Wednesday 5th May 2004          MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL UPDATE
NAKAMURA MAKING SOLID IMPRESSION IN TORONTO
In his most recent outing, Mike Nakamura (Ferntree Gully, VIC) threw three perfect innings in Toronto’s 5-4 home victory over Kansas City on 4 May.
The Toronto Sun quoted Mike saying of the game:
“It was really good.  It feels good anytime you go out there and throw three good innings, or one good inning.'
The rookie also matched a career high with three strike outs, using a knee-buckling curveball to ring up Benito Santiago in the seventh. He ended the eight with back-to-back strikeouts against Joe Randa and slugger Carlos Beltran.
'If Nakamura doesn't do what he did, we could be in a world of trouble there,' said Toronto manager Carlos Tosca. 'That was huge. He was throwing everything for strikes, keeping it down, changing speeds.
In five appearances since being recalled to the Major Leagues, Mike has a 0-1 record over 6.0 innings pitched he’s allowed four hits, three runs, two earned runs with no walks and eight strike outs.  He has a 3.00 ERA.
MOSS DESIGNATED FOR ASSIGNMENT
The Devil Rays designated left-handed pitcher Damian Moss (Sydney, NSW) for assignment one day after he gave up seven runs in one-third of an inning against the Red Sox.
Moss was 0-1 with a 16.88 ERA for the Rays in two starts and three relief appearances this season. He allowed 15 earned runs on 13 hits and five walks in a total of eight innings.
Moss struggled through Spring Training and started the season in the bullpen. His first start came April 22 in Baltimore but, after pitching three perfect innings, Moss ran into trouble in the fourth and never got out of it.
On Thursday night at Fenway Park, he walked the leadoff batter and then gave up five hits in a row before getting an out. His outing was the second shortest in team history.
Moss was 12-6 for the Braves in 2002 but was dealt to the Giants on Dec. 17, 2002. He started out 5-0 for San Francisco last season but ended up 9-7 with a 4.70 ERA and was dealt to the Orioles. In Baltimore, Moss was 1-5 with a 6.22 ERA.
The Rays signed him to a one-year, $850,000 deal on Jan. 22. They now have 10 days to trade, release or ask waivers on Moss.
If he clears waivers, Moss could be assigned to a minor league team.
'He could go down and give himself six or eight good starts and be right back here,' Lou Piniella said. 'He needs steady work. I'd like to see him work on his breaking ball, put up good numbers and get back. I like his arm.'
NILSSON WORKING FOR A CALL UP FROM RICHMOND
The Richmond Times Dispatch recently ran a feature article on David Nilsson (Carrara, QLD) and his efforts to return to the Major Leagues following a four year absence.
“When I signed with the Braves,” he’s quoted as saying, “it was to prepare for the Olympics, which basically meant I was prepared to stay down here and do my thing.  Now the Atlanta Braves didn't sign me to play triple-A baseball. I don't think there are any time frames, but I don't think there are any misconceptions.  If I'm still down here in July, I would say I'm not playing like I'm capable of playing.'
The article may be read by clicking here (http://www.timesdispatch.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=RTD%2FMGArticle%2FRTD_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031775243741&path=%21sports%21localpros&s=1045855935035)
STOCKMAN (ALMOST) CALLED UP TO THE BIGS
Last week The Arizona Daily Star reported that Phil Stockman (Mt Warren Park, QLD) “thought something was physically wrong with him, something he was unaware of, when he was told Friday he would not be making his scheduled start.
But once the 6-6 right-hander heard the real reason he was being skipped - because there was a chance he might get called up by the D'backs - he was even more nervous.
'When they told me I got a little jelly-kneed,' Stockman said. 'It was a bit of a shock.'
The manager said he was instructed to hold Stockman out in case he was needed to start for the big-league club.
The Diamondbacks were thin on pitching after Thursday's 15-inning game in Milwaukee. If Friday's starter Casey Daigle had been pulled early, the team might have had to use scheduled Sunday starter Elmer Dessens as a long reliever.
'He's on the (40-man) roster, which makes him on the short list' for emergency call-ups, Hale said.
Daigle lasted until the seventh, however, and Stockman is staying with the Sidewinders for the time being.
Stockman, 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in two starts this year, said he wasn't too upset about not getting the call. He was happy just to be considered.
'It's good to know they're still thinking about you,' Stockman said. 'Hopefully I'll get another chance this year.'
In a busy media week for the Queenslander The Tucson Citizen has published a very nice profile of Phil, including a photo, this week.  You can read it by clicking here (http://www.tucsoncitizen.com/index.php?page=pro&story_id=050404c1_stockmanfeature).
DURRINGTON READY FOR WORLD CUP
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported that Trent Durrington (Broadbeach Waters, QLD) is looking forward to the baseball World Cup now in planning stages.  “The proposed tournament, which would be held in March 2005, got a lift Monday (26/4) when representatives from Major League Baseball, the Players Association and the International Baseball Federation agreed on a drug testing program that would meet the standards of the Olympics and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
'I think it's going to be great,' Durrington said.
Though he helped Australia qualify for the Summer Olympics in Athens, Durrington does not plan to ask the Brewers for a leave of absence to represent his country.
'As an athlete, you always want to measure yourself against the best competition possible,' he said. 'I think winning a gold medal would be incredible, but the Olympics isn't the highest level of competition in baseball. The best competition is here in the major leagues.'
GM Doug Melvin said he had not spoken to Durrington about the Olympics but added, 'We'd probably let him do that if that's what he wanted.'
- Pitcher Chris Mowday (Strathpine, QLD) has been traded from Oakland to the Chicago Cubs for shortstop Dionnar Martinez.  Chris has been assigned to the Florida State League Daytona Cubs.
- Pitcher Chris Oxspring (Labrador, QLD) who had been off to a great start for the San Diego Padres Triple-A affiliate has been placed on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow.  Chris has gone 3-1 with a 3.42 ERA and 26 strike outs on the season.
- Glenn Williams (Wattle Grove, NSW) set a Syracuse Sky Chiefs (Triple-A Toronto affiliate) franchise record with eight homeruns in the month of April. The previous record was seven, held by Chicago White Sox General Manager Ken Williams (1991) and Josh Phelps (2002). Gary Burnham (2002), Ed Sprague (1992) and Ryan Thompson (1992) all had five April Home Runs.
MLB Television Schedule 6-19 May
v     Teams to be Determined
Fri 7 May – 1:30 a.m. (ESPN)
v     Los Angeles @ Florida
Fri 7 May – 9:00 a.m. (Fox Live)
v     Baseball Tonight
Mon 10 May – 9:00 a.m. (ESPN)
v     Philadelphia @ Arizona
Mon 10 May – 10:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
Mon 10 May – 10:00 p.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     NY Mets @ Arizona
Tue 11 May – 11:30 a.m. (Fox Live)
v     Teams to be Determined
Thurs 13 May – Midday (ESPN Live)
v     Atlanta @ St. Louis
Thurs 13 May – 8:00 p.m. (ESPN Delay)
v     Florida @ Houston
Fri 14 May – 10:00 a.m. (Fox Live)
v     Baseball Tonight
Fri 14 May – Midday (ESPN)
v     Baseball Tonight
Mon 17 May – 9:00 a.m. (ESPN)
v     Anaheim @ Baltimore
Mon 17 May – 10:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
Mon 17 May – 10:00 p.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     Seattle @ NY Yankees
Tue 18 May – Midday (Fox Delay)