Wednesday 30th June 2004          MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL UPDATE
BLACKLEY, MORRISSEY, WILLIAMS AMONG TRIPLE-A ALL-STARS
GAME LIVE ON ESPN
Travis Blackley (Cheltenham, VIC) and Adam Morrissey (Ourimbah, NSW) have been named to the Pacific Coast League All-Star Team while Glenn Williams (Wattle Grove, NSW) has been named to the International League equivalent.  Blackley, pitching for Seattle’s affiliate in Tacoma is 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA Morrissey, second baseman for Oakland’s Sacramento affiliate is batting .329 with 8 HR and 36 RBI Williams, utility infielder for Toronto’s Syracuse affiliate is batting .225 with 18 HR and 49 RBI.
The two teams will meet for the Triple-A All-Star Game at Pawtucket, Rhode Island on 14 July.  The game will be televised live on ESPN at 9am (Sydney time) on Thursday 15 July.
BALFOUR MAKING MEMORIES AT FENWAY PARK
By Jim Souhan/Minnesota Star Tribune/25 June
BOSTON Someday Grant Balfour will tell his grandchildren he blew away the Red Sox at Fenway Park. And they'll say, 'Good on ya, mate, but what are you blatherin' about?'
Balfour grew up in Sydney, Australia, dreaming of the Melbourne Cricket Grounds and Sydney Football Stadium. Thursday, a few hours after signing his name to the back of the Fenway scoreboard, he earned the victory as the Twins beat the Sox, 4-3, in 10 innings, before the 100th consecutive sellout at baseball's little jewel box.
Balfour pitching to the BoSox? Years ago that was as likely as Randy Moss playing Australian Rules Football, yet Thursday, Balfour threw 39 pitches that could change the season.
'I didn't know baseball even existed, growing up,' Balfour said. 'As I've learned more, I found out about Fenway.'
Hearing of the tradition for visiting players, he signed the back of the scoreboard, then kept the Red Sox off it.
The Twins led 3-1 in the seventh. There were two on and two out and former Twin David Ortiz, the league leader in RBI, coming to the plate. Brad Radke had thrown 121 pitches.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire brought in lefthander Aaron Fultz, who gave up a two-run single. Gardenhire went to Balfour, who got Manny Ramirez on a grounder.
Balfour held the Sox until the Twins scored in the top of the 10th on Lew Ford's sacrifice fly, then Joe Nathan earned his 21st save in 22 tries.
Nathan is becoming a known commodity. Balfour, in one outing against a dominant lineup in a rowdy hitter's park, might have transformed himself from mop-up man to go-to guy.
'That was awesome,' Nathan said. 'You see him go into a situation he hasn't been in often and throw strikes and go after people that's impressive.
'He was bringing it at 95 and 96, and he was controlling it better than I've seen him since he's been up here.'
The Twins had avoided putting Balfour in pressure situations. Because Juan Rincon pitched Wednesday, they had little choice.
Balfour pitched 2 1/3 innings, giving up one hit and no walks, displaying stuff that could propel him into a key role.
'We need that,' Gardenhire said. 'We're going to need that more. We know he's not going to be perfect all the time, but that was a big-time performance in a big-time atmosphere.'
Only if Radke had gotten credit for the victory could the Twins' road trip have ended better. They went 6-3 on the longest trip of the year and head home with a two-game lead in the division and three power arms at the end of their bullpen Balfour, Rincon and Nathan.
The Twins took two of three at Fenway, where the Red Sox have one of baseball's best home records, by scoring only 10 runs.
Balfour knows all about Boston fans now, after sitting in the Fenway bullpen. He's got his name on the scoreboard now, and he left his mark on this game.
Afterward, he admitted: 'This is one of those things you don't forget.'
ANDERSON LOOKS LOST TRYING TO FIND HIS OLD FORM
By Dominic Perrone for The Tacoma News Tribune – 20 June
SACRAMENTO - Craig Anderson took the mound Saturday night in search of his first victory of 2004 after finishing the previous season second in the Pacific Coast League in wins.
He left searching for some semblance of the form that lifted him to prominence in the Seattle Mariners' organization as a top pitching prospect.
In front of the glare of a sell-out crowd of 14,611 and the lights of Fox Sports cameras, Anderson was the losing pitcher as the Sacramento River Cats beat the Tacoma Rainiers, 6-2.
Anderson (0-6) pitched 4 2/3 innings, allowing five. The left-hander lasted an inning longer than his previous outing, a 3 2/3-inning, four earned-run affair, also against the River Cats.
'He pitched all right. He had a couple balls up, then gave up that two-run homer. This is a team you can't make mistakes against,' Rainiers manager Dan Rohn said. 'Just the way it is sometimes.'
Facing Sacramento not only meant an opportunity for Anderson to earn his first victory and avenge his last loss, but also to claim bragging rights over fellow Australian and River Cats leadoff hitter Adam Morrissey, who shares the same city of residence as Anderson, Ourimbah, and the same birthplace, Gosford.
'We went to high school together at Lisarow,' said Anderson, who held Morrissey - third in the PCL in batting at .353 - hitless and struck him out in his first two at-bats before Morrissey broke through with an RBI double to center in the fifth, giving the River Cats a 4-1 lead.
'We've gone against each other a couple times over the past couple of years. It's kind of weird going up against someone you went to high school with. We've talked. We'll probably get together soon and go out. He got me back for striking him out, I guess. Just a little friendly rivalry.'
Tacoma gave Anderson a 1-0 lead in the third inning on consecutive singles by Luis Ugueto, Greg Jacobs and Jamal Strong, but the Rainiers were unable to extend the lead when Greg Dobbs ended the inning by striking out with the bases loaded.
Having the lead seemed to energize Anderson, who struck out the side in the third as the River Cats flailed wildly at his curves and fastballs.
The dominant pitching - and the lead - didn't last long. In the fourth, Anderson walked the second batter he faced, Nick Swisher. Anderson fell behind to cleanup hitter Graham Koonce, who guessed he would get a fastball, then blasted it over the wall between the 380 and 403 signs in center field for a home run.
Strong seemed to have kept the ball in play as the ball bounced off his outstretched glove back onto the field, but the umpire ruled it a home run and Koonce trotted around the bases, much to the dismay of Rohn.
'They said it hit the fence,' Rohn said. 'It was a tough call for everybody. I wish it would have gone the other way.'
Randy Williams came on in relief of Anderson and cooled of the River Cats with 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
John Rheinecker pitched seven strong innings for the River Cats, giving up two runs on seven hits, while recording nine strikeouts for his sixth victory of the season and second over Anderson.
FINGLESON KEY TO VICTORIES
Gavin Fingleson (St. Ives, NSW) is apparently the key to success for his Independent League New Haven County Cutters.  The New Haven Register’s “Stat of the Week” reported on 27 June that “Friday night’s 8-1 loss to North Shore was the first time the Cutters lost with Fingleson in the lineup.  New Haven had won all 19 games (three exhibition and 16 regular season) in which Fingleson had played this season. During a 10-game stretch in which Fingleson was on the disabled list with a separated shoulder, the Cutters went 1-9.”  Fingleson is batting .346 with 6 RBI.
MLB Television Schedule 1-14 July
v     Boston @ NY Yankees
Thurs 1 July – 9:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
Thurs 1 July – 7:30 p.m. (ESPN Replay)
Fri 2 July – 1:00 a.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     San Francisco @ Los Angeles
Thurs 1 July – Midday (ESPN Live)
v     NY Yankees @ NY Mets
Sun 4 July 3:00 a.m. (Fox Live)
v     Baseball Tonight
Mon 5 July – 8:30 a.m. (ESPN Live)
v     Chicago White Sox @ Chicago Cubs
Mon 5 July – 10:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
Mon 5 July – 10:00 p.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     Atlanta @ Montreal (Puerto Rico)
Tue 6 July – 9:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
v     Houston @ San Diego
Tue 6 July Midday (Fox Live)
v     Oakland @ Boston
Thurs 8 July – 9:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
Thurs 8 July – 8:00 p.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     Houston @ San Diego
Thurs 8 July – Midday (ESPN Live)
Fri 9 July – 1:00 a.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     Anaheim @ Chicago White Sox
Fri 9 July Midday (Fox Delay)
v     2001 Century 21 Home Run Derby
Fri 9 July – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
v     2002 Century 21 Home Run Derby
Sat 10 July – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
v     2003 Century 21 Home Run Derby
Sun 11 July – 1:00 p.m. (ESPN)
v     Baseball Tonight
Mon 12 July – 9:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
v     Chicago Cubs @ St. Louis
Mon 12 July – 10:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
Mon 12 July – 9:30 p.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     2004 All-Star Futures Game
Mon 12 July – 3:00 p.m. (ESPN)
v     Baseball Tonight
Tue 13 July – 9:00 a.m. (ESPN)
v     2004 Century 21 Home Run Derby
Tue 13 July – 10:00 a.m. (ESPN Live)
Tue 13 July – 7:00 p.m. (ESPN Replay)
Wed 14 July – 1:00 a.m. (ESPN Replay)
v     Detroit @ Minnesota
Tue 13 July Midday (Fox Delay)
v     2004 Taco Bell Legends and Celebrities Softball Game
Tue 13 July – Midday (ESPN)