- The Washington Times - Monday, June 2, 2008


Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano was the talk of baseball in 2006 when he went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA and helped Minnesota on a second-half surge to the AL Central title. He missed all of 2007 because of Tommy John surgery and was demoted to Class AAA Rochester early this year. But with the Twins’ rotation in flux, Liriano could be back on the way up soon. He has gone six innings or more and given up three runs or less in four of his last five starts.


White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin has hit 14 home runs in 54 games - or exactly the number of homers he had hit in his big league career heading into this season. The 25-year-old is showing more patience at the plate (he has a .396 on-base percentage, up 98 points from last season) and is establishing himself as part of a resurgent Chicago team that leads the AL Central.


It was reported last week that Sammy Sosa officially plans to retire after the 2009 World Baseball Classic, bringing a merciful end to a career that has been sliding downhill ever since Sosa’s 2005 brainlock on Capitol Hill. Like most of the sluggers from baseball’s steroid era, it has become impossible to separate Sosa’s achievements from the dubious methods he used to build them. Playing for the Dominican Republic actually will be a more dignified way for Sosa to end his career than Barry Bonds or Roger Clemens have (so far).



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