"I'm not talking to any clubs about Robin right now," general manager Ron Schueler said recently. "And I'm not scouting any teams for that purpose. I'll get a spot call. Some team will say that if we're trying to move him, keep us in mind. But then I hang up."
Maybe it's wishful thinking in the Windy City, but there even has been speculation that Ventura might be traded to the Cubs.
Leyritz wants out
Boston Red Sox veteran Jim Leyritz reportedly is unhappy with his limited playing time and has asked his agent to seek a trade, but the club is unlikely to accommodate him.
Leyritz has been productive in a DH platoon with Reggie Jefferson, and the Red Sox appear to be ticketed for the playoffs. They actually are looking to add a right-handed bat, not deal one, so Leyritz figures to be around for a while.
It appears that 1997 National League MVP Larry Walker will be voted into the starting lineup for the All-Star Game at Coors Field, though he concedes that his offensive numbers do not compare with No. 4 vote-getter Moises Alou.
"I've always said that people get voted into the All-Star Game who probably don't deserve to be there, and other guys get snubbed out," Walker said. "And it looks like that's going to happen to me this year."
Of course, it's not as if Walker will be an embarrassment. He entered yesterday's game batting .336, but a sore elbow has limited him to nine home runs and 33 RBIs.
Alou, meanwhile, is batting .325 with 58 RBIs and Sammy Sosa is hitting .328 with 27 homers and 67 RBIs.
Speaking out of turn
Atlanta Braves pitcher and former Arundel High star Denny Neagle found himself in an uncomfortable situation Wednesday after a burst of candor got him in hot water with the Florida Marlins.
Not long after he had shut out the gutted Marlins lineup on four hits Tuesday night, he told reporters: "I'm not trying to make a joke about it, but when I looked at the lineup card [before the game], I almost laughed."
The Marlins didn't think that was funny. They are going through a painful rebuilding phase after knocking the Braves out of the playoffs and winning the World Series last year. To his credit, Neagle realized how bad his comments sounded and went to the Marlins' clubhouse before Wednesday's game to explain himself.
Florida manager Jim Leyland, who managed Neagle for several years in Pittsburgh, said he knew immediately that Neagle didn't mean any disrespect.
"That's not Denny Neagle," Leyland said. "Denny Neagle wouldn't laugh at anybody. He's a class act. He doesn't have to apologize to me. I know Denny Neagle better than that, and there's no way that's Denny Neagle in any way, shape or form, and nobody will ever make me believe it."
Krivda deal curious
The recent trade that sent former Orioles pitcher Rick Krivda from the Cleveland Indians to the Cincinnati Reds was cause for some head-scratching in Cincinnati.
The Reds are believed to be on the verge of a massive rebuilding effort, yet they traded two prospects for a 28-year-old pitcher who did not establish himself in Baltimore or Cleveland.
Here's a possible explanation: General manager Jim Bowden is preparing to trade veteran pitcher Pete Harnisch and needs someone to fill that space in the rotation.
Harnisch is having a solid year and would bring some decent prospects, perhaps from a team near you.
Colon steps up
Indians pitching prospect Bartolo Colon picked the right time to emerge as a front-line starter. He improved his record to 6-4 Tuesday night with his club-leading fifth complete game of the year, needing just 2 hours and 8 minutes to dispatch the Kansas City Royals.
Why is this so important? Because the Indians finally have pieced together a representative starting rotation after struggling through the first two months of the season.
If Colon is for real, general manager John Hart will not have to mortgage more of the club's future to upgrade the pitching staff for the postseason.
Pub Date: 6/21/98