It couldn't happen to a nicer team

Willie Randolph edged a few more steps out onto the plank as the New York Mets were swept in San Diego this weekend, falling 71/2 games behind the rampaging Phillies.

Randolph's tenure was not made more secure by the appearance of buffoonery on the roster, either. Backup catcher Ramon Castro arrived after the start of yesterday's game because he did not know the starting time. Castro said he thought the game was at 4 p.m. instead of 1 p.m. He said he was taking a shower at the team's hotel when a hotel employee knocked on his door to tell him he was late.

"I'm embarrassed," Castro said. "I was ready to come to [Petco Park] at 1 o'clock because I thought the game was at 4."

Randolph said that Castro's explanation was "unacceptable," and that the player would be fined.

Run, dagnabbit

Adam LaRoche had three hits for Pittsburgh in a 6-4 win over Arizona. But he's lucky Charlie Manuel isn't his manager.

LaRoche hit a monstrous fly ball to deep right, which appeared as if it would go foul. LaRoche stood there and watched. Unhappily for the first baseman, the ball drifted back into play at the final moment and hit the 320-foot sign next to the foul pole. In fair territory.

LaRoche didn't break from the batter's box until he realized the ball might drift fair, so he settled for a double.

We all know how Uncle Charlie reacts to that.

Still bad, just smarter

Lefthander Scott Olsen was a serious pain in the butt for the Florida Marlins last season. On his good days.

On the bad days he got arrested.

He showed up teammates by reacting angrily to bad defensive plays, fought at least three teammates (and got a black eye to prove it), repeatedly beat up the helpless watercooler, and gestured obscenely to fans while stomping off the mound.

Last July he was charged with drunken driving and was tasered by police. (After he completed a community service program in February, the felony charges were dropped.)

That was then. Olsen has been repeatedly praised so far this season for displaying a vastly improved attitude.

According to the super-cocky 24-year-old, it's just an act.

"I find it funny that everybody is writing stories about the fact that I've changed," Olsen told "I haven't changed. Now, because you haven't heard anything going on when I'm at home, all of the sudden I'm totally different? I still have fun; I'm just smarter about it."


Padres Cy Young winner Jake Peavy (strained right elbow) is likely to return to the rotation this week after Saturday's simulated game, when he threw 61 pitches.

Matt Capps got his 14th save in as many opportunities and his 32d in 34 chances since becoming the Pirates' closer June 1, 2007. That .941 percentage is the NL's best in that span. . . . Aaron Rowand was in the lineup for the Giants after leaving Friday's game with a strained right quadriceps. . . . Cardinals righthander Adam Wainwright will have his sprained right middle finger examined by team doctors tomorrow.