You gotta be careful with your body. Your body is like a bar of soap. The more you use it, the more it wears down.
-- Dick Allen
In other words, don't expect to see Gregg Zaun catching tonight...
The Yankees won behind new ace Aaron Small - the Bombers are 1.5 behind Boston in the division, .5 behind Oakland in the Wild Card. In their ongoing project to sign every pitcher with a pulse, they inked Hideo Nomo to a minor-league deal last week. They then thought - hey, what are we doing signing Tampa Bay's cast-offs, and traded with Colorado for Shaun Chacon.
It was one month ago - June 29 - that Kenny Rogers had his meltdown, and he's finally begun serving his suspension, although the union is expected to file a grievance (or already has.) Rogers owed it to his teammates to do everything he could to: a) stay on the mound while they were still trying to contend, and b) reduce the amount of time he would be away. But Texas went 12-13 while all this played out, and watched Oakland scoot past them.
Atlanta completed the sweep over Washington, and holds a 3 game lead in the NL East. Jeff Francouer, 21 years old, hit a pair of homers and is now hitting .441 since his July 7 arrival from AA when Brian Jordan went on the DL.
Washington is now in a dead heat with Houston - yes, Houston - for the Wild Card. Houston has gone 34-12 since June 7. They're hotter than Oakland.
In the division nobody wants to win, the Padres have lost 9 of 10 and still hold a two game lead over Arizona. Ramon Hernandez is out, and Robert Fick and Phil Nevin will handle the catching. Nevin made his first start behind the plate since 1999 this week, and maybe he'll want to rethink that whole trade veto...
Minnesota (Silva 7-4, 3.38) at Boston (Miller 3-4, 4.57) 7:05
Los Angeles (Santana 5-4, 5.64) at New York (Mussina 10-5, 3.83) 7:05
Texas (Park 8-5, 5.66) at Toronto (Downs 0-1, 5.53) 7:07
Kansas City (Carrasco 5-4, 4.24) at Tampa Bay (Fossum 5-8, 3.94) 7:15
Chicago (Hernandez 7-3, 4.78) at Baltimore (Bedard 5-2, 2.11) 7:35
Detroit (Douglass 3-0, 2.10) at Oakland (Harden 8-4, 2.28) 10:05
Cleveland (Millwood 4-9, 3.19) at Seattle (Sele 6-11, 5.14) 10:05
Arizona (Vazquez 9-9, 4.37) at Chicago (Prior 7-3, 3.23) 2:20
Philadelphia (Myers 8-5, 3.24) at Colorado (Chacon 1-7, 4.09) 5:05
Pittsburgh (Williams (8-7, 4.35) at Atlanta (Ramirez 8-6, 4.57) 7:35
Washington (Armas 5-4, 4.73) at Florida (Beckett 9-6, 3.33) 7:35
San Francisco (Rueter 2-7, 5.73) at Milwaukee (Davis 9-7, 4.07) 8:05
New York (Benson 7-3, 3.14) at Houston (Rodriguez 5-4, 6.18) 8:05
Cincinnati (Hudson 1-5, 8.83) at San Diego (Astacio 2-9, 5.84) 10:05
St.Louis (Morris 11-3, 3.42) at Los Angeles (Penny 5-6, 3.54) 10:40