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Article:Baseball Notebook: How Not to Impress General Managers in One Easy Lesson

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I can't see other general managers lining up to sign up Shawn Chacon after he grabbed Houston Astros' general manager Ed Wade by the neck and threw him to the ground. Chacon says he warned Wade to stop yelling at him and when he wouldn't stop, he got physical with Wade and said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle that he wanted to inflict further damage on Wade. Chacon was upset about being told he was going to the bullpen.

Chacon has been suspended indefinitely for insubordination by the Astros. I can't see him ever pitching for the Astros organization again. At the end of May, Chacon was 2-0 with nine no decisions and a 3.95 ERA.

In June, he has been 0-3 with a no decison and a 9.35 ERA, boosting his season ERA to 5.04. In his four starts in June, Chacon has self destructed and has no one to blame but himself for his lousy pitching this month. In 17 innings, he has given up 18 runs, 23 hits, walked 13 batters, and allowed 4 homers with only 6 strikeouts.

Even without the altercation with Wade, his chances of being acquired by another team are not good because of his record in June. What general manager in their right mind would want to sign a pitcher who treated his general manager like he was an opponent in an unscripted wrestling match?

His chances of success in the bullpen are not that great after he blew 7 saves in 8 tries last season with the Pittsburgh Pirates and blew 9 saves in 44 tries with the Colorado Rockies in 2004. He was 24-45 in his five seasons with the Rockies.

Player to Watch: Max Ramirez, Catcher, Rangers

Max Ramirez drove in the game winning run with a two run homer in his second Major League game for the Texas Rangers in their 3-2 win over the Astros yesterday in Houston. Ramirez was hitting .360 with 15 homers, 45 RBI's, an on base percentage of .451, and a .650 slugging percentage with Frisco of the Texas League.

Ramirez was acquired last year by the Rangers when they traded Kenny Lofton to the Cleveland Indians. Ron Washington, the Rangers manager, said he knew Ramirez could hit, but wanted to see how Ramirez worked with the pitching staff, and was very impressed with the work of Ramirez behind the plate.

Gerald Laird, the regular catcher who is on the disabled list, is hitting for a .305 average, but only has 4 homers in 183 at-bats. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is hitting .219 with only 3 homers in 105 at-bats. Saltalamacchia was once considered a top prospect, but in three seasons he is hitting .254 and slugging .402. Even though Ramirez has not played above AA ball in the Minors, he should be given a shot at becoming the regular catcher for the Rangers. The 23 year old Ramirez won't turn 24 until after the season, and although it is very early in his Major League career he seems to have a bright future ahead of him.

Joba Chamberlain Wins First Game as Starter

Joba Chamberlain (2-2) picked up his first win as a starter yesterday in Pittsburgh and the Yankee offense picked up 16 hits in the contest, as the New York Yankees won 10-0 after losing to the Pirates on Tuesday by a 12-5 score. If not for the Chien-Ming Wang injury, the Yankees would have had an excellent rotation with Wang, Andy Pettitte, Mike Mussina, and Chamberlain in the first four spots in the rotation. The Yankees will be fortunate to have Wang back by September, if by then.

Chamberlain pitched 6 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball and struck out 7, as he lowered his ERA to 2.03 for the season. Bobby Abreu led the Yankees' offense by hitting a three run homer and driving in four runs giving, him 50 RBI's in the 78th game of the Yankees season. With three games left in the first half, only Abreu is on track to have a 100 RBI season. Jason Giambi has 44 and Alex Rodriguez has 41, so they will have to pick up their RBI pace in the second half to have 100 RBI's by the end of the season. June has been the best month for Rodriguez this season, and he is hitting .381 in June with a .460 on-base percentage along with a .702 slugging percentage for the month.

Kyle Kendrick Ends 6 Game Phillies Losing Streak

Kyle Kendrick (7-3) has the best winning percentage among Phillies starters after pitching 8 shutout innings in the Philadelphia Phillies' 4-0 shutout of the Oakland Athletics. Greg Smith (4-6) took the loss for the A's. Smith has faltered in June with a 5.67 ERA after a 2.97 ERA in May.

Chase Utley was 4-for-5 in the game and raised his batting average from .289 to .297. Utley is slugging .608 this season, but started the month of June with a .653 mark. The Phillies stretched their NL East lead to two games ahead of the second place Marlins, who lost to the Rays yesterday.

Rays Skin Marlins 15-3

Carl Crawford homered twice and drove in five runs in the 15-3 shellacking of the Florida Marlins by a Tampa Bay Rays team that kept pace with the Boston Red Sox who also won their game. The Rays scored 10 times in the fifth inning. Evan Longoria hit his team leading 13th homer and drove in three runs, giving him 42 for the season. Crawford leads the team in RBI's with 43, but he has batted 56 more times than Longoria. James Shields (5-5) pitched 7 innings of 4 hit baseball while striking out 5 and walking none.

Wakefield Outpitches Johnson In 5-0 Red Sox Win

Tim Wakefield (5-5) outpitched Randy Johnson (4-6) by allowing only 2 hits in 7 innings while Johnson gave up 2 runs and 8 hits in 6 innings. Johnson lost his fifth start in a row and hasn't won since May 18th. This was the 79th game of the season, so Johnson won't start again until the second half of the season. He has been stuck on 288 wins for 38 days, so his chances of winning his 300th game this season are shrinking since he won only 4 games in the first half of the season and will have to win 12 in the second half to reach 300 wins. The Arizona Diamondbacks have scored only 9 runs total in Johnson's last five losses.

Zito Pitches Giants to 4-1 Win Over Last Place Cleveland Indians

Barry Zito (3-11) pitched the San Francisco Giants to a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Indians, who are now in last place in the AL Central. Zito only gave up 4 hits in 6 2/3 innings while striking out 4 and walking no batters. Even with the win, his ERA for the month of June is 6.85 and his season ERA is 5.91. In 23 innings this month, Zito has given up 19 runs and 29 hits. One encouraging stat for Zito is that he has given up only 2 homers in his last 8 starts. He is 0-7 in home games and 3-4 on the road.

John Bowker hit his 8th homer, and is second among NL rookies with only Joey Votto and Geovany Soto (tied with 12) leading in that category.

Dodgers Shutout White Sox 5-0

In a game that the Chicago White Sox badly needed to win, the ChiSox offense stayed home as Eric Stults (2-0) outpitched Gavin Floyd (8-4) to a 5-0 Los Angeles Dodgers win. The first six hitters in the White Sox batting order were a combined 2-for-22 in the game. Alexei Ramirez had half of the White Sox hits with a 2 for 3 game. Ramirez has had 9 multihit games in June after not having any multihit games until his first multi hit game on May 18th. Ramirez was hitting .138 at the end of April and .234 at the end of May, but is currently hitting .291. He is hitting .359 for the month of June. The loss shrank the first place lead in AL Central to a half game over the Minnesota Twins, who have won 8 in a row.

Tigers 13-4 Since June 6th Take 8-7 Win Over Cardinals

Todd Jones (2-0) took the win in relief in their 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Carlos Guillen and Gary Sheffield both had 4-for-5 games. Sheffield raised his average from .214 to .234 in the game. If not for the Twins being so hot, the Tigers would be in second place, and since June 6th, they have a 13-4 record. Their three game series with the Twins that starts next Monday will be a chance to see if the Tigers can gain more ground in the AL Central.

Griffey Hits 602nd Homer, Reds Win on Bruce Sacrifice Fly

Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 602nd homer of his career and Jay Bruce drove in the winning run by hitting a sacrifice fly in the tenth inning that was proven to be the game winner when Francisco Cordero shut down the Toronto Blue Jays in the bottom of the tenth inning. The Cincinnati Reds won 6-5 after blowing a 5-0 lead. Adam Dunn drove in a run with a single and the RBI was his first in his last nine games.

Luke Hochevar Pitched Like No. 1 Draft Prospect as Royals Defeat Rockies 4-2 For 5th Consecutive Win

Luke Hochevar (5-5), the No. 1 overall pick in the 2006 amateur draft, pitched the Kansas City Royals to a 4-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies. Hochevar has not had much run support in his five losses. The Royals have scored a total of 3 runs in his five losses. Hochevar has not lost a game since May 29th.

Around the Bases

Jorge Campillo (3-2) took the win for the Atlanta Braves, as they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers and Jeff Suppan (4-6) by a 4-2 score. Campillo has pitched well for the Braves since joining the starting rotation. He has given up 3 or less runs in six of his eight starts and his 2.54 ERA is the best among Braves starters.

The Washington Nationals edged the Los Angeles Angels 5-4, as Lastings Milledge hit his seventh homer. Jesus Flores has 28 RBI's for the Nationals, which is second to the 30 of Milledge, but Flores has only 136 at-bats, while Milledge has 297 at bats.

The New York Mets moved to within two games of the second place Marlins in the NL East with their 8-2 win over the Mariners. John Maine (8-5) took the win while David Wright hit his 13th and 14th homers and finished the game with 59 RBI's.

The Minnesota Twins won their 8th consecutive game and moved to only a half game behind the first place White Sox in the AL Central. Glen Perkins (4-2) took the win and Greg Maddux (3-6) took the loss after giving up 7 runs in 5 2/3 innings. Maddux hasn't won since May 10th, and is in danger of having his lowest win total since his 6-14 record with the Cubs in 1987. Starting with the 1988 season, he has won at least 10 games each year, but that too is in jeopardy if he can't win 7 games in the second half of the season.

Jim Edmonds hit his 7th homer in the Chicago Cubs' 7-4 defeat of the Baltimore Orioles. Ted Lilly (8-5) took the win and he has been 7-1 since his 1-4 start and has only lost once since April 27th.

Mike Mussina, Cliff Lee, and Edinson Volquez will try for their 11th wins today.

Milton Bradley took over the lead in the AL batting race with a .330 average. Three Yankees (Alex Rodriguez, .324; Johnny Damon, .323; and Hideki Matsui, .323 are next behind Bradley.

Cristian Guzman (106), Chipper Jones (100), and Lance Berkman (100) are the only Major Leaguers with 100 hits. Jones and Guzman having only one game left in first half of the season, while Berkman has three more games.

The Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, and Toronto Blue Jays are 2-8 in their last ten games, while the Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals are 9-1 in their last ten games. The Twins with a 8 game streak and Royals with a 5 game streak have the longest current winning streaks in the majors. Padres and Rockies have the longest current losing streak with each team losing their last four games.

Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, Lance Berkman, Adrian Gonzalez, and Ryan Braun are only Major Leaguers with 20 or more homers with the season halfway mark approaching.

Lance Berkman is leading the Majors in slugging with a .701 percentage, and then there is a huge dropoff to Dan Uggla who is second with .632 mark.

Seven pitchers are halfway to a 20 win season including Brandon Webb and Joe Saunders with 11 wins each and Aaron Cook, Cliff Lee, Vicente Padilla, Mike Mussina, and Edinson Volquez all have 10 wins.

Edinson Volquez, with an ERA of 1.71, and Justin Duchscherer, with an ERA of 1.99, are the only qualifying pitchers with an earned run average under 2.00.

Volquez, C.C. Sabathia, Tim Lincecum. and Roy Halladay have at least 100 strikeouts in the first half of the season.

Livan Hernandez has given up 150 hits in 103 innings, yet has a 8-4 record.

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