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the HOT corner
Stephen Cannella
July 05, 1999
The Reds recently contacted Marlins general manager Dave Dombrowski to inquire about struggling righthander Livan Hernandez (3-7, 4.66 ERA). Florida wants righthanded starter Brett Tomko or righty reliever Scott Williamson as part of any deal, but Cincinnati doesn't want to give up either of them. The Cardinals also called about Hernandez but laughed off Dombrowski's request for Triple A lefthander Rick Ankiel or Double A righty Chad Hutchinson, two of baseball's top pitching prospects. At week's end Hernandez, still only 24, was six games under .500 since being selected as MVP of the 1997 World Series....
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July 05, 1999

The Hot Corner

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The Reds recently contacted Marlins general manager Dave Dombrowski to inquire about struggling righthander Livan Hernandez (3-7, 4.66 ERA). Florida wants righthanded starter Brett Tomko or righty reliever Scott Williamson as part of any deal, but Cincinnati doesn't want to give up either of them. The Cardinals also called about Hernandez but laughed off Dombrowski's request for Triple A lefthander Rick Ankiel or Double A righty Chad Hutchinson, two of baseball's top pitching prospects. At week's end Hernandez, still only 24, was six games under .500 since being selected as MVP of the 1997 World Series....

Although Blue Jays G.M. Gord Ash says the two-year, $16 million extension recently signed by lefthander David Wells ties him to Toronto, Greg Clifton, Wells's agent, thinks otherwise. "If anything, I think this makes him more tradable," Clifton says. "Teams are now dealing with a known quantity." Maybe, but it's hard to imagine many clubs wanting to take on that type of financial commitment....

It has been a little more than a year since Fox Group fired Dodgers G.M. Fred Claire and manager Bill Russell, then three days later canned three coaches. At the time L.A. was 36-38. Through Sunday the Dodgers were 34-39 and 7� games out in the National League West....

Does White Sox DH Frank Thomas have a messiah complex? Asked his impression of 22-year-old outfielder Carlos Lee (.295, 26 RBIs in 44 games), Thomas said, "I see a young me. I think he's the second coming."

...The Diamondbacks see themselves as contenders, but not with Gregg Olson (six blown saves in 17 chances) as their closer. Arizona has used Byung-Hyun Kim and Vladimir Nu�ez to close games, while eyeing the Expos' Ugueth Urbina (16 saves in 21 chances), but Arizona G.M. Joe Garagiola Jr. doesn't want to part with his top pitching prospects—Double A starters Nick Bierbrodt, John Patterson and Brad Penny....

Mo Vaughn took responsibility for the Angels' sluggish first half and, in effect, apologized for not being the player the team shelled out $80 million to get last winter. "I haven't been a leader since Opening Day," says Vaughn, whose sprained left ankle has limited him to DH duty most of the season. "When you're DH'ing you can't feel you're a part of what's going on. I'm struggling right now because I'm really frustrated."

... Darryl Strawberry, who pleaded no contest to drug and solicitation charges, began his court-ordered 100 hours of community service last week at the St. Petersburg ( Fla.) Boys and Girls Club. "I'm teaching them about staying away from drugs and staying away from wrong situations," said Strawberry, who played pool, basketball and football with kids last Thursday. "If I can inspire them to do that, that would be a gift to me."

...A's leftfielder Ben Grieve, batting .131 on May 19, was up to .248 at week's end, having finally snapped out of one of the worst starts in memory by the previous season's Rookie of the Year. Since May 20, Grieve had hit .360.

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