Regular Articles
Oh Baby: In totally unrelated baseball news, Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez and wife Cynthia are expecting their first child this fall. The news comes just about a year and a half after the couple were married in November 2002. “We're very excited. It'll probably be in November, late in the month,” Rodriguez said on Tuesday.

Mets Buy Out TV Deal: The New York Mets spent $54 million to buy out Fox Sports Net New York and Madison Square Garden Network and will terminate their TV deal after the 2005 season. This might be the first step for the New York Mets to acquire their own television station, like the New York Yankees have done.

All Star Ballot Leaders: Texas Rangers 2B Alfonso Soriano and San Francisco Giants LF Barry Bonds are leading their respective leagues in All Star Game balloting (yes, they both made my ballot). Ivan Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Nomar Garciaparra, Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Johnny Damon, and Vladimir Guerrero lead the American League, while Mike Piazza, Albert Pujols, Jeff Kent, Adam Everett, Scott Rolen, Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., and Sammy Sosa lead in the National League balloting. The game will occur July 13th in Houston and will determine which league has home field advantage this year.

Baseball Saves Man: A television show on HBO called “Curb Your Enthusiasm” saved Juan Catalan from spending more than 5 _ months in prison. Catalan was charged with murder and spent 5 _ months in prison, but his attorney happened to find footage of the television program that proved his client’s innocence. “I got to one of the scenes, and there is my client sitting in a corner of the frame eating a hot dog with his daughter,” Todd Melnik said. "I nearly jumped out of my chair and said, 'There he is!'" Use this as a lesson to go to as many baseball games as you can folks.

Cracker Jack Back: The New York Yankees, after switched to the tasty Crunch ‘n Munch, have switched back to Cracker Jack. Many baseball purists were angered at the change because Cracker Jack is part of the sport’s own anthem. “The fans wanted the product back and we listen to our fans,” Yankees COO Lonn Trost said through a team spokesman.

Yankee Returns: On Friday Yankees RP Steve Karsay allowed one run in three innings of work at extended Spring Training. Karsay is coming off right shoulder surgery, which happened over a year ago. He could return to the Yankees in a few weeks. “I'm getting closer,” Karsay said. “It's another step in the long process of coming back from any kind of surgery. We'll continue to progress, work, get stronger and get back there as soon as possible.” Yankees SP Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez also started on Friday against Tampa Bay Devil Ray minor leaguers. He struck out five, but gave up four runs (1 earned) over four innings.

Umpire Out: Al Clark, a former Major League umpire, is going to prison for four months for his part in selling falsely labeled baseballs from historic games. After his prison term, he must serve four months of house arrest as well as return $40,000 he earned and pay a fine of $10,000.

Prior Return: Cubs ace Mark Prior returned to action on Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He did not allow a hit to the first 20 hitters and had completely dominating stuff. This ace is back and looks to be where he was last season, if not a little better.

Nomar Close: Sidelined because of an Achilles tendon problem, Boston Red Sox SS Nomar Garciaparra said he will return sometime very soon. “I would like to,” Garciaparra said. “But I've never put a definite time on it or said this is my mark or this is my goal. If I don't reach it, I don't want to be disappointed. Nothing's been decided.”

Milton Bradley Suspended: Los Angeles Dodgers OF Milton Bradley was suspended for four games after his tantrum after getting ejected from the game. Bradley, after being ejected, laid hit batting gloves, helmet, and bat in the batter’s box and walked to the dugout, where he grabbed a ball bag which was promptly thrown onto the field. He then threw one of the baseballs to the warning track in left field. “When we traded for Milton, I think we knew everything that came along with it,” DePodesta said. “We knew the past, we don't necessarily think that everything's going to be completely different because he came to a different place. That's fine. I would take nine Milton Bradleys if I could get them.” Me too.

The DL Welcomes: 2B Matt Kata (D’Backs, dislocated left shoulder, 15 day DL, 5.30), SP Aaron Harang (Reds, sprained ligament [is that possible?], 15 day DL, 6.2), SS Juan Castro (Reds, strained left ribcage, 15 day DL, 6.1), C Chris Shelton (Tigers, Right foot plantar fasciitis, 15 day DL, 5.31), C Ramon Castro (Marlins, right toe inflammation, 15 day DL, 6.1), RF Carl Everett (Expos, sprained ankle, 15 day DL, 5.30), 3B Eric Chavez (A’s, broken bone in right hand, 15 day DL, 6.2, out 6-8 weeks), RP Brian Boehringer (Pirates, right shoulder tendinitis, 15 day DL, 6.2), LF Raul Ibanez (Mariners, strained left hamstring, 15 day DL, 6.3), C Mike Matheny (Cardinals, strained right rib cage, 15 day DL, 6.3), SP Justin Miller (Blue Jays, partial tear of hamstring, 15 day DL, 5.31).