Vets Thome, Griffey take aim at long run
White Sox old-timers still searching for elusive ring
Veteran White Sox Jim Thome and Ken Griffey know the clock is ticking on a chance to win a championship, and both are anxious to play deep into October.
"I think he feels it as much as I do," Thome told the Chicago Tribune. "When you get a little older, you see the door closing a bit, so you appreciate the celebrations and the champagne and that. You never know how long it's going to last."
Having come close in 1997 while with Cleveland, Thome is still haunted by falling short. "In 1997 we had the [World Series] trophy in our clubhouse, and that trophy never stayed," Thome said of his time with Cleveland. "It went to the Marlins. That eats at you. It irks me, and it's something you never forget."
Griffey hasn't come quite that close in the past, but he's looking forward to a chance for glory.
"You play long enough, individual accomplishments will come," said Griffey. "But you're always talking about hitting that home run to win the World Series. The Joe Carter walk-off -- that's the dream. And I still have that."
Moyer savors big-game start: Jamie Moyer, who will turn 46 next month, is set to take the mound in what could be a series-clinching start on Saturday night, as the Phillies try to close out the Brewers. You can be sure that Moyer's loving every second of it.
"When you have the opportunity to pitch in a game that has meaning, it's nice to be given the ball," Moyer recently told MLB.com. "But you have to be able to go out there and do your part."
Rookie Price earns playoff spot: Rookie David Price earned a spot on the ALDS postseason roster for the Tampa Bay Rays after a solid showing since being called up from the Minors.
"Exciting, very exciting," Price, a smile lighting up his face, told raysbaseball.com.
Price was 12-1 with a 2.30 ERA in 19 Minor League games at three different levels this season before being summoned to the Majors by Tampa Bay. With the Rays, he had a 1.93 ERA, making one start and coming out of the bullpen four times.
"They've shown faith in me all year," Price said. "Putting me out there [to debut] at Yankee Stadium, getting me a start [Sept. 22]. ... So I appreciate it."
Manager Joe Maddon said he will use Price out of the bullpen in the postseason, likely in long relief. But those plans could change.
"I would not be opposed to popping him in there in the middle for an inning," Maddon said. "We still don't know how long it's going to take for him to get ready or to bounce back."
Bay settles into playoff mode: Welcome to the playoffs, Jason Bay. The Boston left fielder hit a two-run home run Wednesday night in his first postseason game to lift the Red Sox to a 4-1 win over the Angels in Game 1 of the ALDS.
Bay, acquired in a trade before the July trading deadline from Pittsburgh, has played in the All-Star Game before as a member of the Pirates, but this is the first time he has played in the postseason. He didn't really know what to expect as the game approached.
"I tried to keep it as normal as I could," he told the Boston Herald. "I was saying before, what did the guys who played in the first playoff game do, because they didn't have any experience. How did they get through that?
"I had nothing to compare it to, but when you get out there you can tell it's a little bit different. Once you get over that, you get into the flow of it a little bit. It's baseball again."
In his first two at-bats against Angels starter John Lackey, Bay struck out. But in the sixth inning, Bay smashed a two-run homer to left field to turn a 1-0 Angels lead into a 2-1 Boston advantage.
"I was behind on the count the first two at-bats," Bay said, "and on that one I was too, but I kind of felt, OK -- I didn't really see the ball the first two at-bats, and then he left a fastball up and I hit it."
Santana pitched final month with injured knee: It would be hard to tell by looking at the numbers, but Mets left-handed pitcher Johan Santana pitched the final month of the season with a torn meniscus in his left knee.
In September, Santana went 4-0 with a 1.83 ERA and earned National League Pitcher of the Month honors. Santana, who blanked the Marlins in his final start of the season on Saturday, underwent arthroscopic surgery Wednesday at the Hospital for Special Surgery.
"He told me that the only way he was not going to finish the season was if they took him to the hospital in an ambulance," Santana's agent, Chris Leible, told Newsday. "He went on his own two feet. He pitched that [complete] game [Saturday] on one knee. It bothered him for at least a month."
Santana is expected to recover in time for spring training.
Quentin eyes possible return for ALCS: Injured Chicago White Sox slugger Carlos Quentin says that despite being left off the Division Series roster, he is hopeful that he can get back on the field should the White Sox reach the ALCS.
"I think they see me with the tape on my hand and bat in my hand," Quentin told the Chicago Tribune. "They notice that and notice me taking swings. I know I'm trying to get back and prepare to contribute to the team."
Out since September 2 with a fractured wrist, Quentin says that, while he is anxious to play, he also wants to be smart about it. "I'm looking forward to swinging it and then judge how it feels," he said. "As long as it feels like it's feeling better, we'll keep pushing it.
"I have to be smart about that. We're using it as a gauge to determine how to proceed. But the pain has decreased."
New procedure keeps Saito pitching: Dodgers closer Takashi Saito is back from an ulnar collateral ligament injury and pitching in the playoffs thanks to a brand new medical procedure that kept the pitcher from needing Tommy John surgery. Saito had platelet-rich plasma injected into his elbow, a procedure that was estimated to only have a 20 percent chance of working.
"I was willing to do anything," Saito told the Los Angeles Times. "The only promise they made me is that it wouldn't make it worse. That was enough for me."
"It was the perfect scenario with the perfect guy," team physician Dr. Neal Elattrache said. "We don't have enough experience with this to say that we can prevent an 'X' number of surgeries. But this is the cutting edge.
Speier offers comic relief for Angels: Even though he's not on the playoff roster, Angels reliever Justin Speier is still trying to provide relief to the club.
This time it was comic relief. Speier walked into the clubhouse wearing a wetsuit, complete with fins and carrying a boogie board.
"Is there practice today? Is there practice?" Speier asked as his teammates dressed for their practice.
Manager Mike Scioscia joked, "Your next set of flippers are going to be made out of cement." From the Los Angeles Times.
Short rest not a big deal for Sabathia: When Milwaukee starter CC Sabathia took the mound Thursday against Philadelphia in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, it marked the fourth straight start for the left-hander on three days of rest.
So, is the soon-to-be free agent worried about being overworked and suffering an injury?
"I think it's being way overblown," Sabathia, acquired in a July trade that propelled the Brewers into their first postseason series since 1982, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "I think if anybody was in the position we were in nine or 10 days ago, and they asked them to do it, anybody would do the same. It's people making a lot of something that isn't that big a deal to me. I feel fine and I'm healthy."
In the final nine days of the season, Sabathia started three games, allowing only two earned runs in 21 2/3 innings and going 2-1. Before this recent stretch of starts, Sabathia had only started on three days of rest once. He did so for Cleveland and threw only 50 pitches as the Indians were setting up their playoff rotation.
"This is my first time," he said about starting on short rest in meaningful games. "I didn't really know how it was going to go. ... I didn't really know what to expect or know what kind of routine I should have."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.