The Closer: The Young And The Restless

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Wild Thing. Big day for the Devil Rays organization. First, they beat the Yankees, 4-2, despite setting a team record by issuing 14 walks. The Damn Yankees are 1-9, by the way, when scoring fewer than six runs. In other Devil Rays news, Delmon Young, an outfielder for the Durham Bulls, threw a bat at an umpire on Wednesday night in Pawtucket. Young, 20, the younger brother of Detroit Tigers outfielder Dmitri Young, was voted the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' minor league player of the year last season. (Baseball Prospectus lists him as baseball's top prospect.) He flipped the bat into the ump's chest after being called out on strikes. Tom Berenger/Kevin Costner wasn't there to smooth things over, unfortunately.

2. Notice Our Steely Self Control. OK fine! We simply won't mention that Albert Pujols got the game-winning single in the ninth to give the Cardinals a 4-3 victory over the Pirates and a three-game sweep. We promised we wouldn't obsess over him any more. So, show's over folks, nothing more to see here. Move along.*

3. Happy Wandy Day, Everyone. If we had our way, every fourth day during baseball season would be Wandy Rodriguez Day, with children getting the day off from school and all banks and government offices officially closed. Because how cool would it be if we were able to say: "Best player in baseball? Wandy Rodriguez." OK, it's going to be a long time before parents start naming their kids Wandy. But the Wand-Man took an important step in that direction on Wednesday when Rodriguez (4-0) got the win over the Dodgers 8-5 on six strikeouts over seven innings.

4. Can't Stop The Big Red Machine. Speaking of 4-0, in Cincinnati, everything is coming up Bronson. Arroyo threw a one-hitter over eight innings as Cincinnati claimed a 5-0 win over haplesss Washington; the Nationals officially achieved hapless status when President Bush signed an order on Tuesday in the Rose Garden. But that's just temporary.

5. Bonus Dick Cheney Reference Inside!. And here it is, the Forced Lead of the Month Award, which this month goes to the Associated Press, via MSNBC. We believe it goes something like this: "Josh Bard could have used a fishing net or a spear, maybe even a shotgun. Anything to help in his hunt for Tim Wakefield's levitating knuckleballs would have been helpful." Thank you, Tom Withers. Anyway, Jhonny Peralta's three-run homer and catcher Bard's four passed balls led the Indians over the Red Sox 7-1.

* = Pujols leads the majors with 29 RBI.