Clemens affects Toronto market
By Peter Gammons
Special to ESPN.com
DIAMOND NOTES: Sept. 10
Roger Clemens is still impacting the Toronto market. Here's what occurred during his three starts against the Blue Jays this year:
April 19: Final game, midweek series -- 24,684, up 4,900 from the night before against the Yankees.
July 28: Middle game, weekend series -- 44,105, up 7,500 from the day before, an increase of 4,000 on the Jays' photo day promotion, staged the day after.
Sept. 5: Final game, midweek series -- 29,235, up 9,200 from the night before.
In Clemens' three starts the Jays are averaging 32,689, or 9,111 more than their average attendance of 23,577 to date.
Ivan Rodriguez chose to have the surgery to repair the patella tendinitis in his right knee because, as his agent, Jeff Moorad, says, "He wants to catch for another six or seven years. He doesn't plan to switch positions."
The Rangers now likely have to keep Rodriguez, and might not be able to go get a player like Juan Gonzalez. Teams are going to want to see Pudge catch before dealing, and since he is a free agent at the end of next season, the return may not be great come July.
One veteran scout says Rockies rookie shortstop Juan Uribe "is the best young player I've seen all season. He's got pop, can really play the position and has a rocket for an arm." The Dodgers would second that emotion, and with Juan Pierre in center and Jose Ortiz at second base, Colorado is stacked with athletic talent up the middle. But they continue to look for a catcher.
This defines the Jerry Manuel White Sox: In playing Detroit this week and essentially out of playoff contention, Magglio Ordonez came up with a runner on second base and none out and fought off one inside pitch after another until he got the runner over. And, by the way, Royce Clayton is hitting nearly .350 since the All-Star break.
Before Friday's game in St. Louis, Dodgers GM Dave Wallace said, "If Kevin Brown pitches well, I'll start to get excited." Brown dominated, allowing just one run on two hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.
"That is a very different Dodger team in terms of makeup," says Rockies GM Dan O'Dowd. 'They really play hard." Paul LoDuca, Mark Grudzielanek and Marquis Grissom have a lot to do with that.
The Indians led the September call-up spenders with $461,000. Pittsburgh has 13 recalls for $400,000, Toronto 11 at $380,000. Exactly what all these teams are going to do with all those bodies is another issue entirely.
There are folks in the Toronto organization pushing the idea of keeping all four of their outfielders -- Raul Mondesi, Jose Cruz, Shannon Stewart and Vernon Wells -- and using them in a rotation. That, however, might necessitate the trading of DH Brad Fullmer.
The Astros hope to get Pedro Astacio back in 7-10 days, and probably need him since they have six games left with the Cardinals, six with the Giants and seven with the Cubs. "I welcome that," says GM Gerry Hunsicker. "If we're not good enough to beat those people, we don't deserve to be there. But I have a very good feeling about this team."
Meanwhile, how good is Roy Oswalt? In his first 17 starts he has 11 wins, 13 quality starts and has pitched 14 times through the sixth inning.
Luis Gonzalez has been walked 26 times in the last 24 games through Friday. Remember, Mark Grace wore out last year, hitting .232 with one homer in his last 138 at-bats.
Tony Gwynn's minor-league totals: .391 OBP, .520 SLG. Sean Burroughs' minor-league totals: .418 OBP, .457 SLG. By the way, Burroughs started out of high school, Gwynn out of college.
It's amazing what a little psychological help with positive reinforcement and aggression can do. Since turning to help, Steve Trachsel has been 7-1, 2.80 with a 52/13 K/BB ratio in 69 innings.
David Wells is dead serious about coming back as he is reporting at 8 a.m. five days a week for rehab and working with a personal trainer for three hours, three days a week. His agent, Greg Clifton, got Wells tickets for the MTV Awards in New York Boomer so loves, and he turned them down because of his workout schedule.
Royals vice president of baseball operations George Brett took his K.C. staff out to dinner and reminded them of the time Bobby Cox pulled Andruw Jones out of a game. Soon thereafter, manager Tony Muser did the same thing to Mark Quinn.
Expos GM Jim Beattie has reportedly been offered a one-year extension by the Expos -- wherever they may be -- but some feel he might take the job as Dartmouth athletic director. Beattie now lives in Hanover, N.H., and commutes to work.
Joe Oliver had five bone chips and two spurs taken out of his elbow and was back catching in three weeks. "The way medical science is progressing," says Oliver, "pretty soon there won't be any such thing as a disabled list."
If you ever get a chance to arrive early before an Indians game, watch infielder John McDonald. You'll believe you're watching Omar Vizquel. The Indians are paying for him to work out this winter in Scottsdale, Ariz., with Mark Verstagen, along with Nomar and Michael Garciaparra, Robby Alomar and Lou Merloni.
The Mariners expect young left-hander Ryan Anderson to be healthy enough to pitch in the Arizona Fall League, but are worried that fellow youngster Gil Meche, a right-hander, won't be back to start the 2002 season.
Scott Radinsky's 12th disc, with the band Pully, will be released next month, titled, "Together Again for the First Time."
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