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Monday, July 14, 2003
Dontrelle Express Rolls On. He's 9-1. (

Wild Pitches: Half-year in review by Jayson Stark. (

Jeff Merron takes in a game in Atlanta. "If you don't have fun at Turner, you're not trying. Pure baseball? Got it. Pure entertainment? Got it. Baseball history? Got it better than you can imagine. Stuff for the kids? Galore. Come early, bring a big wad of cash, and have at it. You won't regret it." (

Gregg Rosenthal takes in a game in Denver. "Baseball purists hate Coors Field because of the thin air. There is little else to hate." (Gregg's Baseball, Etc.)

27 Miles To Home Plate.
Baltimore is not Washington. Washington is not Baltimore. It doesn't matter that the Orioles took "Baltimore" off the uniforms.

People from the District and its suburbs can embrace the Orioles if they wish , and many do. But it's not exactly a cultural imperative. It's optional. A Washingtonian can root for the Orioles without deeply identifying with them.

David Hunger, for example, is a sort-of Orioles fan who went to the Yankees game last Wednesday (a rainout) because his father was in town, and his father is a die-hard Yankees fan.

"I'm really waiting for Washington to get a team, and that will be the team I root for," Hunger says.

The Orioles, for Hunger, are a place-holder. They're the best available baseball option -- until the real thing comes along.
(Washington Post)

Red Sox believe in Kim. "The Red Sox, who like their fan base never miss a chance to overestimate things, seemed to feel they had seen a defining moment in their 2003 season. That was the ninth inning of Wednesday's win, when Kim struck out Vernon Wells on three pitches and whipped a high fastball past swinging Carlos Delgado for strike three. Kim ended the inning by getting Eric Hinske to look at a called third strike." (The Globe and Mail)

Wil Everts: "BK (not BK Kim, that would be redundant, it's just BK!), if nothing else is exciting to watch. You almost never feel truly confident with him on the mound. He's so small and unassuming, so young and fresh looking, and always seems to let a couple guys reach. If nothing else you get your money's worth when Kim is on the mound." (Baseballtopia)

Quality Start: Rookie Brandon Webb has lifted the Diamondbacks into contention.
Webb is the rare pitcher who baffles hitters without changing speeds. More than 80% of his pitches are two-seam sinking fastballs that have so much movement that he hasn't had to throw many off-speed pitches. Webb doesn't throw particularly hard -- he tops out in the low 90s -- but his stuff is nasty. "Big league hitters aren't dumb," says first baseman Mark Grace. "They know what's coming. They still can't touch him."
(Sports Illustrated)

Prospectus Triple Play: Indians, Dodgers, Mariners. "It's something we've said before, but it's worth pointing out again; major-league baseball players are the best in the world at playing baseball. They're not necessaily the best in the world at evaluating baseball players. They'll continue to be a part of the All-Star process, but it's not necessarily an improvement over the old way of doing things. Any electorate that would submit more votes for Rocco Baldelli than for [Milton] Bradley deserves to have its judgment questioned." (Baseball Prospectus)

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