- Yankees send Ian Kennedy back to the minors:
After all the hype accompanying the three young Yankee pitchers----Kennedy, Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain----it was at best unrealistic and at worst baseball malpractice to think that they were going to walk all over big league hitters the way they dominated in the minors. Now Kennedy has been the one to take the most brutal beating and is paying the price on and off the field. He's been told that he's going to be back in September, which may or may not be true; but unless the Yankees fall completely out of contention, Kennedy's return doesn't mean he's going to be participating in any meaningful games unless there's an emergency.
This season is a write-off for Kennedy and Hughes and shouldn't be seen as an indictment of their futures as big leaguers; they could still become useful if not the reincarnation of the 1990s Braves or other great rotations. Chamberlain has shown the promise to be a future Cy Young Award winner. The Yankees problem now is that, among many other things, they didn't expect the injury to Chien-Ming Wang to rob them of his 19 wins; they didn't expect to have to deal with a Rays team that matured so quickly, rode a hot start to prominence, and also overcame their seven game losing streak going into the All Star break to recover beautifully. Instead of only having to worry about the Red Sox in the AL East, they're scrambling for a Wild Card berth that looks increasingly like it's not going to be available. The Yankees may be discovering, as the Braves did when their string of playoff appearances ended, that it's not as easy as it looked all those years; that barrelling down the road while making drastic changes isn't always a smooth and easy process and things don't always mystically end with the Yankees in the playoffs.
Everything ends. The dynasty from the late-90s ended; the George Steinbrenner-era is ending; the Joe Torre-era ended; and the automatic ticket into the playoffs may be on life-support now. They're still in position to make another run, but they're running out of time and with the way their direct contenders are playing, the Yankees may have run out of tricks and the last post-season at Yankee Stadium and intentions of a historic finale may not exist at all.
- White Sox 6-Red Sox 5:
With the way the Yankees are scrounging for starting pitching, even if the Red Sox don't catch the Rays, they have enough pitching in the rotation and bullpen; and should score enough runs to hold off the Yankees and whichever of the two teams----the Twins or White Sox----fades out in the end in the AL Central. If things hold as they are and the Red Sox have to play the Angels, that's when they're going to truly feel the effects of not having a happy or unhappy Manny in their lineup.
- Padres 16-Rockies 7:
- Scott Rolen to the disabled list: