Notes. Nick Cafardo's Sunday column has a lot on Derek Lowe's woes. "When I'm pitching from the windup, I'm fine. When I'm pitching from the stretch, I'm flying open. ... [The] ball flattens out and there's no sink. In that Tampa game [Wednesday], seven straight hits? I'd still be out there if they hadn't taken me out. ... I'd be scared to death if I knew I was mechanically right and this were happening to me, but I know there's something wrong with my mechanics, and if I find a way to correct it and stop doing it, I'll start pitching better." Lowe faces Oakland tomorrow night. ... Ellis Burks feels he's about two weeks away from being activated. ... Trot Nixon will start playing the outfield tonight in Fort Myers. ... And Francona says Ramiro Mendoza -- who? -- is making "sluggish progress." Whatever.
Also: Manny Ramirez made a personal pitch to Theo Epstein on behalf of Raul Mondesi. ... The Rockies have abandoned their experiment with a four-man rotation after only 15 days. The idea may not work for Colorado right now, but how can a team learn anything in only two weeks? ... For "[Tito's Predecessor] Appreciation Night," the independent league Brockton Rox planned to hand out "bobble-arm dolls" showing the Grinning Jackass signaling for a relief pitcher. However, the idea was scrapped after the Cubs, who currently employ the Moron, spoke out against the idea. ... "[Pedro] Martinez was in much better spirits last week in Florida, as demonstrated by his memorable nude 'rally time' dash through the clubhouse."