Posted on: July 8, 2010 12:03 am

Stairs ties pinch-hit HR record

Matt Stairs Matt Stairs has made history.

On Wednesday, Stairs bombed a home run in the bottom ninth to pull the Padres within one in a game they would eventually lose 7-6.

What's significant about this home run is that it was a pinch-hit blast that tied him with Cliff Johnson for the most pinch-hit home runs in baseball history -- 20.

Stairs has had quite a nomadic career, playing for 12 teams with seven of them being just one year or less. The longest he's stayed in one place is Oakland for five years and that was from 1996 to 2000.

Despite only two seasons of 500 at-bats or more, Stairs has accumulated 260 home runs and a .264/.357/.479 line in 5,089 career at-bats (career statistics prior to Wednesday's game).

One can only imagine what he could have done with a full career -- 500 home runs a virtual certainty.

I'm sure Stairs will take the honor of being one of the game's best pinch-hitters and a 2008 World Series ring as a consolation prize.

-- Evan Brunell

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 1, 2010 9:25 pm

Report: Teams looking at Dye

Jermaine Dye Jermaine Dye wasn't happy with any of the offers teams sent him in the offseason, so he chose to stay home.

Now, teams are calling again with at least the Padres, Rockies and Rangers sending out feelers to the former White Sox outfielder, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Dye hit .250/.340/.453 with 27 home runs for Chicago in 2009, although most of his production came in the first half. His poor showing in the second half of the season along with his liability on defense caused teams to blanch at Dye's asking price in the offseason. Now, Dye may be more willing to accede, otherwise his price will continue to go down. As Rosenthal points out, players such as Jim Edmonds had to sign a minor-league deal after sitting out a season.

Dye wouldn't be ready to step into the breach immediately, but could have value as a first baseman, outfielder and DH. He would be a cheap source of power -- something the Padres, Rockies and Rangers are in need of. The only question is if Dye is willing to swallow his pride and ink for a low base salary and work his way into shape.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 1, 2010 9:13 pm

Padres designate Gallagher for assignment

Sean Gallagher The San Diego Padres designated starting pitcher Sean Gallagher for assignment Thursday, giving the team 10 days to trade, release or outright the righty.

Gallagher was moved to make room for Tim Stauffer's activation off the disabled list, but he shouldn't have much difficulting landing in another spot. That's because, despite Gallagher's 5.40 ERA in 23 1/3 innings, the potential is there for him to morph into a solid starter.

Gallagher's main problem that has seen him moved from the Cubs to A's to Padres is control. He needs to firm up his control if he hopes to stick in the majors. At just 24, his talent still remains high -- he just needs the playing time. He's had enough experience in Triple-A that its clear the level has nothing new to teach him, but for a team in contention like San Diego, Gallagher is a liability.

A team such as Baltimore, Houston or any other non-contender would be best served to snap Gallagher up and toss him into the rotation, hoping he can work out the kinks holding him back from being productive.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 29, 2010 6:26 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:12 pm

Do interleague games really bring out fans?

Every time we hear an argument about interleague play, about the only defense of it is "fans love it" backed up by attendance numbers.

But do fans love interleague play as much as they love going to the ballpark in the summer?

Each year we hear about these great gains in attendance, but this season five of the six National League series that took place during interleague play had better-than-average attendance.

Two National League teams hosted weekend series against both American League and National League foes, the Marlins and the Rockies.

The Rockies drew 28,554 more fans for their intraleague series against the Brewers than they did for their interleague show-down with the Blue Jays. The Marlins drew more for their in-state rivals, the Rays, than they did the Padres, but only by 667 for the three games.

Of the six intraleague series (Braves at Pirates, Cardinals at Diamondbacks, Dodgers at Reds, Brewers at Rockies, Giants at Astros and Padres at Marlins), only one team, Arizona, drew fewer fans per game in the series than average, and that was less than 1,000 per game.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 23, 2010 12:24 am
Edited on: June 23, 2010 12:26 am

Latos steps up again for Padres

Mat Latos Exhibit A in the case of Why The Padres Are In First Place: Mat Latos.

Tuesday night, Latos once again showed his uncanny ability to pitch his best when he gets the least help from his offense, throwing seven shutout innings in a 2-1 win over the Rays.

It was the fourth time Latos has pitched in a game the Padres won by one run, including a pair of 1-0 victories (including one in which he came within an infield single of a perfect game). Latos (8-4) also has won a pair of two-run games.

Tuesday, the San Diego offense managed just four hits, but Latos made sure it was enough. It was the sixth consecutive start in which the 22-year-old right-hander has allowed four or fewer hits.

"I thought he threw the ball extremely well," San Diego manager Bud Black said after the game. "As the game goes on and the outs for the opposition wind down, I think he senses that. I think he senses the importance of each pitch as the game enters the later stages and that's a great quality to understand that."

Latos had one bad outing, giving up seven runs and lasting just 2 2/3 innings against the Marlins on April 26. Outside that game, he's never allowed more than four runs and has a 2.27 ERA.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Tags: Mat Latos, Padres
Posted on: June 21, 2010 5:04 pm
Edited on: June 21, 2010 5:35 pm

Padres' bats coming around

Nick Hundley The Padres are considering bolstering their offense for the second half of the season, but maybe their best move would be to petition for a move to the American League.

Interleague play seems to have put a spring in San Diego's bats. The Padres have scored half a run more per game (4.6) against the AL than against the National League (4.1). That's not saying they've been an offensive powerhouse, but if they could score 4.6 per game all the time, that would at least put them in the middle of the pack instead of the back.

For the season, the Padres are 24th in the majors in runs scored and 26th in slugging at .369 (they've slugged .414 in the past week). They've managed to stay in first place in the NL West thanks to stellar pitching, but are not likely to maintain their winning pace -- much less have success in the playoffs -- if they can't generate some more offense.

Padres hitting coach Randy Ready told the San Diego Union-Tribune that AL teams have pitched San Diego much differently than NL clubs, and some of the hitters have adjusted successfully.

Adrian Gonzalez, who began his career in the AL with the Rangers, has had a hit in every interleague game, batting .438. Aaron Cunningham, another former junior leaguer, has batted .429 in the past week and Nick Hundley (pictured celebrating with Gonzalez after homering Sunday) has batted .417.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 16, 2010 1:40 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2010 4:05 pm

Padres' Torrealba suspended three games

Padres catcher Yorvit Torrealba was suspended three games for making contact with umpire Larry Vanover during Monday's loss to the Blue Jays.

Torrealba argued a called third strike and was fined an undisclosed amount.

If it had been Joe West, he would have received an all-expense vacation to Hawaii for three days, but instead he'll start his suspension today and sit out games Friday and Saturday -- unless he appeals.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: June 15, 2010 4:48 pm

Mariners turn to Ham Fighter

Ian Snell On the same days that Chris Resop returned to the majors after reviving his career in Japan, Brian Sweeney followed suit.

Sweeney, a reliever who for the past three seasons was a member of the Nippon Ham Fighters, was called up by the Mariners today to replace Ian Snell (left), who was designated for assignment.

A 36-year-old right-hander who bounced around between the minors and majors in Seattle and San Diego between 2003 and 2006, Sweeney signed with the Mariners as a minor-league free agent on April 16. For Triple-A Tacoma, Sweeney made 15 appearances and went 2-1 with a 2.51 ERA and a 4:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He'll pitch in middle relief for the Mariners.

Snell came to Seattle with Jack Wilson last year in a seven-player deal with the Pirates at the trading deadline, and has been an unqualified disaster this season. In eight starts he went 0-5 with a 6.11 ERA, walking 21 in 35 1/3 innings. Monday night he allowed four runs in two innings out of the bullpen, sealing his fate.

As noted by Geoff Baker in the Seattle Times , Snell also displayed an attitude problem that surely didn't help his cause.

-- David Andriesen

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com