe while diving for a ball against Philadelphia on Aug. 14. Greene is batting .257 with 10 home runs and 49 RBI in 92 games. "Anytime you get one of your core players back, it's a spark to your team," manager Bruce Bochy said. To make room on the roster, shortstop Wilson Valdez was designated for assignment.
Damon Could Miss Next Few Games With Bruised Left Hand
Johnny Damon, who is listed as day-to-day after bruising his left hand, likely will sit out a couple of games. X-rays were negative, but both manager Terry Francona and general manager Theo Epstein indicated to the Boston Herald that the outfielder might get a break. "I don't doubt that this is going to be a couple of days," Francona told the paper. "But that's a hell of a lot better than the rest of the season." Epstein said Damon could use the rest. "He was due for a day off anyway," Epstein told the Herald. "He's beat up, he's tired, we're going to be facing left-handers the next couple of days. This might be a good time to get him out."
Buehrle Accuses Rangers Of Sophisticated Cheating System
Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle called the Texas Rangers cheaters on Tuesday, claiming that the team signals pitches to batters through a high-tech light system in center field. Buehrle suggested Monday night that the Rangers knew what he was throwing during Chicago's 7-5 loss, and he repeated the accusation before Tuesday's doubleheader. "I've heard rumors, so it's not just me saying this," Buehrle said. "I've heard it from tons of people. It's not just me saying this. ... Something's going on because they hit so good at home. The way they hit here, you'd have to raise an eyebrow to figure something's going on. Look at the stats. I'm not just making this up." Texas entered Tuesday batting .285 with 125 homers at home, compared to .256 with 86 homers on the road. The Rangers dismissed the allegations -- in some cases with a chuckle. "It's crazy and it's funny," said Rangers home run leader Mark Teixeira. "It's an outrageous comment, an outrageous claim."
Bonds Taking Cuts At UCLA
Barry Bonds has been taking batting practice at UCLA's baseball facility for the last two days, ESPN.com's Jayson Stark learned Tuesday night. According to Marc Dellins, an associate athletic director for sports information at UCLA, Bonds' representatives contacted the school recently and asked if he could hit in the batting cage "for a couple of days." The school gave him permission. And Bonds worked out Monday and Tuesday with his own people, Dellins said. No UCLA players or coaches participated, Dellins said. Bonds' agent, Jeff Borris, confirmed late Tuesday that it was his office that made contact with UCLA and requested permission for Bonds to use the facilities. "They said they'd be more than happy to accommodate him," Borris said, "and that he should just call ahead to let them know them know when he was coming" Giants general manager Brian Sabean spoke Tuesday to renowned Angels orthopedist Dr. Lewis Yocum, who has been working with Bonds in Los Angeles along with physical therapist Clive Brewster. "Him taking swings in a college batting cage is a long way from doing baseball work with us," Sabean told ESPN.com. "It's just another step in his rehab. To what extent this is of any significance -- until I'm told otherwise -- it's just part of the exercise regimen he's going through. Once he's accelerated to the point where the doctors are ready to turn him over to us, then he can do more meaningful and substantial baseball activities. But for now, this is just another step."
Sticking It To The Sox
The Yankees will sign another Boston Red Sox castoff on Tuesday: Mark Bellhorn, the second baseman who homered in Games 6 and 7 of the American League Championship Series last fall. Mark Rodgers, Bellhorn's agent, said Monday night that he was speaking to several teams, including the Yankees, and that Bellhorn hoped to join a new team as soon as he cleared waivers at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman did not return a call seeking comment, but Bellhorn confirmed the signing in an interview with MLB.com. "I'll do whatever they need me to do," Bellhorn said. "I can play a lot of positions, I can pinch-run, pinch-hit - whatever they need from me." Bellhorn spoke to MLB.com from the airport in Phoenix, where he was catching a flight to Seattle to join the Yankees. "It's a playoff team, a team that's got a chance," Rodgers said of the Yankees. "The bottom line is this is a freebie for Mark. He's going to get paid by the Red Sox, anyway. He could go fishing if he wanted to. But this is an opportunity to go somewhere he may not have a chance to go to again."
Boston Close To Bringing In Trachsel
The Red Sox continued to make changes to their beleaguered pitching staff in anticipation of the September stretch yesterday by claiming right-handed reliever Chad Harville off waivers from the Houston Astros. Another significant move could be coming today with the addition of Steve Trachsel. Sources from multiple teams said the Sox and New York Mets were involved in serious discussions last night about a deal that would bring veteran right-hander Trachsel to Boston for one or two minor leaguers. Trachsel returned to the mound for the first time in five months (following surgery to repair a herniated disc in his back) Friday and allowed only two hits in eight scoreless innings against the San Francisco Giants, but he learned shortly thereafter that he was being skipped the next time through the Mets' rotation. Trachsel and New York GM Omar Minaya denied Sunday that a trade was being mulled, but that apparently changed yesterday. One source said that the Sox and Mets were close enough to a deal that they were simply settling on the minor leaguer(s), but another said that the sides weren't close but were still talking. Trachsel, 34, has cleared waivers, which facilitates a deal. Players need to be in an organization by the end of August to qualify for inclusion on postseason rosters.
Peavy Cuts His Non-Throwing Hand
Padres ace Jake Peavy cut his non-throwing left hand while taking out the trash Monday morning but said he'll be OK to start against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.
Cubs Trade Hollandsworth To Atlanta
The Chicago Cubs traded outfielder Todd Hollandsworth to the Atlanta Braves on Monday night for minor league pitchers Todd Blackford and Angelo Burrows.
Wood To Have Season-Ending Surgery On Wednesday
Chicago Cubs right-hander Kerry Wood will have season-ending arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder Wednesday.
Todd Walker Could Be Moved To Cleveland
The Cleveland Indians are among the teams believed to be interested in second baseman Todd Walker, a left-handed hitter who is batting .303 and has played in both leagues.
Bellhorn To Land In Oakland
Mark Bellhorn is expected to be signed by the Oakland Athletics after he clears release waivers on Tuesday.
Griffey Says He's Not Going Anywhere
Ken Griffey Jr. is trying to cool down rumors that trade talks about the center fielder between the Chicago White Sox and Cincinnati Reds are heating up.
Sweeney Could Still Come To Anaheim
Mike Sweeney reportedly has cleared waivers and still could be dealt this season, but not at the price the Angels were asked to pay before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline.
Griffey To Chicago Again?
The Ken Griffey Jr.-to-Chicago White Sox rumors popped up again in Chicago. ESPN Radio, out of Chicago, reported that talks had heated up.
Phillies Land Michael Tucker
The San Francisco Giants traded outfielder Michael Tucker to the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday for minor league right-hander Kelvin Pichardo.
Matt Cain To Make Debut For Giants On Monday
The Giants have called up their top prospect to make his debut on Monday night against Colorado. Matt Cain hopes to become an effective starter, something the Giants have had trouble producing.