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Baseball Insider: May 17, 2009 - May 23, 2009

The Wrap: Vacation Edition

Like many of you, Cam and I are both headed out of town for the weekend so you will just have to get your baseball fix without us. With both of us hitting the road, why not enjoy some classics scenes from road trip films. Hopefully this will take you...

By CJ Holley  |  May 23, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL , The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

DIP, GUM OR SUNFLOWER SEEDS? What's your guess? Here's a hint: It's not a bad message for kids. And he didn't drag it out while he was running the bases. Got it? Well, here's a last hint: It can get stuck to your teeth (Ok, so that could be...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 22, 2009; 4:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Astros  
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Talking Behind Their Back: Yankees

There's one stat that jumps out that really sums up this series and it comes courtesy of the Baltimore Sun's Jeff Zrebiec: "In the 27 innings played in the series against the New York Yankees, the Orioles trailed after all of them." That, my friends, is called domination. The only...

By CJ Holley  |  May 22, 2009; 3:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Nationals , Orioles , Yankees  
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What's Keeping Peavy From Chicago? Chicago

There's always a back story to every surprising decision, and the one that runs underneath San Diego ace Jake Peavy's rejection of a trade to the White Sox is even more unseemly than most. That's because part of the reason Peavy isn't headed to White Sox is because he thought...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 22, 2009; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Padres , White Sox  
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Zimmerman vs. Markakis, Straight Up (Poll Added)

Tonight at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles renew their rivalry. Feel that buzz starting to build around the region? Me neither. It's hard to get too juiced about two last-place teams that are a combined 25 games below .500, and that have had neither the time nor...

By Dave Sheinin  |  May 22, 2009; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Nationals , Orioles  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I always think positive. Colon will be real fresh for his next start." "I hope Peavy didn't watch the scoreboard today. He might say no." -- A fine double play from White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen after his team got obliterated by 19 runs. Minnesota...

By CJ Holley  |  May 22, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "Micah didn't have his best stuff, and you knew he wasn't going very long because he pitched six innings the other day." -- Cincinnati Manager Dusty Baker on starter Micah Owings' rough 5 2/3 innings against the Phillies. Nationals 5, Pirates 4 Finally, a win....

By Cameron Smith  |  May 22, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

PUDGE GOES JOHNNY DRAMA! Hey, even an aging former superstar deserves a chance to celebrate Entourage style once in awhile. In this case, Senor Rodriguez earned the kudos for his 300th career home run, hitting the mark in a pretty sweet place: Wrigley Field. No word on how many...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 21, 2009; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Astros  
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The Astros Out That Wasn't an Out

Sometimes, an odd play is the big story itself. That's never been more true than Wednesday night in Houston, where Astros Manager Cecil Cooper was at fault for an out by Kazuo Matsui ... despite Matsui never even stepping into the batter's box. After habitually using Matsui, Houston's second baseman,...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 21, 2009; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Astros  
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A Good Signing for a Great Job

If you'd said the Rays would make it to the World Series under the guidance of Tampa Bay Manager Joe Maddon when he was first hired four years ago, anyone would have called you crazy. Anyone. The team was coming off a yet another dismal season while led by an...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 21, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rays  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I tried it all. I was about to hit right-handed" -- Left-handed Red Sox DH David Ortiz after finally hitting his first home run of the season. Boston Red Sox 8, Toronto Blue Jays 3 David Ortiz hit his first home run of the season...

By CJ Holley  |  May 21, 2009; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "His world was just rocked. He and his kids, his family, his extended family, his in-laws, everybody's lives are changed forever. He took it as expected, very hard." -- Diamondbacks manager A.J. Hinch on reliever Scott Schoenweis, whose wife was found dead on Wednesday. Pirates...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 21, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

READ THE TIMS Tampa Bay outfielder Carl Crawford is athletic, so much so that he can completely blot out a pretty significant letter in a local newspaper's marketing plan. Though somehow we figure the St. Petersburg Times won't mind too much. (Reinhold Matay/AP)...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 20, 2009; 5:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rays  
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The Rangers Could Really Be a Contender

Believe it or not, the AL West could actually be a race this year. Finally. With the litany of injury problems in Anaheim's rotation, and the ever present threat of an injury to any one of the team's aging outfield sluggers, the Angels really are susceptible to a strong run...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 20, 2009; 3:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Rangers  
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Boswell: It's Safe To Watch The World Series Again

Henceforth, every World Series and ALCS game on a weeknight will begin at 7:57 p.m. -- or about 35 minutes earlier than in recent times. Let's have three cheers and a couple of "Hurrahs!" for MLB and Fox. And let's hope MLB and TBS work out a similar plan for...

By Thomas Boswell  |  May 20, 2009; 10:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
 
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The List: Weak Links

Over at Nationals Journal, we've been marveling at how thoroughly the Nationals' exceptional offense has been undermined by an historically bad bullpen. But sometimes even contending teams are submarined by one particular weakness. Here are five examples from this season: 5. The Giants' offense: The 50-game suspension of Dodgers slugger...

By Dave Sheinin  |  May 20, 2009; 8:36 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "He was tremendous. Hopefully we can build on that." -- Tigers Manager Jim Leyland, taking a page out of Herm Edwards's book of motivation (WE CAN BUILD ON THIS!) in discussing starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis. Detroit Tigers 4, Texas Rangers 0 Dontrelle Willis got his...

By CJ Holley  |  May 20, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "It was a masterpiece against a club that's been as hot as anybody." -- Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa on Joel Pineiro's stunning complete-game, three-hitter against the Cubs on Tuesday night. Pirates 8, Nationals 5 OK, let's play good news bad news. Good news: The...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 20, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

COMING SOON TO A DESERT NEAR YOU Somehow, we thought the Padres had dropped the desert camp uniforms, but we were clearly wrong, as Kevin Kouzmanoff proves here. Sure, they're a nice homage to San Diego's rich military history and connection with nearby military bases, but do they have...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 19, 2009; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Padres  
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Talking Behind Their Back: Royals

The Orioles settled for a predictable split of a four-game weekend series in Kansas City. I say predictable because, unlike most things in sports, this series followed a logical script. Gil Meche started Game 1 for the Royals. He had allowed four earned runs or more in three of his...

By CJ Holley  |  May 19, 2009; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles , Royals , Yankees  
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The Ethics of Pitch Counts

Few things get baseball pundits more fired up than a good debate about pitch counts. Some argue against the mere concept of a pitch limit. Others vociferously advocate for a stricter limit for players in their first 3-5 seasons. While there's no consensus on a rule or course of action...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 19, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
 
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "We're losing games in different ways all the time, late in the game, early in the game, by a lot of runs, by a few runs. There's so many different ways to lose, you can't describe each of them." -- White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen...

By CJ Holley  |  May 19, 2009; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "If I have to keep a Double-A guy out there because I don't want to go to my big league bullpen, then that's really scary." -- Nationals Manager Manny Acta on trying to get an extra inning out of rookie starter Ross Detwiler, rather than...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 19, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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Red Sox Living Off Depth, Versatility

How good are the Red Sox? It's a legitimate question, though not for the sentiment that maybe they aren't that good. We know that Boston is a strong team. It hits, it plays solid defense (even if the early fielding and range percentages seem to be down a touch from...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 18, 2009; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

NEW ROLE: TEAM PHOTOGRAPHER It's a possibility. After sitting on the bench against Seattle for a "mental health weekend", David Ortiz is still without a homer this year. If he's still without a homer by mid-July, he'll probably be using this camera -- which he stole from a photographer...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 18, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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Fallout From a Ryan Theriot Column

As of last Thursday, the realms of sublime and real finally merged in baseball. We didn't know it beforehand, but the article that brought those two worlds together would appear in the Chicago Tribune, and it would accuse a light hitting shortstop of using steroids. More amazingly, the article in...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 18, 2009; 2:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cubs  
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Matt Wieters Is a Golden (Bobblehead) God

No, this is not an addition to the Wieters Facts site. Nor is it to say Matt Wieters is planning to jump off of a roof and into a pool while rocking a sweet mustache. No, as it turns out, somewhere in Prince George's County there is hidden a golden...

By CJ Holley  |  May 18, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Orioles  
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Three Up, Three Down

Bowden on Twitter: Ex-Nats GM joins popular networking site, riffing on Lakers, celebrity gazing, etc. Future posts to discuss proper leather pants care, how to discern ages of Dominican prospects. Detwiler: Nats call up 2007 top draft pick from Class AA for spot start. He stuns team execs by asking...

By Dave Sheinin  |  May 18, 2009; 10:08 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "There's probably a few more gray hairs on my head after these last three, but they have things that take care of that." -- Yankees Manager Joe Girardi who is probably more than willing to sacrifice his vanity for the sake of winning, even if...

By CJ Holley  |  May 18, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Day: "I had fun today. I felt good the whole game." -- Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, illuminating the obvious feeling of a pitcher who carries a no-hitter into the eighth inning. Phillies 8, Nationals 6 Want to know how it feels to lose in the most...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 18, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "For me, I gave you guys something to talk about and write about in the 11th inning and I didn't have to open my mouth." -- Yankees third baseman and media lightning rod Alex Rodriguez New York Yankees 6, Minnesota Twins 4 (11) Alex Rodriguez...

By CJ Holley  |  May 17, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "Today he had to give up nothing for us to win, and that's what he did." -- Brewers Manager Ken Macha on Jeff Suppan's shutout performance Phillies 8, Nationals 5 Nats bad news No. 1: The Phillies jumped out to a lead and cruised to...

By Cameron Smith  |  May 17, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  
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