Baseball is back! Here at Big League Stew, we'll take a quick dash around the league each morning in an attempt to keep you updated on all the springtime story lines.
• David Wright played as if he hadn't missed the first three weeks of spring training, hitting a single and making two strong plays at third base Monday in his delayed Grapefruit League debut for the New York Mets.
Wright, who had been out because of a strained abdominal muscle in his left side, might have been happiest with his defense, which included an athletic diving play to throw out Rafael Furcal of the Cardinals at first. Via the Associated Press:
"It was an action-filled day over there," Wright said. "I got a chance to dive around a little bit and run the bases a little bit, so that's a good thing."
The Mets had planned on keeping Wright out of game action Tuesday then playing him in two or three games in a row. But he will play Tuesday after all, Adam Rubin of ESPN reports. They hope he can accumulate about 30 at-bats before the season opener April 5.
• Left-hander Jon Lester of the Boston Red Sox dominated the Phillies, needing 90 pitches to strike out 10 over seven scoreless innings. Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that it was the team's top pitching performance of the spring so far.
• The medical condition of Tony Tufano continues to worsen after a motorcycle he drove was struck in traffic by an SUV driven by Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Bush. The Tampa Tribune reports that Tufano, 72, is in a medically induced coma. As for the ballplayer:
Bush remains in the Charlotte County Jail with bail set at $1.015 million and facing seven charges beginning with DUI leaving the scene of an crash with bodily injury.
Bush, who does not have a valid license, was driving a Dodge Durango belonging to Rays minor-leaguer Brandon Guyer, investigators said.
Over at the Tampa Bay Times, reporter Joe Smith talked to Guyer's agent, who said Guyer didn't know that Bush didn't have a valid license. Bush has said that he and Guyer are roommates.
• The former payroll officer of the San Francisco Giants who embezzled $2.2 million from players and other team employees has been sentenced to 21 months in prison, the AP reports via CSN Bay Area. Robin O'Connor also has to return $1.4 million after already repaying $960,000.
• Nerve problems in his right shoulder continue to keep right-hander Chris Carpenter out of action, and he's not sure when they'll clear up, writes Joe Strauss in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"It's not working the way it should," Carpenter said. "I want it to work."
• Magglio Ordoñez sent a tweet Monday that he is "very close" to retiring. Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Ordoñez says is 100 percent healthy following the broken right ankle he suffered in the playoffs a season ago, but he's also unsigned like several other players in their mid-to-late 30s. Ordoñez is 38. He batted .365 (27 for 74) with four doubles and homer from Aug. 10 to the end of the regular season, and went 5 for 11 in the division series.
Ordoñez broke in with the White Sox, but signed with the Tigers as a free agent before the 2005 season. He hit the winning home run in the 2006 ALCS and won the AL batting title in 2007.
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