Roger Clemens is making sure he takes the time to teach the younger pitchers on the Yankees staff a thing or two about the art of pitching. Two pitchers he has taken under his wing are 21-year-olds Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain.
"To me, there's a difference between coaching and teaching. I enjoy teaching," Clemens told Newsday. "The Yankees are planning on them being a big part of that stadium (under construction) across the way here."
While both Hughes and Chamberlain are trying to absorb everything Clemens tells them, Chamberlain said there is still time to poke fun at their older mentor.
"We give each other a hard time, that's what makes it fun," Chamberlain said with a laugh. "He's old. He's been playing this game longer than I've been alive. That's always the key, right there."
Chamberlain, who considers Clemens "a great person as well as a great pitcher," has his locker at Yankee Stadium next to Clemens'. It is a location he is taking advantage of.
"Fortunately," he said, "I get to talk to him every day about baseball, about how things are going; deliveries and little things about the game."
Giants see Davis in their future plans: The Giants have been thrilled with the production they've received from Rajai Davis, the outfielder acquired from the Pirates in the Matt Morris deal. His performance both offensively and defensively has been a surprise and Davis has thrust himself into the team's plans, possibly as a leadoff hitter, for 2008.
"He's really whetted our appetites," batting coach Joe Lefebvre told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Hopefully he can continue to improve and be that guy at the top of the order. He's a lot better than I was led to believe. You look at his bio with Pittsburgh and you're surprised he hasn't done more."
The Giants have been struggling to find a leadoff hitter to replace the injured Dave Roberts. Davis is batting .307 with a .398 on-base percentage in 88 at-bats as the team's leadoff hitter.
"He's on fire, man. He's a catalyst," pitcher Barry Zito said of Davis. "He gives us a spark in the lineup. When he gets on base, it sets a wave of energy through the dugout."
DiNardo shows consistency: Lenny DiNardo won his fifth consecutive decision as he held the Royals to just one run and five hits in eight innings in the A's 6-1 win on Sunday. The victory helped the A's avert a sweep and upped DiNardo's record to 8-6 and lowered his ERA to 3.13 for the season.
"I welcome any win, and I hope this starts a different kind of streak," DiNardo told the San Francisco Chronicle.
DiNardo retired 15 of his first 16 batters and needed just 85 pitches to complete eight innings.
"I was pretty economic," DiNardo said. "That's a good thing to see out there. It felt like I was keeping the ball down and letting the defense take care of it, and that keeps the pitch count down."
It's a stark contrast from his first three seasons in the Majors. Last season with the A's, DiNardo was limited by a neck injury and went 1-2 with an 8.75 ERA. His first two years with the Red Sox were spent shuttling back and forth between Triple-A and Boston.
"It's good to able to have a little bit of consistency in my outings and to be healthy," DiNardo said. "I always knew I had some capabilities to go out and throw the ball well, but it's been consistency for me the last three years or so.
"The season is not over. I've got bigger goals than going out and winning eight games."
Lee may return to Astros lineup: After suffering a hip flexor injury Saturday night and being held out of the starting lineup Sunday, Houston Astros left fielder Carlos Lee believes there is a chance for him to be in the starting lineup Monday night against Washington.
Lee, who suffered the injury while sliding into second base in an attempt to break up a double play, did not start for the first time this season on Sunday against San Diego. However, he did appear as a pinch-hitter.
"I'm going to give it a shot," Lee told the Houston Chronicle. "I'm going to get treatment and go out and run. I can swing. It doesn't bother me to swing at all. I don't want to be out there if I'm not close to 100 percent. You put the team in position where they're playing short. I'll do my best for (today) and hopefully I'll feel good."
Lee is tied for the team lead in home runs and leads the Astros in RBIs.
Owings has a fairy tale homecoming: Arizona pitcher Micah Owings had one heck of a homecoming Saturday night. Pitching for the first time in his home state of Georgia, Owings did it all for the Diamondbacks as he went 4-for-5 at the plate with two home runs and six RBIs and threw seven effective innings in a 12-6 win over the Atlanta Braves.
"To be back home and have the game that I did tonight, that's all I can say; I'm unbelievably blessed," Owings told the Arizona Republic.
The native of Gainesville had more than 100 friends and family members in the stands watching the game. Josh Owings, Micah's older brother, was amazed at what his brother did.
"I think this is the kind of night Micah has dreamed of his whole life," Josh said. "There's nothing that makes a family member happier than see a dream come true for somebody else in the family."
Owings' home runs, of which he now has three this season, shouldn't come as a surprise. While at Gainesville High School, he threatened the national high school career home run record.
"He's got as much power as anybody we've got on our team," manager Bob Melvin said.
LaRoche sees a future in hunting DVDs: Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman Adam LaRoche is an avid hunter, and as a minority owner in the company that produces the "Duck Commander" DVD series. This May, along with friends Chipper Jones, Todd Helton and eight or nine other players, LaRoche will go on location to film the series.
"I hunt every day, anyway, so we might as well film it and do something with it," LaRoche told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. "It will be fun. And it's cool because we'll all get together in the winter, see different places and hunt."
LaRoche and company will also be filmed golfing and doing other things, all the while telling hunting stories.
"It won't be a reality TV kind of thing. I'm not into that," said LaRoche. "Basically, it will be cameras on a few guys, all the time. I've got a camera guy who's basically going to be living with me for about a month, filming all my hunts."
LaRoche says that it's possible that he's found his calling for his post-baseball life.
"This is something I can see me doing when I retire," he said. "That's why it's neat. I'm not doing it to make a bunch of money. This is what I love to do."
Dye happy to re-sign with Chicago: Chicago White Sox right fielder Jermaine Dye, who was eligible to be a free agent at season's end, has signed a new deal that will keep him with the White Sox for at least two more seasons with a mutual option for 2010. Dye is glad to have the deal done.
"They knew where I was, how much I wanted to be here, and they wanted me here," Dye told the Chicago Sun-Times. "I expressed that I had hoped we would get something done sooner than later, and it came together real quick. It was fair for me, fair for them, and I'm happy.
"[The third year was] just a little bit of protection for me. If I get traded, I still have the option of the other team picking me up, so I still have a chance to get that third year guaranteed no matter what."
Manager Ozzie Guillen is also pleased that Dye won't be going anywhere.
"Since he got here, he's been real productive," said Guillen. "He's played the game right. He shows up to play every day. I don't have any complaint about him ever, being late or don't run the bases, whatever it is. He was struggling like everyone else [this season], but when you have [Mark] Buehrle and J.D. back and you have [Paul] Konerko, you have those types of guys, it makes my job a lot easier, believe me."
Dye, meanwhile, believes in general manager Kenny Williams and Guillen -- and the future of the White Sox.
"What was said by Kenny and Ozzie and everything about where this team is headed in a couple of years, we're going to try and get back to that championship form," Dye said. "That played a big factor. It played a big factor in me coming here as a free agent the first time. As a player, you just want to win."
Rangers awed by Santana: Johan Santana struck out a team-record 17 batters Sunday against the Texas Rangers.
Needless to say, the Rangers saw enough of Santana to come away impressed.
"[Santana] was great," shortstop Michael Young, who struck out four times, told MLB.com. "That's as good as I've seen his changeup, and that's saying something. Johan always has a chance to be good. He's the best pitcher in the game for a reason. Once he gets going full steam, it's tough to break it up."
Sammy Sosa, who got the first Rangers hit in the fifth, said that Santana was as good as he's ever been.
"You just can't miss a [mistake] against this guy because you're not going to see it again," said Sosa. "You can't swing hard, you just have to make contact because anything can happen. He was great today. I've never seen him like that. He was awesome."
Texas manager Ron Washington was surely impressed with Santana. "The way he pitched today, he could have gotten 17 strikeouts against any club ... including the 1927 Yankees," he said.
Santana is now 13-9 on the year with an ERA of 2.88.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.