Notes from a day in baseball:
• 1. On The South Side Of Chicago, The Baddest Part Of Town .... Are you like us: Feeling the gnawing inevitability of the White Sox surpassing the Tigers in the A.L. Central? Do Detroit players dream of Jose Contreras, sitting back in his cubicle with his feet up, laughing a deep, mysterious laugh? Clearly, Contreras (9-0) is haunted, winning his 17th straight decision, with Juan Uribe hitting a three-run homer, to lead Chicago over Baltimore 13-0 on Tuesday. The Calcetines Blancos crept to within 1 1/2 games of first-place Detroit, which was losing its second straight to Oakland.
• 2. The Dance, She Is Over. The heady, fun-filled days of beating up on the National League is now but a memory. Boston went 16-2 in interleague play, and now, back in its own league, things are not going as well. Ty Wigginton homered again, this time off of Curt Schilling, as Tampa Bay stopped the Red Sox 9-6. Without the NL to kick around, by the way, Boston is a rather pedestrian 34-29.
• 3. Uncanny X-Men. One of the Pirates' many problems? Relief pitching, it would appear. Xavier Nady's single in the eighth drove in the eventual winning run as the Mets prevailed 7-6. Billy Wagner got save No. 300 for New York.
• 4. Indians Hotter Than Steinbrenner's Birthday Cake. On George Steinbrenner's 76th birthday, Cleveland struck for six home runs (Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner had two each) and Victor Martinez went 5-for-6 to lead the Indians over the Yankees 19-1 (many happy returns, big guy!).
• 5. We Have Liftoff, Houston (Or Cape Canaveral. Whatever). On the same day that NASA finally launched the space shuttle, Andy Pettitte pitched the Astros over the Cubs, going six strong innings in a 7-2 win. Sadly, losing pitcher Mark Prior suffered some minor tank foam loss to go to 0-4.