On a day in which the Kansas City Star’s Joe Posnaski hails new Royals GM Dayton Moore as “the man with a plan” (though you could also say the Dodgers’ Ned Colletti was just taking out the trash yesterday), Star colleague Jeffrey Flanagan details the plight of former no. 1 pick Colt Griffin.

Right-hander Colt Griffin, the team™s top pick in 2001, has told the Royals he will retire rather than continue his comeback from major shoulder surgery.

œColt tried everything he could this spring to bounce back, said Royals senior director of minor-league operations Shaun McGinn.

œBut his fastball and his velocity just weren™t coming back. He started making hints that he was leaning toward retiring during the spring, and then he just said he wanted to try going another direction with his life other than baseball.

Griffin, 23, won™t exactly leave empty-handed. He was given a $2.4 million signing bonus after being the ninth overall pick in the June 2001 draft.

Coming out of Marshall High School in Texas, Griffin captured the imagination of many major-league scouts by topping 100 mph on the radar gun.

But Griffin™s brief baseball career was plagued by control issues. In 373 minor-league innings, Griffin walked 278 hitters, hit 44 batters and threw 82 wild pitches, including a league-high 23 in 2003 at Class A Burlington (Iowa).

œIt™s one of those stories not unfamiliar in baseball where you have a guy with a great arm who can™t get out of the minors because of command problems, McGinn said. œIt™s hard to advance if it™s taking you two or three pitches to throw a strike to each batter.

œColt tried everything and was receptive to everything, but it just didn™t pan out.

While Cardinals manager Tony La Russa maintained an address in fantasyland when it comes to the substance abuse of his superstars (Canesco, McGwire, but most certainly not Albert Pujols), his longstanding support for our Furry Friends has been one of the self-righteous, self-proclaimed brainbox’s saving graces. So with that in mind, our sincere condolences go out to La Russa over the passing of his labrador, Res (above, left).

Some of Shea’s not so sharp tools were booing Carlos Delgado today when the Mets 1B struck out with runners on 3rd and 2nd in the bottom of the 8th today. Tonight, Steve Phillips will encourage Omar Minaya to trade Carlos D. before the deadline.

Justin Verlander (above) and Joel Zumaya continued to toy with the Indians today, as the Tigers won their 67th game out of a hundred, 4-1, helped by a Magglio Ordonez’ 2 RBI double in the 6th.