Chris Carpenter takes Brendan Ryan to the woodshed

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When your ace is on the hill and the team you’re chasing in the standings is coming up to bat in the first inning, you had best be ready to go. It’s a lesson Cardinals’ shortstop Brendan Ryan won’t soon forget:

Cardinals right-hander Chris Carpenter confronted shortstop Brendan Ryan in the dugout on Monday for not being ready for the start of the game.

Carpenter had to wait for Ryan to take his position, then get the correct glove, before beginning the bottom of the first inning.

After the inning, Carpenter asked Ryan to join him in the tunnel adjacent to the St. Louis dugout. Television cameras showed Carpenter speaking sternly to Ryan, with Ryan staring back at Carpenter, then nodding at the end of the discussion.

Later, when Ryan misplayed a ball, Carpenter yelled from the mound, though not directly at Ryan. According to the Sporting News, Ryan did not talk to the media after the game.

If only there was someone on the Reds who could give a talking to their screwup middle infielder . . .

Royals to sign Billy Hamilton

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LAS VEGAS — Jim Bowden reports that the Kansas City Royals are close to agreement with outfielder Billy Hamilton. He says they are “just working through bonuses and pending physical.” Hamilton was non-tendered by the Cincinnati Reds a couple of weeks ago following six seasons with the club, making him a free agent.

Hamilton is one of the fastest men to ever play the game, but he has never come around as a hitter. In his six seasons with the Reds he put up a line of .245/.298/.333 (OPS+ 70). While he has stolen 277 bases over that period, getting caught 63 times, he has never once led the league in steals, primarily because he just doesn’t get on base enough. He is an excellent center fielder, but the bat is so sub-par that even the glove and the wheels are not good enough to justify going to arbitration with him.

Perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. He will certainly bring some excitement to Kansas City. He’s a fun guy to watch play.