â€¢ NEW YORK - Yankees owner George Steinbrenner backed manager Joe Torre and GM Brian Cashman on Monday, challenging players and staff "to show me and the fans what they are made of" following a start he termed "clearly not acceptable."
Steinbrenner previously had refused comment on his team, which went 1-5 against the Boston Red Sox the past two weekends and dropped into last place in the AL East at 9-14.
"The season is still very young, but up to now the results are clearly not acceptable to me or to Yankee fans," Steinbrenner said in a statement. "However, Brian Cashman, our general manager, Joe Torre, our manager, and our players all believe that they will turn this around quickly. I believe in them. I am here to support them in any way to help them accomplish this turnaround."
After Sunday's 7-4 loss to Boston, Yankees captain Derek Jeter said criticism of Torre was misplaced.
"It's unfair," Jeter said. "There's no way he's responsible for us performing. He's not hitting for us. He's not pitching for us. He puts the best players out there on the field, gives us an opportunity to win. We're just not doing the job."
Braves place Wickman on disabled list
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â€¢ ATLANTA - Braves closer Bob Wickman went on the disabled list with an upper back injury Monday, one day after the veteran blew a save for the second straight time.
The team called the injury a strain. Wickman said he has tendinitis in his upper back.
Atlanta hopes deep tissue massage on Wickman's back and a stretching routine will allow him to return in two weeks.
Wickman is 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA and six saves in eight chances. He has 10 walks in 11 1-3 innings. In 2006, Wickman walked only two batters in 26 innings with the Braves and was 18-for-19 in save opportunities after he acquired from Cleveland.
Atlanta activated reliever Chad Paronto, who had been on DL since April 14 with a muscle near his groin. Mike Gonzalez and Rafael Soriano could be used as closers in Wickman's absence.
Mets take hit with injuries to Hernandez, Valentin
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â€¢ NEW YORK - The New York Mets got a double dose of bad medical news Monday: Pitcher Orlando Hernandez has bursitis in his right shoulder and second baseman Jose Valentin has a partially torn knee ligament.
Both wound up on the 15-day disabled list. Hernandez was replaced for Monday night's game against Florida by Chan Ho Park, who was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, and the contract of infielder Ruben Gotay was purchased from the Zephyrs.
Orioles put RHP Wright on DL with sore shoulder
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â€¢ BALTIMORE - The Orioles put right-handed pitcher Jaret Wright on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a recurrence of soreness in his right shoulder.
Wright felt soreness April 10 during a start against Detroit and was put the 15-day DL on April 12 (retroactive to April 11).