- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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Before the recent run of Hall-quality second basemen, only seven players who played most of their games at second had been elected by the writers to the Hall, including just one, Joe Morgan, in the 43 years before Sandberg. Four of those seven were active in 1926 ( Eddie Collins, Rogers Hornsby, Frankie Frisch and Charlie Gehringer), just as new golden agers Sandberg, Alomar, Biggio and Kent were in 1993.
AS HOT AS THE WEATHER
DECLINE OF THE DH
?After correcting a flaw in the set position that had him tipping his pitches (his glove would open wider as he gripped his slider), Yankees lefthander Randy Johnson went 4-0 with 48 strikeouts in 40 2/3 innings between July 5 and a no-decision in Sunday's 8-7 win over the Angels. "Guys would be taking my slider, and I'd wonder, How does he take that pitch unless he knows it's coming?" says the Big Unit.
?How foolish was the seven-year, $105 million contract the Dodgers gave 33-year-old righthander Kevin Brown in 1998? In seven seasons since signing the deal, Brown has returned an average season of 10 wins and 154 innings--less production than journeyman Aaron Sele (11 wins, 166 innings) had over that span. Brown (4-7) was put on the disabled list with a bad back for the third time this season on July 28.
?The increasing incidence of bats breaking with pieces flying toward players has become a major safety concern of Major League Baseball, which is studying why it is happening and what might be done about it. The popular thin-handled, heavy-barreled maple bats tend to break apart rather than crack.