Burroughs glad to leave Sin City

KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:28 PM ET

TORONTO - It was a groundball out to second base but not even that could spoil the moment for Sean Burroughs Thursday.

After an absence of 1,841 days, many of which he spent goofing around aimlessly in Las Vegas, Burroughs was back in the big leagues with Arizona, with a renewed appreciation for the game.

Burroughs, son of 16-year major-leaguer (and one-time Blue Jay) Jeff Burroughs, was drafted in the first round of the 1998 amateur draft, ninth overall, but never met expectations in bits of five years with the Padres.

Sent to the minors in 2007, he quit after four games and moved in with an old girlfriend in Vegas.

Old Sin City took over, he told reporters in Phoenix. If you dont have a steady job or you dont have any goals, dreams or aspirations. In that city ... idle time on your hands is not good time. Theres only so much that can happen. I just was really sick of it.

Last year, he decided to take one more kick at playing baseball and started getting in shape. He contacted Kevin Towers, the Arizona GM and the man who had drafted him in San Diego and said he was serious. Armed with an invitation to spring training, Burroughs opened some eyes.

In 27 games at triple-A Reno, Burroughs hit .364, earning a call-up this week. Thursday, in a 2-1 Arizona win, he pinch-hit for pitcher Josh Collmenter.

Ive kind of regained that love for the game, because I know how easy it can be taken away, Burroughs said.

I missed ball. I let myself go physically, but I always kept watching it and kept up with all my ex-teammates. I didnt want to wake up somewhere in the future and say what if, because Ive already kind of done that.

More playoff teams in 2012

Theres been little doubt that baseball commissioner Bud Selig is driving the bus on the movement to add another wildcard team to the playoffs in each league in 2012 but now we know his hand-picked advisory committee is surprise, surprise on board as well.

Weve run all kinds of schedules and things and we have a 14-man committee with four managers (including) Joe Torre who now works for us, and also (Tigers manager) Jim Leyland, (Cardinals manager) Tony La Russa and (Angels manager) Mike Scioscia and four general managers, four owners and then (author) George Will and (Hall of Famer) Frank Robinson, said Selig, in an interview this week with TBS Sports.

I can tell you, and everything has been very confidential but they wont mind. This group has voted 14-0 for more playoffs. Were moving there but we have details to work out and the details are difficult. But Im very confident that were moving inevitably.

Most baseball people, and especially those in baseballs middle markets, that have not seen the playoffs in a while, are on side. The difficulty comes in settling upon a format. Any decision on the matter will have to be part of the next collective bargaining agreement that is being discussed.

More than likely, the two wildcard entries in each league will play a one-game playoff the day after the season so that the remaining higher-seeded teams are not idled for very long.

Beware of Red Sox

This weekend in Boston its all about the novelty of the Cubs versus the Red Sox but for the rest of the AL East, its about reality.

The Red Sox are still the team most figured would dominate the division and theyve started to make some noise in that direction. They came into the weekend on a six-game win streak and right in the middle of things, despite some key injuries and general under-achievement.

After a slow start by their glittery off-season purchases Adran Gonzalez and Carl Crawford both are starting to hum. As a team, in May Boston is third in the league in runs behind Cleveland and Detroit.

Thursday they added Kevin Millwood as rotation depth if John Lackey or Daisuke Matsuzaka is out for any length of time and they also added a quality lefthander to the bullpen in Franklin Morales.

Even as they make their way to the top of the division, the Sox have additional worries. Josh Beckett, who has been a rock in their rotation this season, had to leave Thursdays game with a stiff neck.

Regardless, the team that was eight games under .500 just 10 games into the season, started play Friday three games over .500 and showing every indication that the rest of the division has missed its golden opportunity.


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