Phillies manager Terry Francona has at least one friend in Philadelphia, where fans have been calling for his head in the wake of Philly's 15-27 start through Sunday: Ace Curt Schilling rushed to Francona's defense last week. "He hasn't kicked a ball, failed to drive in a run or walked anybody," said Schilling. "Of all the people to shoulder the blame, he's probably at the bottom of the list."
... Astros closer Billy Wagner, who had blown three of his seven save chances, didn't take kindly to manager Larry Dierker's recent critique of his fastball. "There's nothing wrong with his velocity, but maybe the movement isn't there like it was," Dierker said. Wagner's response: "If he doesn't think my fastball is moving, hey, get a bat."
...Padres outfielder Eric Owens on Diamondbacks submarining righthanded reliever Byung-Hyun Kim, who had 32 strikeouts in 18? innings: "They should outlaw those guys in baseball. Guys that throw like that should play fast-pitch softball. It looks like he's throwing the ball out of the dirt."
...Swifter, higher, older? Wade Boggs, 41, is the biggest name among the former players who have expressed interest in playing for the U.S. in the Sydney Olympics. Tom Candiotti, 42, Chili Davis, 40, Orestes Destrade, 38, Gary Gaetti, 41, Jimmy Key, 39, Willie McGee, 41, Tom Pagnozzi, 37, Tim Raines, 40, and Terry Steinbach, 38, also have spoken of the possibility....
Woeful attendance in Oakland is nothing new, but this is embarrassing: On May 15 the A's were outdrawn by their Triple A affiliate, the Sacramento River Cats, 14,111 to 6,386.