Anatomy of a blown save

Ever wonder what goes through a relief pitcher's mind when he blows a save and it's not entirely his fault?

Such was the situation facing Minnesota's Joe Nathan, whose streak of 21 successful save opportunities was broken when an attempted diving catch by leftfielder Delmon Young in the ninth resulted in a game-tying, three-run, inside-the-park home run for Kansas City's Mark Teahen.

When the cameras followed a seething Nathan into the dugout after Young's faux pas, they showed him blowing right past Young without making eye contact after the outfielder approached Nathan with a half-hug.

Nathan, who hadn't blown a save since Sept. 7 and had 13 perfect chances this year, was composed after Tuesday night's game, a 4-3 Twins win in 12 innings.

"I've always said, 'You've got to make your pitches and the results are the results,' " Nathan told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "It was just a first-pitch, lazy fly ball. [Teahen] just happened to put it in a good spot."

Hey, Sammy!

Sammy Sosa still wants to play some ball (see High & Inside) before he puts away his bats for good and hopes he can represent the Dominican Republic in next year's World Baseball Classic.

As far as returning to the majors, Sosa, 39, said he instructed his agent not to offer his services to any team.

"That doesn't mean I'm retiring," he said. "It's not time for that yet."

Sosa, who played last year for the Texas Rangers, has 609 career home runs.

Uh, Bud, hello?

Baseball commissioner Bud Selig tried to keep the venue for the 2010 All-Star Game a secret, but that secret was let out, oh, about a year ago.

Selig finally got around yesterday to announcing that the Los Angeles Angels will host the 2010 midsummer classic in Anaheim for the first time since 1989.

In that 1989 game, Bo Jackson hit a 448-foot home run and was selected MVP in the American League's 5-3 win. Nolan Ryan was the winning pitcher, and John Smoltz, the only player still active from that game, took the loss.

Selig also announced that Major League Baseball is making a $10 million donation to "Stand Up to Cancer," a fund-raising charity for cancer research.

ABC, CBS and NBC each have allotted a prime-time hour on Sept. 5 to simulcast a fund-raiser.


Tampa Bay closer Troy Percival limped off the mound with tightness in his left hamstring during the ninth inning of the Rays' 5-3 win over Texas yesterday. He was scheduled for an MRI exam and will be reevaluated today. . . . Despite being off to the best start in franchise history and beginning the day tied with the Chicago Cubs for the best record in the major leagues, the Rays drew an announced crowd of 10,927 yesterday.