Quick hits

BOB ELLIOTT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

FILL Y'ER HAT

Throwing at a hitter is part of the game. But Russ Springer took five free shots at Barry Bonds on Tuesday. Did Springer think he was at an arcade? Managers say this on throwing at hitters: One shot fine, anything more, you'll get teammates hurt. How good is Springer anyway if it takes him that many pitches to hit a guy? Plate ump Joe West was in complete control, as always.

WBC? NOT HERE

When Gene Orza, No. 2 man in the Players Association, told us the Rogers Centre was a possible pool site for the next World Baseball Classic, it made sense: Enclosed stadium ensuring games will be played. One thing we never thought about: Where do teams practise? Countries at Arizona and Florida pools worked out at minor-league complexes. That can't happen in Toronto.

COMING OR GOING

When the Milwaukee Brewers have seen enough they demote a player to the triple-A Nashville Sounds. When the NHL's Nashville Predators think a player needs more seasoning they send him to the Milwaukee Admirals, which is exactly what the Preds did to help Milwaukee in its post-season run against Grand Rapids. Assistant Brewers GM Gord Ash is a minority Admirals owner.

ONE FROM THE BOX

Watching on a press box TV as Devil Rays lefty Scott Kazmir struck out a batter recently, one scout asked: "Do you think when the Mets traded Kazmir in 2004, they thought they were getting Carlos Zambrano not Victor Zambrano?" Victor, who had elbow surgery this week, entered 2005 with a 44-39 record and a 4.38 ERA. Carlos of the Cubs was 48-35, with a 3.26 ERA.

NOW, RATE THE TRADE

Twins' Francisco Liriano, who won his first start on Friday, has the best slider in baseball, according to some scouts. His fastball has been clocked at 98 m.p.h.. To recap, the Giants gave up Joe Nathan, now the Twins closer, Boof Bonser, who starts today, and Liriano for one year of catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Oh, the Giants also got to watch Pierzynski in the Chisox's World Series parade.


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