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Baseball Insider: April 26, 2009 - May 2, 2009

The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "A couple of guys were saying, 'Is it that easy?' It isn't, but he makes it look easy." -- Twins pitcher Kevin Slowey on catcher Joe Mauer who needed to see only three pitches before hitting his first home run of the season. Minnesota Twins...

By CJ Holley  |  May 2, 2009; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "It's one of those things where we're snake bitten with the bats, but it's a long season and the bats will start waking up. We're not distressed about it, it's part of the game you go through." -- Pirates outfielder Nyjer Morgan on his team's...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 2, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Attendance Numbers Surprisingly Stable

Well, didn't see this coming. After all the hubbub about lost ticket revenue and concern over declining attendance, the first month's attendance numbers are in ... and they're surprisingly good. According to April's statistics, the sum total of tickets sold for April games was down only 287 people from 2008....

By Cameron Smith  |  May 1, 2009; 4:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

CUBS FANS FOREVER .... REALLY FOREVER Maybe we're too cynical, but the idea of a team-based masoleum, which is precisely what you're looking at right here for Cubs fans, seems a bit to macabre. Just how authentic is Fans Forever Inc.'s Wrigley Field tomb? Well, Dennis Mascari, the organization...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 1, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cubs  
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Talking Behind Their Back: Angels

The Angels blew through town to pull off a quick two-game sweep of the Orioles but in a strange wrinkle, it wasn't necessarily poor pitching that doomed Baltimore, but rather missed offensive opportunities. In the first game, the Orioles jumped out to a 3-2 lead after three innings, yet despite...

By CJ Holley  |  May 1, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Angels , Blue Jays , Orioles  
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Did the Giants Rush Emmanuel Burriss?

As Dave expertly detailed in this piece last year, the District of Columbia has precisely one public school alumnus who is a major league baseball player; young Emmanuel Burriss, who excelled at Wilson High, then at Kent State, before being drafted by the Giants. Now, in his second year of...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 1, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Giants  
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When It Clicked: Rangers Reliever Eddie Guardado

We spoke to veteran lefty Eddie Guardado about a week before this happened. (Video clip: here.) So keep that fact in mind as you read Guardado's explanation below of how the birth of his first child, all the way back in 1996, "calmed everything down" for him and helped turn...

By Dave Sheinin  |  May 1, 2009; 9:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rangers  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "He was phenomenal. If they did not get that hit, I would have let him go 125 or 130 pitches." -- Rays Manager Joe Maddon on the pitching performance of Matt Garza. Tampa Bay Rays 13, Boston Red Sox 0 Matt Garza carried a perfect...

By CJ Holley  |  May 1, 2009; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "What am I supposed to do? I can start changing lineups around and let my bench play. I can do that." -- Cubs Manager Lou Pinella on his team's ongoing struggles, to which more than one writer responded in verse "What bench?" Cardinals 9, Nationals...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 1, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

TO BE FAIR, THE IVY ON THE RIGHT IS REALLY "353" OR SO The ivy on the outfield walls may not be as pretty before it starts sprouting, but it does keep things interesting, as it did in a game last week against the Reds, when Alfonso Soriano lost...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 30, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Cubs  
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A Need for Restraint in Internet Era

Former Press-Enterprise Dodgers beat writer turned NL West blogger Diamond Leung brought up a burgeoning issue in baseball -- and all sports -- in a post on his blog yesterday. When asked about his general reluctance to be involved with the Dodgers' on-field photo day, budding L.A. star Andre Ethier...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 30, 2009; 1:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Dodgers  
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Reasons for Toronto Skepticism

Baseball Prospectus's Joel Sheehan has a talent for digging up numbers that expose teams that appear to be succeeding beyond anyone's wildest expectations. On Wednesday, he set his laser sights on the Toronto Blue Jays, and he has some pretty good reasons to doubt that the Jays' blazing start to...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 30, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Blue Jays  
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April Wrap-Up: The Best And Worst, So Far

Since we're all very interested in tracking our preseason predictions, at the end of each month here on Baseball Insider we will update the cumulative leaders for the major individual awards, as well as the best and worst teams in baseball as of that moment. Believe me, I'm not doing...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 30, 2009; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "The thing that he showed is that he's human. He gave up an earned run." -- Royals Manager Trey Hillman on staff ace Zack Greinke who saw his ERA balloon from 0.00 to 0.50 Wednesday while moving to 5-0 on the season. Kansas City Royals...

By CJ Holley  |  April 30, 2009; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "I'll be fast. Hitting? Gallardo. Pitching? Gallardo. Any questions?" -- Brewers manager Ken Macha on young ace Yovani Gallardo's supremo performance Nationals 4, Phillies 1 And to think, if Washington had held on to a monstrous lead in the first game of the series, they...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 30, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

NAME THAT MAJOR LEAGUER! One of these two men -- shown here at the Tribeca Film Fest premiere of "The Lost Son of Havana" -- spent time in the major leagues. The other is a cinematographer. Guess which one is which! And better yet, name the major leaguer. Here's...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 29, 2009; 6:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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Orioles' Uehara Takes a Hit and a Loss

The Angels get a short-series sweep of the Orioles with a 3-2 victory in a matinee game at Camden Yards. Once again, Baltimore's Koji Uehara pitched well but took a tough loss. Uehara went 6 1/3 innings and gave up three runs on seven hits with five strikeouts. Uehara was...

By CJ Holley  |  April 29, 2009; 3:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Angels , Orioles  
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Yankees Finally Cut Ticket Prices

Under fire for their free spending offseason and exorbinant ticket prices at the new Yankee Stadium, the Yankees finally caved to public pressure yesterday and announced some ticket price reductions. That's the good news for those hoping to take in a game at the new hardball palace in the Bronx...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 29, 2009; 2:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Yankees  
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An Official End of the Freddy Garcia Experiment

When the Mets signed Freddy Garcia to a non-guaranteed deal worth multiple millions this offseason (he could have earned as much as $9 million if he'd hit all the incentives in the conditional deal), it seemed like a steal. Who knew that the most important part of the agreement would...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 29, 2009; 11:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mets  
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The List: The Expos' Fading Legacy

When former Washington Nationals fan favorite Brad Wilkerson retired last week, it removed one more link from the chain that connects the Nationals to their Montreal past. Wilkerson's retirement (and the continued holdout of free agent Pedro Martinez) leaves only 31 active big leaguers who appeared in a game in...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 29, 2009; 9:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "It seems like every time we lose, it's a big one." -- White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen whose team has been outscored 27-4 in its last three losses. Game 1: Chicago White Sox 2, Seattle Mariners 1 Game 2: Seattle Mariners 9, Chicago White Sox...

By CJ Holley  |  April 29, 2009; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "I was hoping it would hit my head. I could not believe it didn't hit my head. I guess I lost too much weight." -- Atlanta's Matt Diaz, who avoided being hit by a pitch, then delivered a game-winning, bases loaded single in the eighth....

By Cameron Smith  |  April 29, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Talking Behind Their Back: Rangers

The Orioles dropped their second series of the season to fall to 9-11 on the season. What was most painful about the series was that all three losses to the Texas Rangers were by one run. As per usual, the top three hitters in the Orioles lineup did most of...

By CJ Holley  |  April 28, 2009; 4:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Angels , Orioles , Rangers  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

GET ... THE ... DIRT ... OUT!!! Sometimes a head first slide is dangerous to both players and laundry men. Case in point:Orlando Hudson, who wasn't just upset with having dirt up his sleeve, he was also upset he was thrown out at third. And to think, he was...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 28, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers  
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Eddie Gaedel Has Company

Legendary baseball owner and promoter Bill Veeck's most brash move -- besides putting his son, Mike, in charge of Disco Demolition night for the White Sox in 1969 -- was to bring in a midget, Eddie Gaedel, for an at-bat when he owned the St. Louis Browns. It was an...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 28, 2009; 12:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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San Fran Mayor Could've Been a Player

Gavin Newsome is one the nation's youngest, most ambitious and -- perhaps most notably -- most unabashedly liberal mayors. He's hoping that within a year, he may be one of the nation's most unabashedly liberal governors. Well, it turns out that at one point in time, he was a pretty...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 28, 2009; 10:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers , Rangers  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "It's frustrating, your ace goes eight great innings and you can't get a win for him -- again." -- Indians closer Kerry Wood after taking the loss in support of ace Cliff Lee. In his past two starts (a loss and a no-decision), Lee has...

By CJ Holley  |  April 28, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "There's something going on out there. I got to find out. It's only out there when we're out there. It's not out there when they're out there." -- Mets Manager Jerry Manuel on Citi Field's outfield, which continues to host errors, day-in, day-out. Phillies 13,...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 28, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

HEY! I KNOW YOU! Four years ago, these two were on the same team. Now, David Ortiz and Johnny Damon see each other 18 times a year, though never in the same room as Damon's infamous "adjusted" swing. Or so we hope. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 27, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox , Yankees  
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Can Pirates Keep Winning Despite Mounting Injuries?

In case you've missed it, the Pirates not only have a winning record, they're 11-7, the first time the team has had any significant buffer above the .500 mark since 2002. Sure, it's early, but the Pirates pitching is carrying the team. That may not be a foregone conclusion for...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 27, 2009; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Pirates  
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Three Up, Three Down

The Zimmermen(n): 3B Ryan has 15-game hitting streak, RHP Jordan is 2-0 since making ML debut. Oh, and Robert has highly anticipated album out tomorrow. Frank Robinson: Promoted to special assistant to Commissioner Selig. Job duties include playing golf, complaining about these young players today, being Frank Robinson. Majestic: Apparel...

By Dave Sheinin  |  April 27, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Why Won't Beltran Slide?

A funny thing happened during the Nationals' win on Sunday afternoon: They stoked a brooding controversy for their opponent. In the third inning, with the Mets down only by a manageable three runs, Beltran took off from first base with the team's most reliable hitter, David Wright, at the plate....

By Cameron Smith  |  April 27, 2009; 10:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Mets  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "The biggest thing is getting the courage to go." -- Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury on stealing home off of New York's Andy Pettitte. Boston Red Sox 4, New York Yankees 1 Boston's three-game sweep of New York closed out a perfect nine-game homestand for the Red...

By CJ Holley  |  April 27, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "I can't explain it; I have no idea - and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you," -- Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, on his career success against the Marlins, who he has never lost to at Marlins Stadium and is 12-1 against lifetime. Nationals...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 27, 2009; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "To have the stuff I had out there today and the offense that we had out there today, the bullpen should have never even been in that game." -- Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett on the unraveling of New York's 6-0 lead over Boston. Boston...

By CJ Holley  |  April 26, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "You can't walk people in front of Pujols. You might be able to do that in Modesto, but over here, I would suggest not. He hit that ball, I'll tell you." -- Cubs manager Lou Pinella, on the travails of putting men on base in...

By Cameron Smith  |  April 26, 2009; 7:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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