Baseball Today - Wednesday, Oct. 3

Baseball Today - Wednesday, Oct. 3

Baseball Today - Wednesday, Oct. 3
ASSOCIATED PRESS

SCOREBOARD Wednesday, Oct. 3

Los Angeles Angels at Boston (6:37 p.m. EDT). The Angels and Red Sox return to the postseason after one-year absences.

COMEBACK PLAYERS

Washington first baseman Dmitri Young was chosen as the NL comeback player of the year Tuesday after setting aside professional, medical, legal and substance-abuse problems to become an All-Star. Young won the award after finishing with a career-high .320 average with 13 home runs and 74 RBIs. In the AL, Carlos Pena put together the best performance in Tampa Bay history because he batted a career-best .282 with a club-record 46 home runs and 121 RBIs after joining the Devil Rays in spring training as a non-roster invitee.

MOVING ON

Andruw Jones is done with the Braves, general manager John Schuerholz said Tuesday, because the team can't afford to keep the perennial Gold Glove center fielder who has spent his entire career in Atlanta. Jones, 30, slumped to .222 - his worst average since becoming a full-time starter in 1997 - with 26 homers and 94 RBIs in the final season of his $75 million contract.

STAYING PUT


Detroit extended manager Jim Leyland's contract by one year, keeping him in the dugout through the 2009 season. A year after reaching the World Series in Leyland's first season, the Tigers finished 88-74, eight games behind Cleveland in the AL Central.

LEFT OUT

Adam Eaton, signed to a $24.5 million, three-year free agent deal, was left off Philadelphia's postseason roster against Colorado. Eaton was 10-10 with a 6.29 ERA in 30 starts, going 1-4 with a 7.36 ERA in his last 10 outings. ... Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (17-12) was left off Boston's playoff roster against the Angels because of his ailing back. ... Los Angeles scratched outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. because of a left knee injury that hadn't improved enough at the team's workout Tuesday, and right-hander Bartolo Colon, who felt pain in his right elbow during the workout. Matthews hit .252 with 18 home runs, 72 RBIs and 18 steals, while Colon was 6-8 with a 6.34 ERA.

POWER DIP

Home runs in the majors dropped to their lowest level in more than a decade. An average of 2.04 homers per game were hit this season, the Elias Sports Bureau said Tuesday, a drop of 8.1 percent from last year's 2.22 average and the lowest figure in the majors since 2.02 in 1995. Scoring was down 1.3 percent, from 9.72 runs per game in 2006 to 9.59 this year.

FANS

Major League Baseball drew a record average of 32,785 fans to games this season, breaking the previous mark of 31,423 set in 1994 - before a 7 1/2-month players' strike caused a steep drop. The majors set a total attendance record for the fourth straight season, drawing 79.5 million, an increase of 4.5 percent from last year.

SPEAKING


''It's been tough sleeping the last couple of nights. The way the season ended, obviously, is unacceptable. We had opportunities to get this thing done and as the manager of this ballclub I take full responsibility for that. I've always been associated with winning and it hurts deep down inside, it really hurts to be associated with this type of collapse. That's not why we play the game and there's no way in the world that I thought we'd be in this position right now talking about this.'' - Mets manager Willie Randolph, after New York became the first major league team that failed to finish first after owning a lead of seven games or more with 17 remaining.

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