TAKING TURNS AT THE TOP OF THE NL
How wacky has the National League been this season? In a 25-day span beginning on May 16, six teams claimed at least a share of the best record in the league: the Dodgers, Astros, Marlins, Cubs, Cardinals and Reds. Cincinnati then entered an interleague series in Oakland last week with the NL's best record and promptly gave up 40 runs in three games. Only the 1901 and '49 Reds—clubs that finished eighth and seventh, respectively—gave up more runs in any three-game span in franchise history.
IF BIGGIO WERE COMMISSIONER FOR A DAY
What would be the first thing on his to-do list if Astros centerfielder Craig Biggio had Bud Selig's job for 24 hours? "I'd do away with the running lane to first base," he says. "It makes no sense that you start out running straight, then you have to run to the side and at the very end you have to come back and touch the base. I also don't understand if a game gets called because of rain before it's official, why do you have to start all over again? Why pretend it never happened? Why not just pick up where you left off?"
1. The Orioles have not hit a triple at Camden Yards this year, and with only two on the road they are threatening the alltime major league record low of 11 held by the 1998 Orioles.
2. The Marlins' Carl Pavano (right), 28, is blossoming into an elite starter in his final season before he's eligible to become a free agent. At the All-Star break last year he had a 33-47 career record. Since then he is 14-5 with a 3.38 ERA in 33 games, including the playoffs.
3. Here's why the Cubs need rightfielder Sammy Sosa and righthander Kerry Wood to get well soon: Starting June 7, Chicago was scheduled to play 50 consecutive games against teams playing .500 or better, including 19 against NL Central rivals St. Louis and Houston.