No Big Apple for Lee

Mired in last place in the AL West, the Seattle Mariners are widely believed to be willing to part with lefthander Cliff Lee.

And when you start to talk "shopping spree" you usually get around to mentioning the Yankees sooner rather than later.

But according to a report in Thursday's New York Daily News, the Bronx Bombers are not interested in acquiring Lee, or any other starting pitcher. At least, not yet.

"There is no urgency to do anything with the rotation," a team official told the News in response to a published report that suggested the Yankees were going to be bidders for Lee. "That's not an area that we're focused on."

Weird stat

The Oakland A's beat the Los Angeles Angels, 6-1, under California sunshine on Thursday afternoon, improving to a major-league best 16-7 in day games. Oakland (32-30) is only 16-23 at night.

Watch the game, willya?

The reigning American League MVP is hitting .316 with two home runs and 25 RBI. And, as of Wednesday night, had gone 24 games without a home run.

Since Joe Mauer has a career average of .326 and on-base percentage of .407, that's causing some ripples of concern in Minnesota, even with the Twins in first place.

"All I can say is, 'Don't people watch the game?' " manager Ron Gardenhire told the Minneapolis StarTribune. "He hasn't been getting the usual results lately but Joe's hitting the ball on the screws almost every time he takes a swing.

"I can guarantee you that as the manager, the least of my worries is Joe Mauer."

Take that

Dick Vitale, the nation's biggest Tampa Bay Rays fan, was sitting in his normal front-row seat near the third base dugout on Thursday, when he was hit in the gut by a foul ball from Toronto leadoff hitter Fred Lewis. Vitale reacted as you would expect - he rubbed the spot and continued talking.


Angels first baseman Kendry Morales will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on the left leg he broke by jumping on the plate in celebration of a walk-off grand slam on May 29. . . . Angels manager Mike Scioscia and Oakland's Bob Geren were chosen as the coaches under for the July 13 All-Star Game in Anaheim, Calif. The Yankees' Joe Girardi will be the AL manager. . . . Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has played only nine games this season because of broken ribs, will be sidelined several more weeks. . . . The Indians released righthander Jamey Wright and infielder Mark Grudzielanek after each had cleared waivers. . . . The Orioles purchased the contract of righthander Jake Arrieta from triple-A Norfolk and designated reliever Alberto Castillo for assignment.

Contact staff writer Don McKee at

This article contains information from the Associated Press.