Papelbon appeals suspension

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon has appealed his three-game suspension, assessed by Major League Baseball for making contact with an umpire.

The suspension was to have begun Tuesday night.

MLB also fined Papelbon an undisclosed amount for his actions in the ninth inning last Saturday, when he blew a four-run lead to the Oakland A's.

Papelbon was upset with the balls and strikes calls of plate umpire Tony Randazzo. The pitcher said something to Randazzo after Conor Jackson's two-run single, and the umpire took off his mask and replied. Papelbon rushed toward the umpire and, at one point during the argument, bumped Randazzo with his chest.

Draft day bonanzas

This from Joe Posnanski of, who once covered the Kansas City Royals: Over the years, the Royals have drafted three high school baseball players who chose to go to college - and later became the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft. Three!

In 1971, the Royals drafted Steve Bartkowski, who was taken No. 1 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 1975; in 1979 they took John Elway, drafted No. 1 overall by the Baltimore Colts in 1983; they took Bo Jackson in 1986, the same year he was taken No. 1 overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers;

Incredibly, Kansas City also took a pitcher from Pittsburgh Central Catholic named Dan Marino in that 1979 draft, and the Phillies took a speedy outfielder from Pineville, W.Va., who turned them down to play football at Penn State. Curt Warner was a mainstay of the Nits' 1982 national champions.

What's happened to Ichiro?

Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle's hit machine, is mired in the worst slump of his career: 13 for his last 75 (.173) and 27 for 131 (.206) since the end of April.

"I've never seen the guy in a slump," a scout told ESPN's Jayson Stark, "so it's hard for me to comprehend this."

Well, here's a hint - he's 37 and depends on his legs.

"I don't think this is the end," another scout told ESPN. "But my perception is, this is a guy who's starting to go backwards. It's just a natural progression of time. He's slowing up. But I don't think he's headed for rock bottom any time soon."


Kansas City's Vin Mazzaro gave up 14 runs on 11 hits and three walks in 21/3 innings against the Indians on May 16. The last pitcher to give up at least 14 runs in less than three innings was Ed Doheny of the New York Giants on June 29, 1899. . . . Oakland placed lefthander Brett Anderson (left elbow) and second baseman Mark Ellis (right hamstring) on the 15-day disabled list.