Never too many
So nobody but the best team in baseball wanted Bartolo Colon?
As if the Red Sox didn't have enough going for them - even before their two grand slams yesterday - they called up the former Cy Young Award winner, out of the majors since an elbow injury last season, and Colon pitched five innings Wednesday against Kansas City, giving up two runs in a 6-3 win. Colon is the eighth pitcher to start for Boston this season.
"We say it all the time. If you think you [only] need five starters for a year, you're crazy," manager Terry Francona told the Boston Globe.
The Boss knows best
Meanwhile, the worst team in the American League East is moving its second-best relief pitcher closer to the starting rotation. Not into the rotation, just toward it. This, however, is a huge story in New York. Joba Chamberlain pitched the last two innings of an 8-0 Yankees victory over Baltimore on Wednesday night, stretching out his arm so he can start. Hank Steinbrenner, the new Boss, has wanted Joba starting for a while, but nothing was happening on that front until the Yankees fell to 20-25 earlier this week.
Coincidently, everybody in the organization now wants Joba starting.
"[Chamberlain] looked me right in the eye and said, 'I want the opportunity to start,' " Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told the New York Post on Wednesday night.
Cashman didn't mention anything about Hank's looking him in the eye and saying, "Tell Joba that he wants the opportunity to start."
"I'm excited," Chamberlain said. "I have zero question marks."
See if this happens
Major-league umpires are being directed to pay attention to pace-of-game rules, so Low & Outside assumes they will for a series or two.
Among the directives:
Batboys must have a second bat readily available in the event that a hitter's bat breaks.
Umpires will not grant "time" to a batter who asks for it once the pitcher has begun his delivery.
Relief pitchers should leave the bullpen immediately after being signaled to enter.
In fact, Philadelphia's favorite umpire, Cowboy Joe West, already is on top of things. Last week, West asked for the baseball from Milwaukee relief pitcher Guillermo Mota after he had come in from the bullpen and thrown his fifth warm-up toss. West took the ball and threw it to second base, like a catcher throwing it down before the start of an inning.
"I only threw five pitches. I said, 'I get eight,' " Mota told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "He said I threw extra pitches in the bullpen."
Joining the 21st century
Major League Baseball is making tentative plans to experiment with instant replay, the Associated Press reported.
Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president for baseball operations, would not put a timetable on a replay plan, which general managers recommended in November.
Minnesota shortstop Adam Everett was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder. His pain is in a different place from the shoulder injury that sent him to the DL last month.