From the Canadian Press :

Mike Mussina didn’t mince words when asked whether Alex Rodriguez was hurting the New York Yankees with his sloppy defence.

“I don’t know what’s going on,” said a pained Mussina. “I know he’s played better. I know he’s disappointed in the way he’s playing. It’s not him right now. We need him back the way he’s supposed to be.” A throwing error by Rodriguez led to a four-run sixth inning for the Toronto Blue Jays, but it took an 11th-inning homer from Vernon Wells to beat the Yankees 5-4 on Thursday.

Baseball’s highest-paid player helped the Jays get on the board when he threw high and wide of catcher Jorge Posada while trying to throw out Aaron Hill.

“It’s a play I should have made,” Rodriguez said. “It got away. I just tried to throw it around the runner and kind of pulled it.

“I was a little hesitant. It was hit a little soft but I felt I had a play at home and I think I was right.”

But Mussina wasn’t in a forgiving mood.

“All he had to do was throw it on target,” Mussina said. “He would have been out by 20 feet.”

After having seen the replay of Rodiguez’ throwing error, how is it that Jorge Posada has escaped criticism for failing to stretch a little further? Admittedly, A-Rod’s sidearm throw was poor, but it wasn’t uncatchable.

The Astros have sent Wandy Rodriguez down to Round Rock
, and Bob Timmerman, perhaps forgetting about the Geneva Convention, has taken to song.

Seattle’s PCL affiliate Tacoma Rainiers have been sold to the (Barely) Shlegel Sports Group, owners of minor-league hockey franchises in Texas and Iowa. The Rainiers are said to be staying at Cheney Stadium, which will come as some slim consolation for Sea-tac residents unsure if Danny Forston can pitch, catch or hit.

The traditional sports media (and CSTB) showed their lame bias earlier this week in affording extensive coverage to Steve Nash’s new buzzcut, while paying little notice to Royce Clayton’s new look.

After denying his minions had invited studio audience members to boo Dusty Baker earlier this week (going so far as to smear that paragon of journalistic virtue, Will Leitch, in the process), Steven A. Smith has some interesting theories for the Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein why no one is watching “Quite Frankly…”

“People come up to me all the time and say, ‘I love your show ¦ when I can find it?’,” Smith said.

Smith said he also wishes he could exercise more control over guest selections.

“When it’s your name, your face and your reputation on the line, you want to feel you’re calling every shot,” he said.

Indeed, the public’s inability to read a copy of “TV Guide”, along with ESPN2’s tough-to-find spot on the dial, are just two of the reasons why Smith’s chat show is a ratings flop. But clearly, the network could be doing a lot more to help Stephen A. land some A-list guests. Kobe, A.I., Donovan McNabb, Bobby Knight, etc., how about someone we’ve heard of for a change?