Posted: Thursday July 6, 2006 11:34AM; Updated: Thursday July 6, 2006 6:26PM
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Several teams, including the Yankees, are scouting Yomiuri Giants power hitter Seung-Yeop Lee, the biggest slugging star from the World Baseball Classic, who leads the Central League with 26 home runs and a .646 slugging percentage. Lee's a free agent at year's end. According to one scout, "He's good but not quite as good as [Hideki] Matsui.''
While Yankees manager Joe Torre said the other day he'd prefer obtaining an outfielder rather than a pitcher, GM Brian Cashman -- who, believe it or not, actually appears to still be calling all the shots -- puts pitching first. One big reason is the decreased production from Shawn Chacon and Aaron Small. The pair is a combined 4-7 with a 7.30 ERA this year, compared to 17-3 with a 3.02 ERA last season.
Carl Everett should be available soon. When Everett screamed at Seattle manager Mike Hargrove for benching him the other day, rather than shout back Hargrove should have pulled out a stat sheet which shows Everett hitting .232 and slugging .373.
It's nice to see the rebuilding Nationals outbidding teams for Dominican shortstop Esmaily Gonzalez at $1.4 million. The Nats are also pursuing Tony Pena's son Francisco, who is seeking $1 million and has also drawn interest from the Mets, Cubs and Braves.
While Mets top prospect Mike Pelfrey will surely be in Queens before long, Philip Hughes, the Yankees' No. 1 prospect, will not be rushed. One scout said, "He reminds me of a young John Smoltz.'' But Cashman flatly said, "He's not going to be in the majors this year.''
Yankees fans may find fault with Alex Rodriguez, but A-Rod's popularity is strong enough to get him onto a Wheaties box. The deal will be announced next week at the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh.
Jose Canseco's conspiratorial claim that Major League Baseball knew that Rafael Palmeiro had failed a steroid test but still helped Palmeiro try to discredit Canseco by staging his congressional finger-wagging episode has no merit. Not only that, it also makes no sense. Canseco failed to explain how conspiring with Palmeiro would benefit baseball. The fact is, it wouldn't. Anyway, Palmeiro failed his test two months after doing his finger-wagging thing, in May 2005.
Canseco didn't help his contention that he's being blackballed by MLB by going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts for the San Diego Surf Dawgs, then demanding a trade immediately thereafter. Could it be that the reason he no longer has a big league job is he's old, washed up and a pain the rear?
Sacrifice of the year goes to Barry Bonds' trainer Greg Anderson, who's back in jail.