A Power Play That Kept Mays in the Game

   VERO BEACH, Fla- Ted Power pitched in the Dodger organization. Made it to the big leagues with them in 1981 and 1982, years in which he managed a victory each time. Not all that memorable so it may be that his greatest contribution for them occurred much later when he wasn't even in their employ.

   Power was the pitching coach for Louisville, a Milwaukee affiliate, when he hooked up with Joe Mays. A discouraged, confused Joe Mays who seemed to be at the end of his career. That is,  until Power took him in hand.

  You may remember Mays from his 2001 season with the Twins when he won 17 games. That year. however, was the only one that distinguished his career. After that he had elbow surgery and never seemed right again. By 2006, he had drifted to the Royals but after going 0-4, they released him to the Reds where he had no better luck.

  He lost his only decision with Cincinnati, was again let go and this time nobody wanted him in the majors. So, he signed with Louisville and was contemplating retirement when Power saw there was still some ability to be tapped- and did.

  "He worked with me on my delivery and kept encouraging me," Mays says now. "It got me turned around." Joe was 6-3 in two stints with Louisville, only to become a minor league free agent at the end.

  Over the winter, though, he worked with Mark Weidemaier, a Dodger advance scout, on conditioning. Mark liked what he saw and  ultimately, in February, Joe signed a minor league contract with L.A., getting a chance as a non-roster invitee.

  So far, he's looked pretty good. He hadn't given up a run until Thursday night when the Marlins touched him up for two in the seventh which ultimately made him the losing pitcher. But two of the three hits he yielded in that inning were grounders that got through  and he finished strongly with a 1-2-3 session an inning later.

  He may have wobbled a bit but he's still in contention for the fifth starting slot which may not be decided until the season is about to start.

  He has shown enough that they might well try to keep him around- say, like they did last year with Aaron Sele, another who was trying to recapture the past. Sele agreed to go to Las Vegas for a month and see what developed. As things turned out, he was brought up and stuck with the club being used as both a starter and from the bullpen.

  Mays says he feels good and that it's time to show that he has enough left to pitch up on top. He's getting the chance to demonstrate that Power's tutelage and encouragement will prove to be a good move for the organization he left so long ago.