- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"This year, to make a change, they decided to do it with players," said Brewer Third Baseman Paul Molitor, attempting to put the trade into perspective. "Last year it was Buck Rodgers and Harvey Kuenn [the former was replaced by the latter as manager in June]. Harry [ Brewer General Manager Harry Dalton] is trying to get something shook up on this ball club, just trying to change the complexion of the team [which was in sixth place, 5� games out of first, in the American League East at week's end]. This gives us a little different chemistry. The old one was getting a little stale. It's hard to stay at the top if you stand pat. Something like this could make all the difference in the world."
Here's American League Umpire Ken Kaiser's list of today's most polite players, in no particular order: Rod Carew and Tommy John of the Angels, Cal Ripken of the Orioles, Butch Wynegar of the Yankees and George Brett of the Royals.
Angel Executive VP Buzzie Bavasi, 68, had a shouting match with Reliever Luis Sanchez, 29, in the Angels' clubhouse last week. It all began when Bavasi angrily confronted Sanchez about a damaging hit he gave up on an 0-2 pitch. "He cursed at me," said Bavasi. "He's got the best arm on the team, but we've been babying him too long...." California's Rick Burleson, perhaps the most outstanding all-around shortstop in the American League before he tore his right rotator cuff 14 months ago, has started what he hopes will be the last phase of his recovery. Burleson began a 20-day rehabilitation program at the Angel farm club in Edmonton last week by fielding flawlessly in three games and going 2 for 8 at the plate through Sunday.
Milwaukee righthander Pete Vuckovich, whose career was feared to have been ended by a torn rotator cuff, has had some of his batting-practice pitches clocked at 80 mph.... George Brett of the Royals is out at least five days with a broken toe, his 19th disabling injury or illness since 1977.... St. Louis Outfielder Lonnie Smith was batting .311 last week when he became the latest in a procession of big-leaguers to admit to drug problems; he entered a three-week therapy program.
Met Reliever Jesse Orosco, who pitched two shutout innings in Chicago last week, is no mere flash in the 'pen. In 51 appearances since last July 21, the 26-year-old lefty has pitched 94 innings, yielded 69 hits, walked 22, struck out 68, won seven games, saved eight others and had a 1.65 ERA.... The Mets' Dave Kingman, who beat the Expos 4-2 with a two-run homer in the 17th inning last week, has gotten all but five of his 22 RBIs with his 11 home runs.
Among the 918 high school and college players drafted by major league clubs last week were two sons each of two former big league pitchers, Tony Cloninger and Camilo Pascual. Pitcher Darrin Cloninger was drafted by San Diego, and his brother Michael, also a pitcher, by Minnesota. Outfielder Adalberto Pascual was chosen by Baltimore, and his brother Camilo, a pitcher, by Oakland. The Yankees, who had coveted Stanford Quarterback John Elway before he chose pro football, took another signal-caller during the draft. He's Turner Gill, the Nebraska quarterback in the fall and shortstop in the spring.
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