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Around the horn

Cautious Twins

The Twins have never been known as a team that makes dramatic moves at the trading deadline, and that's starting to grate on some of the players.

"It's frustrating, very frustrating," said Justin Morneau. "You hear about the future, the future. I don't know who gets to decide when that is or when they think it is."

That would be general manager Bill Smith, who took the high road. He talked about how much respect he has for the veteran players and how they grind it out. "Certainly, every year we get to this point and we hope to be able to supplement this club and that's the case this year," he said.

Joe Mauer doesn't seem to buy it. "I've learned over the last few years not to try to get my hopes up that we'll have something, then get disappointed."

So there.

'Beautiful thing'

Washington's baseball fans haven't had much to cheer about this year. But they did Monday when Nationals outfielder Josh Willingham became just the 13th player, and only the third National Leaguer, to hit two grand slams in the same game.

Not bad for a guy who came into the game with 14 homers, 12 of them solo, and a .200 batting average with the bases loaded.

"It's just one of those things you can't explain," he said. "That's the beautiful thing about baseball. You never know what can happen."

Quick hits

Detroit's Justin Verlander admits that, while he was striking out 13 Rangers hitters Wednesday night, he was trying to make eye contact with team president Nolan Ryan.

"I was trying to tip my cap to him. He was my idol. He still is my idol," Verlander said. "I was trying to get his attention as I walked off the mound. It didn't work, though."

Diamondbacks righthander Dan Haren, on losing to the Phillies this week:

"That's probably the best lineup I've faced all year. I don't know which is harder, that or the All-Star lineup."

Kansas City's Zack Greinke leads the majors with a 2.08 earned run average. The Royals are 10-11 in his starts.

The Rays are the first team since the 1956 Orioles to both come back from and blow an eight-run lead in the same season.

The Rockies are the first team in the majors to open a gluten-free concession stand.

—Deseret News wire reports

The quote

"The toughest thing in this job is trading players and letting staff members go, because you're uprooting the lives of people and their families. I hate it. It's the worst part of the job, by far. — Neal Huntington, Pirates general manager

The Stat

1Hard to believe, but Ichiro's game-winning single Tuesday night, his 1,953rd big-league hit, was the first walkoff hit of his career

Get to know A League

Northwest League

Professional baseball in the Pacific Northwest has been going on for more than a century, but its current incarnation, the Northwest League has been around just 54 years.

Several different leagues (Pacific Northwest League, 1901-02; Pacific National League, 1903-04; Northwestern League 1905-1918; Pacific Coast International League, 1919-22; and the Western International League, 1937-54) ruled the area in the first half of the 20th century.

League titles were won by Portland, Ore.; Butte, Mont.; Spokane, Wash.; and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Charter members of the Northwest League, which was founded in 1955, were Eugene, Ore.; Spokane, Yakama, Wash. Boise joined in 1987 and was managed by current Orem Owlz skipper Tom Kotchman for 11 seasons (1990-2000). The strongest clubs in the recent years have been Spokane and Salem-Keizer, who have won eight of the last 11 championships.


Top to bottom

1. Los Angeles Dodgers

Record: 64-39 Last Week: 1

Getting an extra closer never hurts

2. New York Yankees

Record: 62-41 Last Week: 2

Swisher 14 of 17 HR on the road

3. Philadelphia Phillies

Record: 59-42 Last Week: 5

Has SP become TOO left handed?

4. Boston Red Sox

Record: 60-42 Last Week: 3

Smoltz 5+ ER in 5 of 7 games

5. Anaheim Angels

Record: 61-40 Last Week: 4

Kendrick 23-for-61 since AAA stint

6. St. Louis Cardinals

Record: 57-49 Last Week: 8

Holliday batting .606 since trade

7. Tampa Bay Rays

Record: 57-47 Last Week: 6

A 5 or 6 win week would do wonders

8. Texas Rangers

Record: 58-43 Last Week: 7

Victories in 10 of last 12 games

9. Colorado Rockies

Record: 56-47 Last Week: 10

Showing that they're not a fluke

10. San Francisco Giants

Record: 56-47 Last Week: 13

Will trades for offense pay off?

11. Detroit Tigers

Record: 53-48 Last Week: 9

Washburn has been Yankee killer

12. Seattle Mariners

Record: 53-50 Last Week: 11

Bought AND sold at deadline

13. Chicago Cubs

Record: 54-47 Last Week: 17

Soriano batting .400 since break

14. Atlanta Braves

Record: 52-51 Last Week: 18

Kotchman traded away

15. Chicago White Sox

Record: 53-51 Last Week: 15

Jenks 7 ER in last 6.2 IP

16. Minnesota Twins

Record: 52-51 Last Week: 14

Sweep of Sox was impressive

17. Houston Astros

Record: 51-52 Last Week: 12

Lost seven of last eight games

18. Florida Marlins

Record: 54-49 Last Week: 16

Johnson a nice pickup

19. Milwaukee Brewers

Record: 51-52 Last Week: 19

Gallardo 17 Ks in last 2 starts

20. Toronto Blue Jays

Record: 49-54 Last Week: 20

11-20 in 1-run games

21. Pittsburgh Pirates

Record: 44-58 Last Week: 23

McCutchen provides bright spot

22. Cincinnati Reds

Record: 45-57 Last Week: 26

Only 1 win in last 12 games

23. New York Mets

Record: 49-53 Last Week: 24

Front office acting unprofessional

24. Arizona D-backs

Record: 45-58 Last Week: 27

Young, Tracy struggling from plate

25. Baltimore Orioles

Record: 44-58 Last Week: 22

Deal closer in another lost season

26. Cleveland Indians

Record: 43-60 Last Week: 25

Insiders say solid return in Lee deal

27. Oakland Athletics

Record: 44-58 Last Week: 21

Slowly becoming no-name team

28. Kansas City Royals

Record: 40-62 Last Week: 28

Four regulars .300+ BA in July

29. San Diego Padres

Record: 42-62 Last Week: 29

Stauffer, Latos pitching well

30. Washington Nationals

Record: 32-71 Last Week: 30

Morgan batting .450 since break