A positional switch is in order for the Orioles. The Rockies have a top-prospect to look forward to in Chin-Hui Tsao. And despite popular belief, acquiring Mo Vaughn was actually one of the better moves of the Steve Phillips Era. All this and much more news from Baltimore, Colorado, and New York in your most recent edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
Hot Corner: The biggest experiment in the Orioles' camp this spring is the attempt to turn former utility man Melvin Mora into their regular third baseman. Mora, who came up as a shortstop, has played in 571 games in his career, but only seven of them have been at third base--none since 2000. Over the last three years, he has become more and more of an outfielder; last year his offense took a great leap forward, as the career .260 hitter (in EQA) hit .324.
The Red Sox face some pretty soft competition, going forward. Dave Miley has had a pretty rough time since taking over in Cincinnati. And the Padres have been playing spoiler, lately, to a number of contenders. All this and much more news from Boston, Cincinnati, and San Diego in your Tuesday edition of Prospectus Triple Play.
Great Game--Blowout Edition: September 6th, vs. the Yankees in New York. In the biggest shutout rout the Bosox have ever had in Yankee Stadium, Tim Wakefield and two relievers scatter four hits in shutting out the Bombers 11-0 to pull within 1.5 games of the AL East lead. That it happened on the Yankees' home turf, and against ex-BoSox and future Hall-of-Famer Roger Clemens (who allowed seven runs in 3.1 innings), and immediately following a patented George Steinbrenner tirade made it all the sweeter. Every starter except DH David Ortiz had at least one hit, and three players, Kevin Millar, Nomar Garciaparra, and Todd Walker, homered.
Last night was a night full of team troubles--the type of night that separates the contenders from the pretenders. The good teams will deal with it by using their depth and remaining flexible, while the bad ones will fall apart and blame things like chemistry. I have to say, I'm beginning to root for a collapse for some teams, because at rock-bottom might come the desperation that could lead to a team being run by Paul DePodesta, a Brad Kullman, or a Josh Byrnes. If injury is the ruinous road to riches...well, I'll be the tour guide. Onto the injuries...
Alex Belth of Bronx Banter called me in a panic yesterday. The news on Bernie Williams had come out and I had to talk Alex down from an emotional ledge. The injury to Bernie is very comparable to what Randy Johnson has gone through. Repairing/excising a meniscus problem is as close to routine as surgery goes and the four-to-six week timetable is almost written in stone. Williams will likely have the surgery, come back around the All-Star break, and be the same great CF (at least offensively) we've all ignored for far too long.
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The Diamondbacks' rotation is a mess, Bruce Chen's latest destination is Boston, Willie Harris gets his shot with Aaron Rowand going Mario Mendoza in Chicago, and the Devil Rays scrap the publicity stunts to play the kids. Plus news and witticisms on 19 other teams.