Whispers: Downs gives Bautista proper credit

Reliever says former teammate benefits from hard work, not sign stealing

August 14, 2011|By Phil Rogers


Angels reliever Scott Downs, a former Blue Jay, spoke for a lot of people in Toronto when he trashed the ESPN story speculating that sign stealing at the Rogers Centre has helped Jose Bautista establish himself as one of baseball's best hitters. "Give credit where credit is due — and credit is due,'' Downs said. "He worked real hard to make himself into a great player." … Despite fears that an unusually high number of top draft picks will fail to sign by Monday's deadline, almost all first-rounders are expected to sign. The exception is Tyler Beede, a high school pitcher from Massachusetts the Blue Jays selected 21st overall. … The Rays, who had 10 of the first 60 picks, had signed six of those heading into the weekend. Unsigned were their two top picks, right-hander Taylor Guerrieri and outfielder Mikie Mahtook. … The key to the Indians taking two of three against the Tigers was a bullpen that pitched 12 scoreless innings, allowing only six hits. "That was fantastic,'' manager Manny Acta said. … Curtis Granderson, who has 46 home runs in the last calendar year, has taken over the Yankees' cleanup spot on a permanent basis. Alex Rodriguez will have to find a new place to hit when he returns from the disabled list. … This weekend's series in Cleveland marks the first time since April 7 that Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has been able to use his Opening Day lineup. … Hanley Ramirez's value is apparent when he doesn't play. The Marlins went into the weekend 50-39 with him and 5-23 without him.

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