officials had been privately worried in recent months that top outfield
prospect Delmon Young (right) was developing a poor attitude. Young, 20, who
was suspended three games for bumping an umpire in Double A last year and was
upset about not making the major league roster this spring, confirmed those
fears last week by throwing a bat at a minor league replacement ump after a
disputed third-strike call, hitting him in the chest.
Young, the No. 1
pick in the 2003 draft, who was batting .329 for Triple A Durham, was suspended
indefinitely by the International League, which will soon determine the
penalty's length. A minimum of 60 games seems appropriate, given the apparent
willfulness of Young's actions. He threw the bat after he was ejected for
arguing, as he was walking toward the dugout.
episode apparently wasn't so much as a wake-up call for Young. Instead of
giving an immediate, on-camera apology that night, he hid behind a prepared
statement the next day. Quick accountability would have been a good place for
Young to start rebuilding his image.
With his 400th
career home run last week, Padres catcher Mike Piazza (left) joined an
exclusive club. Sure, 40 others have hit 400 homers, but far fewer players--and
none in 30 years--have done so with Piazza's ability to put the ball in play
and get hits. Only six players had hit 400 homers with a .300 career batting
average without striking out 100 times in a season before Piazza did it: Babe
Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Hank Aaron.
?Despite a 4-for-5
game on Sunday, Braves second-year outfielder Jeff Francoeur (right) was
hitting .216 at week's end with no walks in 100 plate appearances and no
ability to hit when he got deep into the count, a critical failure. Francoeur
was batting .184 in at bats when he didn't hit the first pitch and an abysmal
.029 (1 for 34) in two-strike counts.
?The Tigers, 16-9
at week's end, are a bona fide contender--for now. Says one AL G.M.,
"They're legit. Their biggest problem is they're counting on guys who have
a history of breaking down, like [Magglio] Ordo�ez, [Carlos] Guillen and
[Pudge] Rodriguez. We'll see if they hold up."
?How badly have
first baseman Casey Kotchman and catcher Jeff Mathis struggled for the Angels?
Los Angeles ranked 29th and 30th in hitting at those two positions through
Sunday (.190 and .160, respectively). Says one AL scout, "The most
overrated young players I've seen this year are [Mariners centerfielder] Jeremy
Reed [.188] and Jeff Mathis."