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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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With Harper hurt, converted McClung returns
By MARC TOPKIN
Published August 3, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG - Reliever Travis Harper is headed to the disabled list with an impingement in his right shoulder, and Seth McClung has been recalled from Triple-A Durham.
McClung was sent to the minors to make the shift from starter to reliever and has done well for the Bulls, going 1-0 with a 2.20 ERA and five saves in five chances. In 161/3 innings, he has struck out 26 and walked two.
An MRI exam showed inflammation in the bursa sac of Harper's shoulder. He will receive treatment for two weeks and be re-evaluated.
Meanwhile, Scott Kazmir, on the DL with shoulder inflammation, said he had "another perfect day" of playing catch, and manager Joe Maddon said he is scheduled to start Tuesday.
ROCCO OKAY: Given the alternative, Rocco Baldelli was pleased his right arm was only bruised and swollen.
Baldelli had to leave Tuesday's game after being hit on the bicep by a pitch in the sixth inning but returned to the Devil Rays lineup Wednesday, going 2-for-5.
"Instead of getting hit and having a broken arm, you just get hit," Baldelli said. "So that's pretty good."
Baldelli has a history of injuries, including the left knee and right elbow surgeries that forced him to miss the entire 2005 season and the lingering hamstring strain that kept him out until June this year.
He was concerned when he was hit by the Jason Grilli pitch in the sixth inning. Baldelli was hit on the bicep, but the ball struck a nerve that was relocated during 2005 Tommy John surgery, causing his arm to go numb.
Baldelli said the feeling began to come back when he got to the clubhouse, and relief soon followed as he realized nothing was broken.
"I'm glad it wasn't anything serious," Baldelli said.
"It's a little bit bruised and swollen and stuff but nothing to be concerned about."
SCENE OF THE CRIME: Detroit's Nate Robertson will hope tonight's start goes better, and lasts longer, than his last one at the Trop. Robertson was ejected from the July 8, 2005, game for throwing his first and only pitch several feet behind Rays leadoff man Carl Crawford in apparent retaliation for Kazmir hitting Placido Polanco with the first pitch of the game. The Tigers led 4-0 at the time, so Robertson lost the chance for a victory.
SEEING RED: The four-game series gave current Tigers and former Rays pitching coach Chuck Hernandez the chance to spend time with his wife and sons at their Tampa home. He also got the chance to catch up on the latest training camp news about his beloved Buccaneers.
"I'm keeping all the papers and reading every word," Hernandez said. "Those new linemen look like pachyderms. I feel good about things. I've got them for 10-6."
MINOR MATTERS: Rays officials have not made a decision on the status of Durham outfielder Elijah Dukes, who Tuesday was suspended indefinitely and told Baseball America he was considering quitting baseball. ... Jim Magrane pitched eight strong innings and struck out 10 Tuesday in his first appearance of the season at Durham. ... Outfielder Ryan Knox, who was involved in a fight with Dukes when both were at Durham, was released from Double-A Montgomery, and Patrick Breen was promoted from Class A Visalia. ... Shortstop Reid Brignac hit his 21st homer of the season for Visalia, which leads the California League's north division.
MISCELLANY: With Jason Varitek out for a month, the Red Sox may have interest in Rays backup catcher Josh Paul. ... Crawford is the Rays' candidate in the mlb.com voting for the 2006 Hank Aaron Award, given to the top offensive performer in each league. ... Chad Harville, Dioner Navarro and Paul will host a clinic Saturday for 80-100 mentally and physically challenged members of the Clearwater and Azalea Little League Challenger Programs. ... Former Tigers star Ron LeFlore will sign autographs tonight at the Ted Williams Museum in Centerfield Street. ... Tonight's game is not on TV.