Reports from San Diego said righthander Jake Peavy will make his scheduled start tomorrow against the visiting Phillies, despite being bothered by tendinitis in his right ankle.

Padres manager Bud Black said the ankle has improved and Peavy "feels confident it's not going to affect him." Black added that "it's always great to have that caliber of pitcher making his start."

Peavy is 5-5 with a 3.57 ERA but has won his last three starts after going a month without a victory.

Peavy's numbers belie his skills. The 2007 Cy Young Award winner fits the Phillies' needs so perfectly - a bulldog-tough righthanded counterpart to lefty Cole Hamels - it's as if he was created wearing red pinstripes.

Forget the talk that he doesn't want to come here. Overwhelm the Padres with prospects and make a tentative deal.

Then ask Peavy whether he really doesn't want to pitch for a contender he will make even stronger, in a packed modern ballpark with a party atmosphere every night and player amenities to die for?

Then see what he says.

Plain speaking. Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre didn't hesitate last week when reporters asked whether he thought banned slugger Manny Ramirez should play in the July 14 All-Star Game, if voted to the team.

"No," Torre said. "I think if you asked Manny, he'd give you the same answer."

Since Manny has yet to speak publicly after being hit with a 50-game ban for using performance-enhancing drugs, we can't confirm that. We do know, however, that fans keep voting for the popular slugger.

"I understand a lot of it is a popularity contest," Torre told Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "To me, I think, the significance of the All-Star Game is to reward players who had a good first half. We don't always do that because it's a popularity vote, for the most part. I think Manny's popularity is why he's gotten the votes. I think realistically, he didn't earn [the right] to be in the All-Star Game. It probably isn't the right thing for him to be in it this year."

Where's Canseco?

Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News had a funny line about former Oakland Athletics slugger Jose Canseco.

While discussing how the A's plan to recognize the 1989 World Series champions with a reunion this summer, Purdy remembered that Canseco was a centerpiece of that team and wondered whether he would show up. After two tell-all books about steroids in baseball, Canseco is as popular as ants at a picnic.

Given Canseco's recent series of sensational (and sensationally bad) boxing exhibitions, Purdy suggested this:

"Pay him a few thousand bucks to box a kangaroo in center field. He'd show up for sure."