Posted: Wednesday October 25, 2006 2:04AM; Updated: Wednesday October 25, 2006 2:14AM
Rogers: Tricky and fast
The thing that surprised David Eckstein was not the movement of Rogers' pitches but the velocity. "I haven't seen him throw that hard before,'' said Eckstein. Season-long Rogers observers say the one game that his velocity was truly above normal was the Yankees game, though. That's when Rogers was hitting 93 and 94 mph.
Delgado: deserving winner
Carlos Delgado, who honors Roberto Clemente by wearing No. 21, was honored Tuesday for his off-field work.
Carlos Delgado, a wonderful and sentimental choice to win the prestigious Roberto Clemente award, for off-field work, opined (when is he ever afraid to opine?) that Clemente's No. 21 should be retired. Fellow Puerto Rican Delgado called Clemente an "icon'' and mentioned how he "opened a lot of doors' for Latin Americans. "If No. 21 is retired,'' Delgado, who wears No. 21 as his own tribute, "it would be a great honor.'' ... As a player traded in the middle of a multiyear deal, Delgado has the right to opt out of his contract. It's rare for players to opt out, and considering that Delgado's contract is heavily backloaded, it seems unlikely he will. But Delgado plans to meet with the Mets and wouldn't be against the team picking up his option year as encouragement to stay. "Wouldn't you like your boss to offer you another year?'' Delgado said, answering the question with a question.
MLB takes a bow
MLB's powers deserved their self-congratulatory press conference for getting the collective bargaining agreement done without so much an ounce of negativity. "When you think of where things stood 10 years ago, it's remarkable not only that we got it done but the manner it was done in was truly remarkable,'' Bud Selig told SI.com. Selig called the prior labor rest an "unbelievable burden.'' Now, thankfully, it's been lifted.
Girardi: Back to the bench?
Joe Girardi, here to do work for FOX, appears to be a viable candidate to become Yankees bench coach, which could set up a nice competition with Don Mattingly to see who becomes Joe Torre's replacement. Asked if he is considering re-joining the Yankees, Girardi, who'd also have broadcast opportunities, said only that he is "pretty close to deciding what I'll do.''
Around the Majors
Executives believe it will take a stash of major-league ready prospects to entice Toronto into trading Vernon Wells ... One GM said he sees center fielder Juan Pierre exceeding $7 million a year as a free agent. "Too much,'' that GM said ... The Dodgers, Angels and Tigers appear to be three possible landing spots for Alfonso Soriano ... Teams believe the White Sox want to reduce their payroll, which means that more than Freddy Garcia may go in trade ... Leyland has told folks he believes Chuck Hernandez has done the best job of any pitching coach in major-league history, and it's hard to argue.