Rift may be developing with Angels
Scioscia's body language indicated that he was not happy with DiPoto's decision to fire Hatcher, the longest-tenured hitting coach in the majors and an original member of Scioscia's staff.
One interesting sidelight to the Angels' firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher on Tuesday is what it says about the dynamic between first-year general manager Jerry DiPoto and veteran manager Mike Scioscia.
Under previous general managers Bill Stoneman and Tony Reagins, the perception was always that Scioscia was highly involved in most decisions, if not running the show.
But Scioscia's body language indicated that he was not happy with DiPoto's decision to fire Hatcher, the longest-tenured hitting coach in the majors and an original member of Scioscia's staff. In fact, he was the first coach fired by the Angels in Scioscia's 13 years.
Asked if he fought the decision, Scioscia told The Orange County Register, "I'm not going to get into any of that. Obviously, the GM's position is to try to make changes, whether it's personnel or staffing that he believes is going to help us get better and we'll respect that."
But that relationship between Scioscia and DiPoto bears watching.
Kemp's injury has the
With Matt Kemp sidelined by a left hamstring injury that landed him on the disabled list, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly is scrambling.
On Tuesday, the Dodgers started Scott Van Slyke, making his first career start, as the No. 3 hitter. Jerry Sands and Justin Sellers, both in the minors a week ago, were at left field and third base, respectively, and Andre Ethier made the first regular-season start of his career in center field.
Mattingly said it reminded him of a DirecTV commercial in which a guy sells his hair for money in Las Vegas.
"That's what happens when Matt Kemp goes on the DL," he told reporters. "You drink, you wake up with a hangover and then you make a lineup like this. It's different, I know."
Soriano gets a chance
to close with Yankees
Former Mariner Rafael Soriano saved 45 games for the Rays in 2010, and parlayed that into a three-year, $35-million contract from the Yankees last year. But with Mariano Rivera ensconced in the closer's role, it meant Soriano was relegated to setup duty — until now.
With Rivera sidelined by a torn ACL, and David Robertson down with an oblique injury, Soriano has become the Yankees closer. He told reporters that when Rivera hurt himself during batting practice in Kansas City and Soriano came to his aid, Rivera told him to be careful helping him, because the Yankees couldn't afford to lose Soriano.
"Mariano is always thinking about others," Soriano told the New York Post, adding that he believes there is a chance Rivera will be back late in the season
"I want him to come back this year," Soriano said. "Mariano has helped me so much."
Notes and quotes
• Miguel Cabrera of the struggling Tigers drew his first walk of the month Thursday. Cabrera is hitting just fine — .304 through Friday — but he had gone 17 straight games without a walk, the longest such streak of his career. Last year, Cabrera drew 108 walks, second-most in the American League behind Jose Bautista.
• Everett's Grady Sizemore is eligible to come off the disabled list on June 3, but the Indians don't expect him to be ready to do so. Sizemore, who underwent back surgery for a herniated disk two months ago, took live batting practice on Wednesday for the first time since the operation.
"He looked good," manager Manny Acta told reporters. "But he's just starting this process. We're not going to rush it."
• This is the 16th year of interleague play, and there are just 12 matchups at a particular venue that have yet to be seen. Every team has played every other team in the other league, but here are the matchups that haven't yet taken place:
Braves at Royals; White Sox at Mets; Brewers at Mariners; Cubs at A's; Twins at Nationals; Rangers at Cardinals; Dodgers at Yankees; Twins at Braves; Rays at Dodgers; A's at Brewers; Padres at Blue Jays; Cardinals at Angels.
It should be noted that the Mariners hosted the Brewers plenty of times before they moved to the National League in 1998. Same goes for the A's at Milwaukee.
• Former Mariners catcher Chris Gimenez, now with Tampa Bay, has been called for catcher's interference three times this season in 18 games behind the plate. Terry Kennedy in 1985 was the last catcher to be charged with at least four catcher's interferences in a season.