How about lefty reliever Steve Kline? He gets a two-year, $5.5 million deal with Baltimore, gives up homers in his first two games, then says he wishes he was back in St. Louis. He may have more in common with the O's than he thinks.
They've thrown five complete games -- one more than the other 15 NL teams combined. "If they're within reason with their pitching count," says Jack McKeon, "I'm not going to go for this b.s. of bringing in a closer." They, of course, are also the only NL team without a save. No b.s.
The fan who took a swipe at Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield had his 2005 season tickets revoked. Plus, he has to stay after school and write "Alex Rodriguez is a swell guy" on the blackboard 1,000 times.
As an Angel, Troy Percival held them scoreless for 40 1-3 innings over 32 games. But they finally broke through last week, beating the Tigers' new closer 5-4. "Forty innings worth of no hits and no runs," said Ron Gardenhire, "and you start reading about it in the Guinness Book of World Records." Or here.
They've bounced back nicely from that 0-5 start, but is it already too late? Only two teams have started 0-5 since 1969 and won a division title, the Pirates in 1974 and Reds in 1995. Of course, if they keep hitting seven homers per game ...
Holy water! During spring training, Dusty Baker sprinkled Mark Prior's inflamed right elbow with water blessed by Pope John Paul II. Really. "I just hope," said Baker, "that my sinning doesn't negate the effectiveness of the water."
Through their first 13 games, their starting rotation boasted a 3.27 ERA with just 15 walks. The relievers, meanwhile, were 1-3 and 5.94. Is it just us, or should Charlie Manuel give Jack McKeon a call?
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