Of course, at least two teams have scored 20 or more runs and surrendered 20 or more runs in a much shorter span. The Phillies defeated the Cubs, 23-22, in an extra-inning game on May 17, 1979.
When the Marlins faced the Braves in Tuesday night's scorefest, the highest-paid player on their payroll was on the mound for the other team.
Mike Hampton, who will be paid $9 million by the Marlins this year as part of the complicated deal that sent him to the Braves and the bulk of his salary the next three seasons to the Marlins, lasted four innings and gave up nine runs.
If Hampton recognized the strangeness of the situation, he didn't seem too worried about it.
"The way I see it, I get one paycheck," Hampton said. "Just another start. Haven't really thought about it. I'm a Brave and all I think about is helping my team win."
Chicago Cubs star Sammy Sosa saw his All-Star numbers jump dramatically soon after he completed his weeklong suspension for using a corked bat, but it probably wasn't because baseball fans have a soft spot for guys who do their own woodworking.
The Dallas Morning News reported that a one-week surge of more than 300,000 Internet votes for Sosa came largely from Japan, where his popularity skyrocketed after he visited along with other major league stars in 1999.
The dramatic bump in his vote total moved him into second place among National League outfielders, behind Barry Bonds, who also got a lot of votes from the Far East.
Beane still counting
Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane is known for making brash moves to improve his team, but he admits to being a little bit indecisive as the July 31 deadline nears for completing trades without waivers.
"It sounds crazy when your club's seven games out of first and in second place, but I'm still not exactly sure what we need to get," Beane said. "If we hit on all cylinders with the players we have here now, I feel good about this club."
In a perfect world, the A's would acquire a power pitcher for the bullpen, some bench depth and a new leadoff man, which would allow manager Ken Macha to move Eric Byrnes into the middle of the lineup.
If the A's don't do anything, they will have to hope that banged-up Jermaine Dye is healthy and productive in the second half.
Quote of the week
Colorado Rockies reliever Todd Jones did not complain after the club released him last week.
"This is the big leagues, not a charity," Jones said. "I was killing the bullpen and didn't pitch well enough to stay."
Compiled from interviews, wire services and reports from other newspapers.
THE SCHMUCK QUOTIENT
It's one thing to be a selfish player. It's another thing to advertise it. Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Mantei complained bitterly when he found out that he might have to share the closer role when he returned from the disabled list.
Rookie Jose Valverde has converted nine of nine save chances in his place, helping the Diamondbacks stage a major comeback in the National League West, but Mantei called it a "joke" when manager Bob Brenly announced that both of them would get the chance to close after Mantei's return.
When you're making $7 million a year and your team is on a roll, you're supposed to row in the same direction, so Me-me-Matt rates a 7.0 on the Schmuck Stupidity Scale.
1. Yankees (3) Fell victim to new O's refrain: Beat Mike Mussina, pray for rain.
2. Mariners (1) No longer sizzling, but still too hot to handle.
3. Braves (2) Still stinging from 20-run fish fest in Florida.
4. Red Sox (5) Giving the Yankees a lesson in humility this weekend.
5. Giants (4) Would be hearing footsteps, but snakes don't have feet.
6. Phillies (12) Finally making a legitimate run at Braves in National League East.
7. Athletics (8) May have to get back to the playoffs through the back door.
8. Diamondbacks (9) Confidential to Bobby Valentine: We're not quite dead.
9. Blue Jays (6) Carlos Delgado needs to find a higher league.
10. Cardinals (14) Should have done better job of separating themselves from struggling competitors.
11. Royals (10) Back on top of American League Central despite brutal June schedule. Might have to start believing.
12. Expos (11) Vladimir Guerrero situation clouds second-half outlook.
13. Twins (16) Caught in an unlikely squeeze between Royals and improved White Sox.
14. Dodgers (7) Streakiest team in the West has shifted hard into reverse again.
15. Angels (20) Starting to look more like defending world champions.
16. Astros (15) Healthy Jeff Kent could make the difference in second half.
17. Cubs (13) Still near top of soft Central, despite recent slump.
18. White Sox (19) If the real Roberto Alomar stands up, White Sox may be ready to overrun ambivalent American League Central competitors.
19. Rockies (18) Better than anyone had a right to expect, but no real possibilities.
20. Marlins (17) Mike Lowell is staying put, which should be a relief for beleaguered fish fans.
21. Reds (21) Even sub-.500 teams can dare to dream in the National League Central.
22. Pirates (23) Should be ready to deal in a couple of weeks. Look for Kenny Lofton to be first to go.
23. Orioles (22) Happy to settle for abbreviated series split with Yankees.
24. Indians (26) Milton Bradley remains lone bright spot on offense in starting lineup.
25. Mets (24) Now paying Roberto Alomar to go to playoffs without them.
26. Rangers (27) Carl Everett trade makes it official: Rangers acquire a lot of players they don't really want.
27. Brewers (25) Scott Podsednik could be National League Rookie of the Year if enough writers can spell his name.
28. Padres (29) Reportedly ready to deal Rondell White for prospects.
29. Devil Rays (28) Lou Piniella to institute new umpire-baiting drills.
30. Tigers (30) Bobby Higginson back injury is just latest setback for worst baseball team on earth.
(Last week's rankings in parentheses)