There will be many big games for Schilling as a member of the Diamondbacks, who as of Sunday were a game behind the Giants in the National League West, especially with Arizona and San Francisco scheduled to meet eight times in the last 12 games of the season. But for now no start was bigger than facing Braves ace Greg Maddux on Aug. 2 at the BOB, his first appearance for Arizona—and on the night after the Diamondbacks had slipped out of first place for the first time since April 4. Schilling huffed through five scoreless innings and then hit his stride. He needed only 32 pitches over the final four innings to get the 2-0 victory. His last 13 deliveries were strikes, including three fastballs of 95, 96 and 95 mph—his three hardest pitches of the night—to whiff Brian Jordan for the penultimate out "Did that to us two years ago," Garagiola says. "He'd been going along 91, 93, 92, and we're just flattened. He comes out for the ninth, and everything is 94, 96, 95. This is a guy saying, 'Boys, this is what I didn't bother to break out, but I'll just show it to you so you'll know what's in the tank for next time.' "
There is poetry. Then there are pros.
Brogna's Wait Ends
After the Deadline
When the phone in his San Diego hotel room rang at 1 p.m. PDT on July 31—exactly at the trading deadline—Rico Brogna figured it was Phillies general manager Ed Wade calling to say Brogna had been dealt to the Red Sox. A 30-year-old first baseman with a .272 lifetime average who had hit 20 or more homers whenever he played a full season, Brogna had been sidelined most of this year as he recovered from a fractured left forearm and had lost his starting job. For more than a week Boston had been trying to make a deal for Brogna, a New England native, and he had told Philadelphia's management that was where he wanted to play.
"When [ Wade] told me they hadn't made a deal, I was disappointed," says Brogna, whose spot in the Phillies' infield was taken by highly touted 23-year-old rookie Pat Burrell, with Travis Lee, 25, acquired in the deal that sent Curt Schilling to Arizona on July 26, waiting in the wings. "The Phillies pretty much told me that Pat or Travis was going to be the first baseman of the future. Knowing that, I was upset the trade didn't work out."
The deal fell apart because Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette, though desperate for a productive bat, refused to part with infield prospect Donnie Sadler. Why? "The teams that were looking for a first baseman had already filled their need," says Duquette. "We were gambling that Rico would still be there after the deadline."
Duquette's bet paid off. On Aug. 1 Philadelphia requested waivers on Brogna, giving every other team, in ascending order of won-lost record, the chance to claim him. With his $4 million salary a deterrent, Brogna slipped by every club below the Red Sox, who claimed him last Thursday. (They'll pay a prorated $1.3 million.) An elated Brogna was in the Boston lineup at Fenway Park last Friday. He went 2 for 9 with one RBI and one run scored in three starts at first against the Royals.
"I was confused by the whole process, and I didn't want to get let down again," Brogna says when asked why he wasn't counting on making it to Boston on waivers. "Now I think the process is fine."
Indians' New Look
Risky Business In Cleveland
The Indians' John Hart dispenses with the usual general manager-speak when discussing the trades that brought righthanders Jason Bere, Bob Wickman and Steve Woodard and outfielder Wil Cordero to Cleveland. There's no we-liked-our-club-but-are-always-looking-to-improve spin here. "Even though we've been riddled with injuries, we wanted to be playing meaningful games in September," says Hart. "If we didn't make these deals, we wouldn't have that chance. We weren't going to win with the lineup and pitching we had—it just wasn't going to happen."