From the Journal News’ Roderick Boone :

Paul Lo Duca, usually one of the more vocal, media-friendly players, seemed angered by something ” he wasn’t saying what ” and initially threatened to boycott the media for the rest of the season.

When one reporter later tried to get Lo Duca to open up about what was wrong, the catcher simply said: “You’ll find out on Sunday.”

I have no idea what’s going on here, but I would like to stress to Mr. Lo Duca and all CSTB readers that the religious beliefs of others are to be fully respected, no matter how personally abhorrent we find them to be.

(amazing Photoshop work by the gang in David Wright’s hometown)

The New York Daily News’ Adam Rubin has Rick Waits’ take on Oliver Perez’ Norfolk debut Friday night :

œThe thing I saw last night that was well is he™s got an electric arm with his fastball and a real sharp slider. Just like with a lot of pitchers we™re going to work on a consistent delivery. The game wasn™t good last night. But the first inning he got the bases loaded and no out and should have gotten out of it. The umpire missed a call at third. He ended up giving up just one run. I liked the way he battled.

Perez™s fastball ranged 91-93 mph, encouraging considering it tended to dip when he was with the Pirates organization. Still, his mechanics undoubtedly need work. Perez fell off to the third-base side of the mound, and missed badly with some pitches. He dropped to a sidearm delivery on occasion, usually while throwing a breaking ball to righties, which flattened those offerings. He gave up homers on consecutive pitches – on a 3-0 pitch to Kevin Kouzmanoff and a first-pitch offering to Jason Dubois.

Hernandez has faulted the Pirates for Perez™s struggles, claiming they tried to make Perez – who turns 25 on Aug. 15 – a finesse pitcher in the mold of Tom Glavine.

œWe really haven™t done a lot with him yet. He just got here, Waits said. œWe wanted him to pitch. There™s a lot of things we™re going to discover.

Last night in Buffalo, Brian Bannister’s rehab assignment hit a speed bump, with 7 earned runs, 11 hits and 3 HR’s allowed over 4.2 innings, as the Tides lost to the Bisons, 11-1.