Manny OK with 'Mannywood' fan section
Ramirez has special relationship with Dodgers fans
The Dodgers officially named a section of their left field stands "Mannywood."
Somehow, however, Manny Ramirez was unaware of the new development when the section opened on Thursday.
"I don't know anything about this," Ramirez told the Los Angeles Times. "But you know what? It's cool. I'm really cool with it. No problem. Good for the fans. You know, the fans in Cleveland and Boston, they were great to me. But the fans here, the way they treat me, it's special. We have a special connection, I would say."
Morrow never leaves home without his E-reader: Brandon Morrow takes the hand-held electronic book reader with him wherever he goes. The machine has no backlighting and opens like a small book.
"That's one great thing about it," Morrow told the Seattle Times. "It's just like reading a book page and you don't get that glare. If you did, you'd get a headache from staring at it all day."
"For the travel, it's great," Morrow said. "It's just so convenient. I took it with me to Venezuela when I went to play winter ball. I think it's what kept me sane."
Wasting time by sitting still not for Lowe: While many players take time to relax, Derek Lowe moves quickly from one workout to the next.
"I don't like to just sit in front of my locker," Lowe told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I can't stand it, because there's so much you can be doing to help yourself out, or help your teammates."
"Doing the work in between for me is more peace of mind," Lowe said. "I can accept a good game or a bad game because I know that I did everything I possibly could before that game."
Mauer can expect a warm welcome back: Joe Mauer is scheduled to play in his first Major League game on Friday night.
"When he's not in the lineup and not in the field handling the running game and everything, you miss those things," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire told MLB.com. "He's an All-Star, and, you know, probably the best hitter in the league. So, yeah, you miss that a lot."
Pitcher Kevin Slowey is thrilled to have Mauer back in the fold.
"As a pitching staff, I think he knows all of us really well," said Slowey. "He caught all of us last year, and he knows our strengths and weaknesses. Obviously he's got one of the best, if not the best, arm in the game behind the plate. And I certainly think that he's going to help a lot in calming down the running game of other teams. I think a guy as special as him, any time you don't have him on or around the field, you are missing something. We are all excited to get him back."
Amezaga a secret double-threat: When Alfredo Amezaga made a key defensive play in the top of the ninth inning and then doubled to score the eventual game-winning run against the Cubs on Thursday, it didn't surprise the rest of the Marlins.
"Amezaga saved the game, no question," manager Fredi Gonzalez told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. "He gets involved in everything. We still call him our secret weapon. He can do so much."
Teixeira gets first look at old squad: Mark Teixeira made his first appearance against his old teammates when the Angels came to town on Thursday. Teixeira was a midseason acquisition for the Angels last year and signed with the Yankees as a free agent during the offseason.
"After the season, my wife and I stayed in L.A. for 10 days," Teixeira told the Los Angeles Times. "I thought there was a really good chance I'd be back. It would be different if my family or my wife's family was from the West Coast."
"Other than hitting under the Mendoza Line, it's been a great transition," Teixeira said of coming to the Yankees. "My wife loves it here, the ballpark is beautiful ..."
Paulino could be playing himself into roster spot: When Brian Moehler eventually comes off the disabled list, Felipe Paulino may still have a place on the Houston Astros' pitching staff. Paulino is currently filling in for Moehler in the starting rotation.
"There is a possibility of him staying around and pitching out of the bullpen," manager Cecil Cooper told the Houston Chronicle. "Yes, there is a possibility."
A-Rod getting close to return: Alex Rodriguez participated in an intrasquad game in Tampa on Thursday at the Yankees' Minor League complex. The countdown to his return to the active roster can now officially begin.
"The fact that he's been able to do everything and not have any setbacks, you feel really good about it," manager Joe Girardi told the New York Daily News. "Now you get to the point where he starts playing in games, you see how he physically feels after each day, and physically when he feels he's ready to play on an everyday basis."
Rodriguez is targeting May 15 as his return date. But he could return earlier if he doesn't have any setbacks during his rehab.
Shot could give Delgado a boost: Carlos Delgado received a cortisone shot in his sore right hip on Tuesday. The Mets' first baseman has not played this week but the club hopes the shot will help him return to the field against the Phillies this weekend.
"Hopefully," Delgado told the New York Daily News, "it will be much better by then."
Smoltz's return slowed with shoulder pain: The return of John Smoltz to the Boston Red Sox starting rotation will be as least one week later than predicted after the right-hander suffered a minor setback during his rehab. Smoltz has been throwing to hitters but recently experienced some pain in his surgically repaired right shoulder.
"I would say it's about a week of just kind of slowing down a little bit," manager Terry Francona told the Boston Globe. "I guess we had probably thought all along that this was a possibility. I just think it's in his best interests to slow down for a week. He's been grinding pretty hard, going pretty hard. I think everybody involved thinks that, 'OK, let's let him take a week of strengthening and a little bit of rest from the throwing, and I think he'll be better for it.'"
Greene solid in Major League debut: In his Major League debut, Tyler Greene got a hit, scored a run and drove in another to help the Cardinals to a 9-4 win over Washington. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said before the game that the timing was right for the shortstop to make his debut.
"It comes at a good time for him because he's been playing well at Triple-A in all respects -- defensively, offensively and running the bases," La Russa told MLB.com. "But usually, when you bring someone up, it's because you need him and we've got two shortstops hurt, so it's good to get him out there."
Brian Roberts to join 1,000-game club: Brian Roberts is set to become the 15th player to play in 1,000 games for the Orioles.
"It's humbling," Roberts told MLB.com. "If you would've told me about this seven years ago, I probably would've laughed at you. For one, I consider it a blessing to be with one team that long. Just to be able to have that kind of stability in this world of professional sports is very rare. I'm thankful for that. I wish we'd won more of the 1,000, and maybe that's my fault in some way. But I had no idea how many games I'd actually played."
Volquez credits catcher for career-best outing: Edinson Volquez was quick to give at least some of the credit to his catcher after working a career-high eight shutout innings while allowing one hit against the Astros on Wednesday night.
"I was thinking last night about this game and how I would pitch," Volquez told MLB.com. "Me and [catcher] Ramon [Hernandez] did a good job. I was aggressive in the zone and attacked the hitter."
Danks learning from Buehrle: Mark Buehrle is modest about the knowledge he's passing on to fellow left-hander John Danks.
"As much as we want to joke around and say yes, not really," Buehrle told MLB.com with a laugh. "Honestly, I try to help him out as much as I can, just like anybody else. But when it comes to teaching how to throw pitches, I'm not the best."
Danks, meanwhile, says Buehrle has actually helped him a lot.
"Mark is funny," Danks said. "He says he's not a good teacher, and he doesn't know mechanics or this or that, but it's something I don't think he realizes, how he does help without saying anything."
Chamberlain's numbers tell the story: Joba Chamberlain's spot in the Yankees' starting rotation is secure for now. He has a career 2.85 ERA in 16 career starts covering 88 1/3 innings.
"If you look at his numbers as a starter and compare them to other starters, I think you would say his numbers are pretty special," Yankees manager Joe Girardi told the New York Daily News. "I love what he did in both roles last year, and that's something we've talked about and debated over and over."
Greinke sets team mark with fifth April win: Zack Greinke is the first pitcher in Royals history to win five games in April.
"I will take it every start," Greinke told the Kansas City Star. "Even today. I mean, it's a win. We all played well, which is kind of important. The whole team is starting to play a little better lately. It was just a great all-around game."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.