Journeyman right-hander Mark Leiter retired after shoulder surgery cut short a stint with the Seattle Mariners in 1999. So who was that guy the Colorado Rockies just acquired from the Mets?
It was Leiter, who got the bug to pitch again while playing catch with his son -- and watching his brother, Al, in the Subway Series -- last fall. Al got him a tryout with the Mets and he pitched so well (11 strikeouts, one walk in 11 2/3 innings) that the Mets were able to get a player for him from the relief-hungry Rockies.
If he continues to throw well, he'll get the right-handed setup job, which went unclaimed all spring. Veteran Jerry Dipoto was forced to retire because of an injury and two youngsters -- Mike DeJean (11.32 ERA) and Bobby Chouinard (9.64 ERA) -- pitched their way out of consideration.
The Mariners put in an order for batting practice baseballs and got a little surprise last week. The Rawlings Sporting Goods Co. offered them some overstock balls at a significant discount, then sent them a large batch of balls produced for the 2000 World Series.
The balls have "Subway Series" emblazoned on them, so you have to assume that Rawlings could have gotten a premium price selling them as souvenirs in the New York area.
Anderson in form
Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brian Anderson ought to have the "Stupid Injury of the Week" plaque named after him. He had to pitch with a cut on his finger on Monday after losing a wrestling match with a bottle of cologne.
That's right, Anderson tried to pull up a jammed atomizer plunger from a bottle of Bulgari cologne and sliced the left middle finger on his pitching hand -- right near the point where his fastball rolls off that finger.
He was understandably embarrassed by the injury, especially coming so close to Opening Day, but it's not like his teammates haven't gotten used to this.
This is the same guy who once burned his cheek testing an iron to see if it was hot.
This is also the guy who came up with a stiff arm just from draping it across the back of a seat in a Los Angeles cab (or so he said at the time) and locked himself out of a Cincinnati hotel room stark naked, supposedly sleepwalking.
The guy is definitely a left-hander.
Cleveland Indians catcher Eddie Taubensee required two stitches after he stabbed himself in the mouth with a glove-lacing tool before Tuesday's exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers.
Taubensee was tightening the laces on his glove when the tool slipped and poked a hole in his lip.
To his credit, however, he took his turn in the starting lineup.