Yankees in market for impact bat (cont.)
Around the majors
Nationals upper management is said to be supporting embattled GM Jim Bowden, who's being investigated in the scout skimming scandal, not to mention the architect of one awful team. Bowden is seen as having an especially tight relationship with the Nationals-owning Lerner family. And at this point, I'd have to question their taste.
More scouts are expected to be felled in the investigation into illegal sports betting, following former Orioles scout Alan Marr, who was fired after he was linked to betting by MLB investigators.
The Marlins have shown some interest in Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the backstop for Florida's 2003 championship team, as reported first by the Miami Herald. However, with the Tigers still in the race and Brandon Inge banged up, there's little chance they'd trade Pudge.
Besides, Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski, who otherwise made several great moves, has struggled with his acquisitions of ex-Marlins. Dombrowski, himself an ex-Marlin (he was the GM for their 1997 champion team), previously has acquired Miguel Cabrera, Edgar Renteria and Dontrelle Willis. While Cabrera is starting to show his talent and should be fine, scouts say Renteria isn't close to what he was, and Willis is said to remain out of whack and out of shape now that he's at Class A Lakeland.
A's GM Billy Beane, who almost never makes a mistake, might have waited just a tad too long to deal Joe Blanton, whose mediocre season (5-12, 4.96 ERA) lowered his value to the point where two out of three prospects acquired by Oakland were A-ball players (second baseman Adrian Cardenas and outfielder Matthew Spencer were at Class A Clearwater, Fla.; pitcher Josh Outman at Double-A Reading), quite a comedown from their spring request of Johnny Cueto and another top prospect from Cincinnati. The Phillies kept their best prospects -- catcher Lou Marson, outfielder Greg Golson and pitcher Carlos Carrasco -- but knowing the A's, they probably got some gems. Cardenas, who would be blocked by superstar Chase Utley, anyway, is considered a nice prospect.
Blanton is no Sabathia. But he's a lot better than Adam Eaton, who'll go now to the bullpen.
Tim Lincecum -- who was taken to a New York hospital after feeling dehydrated and is OK -- wasn't the only under-the-weather All-Star. A's pitcher Justin Duchscherer who allowed a run in the AL's 4-3, 15 inning victory, told teammates of his own flu-like symptoms.
Dan Uggla is better than that (who isn't?). I have to guess at this point he might have gotten caught up in the celebratory atmosphere.
Best wishes to Bob Klapisch, the superb baseball writer from The Record of Hackensack (N.J.) who was struck in the eye by a hard smash while pitching in a rec league and will require multiple eye surgeries. He is expected to be on the DL awhile. The man known as Klap was pitching for the Morris Mariners in an over-30 league. In fact, he's well over 30; he won't give his age but he's believed to be nearly 30 1/2.
Condolences to the family of Matt McHale, the Los Angeles area sportswriter who impressed everyone as a gentle giant who cared more about others than himself. McHale, an excellent baseball writer, died this week at 50 in his hometown of Norwalk, Conn., after suffering a second heart attack.
Congratulations to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Star, Dave Van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune and Nick Peters, a longtime Bay Area scribe, who all were nominated for the writers' wing of the Hall of Fame.
The All-Star pregame ceremony was the best one I can remember. And unlike the game, not too long.