Past 6 Days

Apr 8, 2003 6:01 AM

Shouldering frustration

If Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter used his head and slid feet-first into the third base bag he wouldn’t have taken the brunt of a catcher’s shin guard. Still, Jeter could be back in a month if he does avoid surgery.

The news is so good for Cincinnati OF Ken Griffey Jr., who will miss six weeks after sustaining a similar injury diving for a drive in the left-center gap. Junior has only played 186 games in the last three seasons. He stands at 469 homers, but just 31 since 2000.

Last unbeatens

It had been 25 years since the Royals started a season 2-0. At 5-0, this is the best beginning in franchise history. The Royals have done it with young pitching. Pay close attention to this starting rotation - Runelvys Hernandez, Jeremy Affeldt and Chris George. So far so good on the KC plan to put its stock behind their young staff.

In the NL, San Francisco has taken advantage of a friendly schedule in jumping to a 6-0 start. Jason Schmidt is a bonafide No. 1 starter that the Braves and Pirates both wish they had back.

Tigers purring

Not many baseball followers figured Detroit would contend in the AL Central, but scoring six runs in six games is a bit much. Naturally, the Tigers lost all six and may be buried in the cellar for the year after a week.

The problem is simple for popular but unfortunate manager Alan Trammell ”” offense. The Tigers can’t score. Do I hear 0-12!

Milestones and gravestones

Kudos to Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez for reaching 500 and 300 homers respectively. Also, David Cone (NY Mets), Kevin Brown (Dodgers) and Kris Benson (Pirates) produced stellar pitching efforts when little was expected this soon.

Condolences to Arizona’s 1-2 wrecking crew of Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. The two Cy Young contenders are 0-2 in four combined starts.5. And, Greg Maddux (Braves) getting pounded in losses to Montreal and the Florida Marlins. Maybe management should have kept Kevin Millwood and sent Maddux to Philly.

Thou shall bet...

Three of our Ten Commandments Of Betting came up on Sunday and all three covered. They are in order ”” the Yankees giving 1½ runs to Tampa Bay, the UNDER in games Brad Radke (Twins) starts, and the Giants winning when sending Kirk Rueter to the mound.

Mark Mayer