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Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Royale With Cheese. How bad are the Kansas City Royals? Classically bad. They are bad for the ages. A hundred years from now, children will sing rhymes about the ineptitude of the Royals. And some day in the far, far distant future, when men are but slaves and apes rule the earth, a ragged Charlton Heston will unearth the American League standings from 2006, see the Royals' record, and cry to the heavens: "You maniacs! You blew it up! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!!" Detroit's 6-3 win on Wednesday was Kansas City's 12th straight loss, giving the Royals a 10-34 record as they set out on a 10-game road trip ... where KC is 2-20.

2. Now Let Us Speak Of Happier Times. Somewhere in Cuba, an olive-garbed dictator has put his army boot through the screen of a high-def plasma TV. Alay Soler made his starting debut for the New York Mets on Wednesday, and after a shaky start, threw five shutout innings in New York's 5-4 win over the Phillies. Soler, a former member of the Cuban National team, defected in 2003. David Wright homered and singled in the winning run for the Mets, who acquired Orlando Hernandez from Arizona earlier in the day.

Rest of The Closer can be found after the jump ...

3. Big Bird Falling Apart Before Our Eyes. Another poor start by Randy Johnson, another win for the Yankees. Big Unit allowed at least five runs for the sixth time in eight starts, and left after five innings, but New York still beat Boston 8-6. That's thanks to Melky Cabrera, who had a pair of two-run singles.


4. Leave It To the Joneses. Andruw and Chipper Jones, man, are they still around? Yes, tormenting the Padres. Andruw had two two-run homers and Chipper had four singles to lead the Braves past San Diego 10-6 at Petco. To add insult to injury, C. Jones stole two bases off of the awesome cannon that is Mike Piazza's throwing arm.

5. If I Were A Carpenter. Chris Carpenter was a late scratch for the Cardinals, but it didn't matter; they still beat the Giants 10-4 behind an array of relievers. Three of them, by the way, combined to fall one single short of hitting for the cycle. Adam Wainwright, who hasn't taken batting practice since spring training, homered in his first major league at-bat.