By DJ Gallo
Special to Page 2


July 1 -- In the midst of another disappointing season with the Mets, Carlos Beltran sends his agent a card thanking him for not negotiating an incentives-based contract.

July 2 -- Dontrelle Willis is placed on the 15-day disabled list with elbow pain caused by Marlins manager Joe Girardi's starting him every other day because he's the only decent pitcher on the team.

July 3 -- The Yankees lose in Cleveland in the bottom of the ninth when the Indians' Travis Hafner tags up and scores from first on shallow fly ball to Johnny Damon.

Bartolo Colon
AP Photo/Nick Doan
Bartolo certainly looks like he could put away a few hot dogs.

July 4 -- Angels pitcher Bartolo Colon ends Takeru Kobayashi's five-year run as champion of the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest.

July 5 -- Mike MacDougal meets with Royals manager Buddy Bell to complain about his playing time, but Bell reminds MacDougal that because he is Kansas City's closer, there are very few opportunities for him to get in a game.

July 6 -- The Yankees end a five-game losing streak with a 7-3 victory over the Indians, prompting George Steinbrenner to unlock Brian Cashman's office and allow his general manger out for the first time in nearly a week so he can eat something and use the bathroom.

July 7 -- With the bases loaded, two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and the White Sox trailing the Red Sox by three, Jim Thome nearly connects with ferocious swings on three straight pitches, exhibiting just the power potential Chicago acquired him for.

July 8 -- Angered that he was given macaroni and cheese for lunch when he really wanted Spaghetti-O's, Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein throws a temper tantrum -- crying and thrashing about on the floor of his office -- and is put in timeout for five minutes by team owner John Henry until he calms down.

July 9 -- Randy Johnson's former girlfriend says that she never ever referred to him as "Big Unit."

July 10 -- Phillies outfielder Bobby Abreu wins the Home Run Derby for the second year in a row and, just like in 2005, decides he's pretty much all homered out for the rest of the season.

July 11 -- The National League wins the All-Star Game in Pittsburgh, giving the 20-67 Florida Marlins home field in the World Series if they can only turn their season around in the second half.

July 12 -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland introduces himself to Giants slugger Barry Bonds at an All-Star Game event, telling him he used to manage a player with the same name but a much, much smaller body during his time with the Pirates in the late '80s and early '90s.

July 13 -- With the All-Star break in its fourth day, George Steinbrenner posts a note outside Yankee Stadium apologizing to fans that several Yankees are taking part and that he in no way supports the idea of a major league All-Star Game.

July 14 -- The Mets and Orioles go to court over who gets to sleep with Anna Benson to collect on her promise to sleep with all of her husband's teammates if he ever cheated on her.

July 15 -- Tragedy strikes the St. Louis Cardinals when diminutive second baseman David Eckstein drowns in the dugout when two inches of water gathers during a rain delay.

July 16 -- In a series against the White Sox, the Yankees are shut out on back-to-back nights by former Yankees Javier Vazquez and Jose Contreras. Everyone everywhere has a good laugh.

July 17 -- Faced with growing anger from teams across baseball that home-field advantage in the World Series is decided by something as trivial as the outcome of the All-Star Game, Bud Selig announces home-field advantage in the World Series will be given to the Yankees from now on, regardless of whether they qualify for the Series or not.

July 18 -- Orioles owner Peter Angelos is arrested for burning down the headquarters of the construction company that is to build the Nationals' new stadium.

July 19 -- With the 2006 Hall of Fame induction ceremony right around the corner, Pete Rose tries to keep his name in the news by stating he never used performance-enhancing drugs in a book released today titled: "My Prison Without Using Drugs That Increase the Muscle Density of Cattle."

July 20 -- The Mariners announce they will stop displaying the speed of Jamie Moyer's pitches at Safeco Field so as not to embarrass him or those he somehow gets out.

July 21 -- Vice President Dick Cheney throws out the first pitch before a Nationals game in Washington, but throws wildly into the stands, striking a 78-year-old man in the face.

July 22 -- While the Cubs have a scheduled off-day, White Sox starter Mark Buehrle pitches a perfect game against the Rangers, but it's not enough to get the White Sox their first-ever appearance on the front page of the Chicago sports sections.

David Wells
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
David Wells might want to consider competitive eating, too.

July 23 -- Boston pitcher David Wells withdraws his latest trade request after an all-you-can-eat pizza restaurant opens near his home in the city.

July 24 -- Kansas City slugger Mike Sweeney stresses yet again that he does not want to be traded at the deadline because he is happy as a Royal. He is immediately sent to a psychiatrist for counseling.

July 25 -- Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine square off in a semi-depressing pitching "duel" of former greats in a game between the Cubs and Mets, each giving up six runs in five innings of work before being replaced by a reliever.

July 26 -- With the trade deadline just five days away, the Yankees find someone to take the huge salaries of disappointing past acquisitions Carl Pavano and Jaret Wright off their hands, shipping the duo to Isiah Thomas and the Knicks in exchange for cash.

July 27 -- The 51-52 Pirates trade promising young players Zach Duke, Paul Maholm, Oliver Perez, Jose Castillo and Brad Eldred for veteran players. "You only get so many chances to finish a season above .500 and we haven't done it since 1992," says general manager Dave Littlefield. "So we're going to go for it, even if we have to mortgage our future to do so."

July 28 -- The language tutor for the Mets' Kaz Matsui teaches the second baseman what "bust" means in English.

July 29 -- Despite the trade deadline being just two days away, Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd says he has not received a single call from other teams inquiring about the availability of his players.

July 30 -- Bruce Sutter is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., before a crowd of rabid Bruce Sutter fans (a handful of his family members).

July 31 -- The Red Sox trade Keith Foulke, Manny Ramirez, Trot Nixon, David Ortiz, Curt Schilling, Mike Timlin, Jason Varitek, Tim Wakefield and Kevin Youkilis at the trade deadline, finally ridding themselves of every player from their World Series-winning team from way back in 2004.