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Padres are hotting than La Mesa in July

MARINERS

A rare off day is followed by a three-game series in San Diego, where the Padres are nothing if not red hot. Last night they completed a three-game sweep of the Dodgers by scoring five runs in the bottom of the ninth inning and winning 6-5. The Padres have won five consecutive games and 10 of 12.

With Petco Field rocking, the Mariners come in trying to stay within shouting distance of the Angels in the American League West. They’ll start Miguel Batista (6-4, 5.43 ERA) tonight (7:05; FSN; 920-AM) against undefeated Justin Germano (4-0, 1.74).

Today’s hot list …

• The M’s took Canadian pitcher Phillippe Aumont with their first pick in Wednesday’s draft, and everyone had a story. Here they are, from the Times, the News Tribune, the P-I (with a history sidebar) and the Herald. I just get this feeling if he doesn’t pan out we’ll be singing that song from “South Park” with the word Bavasi substituted for Canada. By the way, the third pick was Denny Almonte, not disgraced Little Leaguer Danny Almonte.

• Here’s a column I couldn’t disagree with more. Ted Miller of the P-I believes the M’s should resign Ichiro no matter the price. C’mon. The guy is probably already overpaid and certainly overhyped and overrated. He’s a great singles hitter who doesn’t get on base enough (he’s better thus far this year) in the leadoff spot and is only, sorry M’s faithful, only an average centerfielder (though an above-average right fielder). At the right price keep him. But not for $20 million a year. Miller’s column is part of a package called “What is Ichiro Worth?” It includes this main story, a fan’s piece which I also don’t agree with (though I still wish Junior and A-Rod had stayed), and this look at Adam Jones.

• Geoff Baker used the off day to profile Cha Seung Baek and his circuitous trip through a strange land to the big leagues.

• The M’s-for-sale rumors won’t die no matter how much they are denied. Here’s a story from yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

• And our question of the day …

• How much would you pay Ichiro?


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