Flame-throwing righthander Stephen Strasburg was a no-show on draft day last week, when he was taken first overall by the Washington Nationals, to the great dismay of the nice folks at MLB Network, who showed the first round live.

Strasburg is being handled by Scott Boras who, as usual, has locked his client away for the duration of negotiations.

Boras is contending that Strasburg - a junior at San Diego State - is a once-in-a-lifetime talent (a stance he also took with the Phillies when they drafted J.D. Drew). The agent has pointed out that signing a No. 1 starter would cost as much as $16 million a year on the free-agent market, so Strasburg should get similar money.

Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports pointed out that Jered Weaver was projected to be the No. 1 pick in 2005. He signed with Boras and fell to the Los Angeles Angels at No. 12 because teams were scared off by reports that he wanted $9 million. It took him nearly a year to sign, and he accepted $4 million.

"It was a frantic pace," Weaver said last weekend. "If I had to do it all over again, things probably would be a little different."

Weaver vs. Weaver

On Saturday night, Jered and his older brother, Jeff Weaver, had been part of the first matchup of sibling pitchers in seven years.

Jeff outpitched Jered as the Dodgers beat the Angels, 6-4. Although neither pitcher made it out of the sixth inning, Jeff (4-1) got the win and Jered (7-3) took the loss.

Andy and Alan Benes had started against each other in 2002 when Andy was with St. Louis and Alan with the Cubs. The Weavers' matchup marked the 21st time that pitching brothers started against each other in the big leagues.


The Dodgers' Russell Martin, one of the best catchers in the league at handling pitchers, is hitting .249. He has been in a slump for more than a month in which he has barely hit .200.

About which Tim Brown of Yahoo Sports said:

"Dodgers pitchers love him. So do everyone else's."

Manny's back

Dodger slugger Manny Ramirez, finishing up a 50-game suspension for using an illegal substance, has agreed to start a minor-league rehab assignment tomorrow night at triple-A Albuquerque, manager Joe Torre said.

Manny is so big a name that minor-league baseball's official Web site, MILB.com, will cover the Isotopes' game against the Nashville Sounds live over the Internet.

Ramirez is scheduled to return to the Dodgers' lineup on July 3, barring rainouts. Expect fireworks.


Albert Pujols tied Stan Musial's St. Louis record of nine career grand slams and matched the season mark of three shared by Jim Bottomley (1925), Keith Hernandez (1977), and Fernando Tatis (1999). His six RBIs yesterday also helped Tony La Russa join Connie Mack (3,831) and John McGraw (2,763) as the only managers with 2,500 career victories. . . . Even with yesterday's 4-1 win over Oakland, the San Diego Padres still have the worst interleague record in the majors, at 2-7.