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Baseball Insider: July 19, 2009 - July 25, 2009

Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Something about Bronson Arroyo's exaggerated leg kick is almost beyond comical, both because of it's height and the fact that he's kind of a funny looking guy in the first place. What's more touching is the fact that it works. Really, how can this delivery work? How? And how does he avoid injury?

By Cameron Smith  |  July 24, 2009; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Reds  | Tags: Bronson Arroyo, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Reds  
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The Real Reason Toronto's Trading Halladay

What changed the thinking of Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi's thinking so drastically? Why would the team openly shop its best asset just months after pledging that he'd be a big part of its future? The answer has everything to do with money and what Halladay plans to do after the 2010 season.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 24, 2009; 2:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Blue Jays  | Tags: Blue Jays, Roy Halladay, roy halladay, trade  
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Mark Buehrle's Favorite Umpire

In a true statistical oddity, the home plate umpire during Buehrle's perfect game yesterday, Eric Cooper, happens to be the same ump who worked Buehrle's first no-hitter, against the Rangers in 2007.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 24, 2009; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  White Sox  | Tags: Mark Buehrle, White Sox, no hitter, no-hitter, perfect game  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I bought everyone watches after the last one. That was an expensive no-hitter. This one will probably be more expensive." -- White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle who threw the majors' first perfect game in five years Chicago White Sox 5, Tampa Bay Rays 0 116...

By CJ Holley  |  July 24, 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: "Just think what happens if they get going. We can really be a good team." -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel on his team's prospects if Cole Hamels and Brad Lidge perform to their 2008 standards. Cardinals 4, Nationals 1 Raise your hand if you feel...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 24, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Buehrle Throws Perfect Game

A no-hitter wasn't enough for White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle. This time he threw a perfect game. Burhle retired all 27 Tampa Bay Rays batters he faced on Thursday, finishing with the first perfect game in the major leagues in five years. He struck out six, got a bunch of ground ball outs and finished with a flourish, thanks to one of the best, home-run saving grabs you'll ever see, courtesy of DeWayne Wise.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 23, 2009; 4:53 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Rays , White Sox  | Tags: Mark Buehrle, Rays, White Sox, no hitter, no-hitter, perfect game  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

See, who decided to throw a party in the Kauffman Stadium bleachers at the exact moment that the Angels scored the game-winning run on Wednesday night? Of course people look down. And for that matter, given the recent history of the Royals, isn't there a chance this exact scene will unfold every night in front of that billboard? Is it really a good idea to have a huge billboard that says "PARTY" against the Kansas City bleachers? Maybe the fans need to be reminded ...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 23, 2009; 4:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Royals  | Tags: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Royals, fans  
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Are the Marlins Delaying Maybin to Save Money?

The Marlins have been keeping superstar prospect Cameron Maybin in AAA, despite his continued impressive results. The real question emerging is whether he's sitting there so Florida can save money, or whether he still needs to prove he belongs in the major leagues.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 23, 2009; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Marlins  | Tags: Cameron Maybin, Marlins, prospects  
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Past Tomfoolery May Affect Halladay Deal

Toronto Blue Jays General Manager J.P. Ricciardi is hoping that a trade of ace Roy Halladay will yield a haul similar to the five-for-one deal the Orioles received from the Mariners for Erik Bedard. Halladay is certainly a better pitcher, but should a dumb deal be the baseline for negotiations?

By CJ Holley  |  July 23, 2009; 12:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Blue Jays , Mariners , Orioles  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Roy Halladay, Seattle Mariners, j.p. ricciardi, toronto blue jays, trade  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "We just got murdered. It wasn't much fun. Matter of fact, it was no fun. There was not really any fun." -- Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire accessing the thrashing his team took Wednesday Oakland Athletics 16, Minnesota Twins 1 Minnesota took a 1-0 lead in...

By CJ Holley  |  July 23, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "It's big. We knew this week was big coming up for us. We know we've got the Dodgers coming up. We had to take at least two of three from here. It's a plus we took all of them." -- Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco, on...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 23, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Red Sox Land Adam LaRoche

The Red Sox, in the midst of a miniature free fall that has dropped the team from its AL East perch, added depth to their corner infield situation and a solid right-handed bat, acquiring first baseman Adam LaRoche from the Pirates for two lower-tier minor league prospects.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 22, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Pirates , Red Sox  | Tags: Adam LaRoche, Pirates, Red Sox, Theo Epstein, trade  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Detroit starter Edwin Jackson has had a breakout season, but he was the one getting beaten around against the Yankees this weekend. This homer off the bat of first baseman Mark Teixeira was just one blow New York landed in a three-game sweep, though it was almost surely the one felt most harshly by Jackson himself.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 22, 2009; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tigers  | Tags: Edwin Jackson, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Tigers  
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Should the Padres Trade Gonzalez?

The Padres do have incredibly attractive chip they could deal, despite Jake Peavy's injury: Slugging first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. The question is whether it makes sense for the team to deal him in the first place.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 22, 2009; 2:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Padres  | Tags: Adrian Gonzalez, MLB, Padres, trade  
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Incontrovertible Proof, But at What Cost?

According to the New York Times, one of the steps toward enforcing accurate age verification among Dominican prospects is using DNA tests to authenticate identity, a practice usually more welcome at crime scenes. It's a pretty drastic step, though MLB stressed to the Times that it was only being used in extreme cases, when the league seemed to have identified an open discrepancy.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 22, 2009; 12:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Tags: Dominican Republic, MLB, prospects  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "For whatever reason we've had bad luck when I've pitched but I feel like I've been doing the job." -- Indians pitcher Cliff Lee who threw his second straight complete game and third of the season but is just 6-9 on the year Cleveland Indians...

By CJ Holley  |  July 22, 2009; 7:57 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "I'm sure the guys were trying to score eight or 10. That's just the way baseball is. You've got to take the runs when you can get them and just go out there and try to put zeros on the board. The defense made some...

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

Rafael Furcal is about as athletic a shortstop as you'll come across, but even he couldn't pull off this tag on Houston's Michael Bourn, who escaped at second base. Now, if he was just a little bit taller ...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 21, 2009; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Astros , Dodgers  | Tags: Astros, Dodgers, Michael Bourn, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Rafael Furcal  
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Matt Kemp Runs the Dodgers

Batting seventh in the lineup in front of only catcher Brad Ausmus, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp somehow scored all four of his team's runs, a total which was still more than the Astros scored in response.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 21, 2009; 2:31 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Dodgers, Matt Kemp, statistics  
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Manny or Mantle? Your Call

Last night, Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez passed Yankees legend Mickey Mantle on the all-time home run list, becoming No. 15 all-time in the process. Ramirez's 537th career homer came in the bottom of the second off Reds starter Micah Owings, a detail that's strangely fitting, considering the fact that Owings hits more homers himself than any other active pitcher. It also raises an interesting debate: If you had to pick between Mantle and Ramirez, who would you take?

By Cameron Smith  |  July 21, 2009; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (11)
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Dodgers, Mickey Mantle, Yankees, manny ramirez  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "There's no sense in turning around. Game over." -- Orioles reliever Jim Johnson explaining his reaction (or lack thereof) after giving up a walk-off home run against the Yankees New York Yankees 2, Baltimore Orioles 1 Hideki Matsui hit a walk-off two-run homer to lift...

By CJ Holley  |  July 21, 2009; 7:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "It was a lot of fun. It took a while to get my release point going, but once I got in the groove a little bit, everything came together." -- Atlanta rookie pitcher Tommy Hanson, who remained unbeaten with a rout of the Giants. Mets...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 21, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

This reaction tells all you need to know about the severity of the injury young Mets starter Fernando Nieve suffered during Sunday night's loss to the Braves. Unfortunately for the Mets and their fans, it also is an achingly accurate sentiment of what the team feels about reaching it's pre-season goals, and what fans feel about the team their ticket money is fielding.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 20, 2009; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mets  | Tags: Fernando Nieve, Mets, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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Twins Sign Grudzielanek In a Steal

On Sunday, the Twins added Mark Grudzielanek, recently of the Royals, without sacrificing anything. He hasn't played yet this year, and hasn't even suited up for nearly 12 months, for that matter. Still, Grudzielanek represents a low-cost, potential high-reward solution for Minnesota where the Twins won't have to trade away any integral parts of their far system to solve an infield problem.

By Cameron Smith  |  July 20, 2009; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Royals , Twins  | Tags: Mark Grudzielanek, Royals, Twins, free agency  
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O's Trade Salazar for Meredith

The Orioles made the first of what could be multiple trades by shipping off infielder Oscar Salazar to the San Diego Padres for reliever Cla Meredith.

By CJ Holley  |  July 20, 2009; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Orioles , Padres  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, cla meredith, oscar salazar, san diego padres  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "Where do we go from here? We have to sit down and make some decisions. We talked about that today. We feel like we still can get some things done. ... We'll have to see what's available." -- Mets Manager Jerry Manuel, after his team's...

By Cameron Smith  |  July 20, 2009; 8:10 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 should have traded him the other day, and to a National League team." -- Red Sox Manager Terry Francona joking about the trade rumors surrounding Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay Toronto Blue Jays 3, Boston Red Sox 1 Roy Halladay did not disappoint in...

By CJ Holley  |  July 20, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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