Philadelphia Story (cont.)
Nolan Ryan's Hope
Ryan is said to be taking a very active role in his new position as Rangers club president, and sources indicate that he spoke to the pitchers throughout Texas' minor league system in an effort to re-emphasize the goal of throwing complete games. Ryan wants things back the way they were when men were men and pitchers finished what they started.
In today's game that's revolutionary talk. Rangers officials say they are very cognizant of Ryan's desires. But they also won't take chances with anyone's arm and will set complete games as a goal only for those pitchers that may be able to handle it. Rangers executives remain mindful that Ryan himself was a "freak of nature,'' and all in all are making sure "not to do anything crazy.''
Complete games are a noble goal. But the guess here is that their time may be gone. Too bad.
Around the Majors
The first-place White Sox seem to have reacted well to manager Ozzie Guillen's latest outburst, winning six straight.
Even the Mariners look a little more alive after manager John McLaren blew up. A little bit, anyway.
Texas' Sidney Ponson was cut due to "disrespectful'' actions to teammates. And exactly who thought that signing would end well?
Funny that Griffey failed again to hit homer No. 600 on Sunday but Corey Patterson, who replaced him for defense, homered in his one at-bat.
The Tigers' nightmare of a season continues: Jeremy Bonderman is expected to miss the year after suffering a blood clot, the same ailment that sidelined Kenny Rogers last year. Injuries and illness can't be an excuse for them, though. They were terrible from day one.
Insiders are speculating that the Tigers might start trading pieces before the deadline. But their pitchers have been awful, and many of their every-day players are stars who recently signed big contracts and are underachieving. To sum up, I'm not sure where they'd begin a fire sale.
Promises, promises. Moises Alou is said to be ready to return on Tuesday. Not a moment too soon for the Mets.
Brian McNamee didn't seem to be broken up by making SI.com's All-Scandal team. "I was laughing my butt off,'' McNamee told me. Good to see he has a sense of humor. My guess is that his former pupil Roger Clemens didn't take his inclusion as well.
At this point, Andy Pettitte might make a better witness than pitcher.
Nice touch by the Rays to pick Griffin (Ga.) High shortstop Timothy Beckham's older brother Jeremy Beckham in the 17th round. The older Beckham is an infielder from Georgia Southern, and may be used as a double-play mate with the No. 1 pick.
Vanderbilt hitting prodigy Pedro Alvarez, the No. 2 overall pick, looks smart for turning down the Red Sox's $750,000 offer three years ago after they chose him in the 14th round. The negotiations between Alvarez's adviser Scott Boras and the slot-loving Pirates could be the most interesting aspect of this draft. Pirates president Frank Coonelly might look hypocritical if he goes outside the slot system that he designed and advocated for years. But if the Bucs don't sign Alvarez it will be the worst moment for a team that needs only good moments.
The amateur draft is said by some to be a crapshoot. But at least White Sox GM Ken Williams knew what he was getting in the fifth round when he drafted his son, Ken Williams Jr. And he probably knows he can sign him. He has taken some hits for the selection but really it just exemplifies the way of the White Sox. They stick together and show loyalty, no matter what. Guillen, after all, got a four-year extension off a dreadful 72-90 performance last year.