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Baseball Insider: June 21, 2009 - June 27, 2009

Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

If you've ever wondered what it looks like when Tim Wakefield grips one of his customary knuckleballs, feast your eyes on this piece of glory. Wakefield has really had his knuckleball fluttering this year, too, leaving hitters struggle to figure out what's coming their way, even though they know exactly what Wakefield is dealing.

By Cameron Smith  |  June 26, 2009; 4:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Red Sox  | Tags: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Red Sox, Tim Wakefield  
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Talking Behind Their Back: Marlins

The Baltimore Orioles hope to look more like the team that swept Philadelphia than the one that got swept in Florida as they host the Washington Nationals.

By CJ Holley  |  June 26, 2009; 3:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Marlins , Nationals , Orioles  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Florida Marlins, Talking Behind Their Back, washington nationals  
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A Little Off the Top Leads to a Lot at the Plate

Scuffling longhaired sluggers Magglio Ordonez and Vladimir Guerrero both unveiled new shorn looks this week and both have blasted home runs and show signs of pulling out of season-long slumps.

By CJ Holley  |  June 26, 2009; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Angels , Tigers  | Tags: detroit tigers, guerrero haircut, haircut, los angeles angels, magglio ordonez, ordonez haircut, vladimir guerrero  
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The Wrap: AL (Hosted Games)

AL-ish Quote of the Night "If I had hair like that, I'd still be single." -- Tigers Manager Jim Leyland on the once long locks of outfielder Magglio Ordonez Detroit Tigers 6, Chicago Cubs 5 Sporting a new 'do, Magglio Ordonez hit his first home run in 40 games as...

By CJ Holley  |  June 26, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL (Hosted Games)

NL-ish Quote of the Night "That's good for my psyche after wearing the goat horns last night with that error." -- Astros first baseman Lance Berkman who atoned for a costly ninth-inning error in Wednesday's loss by hitting two homers in Thursday's win Houston Astros 5, Kansas City Royals 4...

By CJ Holley  |  June 26, 2009; 7:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Seriously, how does Tim Lincecum get his leg that high without suffering a brutal inguinal injury? Not only is his body motion and follow-through mesmerizing, when captured in regular film it can almost seem to bend the laws of physics.

By Cameron Smith  |  June 25, 2009; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Giants  | Tags: Giants, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Tim Lincecum  
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Smoltz Enters the Superunknown

Boston Red Sox pitcher John Smoltz has never played in the American League before, has never played for Boston before and is looking to come back from major surgery for the second time in his career with his first start of the season tonight against the Washington Nationals.

By CJ Holley  |  June 25, 2009; 12:14 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Braves , Red Sox  | Tags: atlanta braves, boston red sox, john smoltz, tommy john surgery  
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The Wrap: AL (Hosted Games)

AL-ish Quote of the Night "Frankly, I'm embarrassed with the way I pitched. ... And when you're awful, you deserve to get your teeth kicked in. And that's what I got." -- Dodgers starting pitcher Randy Wolf, who seemed to be taking his Wednesday night loss pretty poorly Chicago White...

By CJ Holley  |  June 25, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL (Hosted Games)

NL-ish Quote of the Night "It was like a Little League play." "It was an annoying play all the way around." -- Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio and Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn, respectively, on a game deciding play that involved two Minnesota throwing errors Milwaukee Brewers 4, Minnesota Twins 3...

By CJ Holley  |  June 25, 2009; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

No, White Sox closer Bobby Jenks wasn't invoking religion to help him throw strikes, he was just giving thanks for an interleague win over the intra-city rival Cubs last week. Of course, his goatee may disagree. That thing clearly has an attitude all its own.

By Cameron Smith  |  June 24, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  White Sox  | Tags: Bobby Jenks, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, White Sox  
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The Pregame Meal of Champions

San Francisco starting pitcher and reigning NL Cy Young Award Winner Tim Lincecum adds himself to the list of athletes with questionable pregame meals by chowing down on a Choco Taco before mowing down 12 in a complete game victory over the Oakland Athletics.

By CJ Holley  |  June 24, 2009; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Giants  | Tags: Tim Lincecum, choco taco, cy young, oakland athletics, san francisco giants, wade boggs beer, wade boggs chicken  
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The Wrap: AL (Hosted Games)

AL-ish Quote of the Night "I didn't feel a thing. I was kind of numb. I've never done that before." -- Tigers outfielder Ryan Raburn on his pinch-hit walk-off home run Detroit Tigers 5, Chicago Cubs 4 Ryan Raburn hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning...

By CJ Holley  |  June 24, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL (Hosted Games)

NL-ish Quote of the Night "That was classic." -- Cardinals Manager Tony La Russa on Joel Pineiro's two-hit, complete game shutout that featured 22 groundouts St. Louis Cardinals 3, New York Mets 0 St. Louis's Joel Pineiro tossed a complete game shutout to lead the Cardinals past the Mets in...

By CJ Holley  |  June 24, 2009; 7:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Sometimes you trip across an image that looks so perfect it reminds you of why you love baseball. Meet White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson leaping to grab a deep fly into the Wrigley Field Ivy. How great is that ... unless you're a Cubs fan.

By Cameron Smith  |  June 23, 2009; 4:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cubs , White Sox  | Tags: Brian Anderson, Cubs, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, White Sox, Wrigley Field, ivy  
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Talking Behind Their Back: Phillies

Baltimore hopes to ride the momentum of five straight wins and its first road series sweep since May 2007 and improve upon their 9-3 interleague record as they begin a three-game series tonight in Miami to take on the Florida Marlins.

By CJ Holley  |  June 23, 2009; 3:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Marlins , Orioles , Phillies  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Florida Marlins, Talking Behind Their Back, philadelphia phillies  
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Manny Ramirez's Surreal Rehab Assignment

So let me get this straight. Manny Ramirez is set to make a rehab start as he comes back from suspension (not injury), before his suspension is fully up and will do so for a minor league team that's name is a direct reference to an episode of The Simpsons? Of course he is.

By CJ Holley  |  June 23, 2009; 11:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: PEDs, albuquerque isotopes, los angeles dodgers, manny ramirez, minor league baseball, performance enhancing drugs, steroids  
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The Wrap: AL & NL

Only four games on the slate so it's time for an AL-NL combo platter... Quote of the Night "What, am I supposed to hit everything out of the park?" -- Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols who leads the majors with 26 home runs but was held without a homer or...

By CJ Holley  |  June 23, 2009; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL , The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL, The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

At least that certainly seems the case, after last Wednesday's revelation that former Cubs turned Orioles slugger Sammy Sosa was outed for a positive test for performance enhancing drugs. Obviously, McGwire's never been officially outed (though his brother claims he used steroids with Big Mac) and his psuedo "pleading the fifth" in front of Congress is about as close to guilt by response without admitting guilt as one can get. That just makes shots like this one, from the duo's race to the individual home run record in 1999, all the more painful.

By Cameron Smith  |  June 22, 2009; 4:59 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cardinals , Cubs  | Tags: Cadinals, Cubs, Mark McGwire, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Sammy Sosa, steroids  
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MLBPA Leader Fehr Stepping Down

Donald Fehr is set to step down as the director of the Major League Baseball Players Association after 25 years on the job.

By CJ Holley  |  June 22, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Tags: 1994 strike, Donald Fehr, MLBPA, andy messersmith, dave mcnally, player's union  
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Red Sox to the Smithsonian

With the Boston Red Sox set to make their first trip to D.C. to face the Nationals this week, the Smithsonian seems to be ready to cash in. But is their temporary Red Sox display an example of brilliant marketing or simply a case of pandering to the crowd?

By CJ Holley  |  June 22, 2009; 3:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Nationals , Red Sox  | Tags: 2007 world series, boston red sox, colorado rockies, smithsonian, washington nationals, world series  
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Three Up, Three Down

Manny A.: Nats' skipper still employed despite media reports of his imminent firing. Even feels confident enough to cancel that U-Haul rental and unpack his suitcases. Manny R.: Dodgers' LF set to begin Triple-A stint to prepare for return from suspension. Per tradition, agrees to buy clubhouse spread, doses of...

By Dave Sheinin  |  June 22, 2009; 11:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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The Wrap: AL (Hosted Games)

With Cam channeling his inner Clark Griswold on a European vacation, we're going to roll out some truncated league wraps. Enjoy. AL-ish Quote of the Night "It's a miserable ending to a rough road trip." -- Diamondbacks Manager A.J. Hinch after an error cost the team a win in the...

By CJ Holley  |  June 22, 2009; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL (Hosted Games)

NL Quote of the Night "It wasn't an auspicious start for him." -- Giants Manager Bruce Bochy on pitcher Barry Zito whose no-hit bid began with consecutive walks in the first inning San Francisco Giants 3, Texas Rangers 2 Giants starter Barry Zito carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning...

By CJ Holley  |  June 22, 2009; 7:51 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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