Phillies’ Cliff Lee on a hot streak
Philadelphia’s Cliff Lee takes everything he does seriously, whether it’s hitting, fielding or running the bases. Of course, his superb pitching is the reason he’s become a superstar.
Lee has tossed three consecutive shutouts during a phenomenal stretch of 32 straight scoreless innings. He was 5-0 with a 0.21 ERA in June and enters Sunday’s start against Toronto at 9-5 with a 2.66 ERA.
But that’s not enough for the two-time All-Star and 2008 A.L. Cy Young Award winner. Lee strives to be a complete player.
“In the American League, you’re a pitcher. Over here, you have to pitch, hit and run the bases,” Lee said. “I just think it’s fun. I feel more like a baseball player in the National League versus the American League.”
Spokesman denies that Rodriguez played
A spokesman for Yankees star Alex Rodriguez says the slugger never played in the illegal celebrity poker games that ensnared such stars as Tobey Maguire.
Star Magazine reported several people saw Rodriguez playing at one of the games that were hosted at Hollywood hotels and private residences.
Richard Rubenstein tells The Associated Press that A-Rodriguez “has not participated in these poker games.”
N.Y. Times sells part of Red Sox stake
The New York Times Co. has sold more than half of its stake in the Boston Red Sox for $117 million.
The newspaper said in a regulatory filing that it realized a pre-tax gain of $64 million in the deal for 390 of its shares. It said it would continue seeking a buyer for the remaining 310 shares in Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of the Red Sox, the Liverpool Football Club, 80 percent of the NESN television network and 50 percent of Roush Fenway Racing.
Clearing the bases
Rich Harden has been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list for his first start with the Oakland Athletics in three years. Harden, who did not make an appearance during spring training, started the season on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on April 18. … Minnesota Twins first baseman Justin Morneau will try some light activities over the next two weeks, another step in his recovery from surgery to remove a fragment of a herniated disk from his neck. … The Arizona Diamondbacks placed closer J.J. Putz on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, with right elbow tendinitis after the right-hander struggled in recent appearances. … The Chicago Cubs placed starter Carlos Zambrano on the 15-day disabled list because of soreness in his lower back and activated reliever Kerry Wood.