Nomar Garciaparra is ready to go after missing the first two weeks of the season to rehab a microfracture in his right wrist.
Garciaparra has joined his teammates in Los Angeles and is expected to be activated Friday as the Dodgers begin a five-game road trip. Garciaparra still feels the injury when he hits but says he doesn't need to make any adjustments.
"You have steps throughout the whole process to get back and I've taken every step," Garciaparra told The Los Angeles Times. "Now, it's go out there and play."
Jones humbled, honored to wear No. 42: When Adam Jones was asked to wear No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson on Tuesday night, it was an extraordinary honor for him.
"First off, I froze because it was like, 'Wow.' I was stunned at the opportunity I'm getting," Jones told The Baltimore Sun. "I know a lot about [Robinson]. I know his playing career was tremendous, but the way he carried himself and handled all the [adversity], with the racism that he faced -- that outlasts all the on-the-field accolades."
Baltimore manager Dave Trembley had good reason to ask Jones to don Robinson's number. Trembley and the Orioles have perceived that Jones "had an idea about the history of the game, and especially the representation of the game from the standpoint of an African-American."
"He looked at me and said: 1) he was humbled, and 2) he was honored, and 3) he thought it was fitting because it was his mother's birthday," Trembley said.
Fellow Bruin Byrnes admired Robinson: The Arizona Diamondbacks had five players take advantage of opportunity to wear Jackie Robinson's retired No. 42, including Eric Byrnes, who wrote a thesis on Robinson while at UCLA. Robinson became the first UCLA student-athlete to earn a letter in four sports in one year.
"Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier had an impact not just in baseball and the sports world, but it impacted society," Byrnes told The East Valley Tribune. "Going to UCLA, I learned a lot about Jackie Robinson and what he meant to this country, not just this game."
Also wearing No. 42 for the Diamondbacks were Orlando Hudson, Justin Upton, Chris Young and first base coach Lee Tinsley.
"You look back on it, and, to be honest with you, he's the reason players like me and 'O' [Hudson] and Chris are here," Upton said. "It's a great opportunity for us to honor the past."
Wright has top 10 reasons to play streetball: David Wright displayed his power Monday night, but not in a Major League game. Instead, he blasted pitches from late-night talk show host David Letterman. Wright hit balls on a closed-off W. 53rd Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, with Masters winner Trevor Immelman playing center field.
Letterman threw several pitches to Wright, even hitting the Mets' third baseman in the back. Wright, though, didn't retaliate against Letterman.
"No, no, not in a suit," Wright told The New York Daily News. "Maybe if we were in a real game, maybe, but not in a suit. He was pretty good for a 61-year-old. He was bringing the heat, so I was a little surprised."
Rodriguez joins Williams, McCovey on HR list: Alex Rodriguez hit his 521st career home run Monday night, a 450-foot blast against Tampa Bay. The homer tied Rodriguez with Ted Williams and Willie McCovey for 15th on the all-time home run list.
"It makes you cringe a little bit," he told Newsday. "It definitely humbles you. I'm at a point in my career where you do some things, touching some of these names -- it's hard to believe."
Rolen takes BP for first time: Scott Rolen took batting practice with the Blue Jays on Monday. It marked the first time this season that he has been able to work out with his teammates since suffering a non-displaced fractured finger during Spring Training. While able to hit, Rolen still has tenderness in his finger, and the veteran third baseman is still not expected to return to the lineup until early May in a best-case scenario.
"Baseball preparation-wise, I'm ahead of schedule," Rolen told BlueJays.com. "The time frame doesn't change, because of the healing process. That's what we're lagging on, is healing. That nobody can speed up.
"But it's good to get back here with the guys -- get a uniform on and freeze on the bench and take a few hacks."
Johnson makes his first start of the season: Randy Johnson made his 2008 debut Monday night for Arizona, allowing three unearned runs in five innings while striking out seven San Francisco Giants hitters. It was Johnson's first start since June 28, 2007.
"I said this game would be like a Spring Training game for me, obviously with a lot more bearing and meaning," Johnson told The East Valley Tribune. "I'm still trying to find my way out there a little bit. There were glimpses of areas of the game that I was pretty pleased with. I look forward to my next start."
Solid spring has Pagan off to hot start: After an outstanding spring, Angel Pagan entered Tuesday hitting .385, ranking ninth in the National League. He led the Mets with 15 hits and extended his career-high hitting streak to six games on Sunday with two hits against the Brewers.
"People might be surprised, but I'm not, because I worked hard in Spring Training," Pagan told Newsday. "Everything went good in Spring Training, so I'm not surprised. I'm just [doing] what I worked on in Spring Training. I'm feeling great at the plate. I'm feeling awesome. I'm seeing the ball great."
Ludwick puts team first in battle for lineup spot: As one of five outfielders vying for playing time in St. Louis, Ryan Ludwick is making the most of his opportunities. Ludwick is hitting .333 on the year. He says that as he, Rick Ankiel, Brian Barton, Chris Duncan and Skip Schumaker compete for playing time, they're all still putting the team first.
"We get along great," Ludwick told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "Coming into Spring Training, I was battling for a job. When the season starts, your goal is just winning. When you're in there, you're going to take advantage of your opportunities. When you're not, you've got to be ready to come in a pinch-hit role. We're all competitors. That's why we're playing well."
Hamstring forces Glavine to bench early: In his start Sunday against the Nationals, Tom Glavine had the shortest outing of his career. He faced only four batters before leaving the game with a hamstring injury. The severity of the injury is still unknown, but the injury has not gotten worse, which means it is possible Glavine can avoid going on the disabled list. The 42-year-old has not been on the DL once in his 22 years in the Majors.
"It's OK," Glavine told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "No worse. Just trying to move it around as much as I can."
DeRosa willing to chip in wherever needed: For Mark DeRosa, winning comes first. So with teammate Alfonso Soriano out for an undisclosed amount of time with a right leg injury, the Cubs may turn to DeRosa to play more outfield, and that's fine with him.
"I said in Spring Training, I have no problems moving around and doing what's best for the team," DeRosa told The Chicago Tribune. "I just want to find my name in the lineup. If it means going to left field to help this team win games, that's what I'll do."
Loewen working on pitching mechanics:Adam Loewen has been trying to find consistency in his mechanics since returning from elbow surgery last June.
"It really hasn't been the same for me," Loewen, told The Washington Post. "I'm still working on that. I've kind of had to relearn my mechanics after missing a lot of last year. So I'm still learning about myself."
Wilson noticeable in his absence: Jack Wilson has been out since April 3 with a calf injury, and everyone in the Pittsburgh Pirates' clubhouse has noticed just how much they miss him.
"You can ask anybody in that clubhouse, and Jack is one of the better shortstops in the National League, if not all of baseball," manager John Russell told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "You take that out of the lineup, and you notice when he's not around. That's no secret. Jack's a big part of our team."
Olsen finally turns tables on Braves: The Atlanta Braves have been a nemesis for Scott Olsen so far in his career. Coming into Tuesday's start, the Marlins lefty was 1-4 with an 8.54 ERA against the division rival. But he turned things around with seven scoreless innings, leading Florida to a 4-0 win. Olsen allowed five hits and did not walk a batter Tuesday.
"It's all about tempo for Ollie," manager Fredi Gonzalez told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "Get the ball back and throw it. He has been great in his three starts [this year]. He did his job again tonight."
Lopez's sacrifice flies help Mariners set record: The Mariners tied a Major League record Tuesday when they combined for five sacrifice flies in a game. Jose Lopez had three, while Yuniesky Betancourt had the other two. Lopez came to the plate with a runner on base four times and had a run-scoring single for a four-RBI game.
"I was trying to hit it hard each time," Lopez told The Seattle Times. "I was looking for a base hit."
Barton settling into role with Cardinals: When Brian Barton made the St. Louis Cardinals' Opening Day roster, he earned the spot. Even so, as a Rule 5 player, the Cardinals must either keep Barton on the Major League club all year or offer him back to the Cleveland Indians. After not reaching base in one plate appearance on Tuesday, Barton is still hitting .400 on the year and is adjusting to life as a platoon player.
"As a young player, I'm used to playing every day," Barton, who turns 26 on April 25, told The St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "It's not an easy situation not knowing when exactly you're going to play or what situation you're going to come into. But at the same time, I think I've shown an ability to handle that. I understand myself pretty well. I'm understanding the role."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.