1. The rivalry between Germantown Friends School and Germantown Academy could one day carry into the big leagues. It's been well-documented in these pages that Jesse Biddle, the pride of Friends, is dominating at double-A Reading. Sean Coyle, representing Academy, has been equally as dominating as an outfielder for Boston's high-A affiliate, Salem of the Carolina League. Coyle entered play Saturday hitting .313 with seven home runs, 12 RBIs, and a 1.086 OPS.

2. The price tag for the acquisition of Michael Young from Texas was hard-throwing righthanders Josh Lindblom and Lisalverto Bonilla. At this point, thanks to Young's strong first month, the deal is weighted in the Phillies' favor, but Lindblom has a chance to make the deal worthwhile for Texas. The Rangers have made him a starter and he is 4-0 with a 1.42 ERA at triple-A Round Rock. Bonilla, meanwhile, has a 6.14 ERA in nine appearances at Round Rock.

3. Kudos to the independent Atlantic League for imposing some rules devised to speed up games. A league news release noted that big-league games averaged 2 hours and 30 minutes in the 1970s, but now more than half the games take over three hours. Here's hoping the Atlantic League plan works and the big leagues take notice. I will not, however, hold my breath waiting for this to happen.

4. Sooner or later the Houston Astros are going to have some big-league players who once played in the Phillies' farm system. The two closest at this point appear to be shortstop Jonathan Villar and righthander Jarred Cosart. Villar, 22, went into Saturday hitting .314 with 7 doubles, 3 triples, 2 home runs, and 17 RBIs at triple-A Oklahoma City. He also had eight steals. Cosart, 22, is 3-0 with a 2.63 ERA, and 29 strikeouts in 271/3 innings.

5. Cincinnati Reds outfield prospect Billy Hamilton stole an amazing 155 bases in an equally amazing 192 attempts last season at double-A Pensacola. He is not on that same pace this season at triple-A Louisville, but he is proving to be more efficient. Through 26 games, he was successful on 17 of 19 attempts, but he was hitting only .204.

- Bob Brookover