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Around the Majors - April 7

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Around the Majors - April 7

Postby WebHamster » Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:49 pm

By Eric Gold, MLB Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Bad blood on the field between the Expos and Marlins has boiled over to the front office. The two National League East squads nearly came to blows during a spring training game this year, a carry- over from last year's disturbing intimidation antics.

Florida's Mike Lowell was struck by pitches twice during that spring training game on March 30. It was also last season that Lowell broke his left hand after being hit by a pitch from Hector Almonte.

The beanings go all the way back to spring training in 2003 when Marlins pitcher Brad Penny and former Expos outfielder Vladimir Guerrero got into a fight after Penny threw an inside pitch. Both players drew suspensions for the start of the season.

After the latest incident, Marlins president David Samson sent a tape of last week's spring training game to the major league offices. Samson, who was the executive vice president of the Expos when he joined the team in 1999, commented that the beanings were "the height of unprofessional" and that he was tired of his players getting hit by the same team.

The Expos responded with a prepared statement from president Tony Tavares.

"Mr. Samson's initial comments regarding this situation are at best an emotional and reckless response. His most recent comments, at their worst, can be viewed as threatening and inflammatory.

"Frank Robinson, who was hit by a pitched ball 198 times during his Hall-of- Fame career, has already assured everyone that, during his tenure as Expos manager, he has never ordered one of his pitchers to hit a Marlins batter. If one would check with our current and former pitchers, it would become obvious that the Expos have never ordered even a single pitcher to hit a Marlins player with a pitched ball.

"While Mr. Samson's comments might serve some purpose off the field of play, they serve no useful purpose on the field of play. There has already been too much said about this subject. I suggest we move on and simply play baseball."

I have just one thing to say to both parties....Can't we all just get along?

OUCH!

Despite winning their first two games to start a season since 1986 and beating reigning AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay in the opener, the Detroit Tigers are in danger. On Tuesday they lost designated hitter Dmitri Young for six weeks with a broken leg. The team may also need Ugueth Urbina's services quicker than expected as Fernando Rodney continues to suffer from en elbow problem.

Young was the best hitter for the Tigers last season, as he batted .297 with 29 homers and 85 RBI as part of his first All-Star appearance. The 30-year-old switch hitter was expected to give manager Alan Trammell flexibility with the ability to play several positions. Young played 61 games in left field last year and also saw extensive time at third base. He can play first, but his time at that position has waned in the last few years.

All of those aspirations will have to wait though as Young was put on the 15- day disabled list Wednesday with a non-displaced fracture of his right fibula. He sustained the injury in the first inning at Toronto when he fell to the ground while trying to avoid a tag by second baseman Orlando Hudson in the first inning.

Rodney, who was expected to be the team's closer at the start of the season, is suffering from a grade three ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow. He will join the club on Thursday in Detroit and begin rehabilitation for the injury.

TIMELY TIDBITS

David Aardsma made his major league debut Tuesday night for the Giants and was credited with the win in Houston after logging two scoreless frames. Interestingly, Aardsma will now be the first player alphabetically listed in the baseball encyclopedia, ahead of Hank Aaron.

Curt Schilling won his first start in a Red Sox uniform Tuesday night, allowing six hits and a run in six innings in a triumph over the Orioles at Camden Yards. It was his first American League victory since July 11, 1990, when he worked was with Baltimore. He had won 162 NL games since his last victory American League victory. That came 13 years and 270 days ago, which is the second-longest stretch between AL wins in major league history. That record is owned by Walter Beck, who stretched 16 years and 59 days between AL wins with St. Louis in 1928 and Detroit in 1944.

Former Phillies closer Jose Mesa picked up his 250th career save, against his old club on Monday. Now pitching for the Pirates, Mesa has at least one save against every current major league team.
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