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Baseball Insider: August 9, 2009 - August 15, 2009

Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

It's not that Clay Buchholz had a bad day during Boston's loss yesterday afternoon. Rather, he was better than he has been in nearly any of his starts since ascending back to the major leagues. It's just that he still wasn't good enough to win at home, with Justin Verlander outdueling him by shutting out the Red Sox. It wasn't really a fair result for Buchholz's performance, but it left his MLB career trending a lot like the ball in his glove: trending down thanks to inertia.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 14, 2009; 5:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Red Sox  | Tags: Clay Buchholz, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Red Sox  
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The Counfounding Contract of Magglio Ordonez

Detroit outfielder Magglio Ordonez's contract has a massive, $18 million team option that will vest if he reaches a certain number of plate appearances this year. Despite a long slump that stretched across a significant portion of the season, Ordonez is within only 81 plate appearances to make that vesting option kick in, a move that would kill any payroll flexibility Detroit may have hoped for.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 14, 2009; 4:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Tigers  | Tags: Magglio Ordonez, Tigers, contracts, free agency, magglio ordonez  
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Bronson Arroyo's Supplements

According to USA Today, Arroyo is the rare (possibly only), player who openly flaunts MLB's supplement program. The pitcher will take anything and everything he thinks can help his performance, regardless if that means he's running the risk of a positive test under the league's banned substances agreement.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 14, 2009; 2:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Reds  | Tags: Bronson Arroyo, Reds, performance enhancing drugs, steroids, supplements  
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Orioles Review and Preview: Athletics and Angels

After losing two of three at home against Oakland it certainly looks like the Orioles have stumbled their way into another patented late-summer freefall, something a visit from the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels likely won't cure.

By CJ Holley  |  August 14, 2009; 12:01 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Angels , Athletics , Orioles  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, los angeles angels, oakland a's, oakland athletics  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "That's a horse." -- Tigers Manager Jim Leyland confusing barnyard animals with the ace of his staff, Justin Verlander Detroit Tigers 2, Boston Red Sox 0 Justin Verlander struck out eight over eight scoreless innings to help Detroit avoid being swept in Boston. Red Sox...

By CJ Holley  |  August 14, 2009; 7:56 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: "You never know how many runs you'll need." -- Brewers Manager Ken Macha, after his team nearly surrendered a nine-run lead in a 12-9 win over the Padres on Thursday afternoon. Reds 7, Nationals 0 Well, now we know what the deal with the Nats...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 14, 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

When it comes to dubbing a player Captain America, Tigers short stop Ramon Santiago might not be the first guy who comes to mind. Well, this photo, taken during warmups before this afternoon's Detroit game in Boston, seems to make a stirring case, doesn't it?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 13, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox , Tigers  | Tags: Fenway Park, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Ramon Santiago, Red Sox, Tigers  
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Why Press Conferences Need A Skeptical Ear

After the Tigers fell to the Red Sox and Boston ace Josh Beckett on Wednesday night, Detroit Manager Jim Leyland openly criticized his team's lack of aggression against Beckett's first offering of each at bat. It's a criticism that would make sense for a team going against Beckett, who has a strong first pitch-strike ratio, but it seems a bit out of character for Wednesday's performance by the Tigers.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 13, 2009; 3:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox , Tigers  | Tags: Josh Beckett, Red Sox, Tigers, josh beckett  
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Fans Behaving Badly: Beer Tosser Went Too Far

Just in case you haven't seen it yet, during last night's Phillies win over the Cubs, a Chicago fan tossed a beer directly on to Philadelphia center fielder Shane Victorino while he was trying to bring in a deep pop up.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 13, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Cubs , Phillies  | Tags: Cubs, Phillies, Wrigley Field, fans  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "It's just destiny when he's up." -- Mariners reliever Chris Jakubauskas on teammate Ken Griffey Jr. who drove in the game winning (and only) run in the 14th inning Seattle Mariners 1, Chicago White Sox 0 (14) The longest scoreless game in Seattle history came...

By CJ Holley  |  August 13, 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: "I was watching the game here, there, everywhere. I got a good workout today. It was an intense game, an important game and a lot happened. ... I was worried about running out of managers today." -- San Francisco Manager Bruce Bochy, on what he...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 13, 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

Of all the guys who leave you wondering whether they're mad or excitedly celebrating a big hit during midscream, few are more inscrutable than Milton Bradley. Think about it: How can you tell if he's just raging, furious mad or excited about a big hit? He screams about everything regardless! So, is Mr. Board Games happy in this shot, or really upset at an umpire's call? What do you think?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 12, 2009; 4:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Cubs  | Tags: Cubs, Milton Bradley, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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Without MLB, Pima County Looks to Japan

Long a host of a major league spring training site, Pima County will be abandoned of spring baseball come February 2011. The home district of Tuscon, Arizona's state capital and second largest city, has hosted both the Diamondbacks and Rockies in recent years. The White Sox had been in Tuscon even longer than baseball's most recent additions, yet they will be gone starting next spring. And after 2010, Pima County will host no one, with the Rockies and Diamondbacks relocating to newer training facilities outside the area. So who's going to fill the void? If the area's Sports and Tourism Authority has anything to say about it, some teams from Japan will.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 12, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diamondbacks , Rockies , White Sox  | Tags: Diamondbacks, Japan, Rockies, Spring Training, White Sox  
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Phillies Take Unnecessary Risk in Moyer/Martinez Move

The Phillies decision to move Pedro Martinez into the starting rotation can only be viewed as a bad, risky move since A) Jamie Moyer already has 10 wins and B) we won't really know whether or not Martinez is anywhere near his best form until it may be too late.

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 12, 2009; 1:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Phillies  | Tags: Jamie Moyer, Pedro Martinez, Phillies  
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Vladimir Guerrero vs. the Strike Zone

Vladimir Guerrero is truly a prodigious hitter and he's also known as one of the best bad-pitch hitters around, so what would happen if Guerrero adhered to a stricter strike zone?

By CJ Holley  |  August 12, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Angels  | Tags: home runs, los angeles angels, vladimir guerrero  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Video of the Night Boston Red Sox 7, Detroit Tigers 5 For the second straight night, a pitch hit Boston's Kevin Youkilis and this time he took exception to it. Youkilis (6'1" 210 lbs.) charged the mound after being plunked by Detroit rookie Rick Porcello (6'5" 200 lbs.) and...

By CJ Holley  |  August 12, 2009; 7:59 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: "This is the inning. I feel it. I usually don't say stuff like that." -- Florida's Cody Ross to Dan Uggla -- who delivered a game-winning RBI -- before the bottom of the 11th inning during the Marlins' victory over Houston on Tuesday. Braves 8,...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 12, 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

No, Matt Kemp isn't the world's best defensive outfielder, but he does cast a particularly artistic shadow in the right light. Case in point: This Sunday grab at home against the Braves, when Kemp's physical indentation in the wall dovetailed nicely with the shadow cast by his body in the afternoon sunlight. And get any of those filthy thoughts out of your head. This is about impressionistic physical artwork, nothing more. Sheesh.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 11, 2009; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Dodgers, Matt Kemp, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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One Very Expensive Free Pick Up

On Monday, the White Sox picked up Alex Rios, a two-time All-Star with the youth to overcome a couple sub par seasons and still grow into the player the Blue Jays thought he would become when they gave him a $70 million contract. But is it really a smart deal for Chicago's future to assume so much salary on another outfielder?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 11, 2009; 12:57 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Blue Jays , White Sox  | Tags: Alex Rios, Blue Jays, White Sox, waiver wire  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "He's made a career out of hitting pitchers' pitches and balls off the plate and he does damage with them. I've never faced a guy that covers as much of an area that he does." -- Rays reliever Russ Springer, on Vladimir Guerrero after giving...

By CJ Holley  |  August 11, 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 just tried to go after them, be aggressive, throw strikes. Obviously, I lost some command but I just got tired and just lost the ability to regroup." -- Reds reliever Kip Wells, on his disastrous start after he entered in relief of suddenly injured...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 11, 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

If there was any doubt that Mark Teixeira's blast was going to clear the wall, he pretty much cleared it up when he practically shot his bat into the third row while heading to first base. Did this moment in the eighth inning -- combined with Boston's failed pursuit for the slugger in the offseason -- make Teixeira a new enemy No. 1 in Boston?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 10, 2009; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Yankees  | Tags: Mark Teixeira, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Red Sox, Yankees  
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A Very Long Distance Ejection

Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino was tossed after he threw his hands up in disgust in center after a pitch from Phillies reliever Rodrigo Lopez. And once he was tossed, Victorino made sure he was going to get the most of his ejection, sprinting in to home plate from center field to argue with umpire Ed Rapuano.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 10, 2009; 1:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Phillies  | Tags: Marlins, Phillies, Shane Victorino, ejection, shane victorino, umpire  
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The AL East Race: Is It Over?

When we parachuted into Yankee Stadium on Thursday night to check the pulse of the storied Yankees-Red Sox rivalry, all the talk was of Boston's 8-0 advantage in the season series, which had some folks questioning whether the Yankees, despite the 2 1/2-game advantage they held in the division entering...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 10, 2009; 8:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Red Sox , Yankees  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "Listen, the Red Sox had our number, but we changed cell-phone providers." -- Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher after New York wrapped up a four-game sweep of the Red Sox New York Yankees 5, Boston Red Sox 2 Boston was finally able to score a couple...

By CJ Holley  |  August 10, 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: "I think that was too much Santana." -- Padres Manager Bud Black on his team's 5-1 loss to the Mets ... who got sterling starting pitching from starter Johan Santana. Nationals 9, Diamondbacks 2 Anyone else starting to wonder whether the Nationals could have been...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 10, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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A Very Long Distance Ejection

Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino was tossed after he threw his hands up in disgust in center after a pitch from Phillies reliever Rodrigo Lopez. And once he was tossed, Victorino made sure he was going to get the most of his ejection, sprinting in to home plate from center field to argue with umpire Ed Rapuano.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 10, 2009; 1:21 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Phillies  | Tags: Marlins, Phillies, Shane Victorino, ejection, shane victorino, umpire  
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