2004 March

2ndThe Yankees sign free agent 1B Travis Lee to a contract.

10th   Senator John McCain tells ML baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and union chief Donald Fehr they must come up with comprehensive steroid testing plan or Congress will act.

11thA new college attendance record is set at newly built Petco Park as Tony Gwynn’s Aztecs of San Diego State host Houston before 40,106. SD’s Scott Shoemaker strikes out 14 in a 4–0 win.

20th   ML baseball announces the Devil Rays OF Josh Hamilton has been suspended for the 2004 season for violating baseball’s drug policy.

21stTattoos are taboo for Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Justin Miller. Baseball tells Miller he must wear long-sleeved shirts under his uniform when he pitches because the tattoos on his arm are a distraction to hitters. More than 50 percent of Miller’s body is covered by tattoos. “We had (umpire supervisor) Jim McKean come in the other day and said that someone had complained about Justin’s tattoos and some of them are colored,” Toronto manager Carlos Tosca said. “All they have done is ask that he wear sleeves when he pitches.”

22nd  The Cardinals acquire IF/OF Tony Womack from the Red Sox for P Matt Duff.

25thThe Cubs trade pitchers Juan Cruz and Steve Smyth to the Braves for pitcher Andy Pratt and IF Richard Lewis.

The Astros get IF Mike Lamb from the Yankees for P Juan DeLeon.

The Expos and Diamondbacks exchange pitchers, with John Patterson going to Montreal and Randy Choate to Arizona.

26thThe Reds send P Chris Reitsma to the Braves for pitchers Jung Keun Bong and Bubba Nelson.

The Yankees release journeyman SS Erick Almonte. Last year Almonte set a Yankee record for lowest fielding average (.906) for a shortstop in at least 30 games.

27thThe Mets send OF Timo Perez to the White Sox in exchange for P Matt Ginter.

The Tigers sign free agent P Ugueth Urbina to a contract, and after 3 innings of minor league work, will bring him up.

29thThe Indians send IF Ricky Gutierrez to the Mets for a player to be named.

Jayson for Jason. The Blue Jays trade OF Jayson Werth to the Dodgers for P Jason Frasor. The Cardinals traded OF Kerry Robinson to the Padres for OF Brian Hunter.

30thThe Yankees and Devil Rays open the 2004 season in Japan, with Tampa Bay pounding out an 8-3 victory behind the pitching of Victor Zambrano and the hitting of Tino Martinez. Martinez strokes 3 hits, including the 300th HR of his career.

The Dodgers get OF Jason Grabowski from the A’s in exchange for cash considerations.

The Cardinals and Padres exchange outfielders, with Kerry Robinson going to San Diego and Brian Hunter going to St. Louis.

31stThe Giants obtain pitchers Wayne Franklin and Leo Estrella from the Brewers for pitchers Carlo Vallanueva and Glenn Woolard.

The Astros trade 15-game winner Jeriome Robertson to the Indians for minor league OF Luke Scott and the rights for the Indians to keep minor league OF Willy Taveras. Taveras was taken in the Rule 5 draft and, since he isn’t going to the team, the Indians would have had to offer him back to the Astros for $25,000. But, as part of the deal, the Indians get to keep him and send him to the minors, without the Astros taking him back.