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Baseball Insider: April 12, 2009 - April 18, 2009

The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "If you walk Morneau and pitch to him you're going to get your feelings hurt." -- Minnesota's Denard Span about teammate Jason Kubel who completed the cycle with a game-changing grand slam. Minnesota Twins 11, Los Angeles Angels 9 Jason Kubel became the third major...

By CJ Holley  |  April 18, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: --------------- (silence) -- Phillies TV announcers during the first inning of Philadelphia's loss to San Diego. The silent treatment was a tribute to late Phillies radio broadcaster Harry Kalas, who passed away after passing out in the Nationals Park media box earlier this week. Marlins...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 18, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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The Big Advantage for Big Market Teams: Depth

It's not exactly a major newsflash, but there really are significant benefits of playing in a major market, with the capital to back up season objectives with substantial cash flow. When you're in New York, or Boston, or L.A. or Chicago, you can afford to miss on a player or...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 17, 2009; 4:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Royals  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

(Tom Mihalek/AP) ONE WORD: BLING Obviously, this is a shot from the Phillies' World Series ring ceremony. The real question, however, is whether the rings worn here by Jimmy Rollins, left, and Jayson Werth, right, are brighter than Werth's shades....

By Cameron Smith  |  April 17, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Phillies  
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Ian Kinsler's Cycle Really Was That Amazing

There's a perennial debate about what's a more impressive feat, throwing a no-hitter or hitting for the cycle. By some statistical measures, hitting for the cycle is actually harder to pull off, but that analysis leans largely on the fact that there are so many more hitters in baseball than...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 17, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles , Rangers  
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Backseat Managing, With Rod Blagojevich

By now, everyone knows that deposed Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has a hard time keeping his mouth shut. Whether it's an oncoming appointment of a replacement for President Barack Obama or a way to finagle cash out of former Cubs and Tribune figurehead Sam Zell, Blagojevich was never afraid to...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 17, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Cubs  
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When It Clicked: Nationals Pitcher John Lannan

Unless his skills are simply too bountiful to be denied, every baseball player reaches a pivotal point in their development, where one path leads to the promised land of an established big-league career and the other to a minor league flame-out. The fact there are dozens of examples of the...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 17, 2009; 8:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "He could go out there one day and just throw all cutters and beat you. He could go out there one day and throw all sinkers and beat you. He could go out there one day and throw all curveballs and beat you. Today, he...

By CJ Holley  |  April 17, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "I think they brought a whole new case of balls in for that at-bat. I threw everything. I threw my whole repertoire. I threw curveballs early in the at-bat, I threw sliders, I threw sinkers, I threw four-seamers, I was like, 'Man, I wonder what...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 17, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The Biggest Threat to Bat Safety: A Bug

Yes, that's right, an actual insect may be the single biggest threat to having the entire major leagues adjust to safer bats. While there aren't any notable threats to the maple trees used to make the now nearly defunct maple bats, the white ash arbors that Louisville Slugger uses to...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 16, 2009; 4:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

(J.D. Pooley/AP) THE PHILLY PHANATIC IS OFFENDED This is one of the mascots being used this year by the Toledo Mud Hens. Needless to say, it's neither a Mud Hen or another specimen of fowl native to the Toledo area. What it is, however, is an abomination to all...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 16, 2009; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Talking Behind Their Back: Rangers

The Orioles stand at 6-3 on the season and are nothing if not consistent. For the first time in 11 years, Baltimore has opened the season by winning their first three series. This should be a cause for celebration given the incredibly low expectations for this team, if the Orioles...

By CJ Holley  |  April 16, 2009; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Orioles , Rangers , Red Sox  
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Is Matsuzaka or Carpenter a Bigger Concern?

This is a debate that we could have all day, but it's one that -- in light of yesterday's injury news -- needs to be fleshed out a little bit. Both Daisuke Matsuzaka and Chris Carpenter are likely headed to the 15-day disabled list after disastrous starts on Tuesday. Yet...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 16, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cardinals , Red Sox  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "Every night we go to a major league game we might see something we've never seen before." -- ESPN analyst Tim Kurkjian in 2007 excitedly talking about the insanity that was Texas's 30-3 victory over Baltimore. We saw something similar to that happen again Wednesday...

By CJ Holley  |  April 16, 2009; 7:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "They did a terrific job, all the way from Hayden and (Dan) Meyer and (Kiko) Calero and (Renyel) Pinto. What do they do in hockey? Three stars? Those guys should get four stars." -- Marlins Manager Fredi Gonzalez on his four relievers, tapping into the...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 16, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Will Steroids Haunt Troy Glaus?

It may be too early to tell if Saturday evening's report detailing how four players who legally obtained steroids through a doctor will be viewed in the future. However, one thing is certain: the most notable of those players, injured Cardinals third baseman Troy Glaus, is going to have a...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 15, 2009; 4:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Angels , Cardinals , Diamondbacks  
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Simon's Injured, Now What?

The still undisclosed injury to pitcher Alfredo Simon's elbow that forced him to leave last night's game in Texas leaves the Orioles with many options for replacement and has fans optimistic that The Cavalry is on its way. What further complicates matters is that third baseman Melvin Mora is also...

By CJ Holley  |  April 15, 2009; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Orioles  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

(AP Photos) WOW! IT REALLY DOES LOOK LIKE EBBETS FIELD! There was a lot of talk about how the Mets' new home, Citi Field, was built to make visitors reminisce about Ebbets Field. If you ask us, they did a pretty good job achieving that, as shown in these...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 15, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Mets  
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Tampa Prep Star Tosses Three Straight No-Hitters

You've almost certainly never heard the name Patrick Schuster before, but the Mitchell (Fla.) high school star just surpassed the likes of Johnny Vander Meer, throwing a third consecutive no-hitter last night in his school's 2-0 victory over Clearwater Central Catholic. To be fair, we're not talking about major league...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 15, 2009; 1:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Are the Pirates Pitchers Really This Good?

In case you hadn't noticed, we're more than a week into the season, and the Pirates have a winning record. Not only do they have a winning record, they're pulling out games with the rarest of all Pirates assets: strong starting pitching. A cursory glance at Pittsburgh's early results is...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 15, 2009; 11:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Pirates  
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The List: Ranking D.C.'s Opening Days

There have been five Opening Days now since baseball's return to the nation's capital, which just so happens to be the same number of entries in The List. So today, we'll rank the Nationals' five home openers from worst to best (with links to the box scores, to refresh your...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 15, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
 
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The Wrap: AL

Quote of the Night "Our offense can't be shut down. ... A few innings here and there, but our lineup is just too strong from top to bottom." -- Orioles center fielder Adam Jones feeling pretty good after hitting a two-run homer in the 10th inning. Given the Orioles' 11...

By CJ Holley  |  April 15, 2009; 9:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Day: "I was freezing my butt off. ... It was cold to me. I was sitting beside the heater every inning." -- Marlins pitcher Chris Volstad, complaining about pitching in mid 50-degree weather in Atlanta. Marlins 5, Braves 1 Yes, we know it's still early, but...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 15, 2009; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Boston's Beckett Suspended Six Games

Josh Beckett has been suspended for six games after doing this (thanks to reader ilikeike). Baseball Tonight actually put a clock on Beckett and he took roughly 11 seconds before entering his windup, which made Bobby Abreu decide to call time. Time was granted while Beckett was in mid-windup and...

By CJ Holley  |  April 14, 2009; 5:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
 
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

(Adam Hunger - Reuters) IT USUALLY HELPS TO HOLD ON TO THAT Red Sox shortstop Jed Lowrie leaves his bat in a declining state of repose after striking out with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning against the Rays. Either that or his swing was very, very,...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 14, 2009; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rays , Red Sox  
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David Wells: Baseball Analyst?

Yes, from here out, when you think of David Wells, you can think of insightful, honest baseball analysis, not drunken perfect games or hot dogs. Well, you can still think of drunken perfect games and hot dogs, but now you have to think of breaking down game film, too, after...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 14, 2009; 1:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Harry Kalas Tribute

This comes courtesy of Dave Yanovitz, a Post colleague and hardcore Philly kid from back in the day. Enjoy... There is no line more recognizable to a Phillies fan than the one that starts with , "SWING! and a LONG DRIVE , watch that baby, OUTTA HERE !!!! Home Run...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 14, 2009; 11:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Remembering Mark Fidrych

Lost in the depths of baseball depression felt amidst the death of Harry Kalas yesterday was the passing of another baseball great, even if his time in the spotlight lasted about 1/40th as long as Kalas. Former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych died in the most surprising of manners, passing away...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 14, 2009; 11:42 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Tigers  
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The Wrap: AL

Quote of the Night "They had an opportunity to celebrate what they did last season, and they had their way with us." -- Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter on the team getting pasted by Tampa Bay in the Rays' home opener. Tampa Bay Rays 15, New York Yankees 5 On a...

By CJ Holley  |  April 14, 2009; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "We lost our voice today. He has loved our game and made just a tremendous contribution to our sport and certainly to our organization." -- Phillies President David Montgomery, who succinctly summed up all that Harry Kalas came to embody, not only for the Phillies,...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 14, 2009; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Talking Behind Their Backs: Rays

The Orioles completed their opening week home stand with a series against the Tampa Bay Rays that was eerily similar to the previous one against the New York Yankees. In both series Baltimore took a 2-0 series lead against a team picked to finish well ahead of them in the...

By CJ Holley  |  April 13, 2009; 10:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Orioles , Rangers , Rays  
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The Sad Case of Gilberto Reyes

In all likelihood, you don't think very often about former major league catcher Gilberto Reyes. The one-time Dodgers and Expos backstop completed a largely anonymous career long ago, and while the legends of some of the pitchers he caught -- Orel Hershiser and Randy Johnson among them -- have only...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 13, 2009; 4:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

IT WOULD BE MORE SANITARY IF THEY USED ACTUAL CREAM Rangers rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus took a shaving cream pie to the face last week after hitting his first major league home run. And who delivered the faux baked good to the young face of Mr. Andrus? His predecessor...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 13, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rangers  
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Moment of Levity: The Worst First Pitches of All Time

In honor of today's Nationals home opener, we figured we'd pass along this gem from Time Magazine. Hey, it's not every day you find a compiled, videographic list and break down of the worst first pitches of all time, but when Time delivers, Time delivers. We'd give you all the...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 13, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Nationals  
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From the "Bad Timing" Department ...

Comes this nugget about a Dodgers move that, in any other time, would be seen as a great PR lift. The Dodgers are dropping beer prices at Dodgers Stadium. That's probably all for the best. However, they made a grand announcement about the decrease just a day after the death...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 13, 2009; 11:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers  
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Three Up, Three Down

Obama: White House, Nats playing coy over whether POTUS will throw out first pitch at today's opener. Frankly, with J. Moyer starting for Phillies, Nats don't need to see another soft-tossing, 40-something lefty. S. Hill: Ex-Nats pitcher, jettisoned during spring training, wins in Padres debut. If you're scoring at home,...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 13, 2009; 9:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Nocturnal Omissions: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "That's the first one I've seen in person. There was one when I was with the Dodgers, but I was in the bathroom. I came out and asked what happened, and they told me there was a triple play." -- Reds Manager Dusty Baker on...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 13, 2009; 9:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Nocturnal Omissions: AL

Quote of the Night "Don't use Nick, man. Yeah, we had a tragic week. And a rough week. But ... that was blatant." -- Angels centerfielder Torii Hunter, accusing Boston's Josh Beckett of intentionally throwing at Bobby Abreu's head. Los Angeles Angels 5, Boston Red Sox 4 We had our...

By CJ Holley  |  April 13, 2009; 8:32 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Talking Behind Their Backs: Rays

The Orioles completed their opening week home stand with a series against the Tampa Bay Rays that was eerily similar to the previous one against the New York Yankees. In both series Baltimore took a 2-0 series lead against a team picked to finish well ahead of them in the...

By CJ Holley  |  April 13, 2009; 7:14 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles , Rangers , Rays  
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Nocturnal Omissions: AL

Quote of the Night "After the fifth or sixth or seventh one, I was kind of giggling out there." -- Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon on his ninth-inning battle with Howie Kendrick, who fouled off seven straight pitches before making the final out. Baltimore Orioles 6, Tampa Bay Rays 0...

By CJ Holley  |  April 12, 2009; 9:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Nocturnal Omissions: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "I just want to be able to make a mistake and get away with one. That's it, just one, and I'll feel a lot better about it. Right now it's not happening. We won, that's all that matters. I felt good. Same thing with the...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 12, 2009; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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