October 2, 2012
MLB notes: Mariners fence moves in as much as 17 feet
By QMI Agency
The Seattle Mariners offence has been a washout at home this season, but a change in dimensions at Safeco Field might provide a lift.
Much of the outfield fence will be moved in at least four feet -- and in some spots 17 feet -- to make the park more hitter-friendly.
The Mariners are averaging only 3.0 runs a game at home -- the weakest average in the AL.
"Our goal was to create an environment that is fair for both hitters and pitchers," general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement.
The changes include moving the 16-foot-high scoreboard out of play in left field, so the entire outfield fence will be eight feet high.
BOSTON NO-SOX KNOCKED
The Baltimore Orioles were steamed that the Boston Red Sox fielded a no-name lineup in an important game Monday night against the New York Yankees.
The Sox managed just four hits in losing 10-2 to the Yankees -- whom the Orioles are battling for first place in the AL East.
As one major league official told the Boston Globe: "The Yankees have five potential Hall of Famers at the top of their order. The Red Sox have guys who don't even know where the Hall of Fame is."
Veterans such as Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia and James Loney were back in Boston's lineup Tuesday.
SURGERY FOR ANGELS LEFTY
Los Angeles Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson, who made his final start of the season Monday night, will have off-season surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.
Wilson said the elbow has bothered him for a few months.
"I tried to make a million adjustments to get around it, to the point where now I'm standing on the first-base side, trying to get an angle because I can't throw sinkers anymore because my arm doesn't work right," Wilson told MLB.com. "But you're paid to go out there and play."
Wilson, 31, expects to be ready for spring training next February.
Wilson finished with a 13-10 record and a 3.83 earned-run average after going 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA in his first 18 starts.
KNUCKLEBALLER'S FUTURE UP IN AIR
Right-hander R.A. Dickey's contract includes $5-million option for 2013, but it is possible the knuckleballer won't be back in New York after a successful season with the Mets.
A team official told ESPN New York that Dickey -- who turns 38 Oct. 29 -- likely will ask for a contract extension in the off-season and the Mets may balk at a long-term deal. In that case, the Mets could trade Dickey.
Dickey is having the best season of his career with a 20-6 record and a 2.69 ERA.
Ben Sheets is scheduled to pitch the first few innings Wednesday of the final game of the Atlanta Braves season and then retire. The 33-year-old right-hander has been out since Aug. 24 because of a shoulder injury ... Detroit Tigers right-hander Max Scherzer is expected to miss the season finale Wednesday because of a twisted ankle. Reports said he was hurt during a celebration Monday after the Tigers won the AL Central pennant ... The New York Yankees' top pitching prospect, Manny Banuelos, 21, is set for Tommy John surgery Thursday. The left-hander hasn't pitched since May for triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The Yankees had hoped surgery wouldn't be needed ... MLB is investigating the alleged hacking of Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland's Twitter account. Holland said a hacker posted a homophobic slur on his account during a game Sunday night against the Los Angeles Angels.