This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's Roll Call starts in Philly, where J.D. Drew came to town and kept on keepin' on. Drew had a monster game against his former almost-team, and is batting .441 with nine homers and 21 RBIs in June - both of which are distasteful to a crowd that apparently never will forget that Drew once went to great lengths to avoid playing for their Fightins'.
Game of the Day: Red Sox 7, Phillies 4
A perfect union: In case you forgot the story of why Philadelphia hates J.D. Drew, let me help you out. The late '90s were a turbulent time in the U.S. and J.D., like many young Americans, detested and feared the draft. Drew's agent, Scott Boras, had big plans to end the draft and advised his client to flee to Canada and join the Northern League. That way, the Phillies — who took Drew with the second overall pick in '97 — could not force him to sign a contract worth, as the radical Black Panthers called it in them days, "chump change."
Freedom fighter: Drew's covert journey on Boras' Underground Railroad only got him to St. Paul, Minn., an American town but one with sympathy for Drew's cause. He played for the St. Paul Saints for a season and, though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against him in the famous Drew-Scott Decision, J.D. prevailed in '98 when the St. Louis Cardinals took him with the fifth pick in the draft and gave him all the money he wanted. The end.
Well, not quite: Drew is still routinely booed in the City of Brotherly Love, but he tends to bite back with his bat. In Wednesday's rubber match, Drew tied a career-high with four hits, going 4-for-5 with a homer and 4 RBI. The AP account says Drew "fell a triple short of the cycle," which honestly reads a little weird. A single? Sure. A double? Maybe. But saying you missed the three-bagger is like saying you would've won the Triple Crown if it weren't for those pesky Derby and Preakness races.
La la la la la, I can't hear you: "They’re not going to forget, I know that much,” Drew said of his fans in Philly. “It’s always one of those situations where you go out there and battle and you’re going to hear things that you don’t normally hear at other parks. It makes it fun.” Dodging Duracells? Who wouldn't have a blast?
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Feelin' Rundown (Wednesday's other games):
Mets 5, Angels 4 (10 inn.) — Put Jerry Manuel on the board. He's in the lead for the set of steak knives. Two-out single by Wright ties the score in the ninth and Damion Easley — who's been around since 1992 — hits a go-ahead homer in the 10th. I'm not sure another major leaguer's ever had a career like that of Easley. It's unique.
Dodgers 6, Reds 1 — Dusty Baker says his offense is inconsistent. "We've been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde team offensively," Baker said. "We score a lot of runs, then we don't score any. We need Dr. Jekyll to show up." Baker has it reversed. He should want Mr. Hyde to show up. He's the guy who wreaks havoc, tears things up, goes to town. I mean, you don't want Bruce Banner to try and get the bad guys; you want the Hulk. This is why they're 33-40.
Tigers 7, Giants 2 — Armando Galarraga has saved the Detroit Tigers' bacon. He keeps it wrapped in wax paper and stuffed inside a baggie in the back of the Fridge. No homers for Marcus Thames — and with Barry Zito pitching, too. Zito is not the worst pitcher in the National League (him Gorzo, grrr!), but he's striving for such an honor. Hoodah thunk it, in 2003, that Zito and Dontrelle would be in the straits they are now?
Orioles 2, Astros 1 (10 inn.) — Kevin Millar dyes his hair blond and slaps a game-ending single to send the 'stros to their seventh straight loss. A coincidence? Of course, but let's all pretend it's not. "Hair's 1-0," says Millar, whose team has 21 come-from-behind victories to lead the AL.
Yankees 8, Padres 5 — A-Rod hits a homer for the fourth straight game — one short of pulling a Thames. The Yanks knock around Peavy, and A-Rod makes a benign comment that could be misinterpreted: "Peavy's an awesome competitor. I wish we had him on our team." Oh, so the Yankees don't have enough competitors? See what I did there? I misinterpreted it. Rookie Chase Headley goes deep at Yankee Stadium. Jay Bruce applauds your first homer.
Rays 5, Cubs 4 — The Yankees are revving up and the Red Sox keep on oozing good players to take the place of the likes of Manny and Papi. Our Rays fight on, undeterred, and now can sweep the team that used to have the majors' top record. Carlos Zambrano is having an MRI today on his discomforted shoulder. Z has a 5.68 ERA over his past four starts following an 130-pitch effort against the Dodgers on May 28. He claims there's nothing wrong. but let's see what the computer says.
Brewers 5, Blue Jays 4 — Russell Branyan, who would be a Hall-of-Fame Quadruple-A player were such a preposterous category a reality, has nine homers and 14 RBIs in 60 at-bats.
Braves 5, Rangers 2 — The Braves actually get a pitcher back from an injury? Lefty Mike Gonzalez, 13 months after ligament replacement surgery, pitches a perfect ninth for a save. Chipper: 2-5, .400. If he just does that every day until the end, he'll hit .400 on the nose. No prob.
Rockies 4, Indians 2 — The Rockheads have won five series in a row, and remarkably are only eight games out of first place. Fausto "Bad Deal" Carmona had a setback in his rehab assignment.
D-backs 11, Athletics 1 — Haren feels bittersweet about whopping his old pals. And the Deebs say, "Here's what you can do with your 15-1." Joe Blanton is 3-10 and thus doing a good job of chasing Brian Kingman.
Marlins 8, Mariners 3 — Kudos to the M's for still bothering.
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Photo of the Day: All dressed up, nowhere to go
An injured Albert Pujols sits, waits and simply the Cardinals don't leave him in the same spot for the team's upcoming trip to Boston, Detroit and Kansas City.
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Drew (Red Sox) 4-5, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
Placido Polanco (Tigers) 4-4, 3 R, 2 RBI
Galarraga (Tigers) 6 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 5 K, Win
Jeremy Guthrie (Orioles) 8 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 8 K, Win
Buehrle (White Sox) 8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, Win
Brian Bannister (Royals) 7 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, K, Win
Jeff Francis (Rockies) 6 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 K, Win
Haren (D-backs) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 8 K, Win
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Bronson (Reds) 6 1/3 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, BB, 6 K, Loss
Kendrick (Phillies) 3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, Loss
Zito (Giants) 2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, Loss
Blanton (A's) 3 IP, 7 H, 8 ER, 3 BB, K, Loss
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"I probably thought they were throwing them at me." — Terry Francona, Phillies manager in '99, when Drew said Philly fans hand-delivered him batteries at high velocity.