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Five and Fly: Leyland has scheduling blues

Big League Stew

The schedule was on Jim Leyland's mind last night, beginning with the fact that the Detroit Tigers played at home against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, in Los Angeles on Monday and Tuesday, and in Chicago on Wednesday.

"It's totally ridiculous," he said. "That's that computer [stuff]. Somebody put it in a computer and that's what came out. … Now, I'm not complaining. I'm complaining because it's ridiculous. … When people don't understand the baseball business, that's what you get. You get a professional schedule-maker making out this schedule, they don't know baseball from football. They might think we play 16 games."

FIVE …

• Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, who have won three in a row while eliminating the need for Brett Myers. He pitched an inning during the winning streak and has thrown a total of three innings since April 13, this after leading baseball in strikeouts in the second half of last season, signing a three-year, $25.8 million contract, and – only three weeks ago – starting opening day. Now it's assumed Myers will become the Phillies' regular closer any day now, or at least until Tom Gordon gets his curveball back and, wow, it's been a funky month in Philly, even by Philly standards.

• The Pittsburgh Pirates play at home tonight looking for their first win at PNC Park since Oct. 1. Left-hander Paul Maholm, who has had his problems this season but was 5-2 with a 3.59 ERA at home last year, starts for the Pirates against Woody Williams and the Houston Astros. Williams has won all three of his career starts at PNC Park.

• Heard this scouting report on New York Yankees right-hander Colter Bean, who is listed at 6-6, 255 but appears, uh, wider: "If he was wearing one of those old Astros uniforms he'd look like the sunset."

• If Major League Baseball is going to take a hard stance on Torii Hunter's champagne gift to the Kansas City Royals, it really ought to take another look at the A.J. Pierzynski trade that brought Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser.

• In the Chicago Cubs' loss to the Milwaukee Brewers last night, Cubs right-hander Rocky Cherry allowed Prince Fielder's 12th-inning home run and subsequently got his first major-league decision, if you know what we're saying.

… AND FLY

Taking Leyland's lead, Mike Scioscia might wonder how it is the Angels must travel from Los Angeles to Baltimore to Texas to New York to Los Angeles to Tampa to Minnesota in late June and early July, all for three-game series.

"Yeah," he said, "we were trying to figure out which kindergartener made this."


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