Ian Kennedy packed a lot of common sense into the luggage that accompanied him to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre yesterday. Kennedy, one of the pitchers the Yankees refused to trade as part of the Johan Santana deal and who was handed the No. 5 starting spot in spring training, was optioned for the third time this year. Lefty reliever Billy Traber was recalled from SWB. At no time was a demotion more deserving than yesterday's. Not only did Kennedy get rocked Friday night, but also his postgame "I am not too upset about it" comments annoyed teammates. Kennedy, who gave up five runs and nine hits in two-plus innings, said a talk with Andy Pettitte made him realize the words didn't sound good. "It came out wrong. I was very disappointed with myself. I always want to do well," Kennedy said. "I had seven innings to think about it. I hate losing but I wasn't going to let it ruin what I had done recently (at Triple-A)." Pettitte was among those who took Kennedy aside. (New York Post) Comment
For 20 minutes, he was a football player again. Not a rehab case. Not a disgruntled employee. Not a trading chip. Chris Simms had an entire field in front of him and was anxious to put the past behind. As auditions go, this was a keeper. Simms was effective by most standards, and pretty darned impressive when you consider it was his first extensive playing time in nearly two years. He completed 8 of 10 passes for 60 yards and a 91.7 QB rating on his three possessions, and he drove the Bucs to one touchdown and one missed field goal. For Simms, the results are probably incidental. If he continues to play well, maybe another team is willing to give up a fifth-round draft pick in a trade. (Among the teams with scouts in the press box Saturday night were the Bears and Cowboys, both of whom seem to have interest in Simms.) (St. Petersburg Times) Comment
We hear Rangers president Nolan Ryan will open up Tom Hicks's pocketbook this offseason and make a big attempt to land major pitching help. CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets are likely targets (and Toronto's A.J. Burnett could be had in a trade). Texas entered last night's action with a league-worst 5.27 ERA, yet still had a 60-57 record and was in the wild-card hunt. It's a shame the Rangers have given away Justin Duchscherer, Chris Young, Armando Galarraga, and John Danks in various trades or they'd have a pretty good staff. (Boston Globe) Comment
Michael Phelps (left) and Garrett Gale-Weber lead the cheers as Jason Lezak (not shown) brings home the gold in the 400 freestyle relay with an electrifying anchor leg. (Heinz Kluetmeier/SI)
Elvis makes an appearance during a Cubs rain delay last week.
Game To Watch
Red Sox at White Sox, 8:11 p.m. ET -- Chicago is seeking its first series victory over Boston since 2004.
1919 -- Led by Curly Lambeau and George Calhoun, the Green Bay Packers were founded. 1991 -- John Daly, who began the week as the ninth alternate, comes out of nowhere to win the PGA Championship. 1993 -- Roger Clemens whiffs the Yankees' Danny Tartabull for his 2,000th career strikeout.
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