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Baseball Insider: August 23, 2009 - August 29, 2009

Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

That's Boston short stop Nick Green on the left, talking to David Ortiz about pitching a scoreless eighth inning on Thursday night. Amazingly, not only did green pitch a scoreless eighth, he pitched a scoreless ninth, with an impressive fastball that was rising as high as 90 miles-per-hour. All in all, it was an impressive showing, which is more than you can say about his hair, which didn't seem to take to pitching as well as he did.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 28, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  | Tags: David Ortiz, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Nick Green, Red Sox  
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Will the Wilpons Have to Sell the Mets?

Bernie Madoff is no baseball luminary, but he is having an enormous effect on the future of Mets because of his ability to play fast and loose with a vast majority of the wealth of the team's owners, the Wilpon family. According to a new book about Madoff's swindling of a huge rolodex of America's most powerful entitled "Too Good to be True", author Erin Arvedlund claims that the Wilpons lost $700 million, or more, from Madoff business deals gone awry.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 28, 2009; 1:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mets  | Tags: Mets, Wilpon, owners  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "He pitched too good a game to lose." -- Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel of J.A. Haap, who, despite Manuel's assurances, lost his first decision in four starts on Thursday, to the Pirates. Nationals 5, Cubs 4 Could Washington really have found a valuable bullpen piece...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 28, 2009; 8:12 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 "I said, 'I'm going in in the eighth inning? Who's going to pitch the ninth?' " -- Red Sox shortstop Nick Green who threw two scoreless innings of relief Chicago White Sox 9, Boston Red Sox 5 Chicago battered Red Sox starter Junichi Tazawa for...

By CJ Holley  |  August 28, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

The man you see on the right in the photo above is Tony Gwynn Jr. Unlike his father, Tony Jr. is not the largest man you'll see in a baseball uni, standing a relatively modest 6 feet and 185 pounds. Short stop David Eckstein, however, really is as small as you imagine he is. And as he looks. What's the final tally? Try 5 foot 6, 170 pounds. And there's no way he's actually 170 pounds. Not a chance. Lot at him, he's being swallowed up by a 185-pound man in this shot! It's like watching your teenage cousin play in the major leagues. Ridiculous.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 27, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Padres  | Tags: David Eckstein, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Padres, Tony Gwynn Jr.  
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The Best Infield Play You'll Ever See

In what has to be the play of the year, Twins second baseman Alexei Cassila not only got the Twins out of a rough inning with one of the most innovative scoop relays we've ever seen, he did it with perfect accuracy. It was almost as if Minnesota shortstop Orlando Cabrera didn't have to move his glove.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 27, 2009; 3:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Orioles , Twins  | Tags: Orioles, Twins  
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Orioles Review and Preview: Twins, Indians

After dropping two of three in the Metrodome, the Orioles return home to Camden Yards to take on the Cleveland Indians, a team they somehow have not yet faced this year.

By CJ Holley  |  August 27, 2009; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Indians , Orioles , Twins  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, cleveland indians, minnesota twins  
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Meet the Mess, Greet the Mess

In the past two days, the New York Mets have lost three pitchers for the year: Oliver Perez, J.J. Putz and Johan Santana. All of which serves as the cherry on top of a foul-tasting season.

By CJ Holley  |  August 27, 2009; 11:49 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Mets , Orioles  | Tags: j.j. putz injuries, johan santana, mr. burns softball team, new york mets, oliver perez, the simpsons, the simpsons softball  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "This is as bad as it gets as a relief pitcher." -- Rays reliever J.P. Howell whose wild pitch scored the winning run for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the ninth inning Toronto Blue Jays 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2 Marco Scutaro scored...

By CJ Holley  |  August 27, 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: "His velocity was good and he stayed after it the whole eight innings. When they had runners on base, that's when he really bore down. He's getting there." -- Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel on improvement from staff ace Cole Hamels, who had a no decision...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 27, 2009; 7:41 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

In case you'd missed it, the Rockies are officially the hottest team in baseball ... and it isn't even close. After beating the Dodgers on the hit that immediately preceded this Troy Tulowitzki celebration, Colorado is just 2 games back in the NL West, after trailing by 15 1/2 games on June 3. That's right, in less than three months, the Rockies have shaved 13 1/2 games off the divisional lead. Only in the NL West, you say? Sure, but only with a very good team, too. Evidently Colorado has one of those this year.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 26, 2009; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rockies  | Tags: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Rockies, Troy Tulowitzki  
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Recession Hits the Minor Leagues

According to the Nashua Telegraph, the American Defenders of Nashua -- the minor league heirs to the now-defunct Nashua Pride -- were locked out of their own field at Holman Stadium for failure to pay some $45,000 in back rent and feed to local police officers and firemen.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 26, 2009; 4:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Minor League  | Tags: minor league baseball  
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The Best Pitch in Baseball: Greinke's Slider?

In case you missed it last night, young Kansas City ace Zack Greinke recorded a whopping 15 strikeouts against the Indians. While he dominated Cleveland in the way that a solid high school pitcher might toy with Little Leaguers, one thing was particularly notable about his performance: His slider was absolutely, positively unhittable.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 26, 2009; 1:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Royals  | Tags: Indians, Royals, Zack Greinke  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "That's about as good as I've seen any pitcher in my time here at this level." -- Indians Manager Eric Wedge on Royals starting pitcher Zack Greinke Kansas City Royals 6, Cleveland Indians 2 Zack Greinke struck out 15 to earn his 12th win of...

By CJ Holley  |  August 26, 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 hope it takes 72 hours." -- Diamondbacks Manager A.J. Hinch, on the proposed recovery of the Giants, which his Diamondbacks face for the next two days after the teams' first game on Tuesday. Nationals 15, Cubs 6 Congratulations, Washington. Your team may have just...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 26, 2009; 7:53 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

You're watching the rarest of rare baseball moments: A one-man triple play. In fact, this shot captures something even more remarkable than that: A one-man triple play to end a game. If you had Eric Bruntlett in your office pool for "next unassisted triple play", you're officially a genius.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 25, 2009; 4:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mets , Phillies  | Tags: Eric Bruntlett, Mets, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Phillies, triple play  
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Red Sox Land Wagner

In the culmination of a deal that was on and off again more often than Mariah Carey changes clothes, Mets reliever Billy Wagner has, in fact, joined the Red Sox for two players to be named later.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 25, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mets , Red Sox  | Tags: Billy Wagner, Jonathan Papelbon, Mets, Red Sox, trade  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I think enough's enough." -- White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen on pitcher Jose Contreras who was removed from the rotation following Monday's game Boston Red Sox 12, Chicago White Sox 8 For the third time in four games, Boston has combined with an opponent to...

By CJ Holley  |  August 25, 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: "Whenever he's on the bump, you feel pretty confident." -- Phillies slugger Ryan Howard with one of the understatements of the year in describing Cliff Lee's performances since joining the Phillies. Nationals 7, Brewers 1 So much for a good thing. Young starter Collin Balester...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 25, 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

He may not be a movie star yet, but Nyjer Morgan has stolen the hearts of Nats fans everywhere. And with the air time he's getting on this celebratory jump on Sunday, is there any reason he can't do some cinematic work in the offseason? We say no. What say you?

By Cameron Smith  |  August 24, 2009; 5:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Nationals  | Tags: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Nationals, Nyjer Morgan, Tony Plush  
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Orioles Review and Preview: White Sox, Twins

After taking two of three from Chicago for their first series win of the second half, the Orioles will try to again play spoiler in the AL Central as they travel to Minnesota for a three-game series.

By CJ Holley  |  August 24, 2009; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles , Twins , White Sox  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, chicago white sox, minnesota twins  
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Japanese High Schooler Could Start a Revolution

Both the $15 million contract for Stephen Strasburg and the future draft eligibility of Bryce Harper may have only a fraction of the lasting Major League impact of another move, should young Japanese pitcher Yusei Kikuchi decide to come directly to MLB.

By Cameron Smith  |  August 24, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Japan  | Tags: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Japan, Koshien Tournament, Yu Darvish, Yusei Kikuchi, draft  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "It's good on paper, but it's not good enough." -- Rays pitcher David Price who lost Sunday despite allowing three runs over seven innings Texas Rangers 4, Tampa Bay Rays 0 Scott Feldman threw seven shutout innings and struck out 11 to pick up his...

By CJ Holley  |  August 24, 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 didn't know how to react. I didn't know what to do. The ninth inning was wild. The whole game it seemed was strange." -- Phillies second baseman Eric Bruntlett on completing the first unassisted triple play to end an MLB game since May 1927....

By Cameron Smith  |  August 24, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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