DIAMOND NOTES: Sept. 19
The Mariners are clearly better than last year's edition, but besides the addition of Ichiro Suzuki and Jeff Nelson, they feel one of the most important differences is having Jamie Moyer healthy. Not only does Moyer have the best ERA in the American League since the All-Star Break, but he's also 7-3 career against the Yankees as a Mariner.
When Javier Vazquez went down Monday night, he was on his way to his 17th win -- which was Pedro Martinez's high while with Montreal. Still, at 25, Vazquez established himself as perhaps the game's best pitcher no one knows; his ERA has gone from 6.06 to 5.00 to 4.05 to 3.42 in his four seasons. When he was hurt his nine wins led the National League since the All-Star Break and his 1.60 ERA was the best in either league.
Vazquez will forever respect Ryan Dempster, who not only rushed to his side as Vazquez lay in the dirt, but came to the Expos' clubhouse after the game to reiterate his concern.
Several prominent agents believe the economy will necessitate a slowdown in this winter's free-agent market and have privately expressed relief that some of their star clients aren't going out in November. But one player who seems almost certain to cut his ties with the Dodgers is Chan Ho Park, whom agent Scott Boras wants to move on to another city. To complicate matters, Terry Adams -- who has won eight games since the break as a starter -- is also a free agent.