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Baseball Insider: August 16, 2009 - August 22, 2009

Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Amazingly, all Pudge Rodriguez had to do to earn this reception was show up. The legendary Rangers catcher was dealt back to Texas to help atone for the injury absence of starting catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, immediately ascending to cult hero status as a result. He may be little more than a mascot for the team's stretch run, but that might be enough for them to maintain Wild Card momentum, don't you think?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 21, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rangers  | Tags: Astros, Ivan Rodriguez, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Rangers  
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Lawyers and Beanballs: A Harvard Reflection

There's been a lot of discussion about the ethics of beanballs and hit by pitch penalties this week in the aftermath of last week's Kevin Youkilis rushing of Detroit's Rick Porcello and three scary incidents last Saturday night. All the chatter has brought out some interesting voices, but few provide more unique or intriguing views than this piece, proffered up by Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to the Boston Globe.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 21, 2009; 3:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox , Tigers  | Tags: Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox, Rick Porcello, Tigers, hit by pitch  
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Orioles Review and Preview: Rays, White Sox

The good news is that the Orioles have only been swept once in their last eight series. The bad news is they haven't won any of those series either. Baltimore will look to get its first series win since the all-star break on the road against the White Sox -- one of four American League teams the Orioles don't have a losing record against.

By CJ Holley  |  August 21, 2009; 1:36 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Orioles , Rays , White Sox  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, chicago white sox, tampa bay rays  
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A Good Weekend for Baseball

This weekend provides some rather juicy matchups with plenty of early playoff implications, here are the best and feel free to vote at the bottom for which pairing intrigues you the most.

By CJ Holley  |  August 21, 2009; 11:44 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Braves , Giants , Marlins , Playoffs , Rangers , Rays , Red Sox , Rockies , Yankees  | Tags: Florida Marlins, atlanta braves, boston red sox, colorado rockies, new york yankees, playoffs, san francisco giants, tampa bay rays, texas rangers  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "This may sound bad, but we're not too focused on wins and losses." -- Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts who seems to have come to terms with playing on a team that is perpetually rebuilding Baltimore Orioles 8, Tampa Bay Rays 7 The Orioles earned...

By CJ Holley  |  August 21, 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: "He does it every time he faces a team's ace. No matter what, we have a chance to win when he toes the rubber." -- Braves Manager Bobby Cox, putting Atlanta's Japanese rookie starter, Kenshin Kawakami, in the same class as some of his former...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 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

When I was in middle school, one of my best friends put together a science project where he postulated that the reason Johnny Cash always wore black was because it kept bugs away (true story). Something tells us that isn't the motivation behind Joe Maddon's new hair style, but Johnny Cash may be himself: Every road trip the Rays have a different theme, and this one is "Cash". Guess Joe went with the musical interpretation of cash, huh? All things considered, I think he might be even funnier with green hair though, don't you?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 20, 2009; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rays  | Tags: Joe Maddon, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Rays  
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Mariners Land Bill Hall

The Brewers had quietly let it be known for awhile that they'd love to offload outfielder Bill Hall on any team that really wanted him. Well, it turns out that a team really wanted him, after he was designated for assignment: The Mariners. Seattle and Milwaukee agreed to a trade yesterday afternoon that sends Hall to the Mariners in exchange for a minor league pitcher, Ruben Flores.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 20, 2009; 3:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Brewers , Mariners  | Tags: Adrian Beltre, Bill Hall, Brewers, Mariners, injuries  
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Dodgers Sign Padilla ... to Replace Kuroda?

In a move designed to counter St. Louis's acquisition of John Smoltz -- and possibly even Philadelphia's addition of Pedro Martinez -- the Dodgers signed veteran starting pitcher Vicente Padilla to a contract yesterday. The deal is still contingent on Padilla passing a physical, a move that's far from a certainty, but seems to be a done deal, according to Jayson Stark of ESPN.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 20, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Dodgers , Rangers  | Tags: Dodgers, Rangers, Vicente Padilla, pitchers, waiver wire  
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Message to Cardinals: Put Smoltz in 'Pen

Kudos to the St. Louis Cardinals for adding an intriguing, low-risk, potentially high-reward piece to their roster. But why are they trying to botch the signing of John Smoltz by putting him in their rotation? Apparently, the Cardinals are undecided as to how Smoltz ultimately will fit in over the...

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 20, 2009; 9:01 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Cardinals  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I threw strikes. That was the difference." -- Angels pitcher Jered Weaver explaining rather simply how he bounced back from his shortest outing of the season to throw his second career shutout Los Angeles Angels 3, Cleveland Indians 0 Jered Weaver threw his second career...

By CJ Holley  |  August 20, 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: "(People) keep saying that, but we also are a team under .500, you know?" -- Brewers Manager Ken Macha, on whether expectations for his team to go on a playoff pushing run are overblown given Milwaukee's own record. Rockies 5, Nationals 4 How does a...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 20, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

There's been a lot of hit-by-pitch action lately, and the Yankees have been no exception. After Alex Rodriguez was drilled with an Oakland pitch in the first inning last night, C.C. Sabathia retaliated with an attempted HBP of Kurt Suzuki the next inning (Sabathia missed, and Suzuki homered later in the at-bat). That all set the stage for this: Melky Cabrera getting drilled, then comically tumbling over Suzuki as he fell away from the plate. It made for a humorous scene, but something tells us that didn't make this moment hurt any less.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 19, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Yankees  | Tags: Melky Cabrera, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Yankees  
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Smoltz to Join Cardinals

Less than two weeks after being designated for assignment by the Red Sox following the final drubbing he'd take in a Boston uniform, John Smoltz has found a new team, agreeing to a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Dispatch.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 19, 2009; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Cardinals  | Tags: Cardinals, John Smoltz, Red Sox, john smoltz, waiver wire  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "Normally this time of year, you got Hawaii already booked up." -- Former Oriole and (Devil) Ray Aubrey Huff on playing for a team in a pennant race (the Detroit Tigers) for the first time in his career. Detroit Tigers 5, Seattle Mariners 3 The...

By CJ Holley  |  August 19, 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 feel like I'm throwing the ball much better. I really feel like since I went over my head (with his windup delivery four starts ago) that's helping me out a lot... I'm pitching with a lot of confidence. That been a big key for...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 19, 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 one would argue that Jim Tracy has been anything but a revelation since taking over as manager of the Rockies. He's taken a team from the NL West basement into pole position for the NL Wild Card, and he's done it with exactly the same players. He really has been a role model for managerial leadership. Unfortunately, as this hyper-zoomed AP photo attests, he's not quite as convincing a role model for young baseball players, considering the fact that he has a big, fat lip full of tobacco while sitting behind the dugout screen. If he's been doing that throughout his playing and managerial career, it's amazing he still has his entire cheek in tact.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 18, 2009; 5:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Rockies  | Tags: Jim Tracy, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Rockies  
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Rangers Bring Back Pudge

With catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia likely out for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury, the Texas Rangers decided to add some depth at the position by reacquiring Ivan Rodriguez in a trade with the Houston Astros.

By CJ Holley  |  August 18, 2009; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Astros , Rangers  | Tags: Ivan Rodriguez, houston astros, pudge rodriguez, texas rangers  
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Which Picks Actually Signed

Stephen Strasburg wasn't the only first round draft pick to leave it until late to sign his first professional deal yesterday. A host of teams closed on their opening picks from the 2009 entry draft, with No. 2 and 3 overall picks Dustin Ackley (Mariners) and Donovan Tate (Padres) also agreeing to deals within the final two hours of Monday evening.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 18, 2009; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Mariners , Nationals , Padres  | Tags: MLB, Stephen Strasburg, draft, free agency  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "Our starter goes eight innings and we get shut out. That's something you don't see every day." -- Yankees Manager Joe Girardi coming to terms with the fact that his team was blanked in Oakland Oakland Athletics 3, New York Yankees 0 Brett Tomko, who...

By CJ Holley  |  August 18, 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: "I think it helps when you go out there and get a five-run lead to take a deep breath." -- Pittsburgh pitcher Kevin Hart, who earned a rare Pirates win thanks to three homers from his team's lineup. Giants 10, Mets 1 Do not, repeat,...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 18, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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O's Trade Huff to Tigers

The Orioles got rid of their last remaining piece of trade bait on Monday afternoon, dealing first baseman Aubrey Huff to the Detroit Tigers for Class A reliever Brett Jacobson.

By CJ Holley  |  August 17, 2009; 5:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Orioles , Tigers  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, aubrey huff, detroit tigers, trade  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Clearly some Indians fans back in Cleveland miss Victor Martinez. The team's franchise catcher has been gone for three weeks, but some fans haven't given up pining for his bat, as shown by his bobblehead attached to this kid's POW-MIA hat. Is there a more fitting lid for V-Mart to be poised on? We have a hard time coming up with one ...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 17, 2009; 5:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Indians , Red Sox  | Tags: Indians, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Red Sox, Victor Martinez  
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Pie Hits for Cycle. Say What?

Baltimore's Felix Pie hit for the cycle on Friday night, but in a season that has seen seven players accomplish the feat, is Pie the most unlikely guy to do it?

By CJ Holley  |  August 17, 2009; 4:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Orioles , Rockies  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, colorado rockies, cycle, felix pie, hit for the cycle, troy tulowitzki  
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A Big Pitch for Another Knuckleball Starter

As of tonight, Tim Wakefield won't be alone as baseball's only knuckleball pitcher anymore. According to MLB.com, on Monday night the Dodgers plan to start AAA knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, who was promoted from Albuquerque last week.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 17, 2009; 3:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Dodgers  | Tags: Cardinals, Charlie Haeger, Dodgers, knuckleball  
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Making Sense of MLB Concussions

The long delay in the Mets putting David Wright on the disabled list made a number of people wonder what the recent precedent has been for players returning from a concussion, and whether those prior approaches have been successful. The answer, it turns out, is that the approaches have been as varied as the teams taking them

By Cameron Smith  |  August 17, 2009; 1:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mets  | Tags: David Wright, Mets, Ryan Church, concussion  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "Who says we can't reel off 25 wins in September?" -- Red Sox catcher Victor Martinez who remains very hopeful after falling behind the Rangers for the AL wild card lead Texas Rangers 4, Boston Red Sox 3 Making his third straight start, Texas's Dustin...

By CJ Holley  |  August 17, 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: "Nobody wants to ask me about Murphy's game-winning hit? You guys are really bad." -- Mets Manager Jerry Manuel after fielding a series of questions about David Wright's injury on Saturday. Nationals 5, Reds 4 Josh Willingham may never duplicate the success he's been rapping...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 17, 2009; 7:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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