Hammerin' Hank's home
The childhood home of former baseball home run king Hank Aaron will be donated to the city where he grew up and will become a museum operated by Mobile's minor-league team in Alabama. The home is expected to be moved in October next to "The Hank," or Hank Aaron Stadium, home of the Mobile BayBears. The three-bedroom home, which is currently boarded up, could open as a museum in late March. The city will own the house, but the team will handle the renovations and run the museum.
Just a bit short
The Royals were bombed by the Tigers, 19-4, on Monday. Detroit actually led 19-0 at one point, so the headline in the Kansas City Star the next day read: "Royals' rally comes up 15 runs short against Tigers."
Had a bad day
Reds manager Dusty Baker was getting a ride to the airport with a friend before his team's last trip before the All-Star break. The car broke down. Baker was forced to hitch a ride with a police officer. "I was sitting down low in the back seat so nobody would see me," he said. When he finally got the airport, he found out his flight had been canceled.
Good hair day
Hirsute Tigers reliever Fernando Rodney got a haircut last weekend. Which wouldn't be worth mentioning except that, by his own account, it was the first time he'd gotten a trim in three years. He told reporters that the reason he did it was that the heat and humidity in Baltimore got to him. Here's an indication of exactly how much hair was cut. After he was done, he had to go to the equipment manager and get a new size 7 hat. He had been wearing a 7 3/4.
TEAM ... Last week
1. Chicago Cubs ... 1
Central Div. winner, home field in NL
2. Boston Red Sox ... 2
3. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim ... 4
West Division winner, home field in AL
4. Tampa Bay Rays ... 3
AL East Division winner
5. New York Yankees ... 9
Out of playoffs
6. Chicago White Sox ... 5
Central Division winner
7. New York Mets ... 10
NL East Division winner
8. Minnesota Twins ... 8
Out of playoffs
9. Philadelphia Phillies ... 6
Out of playoffs
10. Milwaukee Brewers ...
Fantasy owners everywhere at least those still playing for this season are looking for ways to make second-half surges.
First, things the other owners in your league probably are trying:
1. SECOND HALF STUDS: Look for players with proven track records, superior underlying skills or the promise of greater playing time (Robinson Cano, Brad Hawpe, Justin Verlander and Jonathan Broxton) to fuel your second-half surge.
2. TEAM CHANGERS: Matt Holliday and Mark Teixeira are perhaps the only two players potentially on the trading block who could make a major difference to fantasy teams over the final two months of the season.
As for call-ups, the pool of potentially major league-ready minor leaguers is also a bit thinner this year. One reason is that some of the top prospects in the game will be on the USA's 25-man roster at the Olympics.
3. LOOK TO THE INJURY REPORT: A three- or four-day All-Star break doesn't heal injuries by itself, but it allows the healing process to continue stress-free. David Ortiz is one of a number of top fantasy performers due to return in the next week.
If your pitching staff is struggling, a pair of St. Louis Cardinals could give you a lift. Chris Carpenter and Adam Wainwright could return in a couple of weeks. Others to watch: Chris Young, Fausto Carmona, Jeff Francis, Anibal Sanchez.
Others hitters to watch: Victor Martinez, Dave Roberts, Johnny Damon, Tadahito Iguchi, Rocco Baldelli. USA Today