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Hug it out (cont.)

Posted: Thursday July 19, 2007 12:08PM; Updated: Friday July 20, 2007 12:06PM
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Will Giants pursue A-Rod?

Indications are that this could be the end of the Barry Bonds Era in San Francisco. And it's only natural to think that Alex Rodriguez could become a target for the Giants, who showed their willingness to spend with the $126 million deal for Barry Zito.

Magowan tried not to touch the topic. "If I said anything positive in that direction, it would tampering. So I'm not going to tamper," Magowan said. "I did notice he said nice things about our city ..."

Magowan indicated he thought there was a decent chance that they (and the other 28 teams) wouldn't even get a chance at A-Rod, anyway. Rodriguez first has to decide whether to opt-out of his deal to play for the Yankees, who'll have first crack at keeping him.

"I think I would have to say that would be a long shot," Magowan ultimately said about his team's chances. "I'm sure [the Yankees] understand what they've got, and that is the best player in the game."

Brewers are right on the Mark

Brewers owner Mark Attanasio privately was predicting good things for the Brewers well before this season even started, and I reminded him of his predictions at the All-Star Game. Attanasio responded, "I felt the team was heading in the right direction. I could see good things happening. It just hadn't materialized yet."

Attanasio is a great thing to happen to Milwaukee, and what's really refreshing about him is his lack of ego. He is a fan of the game, and he readily identifies himself as a fan. Happily, he pointed out the Milwaukee won pennants in 1957 and 1982, and hopefully, he suggested that the 25th anniversary may prove lucky for the Brewers.

"We feel good about where we are. But let's face it, the Cubs have a good team," Attanasio said. 'And [GM] Doug Melvin tells me not to forget about St. Louis."

Attanasio the fan had a ball in San Francisco. He ran into Carlos Lee, the ex-Brewer who doubled his take by getting $100 million over six years from Houston after turning down Milwaukee's offer of $48 million for four (Attanasio felt they had to give it their best shot since the fans wanted Lee back), and he kidded Lee, telling him, "You had a pretty good winter."

To which Lee responded, "Yeah, but you're having a pretty good summer."

Around the Majors

Torii Hunter is wise to say he'd consider signing with the Yankees, but Texas may be more to his liking.
Torii Hunter is wise to say he'd consider signing with the Yankees, but Texas may be more to his liking.
Jim Rogash/WireImage.com

Torii Hunter told New York papers he'd consider the Yankees as a free agent, but I suspect he was merely being political or starting his negotiations. Because if he doesn't get his first wish, which is to stay with the Twins, word is he'd like to go to Texas. That's about as far away from New York as you can get, at least in spirit.

• The Tigers just won two one-run, low-scoring games against the Twins, and Magglio Ordonez had three RBI hits (and four of six RBIs in the series). These are the kind of performances that win MVPs.

• Ordonez may take the trophy, but the money will go to A-Rod this winter. Dollar-figure estimates for A-Rod are growing by the day. Do we hear $300 million?

• By the way, Ordonez now has five career home runs against the Great Johan Santana and is the only player with double-digit RBIs against Santana (17).

• Between rants, Gary Sheffield had time to summon his personal jeweler to Minnesota. Must have been some sort of jewelry emergency. No word on whether Sheff's MLB-imposed fine for calling umps "corrupt" cut into his gem expenditures.

• Good call by the Braves to give Jarrod Saltalamacchia a chance at first base.

• The Red Sox could not have begun the second half looking any worse against some very mediocre pitching, while the Yankees are into the Tampa-Toronto part of their schedule.

• The Yankees appear to be giving Andy Phillips a chance at first base. It may be a short one, though, depending on what he does. And no, despite great stats, Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan isn't going to get his wish (as stated in yesterday's Scoop) to see son Shelley (who's averaged 24 homers the past four years) called up. Instead, the Yankees have talked about the A's' Dan Johnson and appear more focused on him than Shea Hillenbrand or Scott Hatteberg, who are available.

• One competing executive on Citizens Bank Ballpark: 'It's a joke. What free-agent pitcher is going to say, 'I want to go to Philly?"' In other words, the next 10,000 defeats may not take as long you might imagine.

• One scout had this to say about Devil Rays third base prospect Evan Longoria, "Make no mistake, the kid can play." And no, Longoria isn't related to Tony Parker's new bride.

• It's no crime for Bonds -- 0-for-his-last-21 with bad hamstrings -- to occasionally show his age, now is it?

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