Grey Flannel Auctions is auctioning a corked bat it says once belonged to Yankees great Mickey Mantle.

Bat authenticator (his real title) John Taube said in a statement that he was examining the wood when he noticed alterations at the top of the barrel.

"We had the barrel X-rayed, and it confirms that the barrel has been drilled and filled with cork. This is the first corked bat of Mantle that we have seen or heard of," he said.

Did Mantle use it in a game? Was it used only in batting practice? Were teammates pulling a prank on him? We'll never know for sure. The Hall of Famer died in 1995.

Nevertheless, the bat has a reserve price of $5,000.

Blanton being Blanton

Philadelphians remember Joe Blanton as the kind of pitcher who could eat up a lot of innings on the way to a no-decision or a loss. (Last year, the righty went 8-9 in 20 starts in which he ate up 1331/3 innings for the Phils before ending up with the Dodgers.)

Now with the Angels, Blanton's fortunes haven't gotten any better.

On Thursday night vs. Baltimore, he allowed three runs, two earned, and eight hits in eight innings and ended up losing, 5-1, to nail down his fifth loss in six winless starts - and 342/3 innings.

Still, Blanton remained philosophical about the whole thing.

"Sometimes that happens. It went a couple of games longer than I hoped it would," he said.

Royals weathering May

The Royals can't catch a break. Friday's home game against the White Sox was postponed when drizzle began falling at Kauffman Stadium and the temperature began dropping after hovering in the mid-30s most of the day.

That postponement came a day after the Royals played into the fourth inning against Tampa Bay before that game was stopped when it started snowing.

- Staff and wire reports