4. O-Dog bit: Devastating blow to Arizona on Saturday night to lose second baseman Orlando Hudson to a broken wrist. Particularly after the Diamondbacks a couple of weeks ago shipped second-base prospect Emilio Bonifacio to Washington in the Jon Rauch deal. Manager Bob Melvin has little choice now but to go with Jeff Salazar or Augie Ojeda at second. Though Salazar was designated for assignment by Arizona earlier this season and chances are that Ojeda, as one scout noted Sunday, quickly will become overexposed. The heat is on Diamondbacks general manager Josh Byrnes, already searching for an outfield bat in the mold of Seattle's Raul Ibanez, to find a second baseman as well.
5. What do Brian Giles and Manny Ramirez have in common? Neither wants to play for the Red Sox. Giles declined a trade there because he wanted to stay in San Diego to be close to family (he's a native) and because he thinks the Padres can contend again soon, but blind faith also could make him even worse off.
Several people close to the Padres expect owner John Moores' impending divorce to adversely affect the team. California is a community property state, which means Becky Moores -- the soon-to-be-ex-Mrs.-John -- is in play and there already are indications that player payroll will be cut significantly in 2009 (it's just over $70 million this year). That's why the Padres already have worked hard to trade Giles and pitcher Greg Maddux this season, positioning themselves for an early start on the payroll-shedding process.
6. Manny's hair: Still Topic A in Los Angeles. Hey, it's better than the usual, talking about Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan.
7. Cubs' lair: With Friday's win over St. Louis, the Cubs moved to 44-16 in Wrigley Field, equaling their home win total for all of 2007. And though Alfonso Soriano has spent two stints on the disabled list, the Cubs still go as far as their MVP -- yes, team MVP -- goes. When this weekend's St. Louis series started, Soriano was batting .417 (20-for-48) over his past 11 games. When Soriano starts and leads off, the Cubs are 44-20. When someone other than Soriano leads off, they're 26-27.
8. White Sox despair: Maybe Jose Contreras isn't a No. 1 starter or ace of the staff, but the ruptured Achilles' tendon that ended his season sends Chicago spinning. For now, D.J. Carrasco will take Contreras' spot in the rotation, though GM Kenny Williams is on the prowl for help. John Danks is having a breakout season, you pretty much know what to expect from Mark Buehrle but, after that, with Gavin Floyd fading and a starters' ERA of six-and-a-half over their past 20 games, it's white-knuckle time for the White Sox. And memo to Carrasco or whomever else moves into the rotation: Protecting slugger Carlos Quentin is becoming a priority. He was hit with a pitch for a fourth consecutive game Sunday (he also blasted his 32nd homer), giving him 18 for the season -- five short of the franchise record set by Minnie Minoso in 1956.
9. Marlins remain fair: Just when you think they're starting to head south, they beat the Mets on Sunday to pull to within a half-game of Jerry Manuel's club in the tight NL East race. And hey, Florida just signed Paul LoDuca, so let the charge begin, right?
10. Bonds appears in San Francisco: He looked at the Dodgers' dugout and said, "You heard me, (Joe) Torre. I beat you before, and I'll beat you again. I haven't retired." Ah, the difference between not having retired and having been retired is so subtle. And so obvious.