ARLINGTON, Texas -- Second baseman Roberto Alomar says the Toronto Blue Jays have shown no inclination to sign him, and reiterated he could talk with the Orioles if he tests the market this fall.
"I would like to play with [Cal] Ripken," he said. "It would be fun to play with him. You never know -- you never know where you're going to go. I think they have a great ballclub there. I'm just going to sit and wait to see what happens."
Alomar says this is a very different year for the Blue Jays. John Olerud and Paul Molitor haven't hit well, the club has been beset by injuries. "It's been a disappointing year," he said.
Plus, all those trade rumors. The rumors here have Joe Carter going to San Diego, David Cone going to Cleveland and about six other teams, Alomar to the Padres -- or the Orioles.
Speedup made official
Major League Baseball officially announced the changes designed to speed up the games, which will be implemented July 28:
* Except for national TV games, the interval between the third out and the start of the next half-inning will be cut to two minutes and five seconds.
* Batters will be permitted by the plate umpire to leave the box in between pitches, but will have to remain within three feet of the lateral side of the box. The opposing pitcher must deliver the ball within 12 seconds of when the batter steps in the box, provided there is no runner on base.
* Managers and coaches wanting to make pitching changes must signal as they step out of the dugout.
Ranger faces scalping charges
A sting operation to catch those scalping tickets for the All-Star Game landed Texas Rangers reliever Ed Vosberg.
The left-hander, arrested Monday afternoon outside The Ballpark Arlington, faces a $500 fine for allegedly trying to sell complimentary tickets he had received.
Phillies pair reports for work
The two Philadelphia Phillies who were missing from Monday's workout were in uniform last night. Catcher Darren Daulton made no secret of the fact he simply decided to skip the workout. "I was tired," Daulton said.
But center fielder Lenny Dykstra said he was visiting his ailing mother, Marilyn Dykstra. "She told me yesterday she had to get chemotherapy [for a liver disorder]," Dykstra said. "It was a tough day yesterday. Anyone who thinks I didn't want to be here [Phillies owner Bill Giles criticized the missing pair Monday]. . . . I wanted to be here, more than anybody knows. But when something like this happens, it can be tough on the family."
Fernandez's fall stuns McGriff
Atlanta first baseman Fred McGriff was shocked to hear the Orioles released Sid Fernandez.
"I can't believe he was getting hit," McGriff said. "Over here, with the Mets, he dominated. To read that he was getting hit pretty good over there is pretty [surprising]. Maybe the ballpark [Camden Yards] had something to do with it.
"That's like Bill Swift going to Colorado and having trouble and everybody wondering what's wrong with Bill Swift. There ain't nothing wrong with Bill Swift. If you throw the ball over the plate there, they're going to hit the ball a long way."
Fernandez likely will sign with the Phillies or Reds once he clears waivers tomorrow.
Some of the players griped about the unusual scheduling this week. Atlanta, for instance, played a night game against San Francisco Sunday night, and then must play a day game in Pittsburgh today and then fly to San Diego to start a four-game series tomorrow night.
"I've got to go talk to Katy Feeney," said McGriff, referring to the NL vice president who helps with scheduling. "I've got to go talk to her and say, 'What's the deal?' "
Toddler testing Griffey
It's been more than a month now since Ken Griffey broke his left wrist, as he ran into a wall robbing the Orioles' Kevin Bass of a hit May 26. He may not be back until the end of August, and until then, he says he'll spend much of his time with his 17-month-old son, Trey.
"He's just at an age where he's saying, 'I can hit you and kick you and bite you and you can't do nothing to me yet.' I'm learning a lot about fatherhood, patience -- which could help me at the plate."
Griffey says he's seen videotape of his devastating catch. What did he think when he saw the replay?
"Great catch," Griffey said.
Bowing to the best
Cubs reliever Randy Myers said one of the things he likes
about coming to the All-Star Game is seeing Lee Smith. "He's the best at our position," Myers said. "I personally think that reaching the 300-save mark is good for making the Hall of Fame. And Lee has 450 or whatever, and that's the standard."
Neagle takes game in stride
Denny Neagle, an Arundel High grad and practical jokester of note, said it's important to have fun so the game doesn't seem like a chore.