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

Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

THIS CATCH = MVP Sometimes a single play gets branded with an entire event. Case in point: Carl Crawford saves the American League's 13-game All-Star unbeaten streak. In fairness, that catch was probably worth the MVP. Who else could you have given it to? Curtis Granderson, for his triple...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 17, 2009; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Rays  | Tags: Carl Crawford, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Rays  
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The Yankees Have Dominican Issues, Too

Well, for all the abuse the Nationals have been taking lately, it's good to know that in at least one of the departments of dysfunction they suddenly have good company. It turns out the latest team to be victimized by a fraudulent Dominican identity is the Yankees, who were given the run-around by a shortstop prospect signed about a month ago.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 17, 2009; 2:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Yankees  | Tags: Dominican Republic, Yankees, prospects  
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Orioles Midseason Review and Preview

The Orioles enter the second half of the year in a familiar position: under .500 and lagging far behind in the AL East. There are, however, several of bright spots on the horizon in Baltimore, despite being headed for a 12th straight losing season.

By CJ Holley  |  July 17, 2009; 12:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Orioles  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "He's been automatic, every time out. He should have been an All-Star. I can't believe he didn't make it." -- Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on closer Rafael Soriano, who saved another Atlanta win on Thursday. Cubs 6, Nationals 2 So much for the new...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 17, 2009; 8:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "They play baseball. They don't play gorilla ball." -- Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden somehow describing the Angels' brand of baseball. Maybe. I think? Not sure what gorilla ball refers to, but training for it might look something like this. Los Angeles Angels 6, Oakland Athletics...

By CJ Holley  |  July 17, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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Piniella Visits Oval Office; Obama Still White Sox Fan

Chicago Cubs Manager Lou Piniella ventured into enemy territory Thursday, leading a group of eight family members on a visit to the home of a diehard White Sox supporter -- President Obama. The White House apparently is a house divided, with Obama -- who famously wore a White Sox jacket...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 16, 2009; 7:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

I'M BAAAAAACK Well, this shot looks a bit strange, doesn't it? Seeing Pedro Martinez wear anything but a blue hat (Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, Mets) just feels a little bit dirty. Yes, I realize that the Mets also had black hats when he was there, but you get the...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 16, 2009; 5:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Phillies  | Tags: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Pedro Martinez, Phillies  
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Will the Indignities Never End For Nats?

Yikes. Less than 24 hours after being dissed by the president in front of 33.6 million viewers, politically astute D.C. baseball fans (is there any other kind?) had to endure this exchange between Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor during the latter's nomination hearing: Cardin: "You...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 16, 2009; 12:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
 
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Win or Go Home for Minaya

With the payroll and expectations of the Mets come pressure, and it's beginning to look more and more like Minaya won't survive another season without the playoffs under those conditions.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 16, 2009; 12:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mets  | Tags: Mets, Omar Minaya, general managers, playoffs  
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Derek Jeter is Recession Proof

What does you do if you're one of the truly transcendent baseball players of our time? If you're Derek Jeter, you build the biggest house in Tampa Bay.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 16, 2009; 10:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Yankees  | Tags: Derek Jeter, Yankees, millionaires  
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"Guys Have Always Been Cheating. Period."

The dramatic quote in the headline was proffered up by none other than Bob Gibson before yesterday's All-Star Game during an interview with ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 15, 2009; 4:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Cardinals  | Tags: Bob Gibson, Cardinals, Hall of Fame, media, steroids  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

CAPTURED BY THE WALL St. Louis outfielder Colby Rasmus is young, athletic and filled with all the talent that one could possibly need to break free from entanglements from vegetation. Breaking free from the Wrigley Field wall, on the other hand, is an entirely different proposition, as proven by...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 15, 2009; 2:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cardinals , Cubs  | Tags: Cardinals, Colby Rasmus, Cubs, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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Phillies Sign Pedro Martinez

Pedro Martinez is back in baseball, rescued from what we can only assume was a personal paradise under a mango tree in the Dominican Republic by the Phillies, who are enlisting him for their second half charge toward a third straight NL East pennant.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 15, 2009; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Phillies  | Tags: Pedro Martinez, Phillies  
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Selig: The "Manny Rule" Needs To Be Changed

Greetings from the press box at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, where the security lines for the magnetometers outside the stadium are long, owing to the presence tonight of President Barack Obama to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. As my bag was searched, I broke out my standard bag-check...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 14, 2009; 4:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

MISMATCH? That depends on how you look at it. Sure, by accepted standards of physical stature, tonight's starting pitching match up between Toronto's Roy Halladay, left, and San Francisco's Tim Lincecum, right, would be one-sided. But add in Lincecum's incredible movement and fastball and size suddenly becomes less important....

By Cameron Smith  |  July 14, 2009; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Blue Jays , Giants  | Tags: Blue Jays, Giants, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum  
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Why Ryan Could be Key for Cubs

It's likely that a handful of clubs will consider putting a claim on former Toronto closer B.J. Ryan, but few make more sense than the Cubs, who could use flexibility from Ryan taking a spot in the bullpen to set up their beleaguered rotation.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 14, 2009; 2:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cubs  | Tags: B.J. Ryan, Blue Jays, Cubs, waiver wire  
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What's a Great, Two-Way Prospect to Do?

By all accounts, Red Sox minor leaguer Casey Kelly is a terrific pitching prospect. Across the first half of the 2009 season, Kelly put up a 2.08 ERA in 95 innings (in Class A), earning a spot in the U.S. vs. the World Futures Game. And what did he do in the minor league all-star fiesta? He threw a scoreless inning, of course. All of that should make Kelly a top pitching prospect, and in a way it does. Yet he doesn't even truly see himself that way. That's because Kelly is also a shortstop, a position the former 2008 first round pick views as his true calling.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 14, 2009; 12:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  | Tags: Casey Kelly, Red Sox, minor league baseball, prospects  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

LEAPFROG!! No, this wasn't second grade, but Cubs second baseman Jeff Baker did get forced into a classic move from the elementary school playground during this force out of St. Louis's Colby Rasmus. Whatever it takes to get a key out in a rivalry game, that's what you do...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 13, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Cardinals , Cubs  | Tags: Cardinals, Colby Rasmus, Cubs, Jeff Baker, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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Lincecum, Halladay Get the Start, but Should They?

Obviously San Francisco's Tim Lincecum and Toronto's Roy Halladay are fine choices to start this year's All-Star Game, but are they the best pitchers for the job?

By CJ Holley  |  July 13, 2009; 2:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Blue Jays , Diamondbacks , Giants , Red Sox , Rockies , Royals  | Tags: All-Star Game, Tim Lincecum, Tim Wakefield, arizona diamondbacks, boston red sox, colorado rockies, jason marquis, josh beckett, kansas city royals, roy halladay, toronto blue jays, zack greinke  
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For $2.4 Billion, Marlins Better Draw Fans

The long and arduous struggle for the Florida Marlins to acquire attractive land and reasonable financing for a new stadium was finally "solved" earlier this year, when the team announced plans to build a brand new park in Miami-Dade County.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 13, 2009; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Marlins  | Tags: Marlins, Miami, stadiums  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "It's pretty memorable and the way I did it is cool." -- Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett on picking up his 100th win via a complete game shutout Boston Red Sox 6, Kansas City Royals 0 Josh Beckett picked up his 100th career victory in...

By CJ Holley  |  July 13, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "He swings a big bat. He can hit. It's no surprise. I think everybody knows if they throw one way where he is swinging he is going to hurt you." -- Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot on Chicago pitcher Carlos Zambrano, who hit his third homer...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 13, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Rain Delay At Futures Game

I ducked into Busch Stadium a few minutes ago just in time to see about four batters in the top of the first inning of the Futures Game -- enough to note that Chris Tillman, the Orioles' stud pitching prospect who was starting for the U.S. team, looked to be...

By Dave Sheinin  |  July 12, 2009; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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