Quote of the week
Cubs outfielder Milton Bradley, who has had his own issues with authority figures, on teammate Carlos Zambrano's flip-out Wednesday during which he appeared to bump umpire Mark Carlson, threw the baseball into the outfield and wrecked the dugout Gatorade machine with a bat: "That was pretty impressive. It was on a Bradley level."
Party pooper of the week
Sure, the most important thing is trying to win. But baseball can also occasionally provide great theater, drama that fans will remember long after they've forgotten the final score.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu had a chance to create one of those moments Friday. He could have started Ken Griffey Jr. against Randy Johnson last Friday during interleague play at Safeco Field, matching up two of the Seattle's baseball icons.
And he whiffed, starting Mike Sweeney because Junior was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against the Big Unit. "It was a tough decision not to play him, but I have to worry about the whole team," Wakamatsu said.
Seattle won in the 12th, by the way, but the guess here is that it's an outcome that will be recalled, if it's recalled at all, as just another game.
Stat of the week
Nationals rightfielder Adam Dunn has 16 homers. His team has 13 wins.
It doesn't appear there's ever been a player whose home runs exceeded his club's wins at the end of the season.
Comeback of the week
The Astros-Reds game at Cincinnati was delayed 2 hours and 3 minutes by rain with two outs in the top of the fifth on Monday. Normally an interruption of that length would mean a new pitcher when play resumed, but Reds starter Aaron Harang stunned almost everybody by coming back to get the final out. That made the game official and qualified him for the win.
Harang stayed ready by throwing four simulated innings at about 60 percent in the indoor batting cage while the tarp was on the field. *
- Paul Hagen