?It's Not in the Cards
Baseball needs more players like Padres journeyman catcher Dann Bilardello, who has been around forever, plays hard and doesn't take himself too seriously. Bilardello, 32, is in his 14th pro season and with his sixth organization. He was hitting .167 (1 for 6) at week's end; his lifetime major league batting average was .205. "I want my stats taken off my baseball card, that's my goal," he says. "People look at them and say, 'How does this guy do it?' "
?Mama Said There'd Be Days like This
First baseman Dave Staton of the Padres' Triple A Las Vegas Stars recently learned a hard lesson on the dangers of charging the mound. After hitting a homer and a double in a 7-2 win over the Phoenix Firebirds, a Giants' affiliate, Staton was brushed back on his third at bat by pitcher Randy Veres. The 6'5" Staton charged the mound, ducking his head down while attempting to tackle Veres. Veres kicked Staton in the face, breaking his nose. At about the same time, Staton was tackled from behind by catcher Jim McNamara and, in the ensuing melee, was spiked in the face. He needed six stitches in his lip and three in his mouth to close the wounds.
Royals first baseman Warren Cromartie's book, Slugging It Out in Japan, about his years with the Yomiuri Giants, is a best-seller in Japan. "They're talking about making a movie," said Cromartie. Will he play the lead role? "You bet I will," he said. "It ain't going to be Nipsey Russell."
? By the Numbers
# On July 23, the Rangers' Nolan Ryan got his 308th career victory, which Goose Gossage finished with career save number 308. It was the first time in history that a 300-game winner had a game saved by a pitcher with 300 saves.