A blast from . . . last year

The Padres' Tadahito Iguchi, who was a Phillie for the final months of last season, will miss four to six weeks after separating his shoulder Thursday against the Mets.

While we feel bad for "Tad," this reminds us of an interesting news item from his time in Philadelphia: Remember the Japanese man whom police arrested for impersonating Iguchi outside of Charles Barkley's Philly nightclub? The man, police say, was charging for autographs and pictures.

This story raises plenty of questions. But the question High&Inside most wants answered is ...

Are there really people willing to pay for Iguchi's autograph?

The 'arm position'?

Mets veteran pitcher Pedro Martinez watched the bullpen session of teammate Oliver Perez on Wednesday.

Perez, who has an ERA of 11.91 in his last three starts, was scheduled to pitch yesterday for New York.

In his most recent outing, Monday at San Francisco, Perez gave up six runs in - get this - one-third of an inning. Needless to say, manager Willie Randolph was "disappointed" with this performance, saying Perez's problem was "throwing every pitch as hard as he could."

Martinez, after watching the bullpen session, told Perez he needed to maintain his arm position.

This is a crazy thought, but maybe Oliver Perez just isn't that good.

Government approval

The Cardinals selected Naval Academy pitcher Mitch Harris in the 13th round of the 50-round draft.

St. Louis assistant general manager John Abbamondi served nine years with the Navy. Abbamondi said that while Harris' five-year military obligation comes first, the Cardinals are hoping the Navy will allow the 6-foot-4, 215-pound righthander to pursue his big-league dream.

There is precedent for the Navy to allow athletes to play professionally as well as compete in the Olympics, but Abbamondi called this one a "chain-of-command decision" that could go as high as the secretary of the Navy.

Hope he's a Cardinals fan.

Royals donate Berroa

Kansas City shortstop Angel Berroa, the 2003 American League rookie of the year, is now a Dodger.

Not only that, but the Royals also agreed to pay the remainder of Berroa's contract: $4.75 million this season and a $500,000 buyout for his 2009 option.

Berroa, 30, hit .287 with 73 RBIs as a rookie but spent most of the last two seasons at triple-A Omaha.

Los Angeles gave the Royals single-A infielder Juan Rivera in exchange.


On Friday, the Astros waived 34-year-old outfielder Jose Cruz Jr. His father, Jose, played for Houston from 1975 to 1987 and is the Astros' first-base coach. Cruz Jr. hit only 6 for 49 (.122) in 38 games this season. Houston then called up outfielder Reggie Abercrombie, 26, from triple-A Round Rock, where he was hitting .288.