A ROOKIE GOES FOR
general manager Wayne Krivsky of the Reds made a risky move last week when he
traded two 26-year-old regulars, outfielder Austin Kearns and shortstop Felipe
Lopez, to get decent but unspectacular setup relievers Gary Majewski (left) and
Bill Bray from the Nationals. (The eight-player deal also brought shortstop
Royce Clayton, infielder Brendan Harris and pitching prospect Daryl Thompson to
Cincinnati and sent reliever Ryan Wagner to Washington.) The deal was so
one-sided that one American League G.M. said, "I would have been
embarrassed to propose it." Krivsky knew the Reds wouldn't make the
postseason with the NL's worst bullpen (5.20 ERA through Sunday). Trouble is,
he still might not get there after overpaying to fix it--not only have the Reds
lost offense, but their new relief pitchers won't make much of a
The day before
the All-Star Game, Major League Baseball asked Yankees righthander Mike Mussina
(right) to replace White Sox starter Jose Contreras on the AL staff because
Contreras had pitched on Sunday and would not be available for the Tuesday
game. Mussina declined, having already traveled to his Montoursville, Pa., home
(though it was about a four-hour drive from Pittsburgh, the site of the game).
He did offer a reasonable suggestion for future All-Star scheduling: play the
game on Wednesday, which would allow all selected pitchers to be available.
Such timing also would move the Futures Game to Monday--avoiding a head-to-head
battle with the Sunday-night major league game for TV viewers--shift the Home
Run Derby to Tuesday and give all teams a four-day break. (Sixteen of the 30
teams had four days off this year; the others had three.)
?If the Mariners
stumble in the next two weeks, look for righthander Gil Meche (9-4, 3.87 ERA)
to become a plum on the trade market.
?With its 3--2
win in the All-Star Game, the AL earned home field advantage in the World
Series. Said White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, "No doubt it's an
advantage. And for us, home field is huge because it means we have [DH] Jim
Thome in the lineup for four games instead of three."
complaints about B.J. Ryan's contract lately? At week's end Ryan (left), the
Blue Jays' lefthanded closer, had permitted only three extra-base hits (two
doubles and a home run), none to lefthanders.
?Beginning on May
9 the Yankees were scheduled to play 67 straight games and 81 of 84 in the
Eastern time zone before traveling to Texas on July 24.
by Baseball Prospectus