Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
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.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Rays trade Branyan for Class A pitcher
By DAMIAN CRISTODERO
Published August 25, 2006
ST. PETERSBURG - The interesting thing about the Devil Rays' trade of Russell Branyan on Thursday was Tampa Bay executive vice president Andrew Friedman said the deal with the Padres was done, in principle, by the eighth inning.
That means when Branyan hit against the Rangers in the ninth, he was, kind of, San Diego property.
Branyan struck out to end the game.
"We wish him well," Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
The Rays got minor-league pitcher Evan Meek, a right-hander assigned to Class A Visalia, and a player to be named or cash.
First baseman Kevin Witt was called up from Triple-A Durham to fill Branyan's roster spot.
Witt, 30, leads all minor-leaguers with 36 home runs and 278 total bases. His 99 RBIs lead the International League.
"It was a situation where (the Padres) were looking for a left-handed bat and someone who could play some third base," Friedman said.
"For us, we wanted to get an opportunity for Witt and the other players who are going to be up in September (when rosters expand) to make sure they get enough at-bats."
Why Witt and not, say, Delmon Young?
"We traded a left-handed hitter, and we're bringing in a left-handed hitter who has had a tremendous year," Freidman said. "We're anxious to reward Witt for his year."
For Branyan, an occasional starter in rightfield, the upside is joining a team in a playoff race as the Padres are one game behind the Dodgers in the West and one behind the Reds for the wild card.
"I told Andrew I didn't sign here to be traded," said Branyan, who was signed in January as a free agent. "But to have a chance to go to a team in contention, it's really exciting."
Branyan, with his sixth organization, has had an odd year. He batted just .201 in 64 games and had 12 home runs and 12 singles among his 34 hits. He struck out 62 times in 169 at-bats.
Meek, 23, was 6-6 with a 4.98 ERA in 26 games, including 25 starts, for Class A Lake Elsinore.
"He's a pitcher we're going to put in the bullpen," Friedman said. "He has a little bit of arm strength. We'll see what we've got after we get him."
GOMES' SHOULDER: Maddon said designated hitter Jonny Gomes' right shoulder will be examined Monday, an off day, in Cincinnati by Timothy Kremchek, the Reds' chief orthopedic physician.
Gomes has been limited to designated hitter duties because of a strained rotator cuff tendon and could have arthroscopic surgery.
Gomes sat the past three games because Greg Norton, who cannot play the outfield with a strained hamstring, has swung a blistering bat as DH.
WAITING FOR WIGGY: Third baseman Ty Wigginton (broken left hand) likely will take batting practice Saturday as he prepares for an anticipated Sept. 1 return.
Maddon said the Rays will hit in the indoor cages at Camden Yards Saturday and Sunday to avoid the heat before day games. Monday is an off day, which means extra on-field batting practice Tuesday in Chicago.
"So that will be the first time to really get a look at him in the field," Maddon said.
A FAMILY MATTER: Bullpen coach Bobby Ramos was with the club after spending Wednesday in Miami with his wife, Maria, who is preparing for thyroid surgery on Tuesday.
Ramos will be with the team in Chicago, but said he will talk to Maddon about perhaps flying home.
"We have a big family, so there is lots of support," Ramos said.
LOST PICK: That the Rays lost third-round pick Nick Fuller to the University of South Carolina was odd considering the right-hander said he was 90 percent sure he would sign with Tampa Bay.
"We made a very good offer," said R.J. Harrison, the Rays' director of scouting. "What it came down to, the bottom line, is the boy didn't really want to go play. I think he was more comfortable going to school."
MINOR MATTERS: Pitchers Jake McGee and Greg Dupas of Class A Southwest Michigan were named to the Midwest League postseason All-Star team.
MISCELLANY: Carl Crawford hit his American League-high 13th triple.