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Baseball Insider: August 30, 2009 - September 5, 2009

Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

On Monday, the day portion of a day-night doubleheader between the Pirates and Reds drew barely 2,000 fans. A day matchup between those two teams drew more fans on Wednesday ... barely. If you ever wondered what a near 50,000-person stadium would look like with 2,000 people in it, that section in the background behind Pirates starter Zach Duke is a pretty good indication. Three-six people per section, throughought the park. Yikes.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 4, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Pirates , Rays  | Tags: Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Pirates, Reds, Zach Duke, fans  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I'm just glad she didn't read me my rights." -- Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez joking about his brief run in with the Canadian law while chasing down a foul ball New York Yankees 10, Toronto Blue Jays 5 Jorge Posada went 4 for 5...

By CJ Holley  |  September 4, 2009; 7:58 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Clearly, Felix Hernandez has this whole royalty thing backwards. He may only be a king in figurative speech, but if he's going to enjoy the nickname, he might as well own it. Heck, if we were called "King Felix", we'd be rolling around Seattle in a crown and plates on the back of our Masserati that spelled out "CARAGE" "DA KING" or "CROWN ME", or something equally over the top. Admit it, you would, too.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 3, 2009; 5:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mariners  | Tags: Felix Hernandez, Mariners, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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Is the National League Really That Easy?

For years it's been said that National League hitting is inferior to that of the American League but in the past few weeks it seems like pitchers who have recently left the AL for the NL are having their way with the senior circuit.

By CJ Holley  |  September 3, 2009; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Brewers , Cardinals , Giants , Indians , Phillies , Red Sox  | Tags: boston red sox, cleveland indians, milwaukee brewers, philadelphia phillies, san francisco giants, st. louis cardinals  
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Mr. Schilling Goes to Washington?

Former major league pitcher Curt Schilling is mulling a run at the U.S. Senate. Would you vote for him?

By CJ Holley  |  September 3, 2009; 11:47 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Red Sox  | Tags: boston red sox, curt schilling, politics  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "It's hard to sweep a team in four games. You don't see that much." -- Reds Manager Dusty Baker on sweeping a team in four games, which is precisely what his team did to the Pirates over the past three days. Padres 7, Nationals 0...

By Cameron Smith  |  September 3, 2009; 7:58 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 "You're not always going to win. It's not always going to be an oil painting." -- Rays Manager Joe Maddon, after what I guess he might qualify as more of a watercolor win over the Red Sox Tampa Bay Rays 8, Boston Red Sox 5...

By CJ Holley  |  September 3, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

Yup, you guessed it, the world's most famous butt-wiggling Japanese pitcher was throwing in a warm up game in Manchester, N.H. last week, playing for a team from Portland. That would be Portland Maine, which can't be what Daisuke Matsuzaka had in mind when he signed with the Red Sox from Japan. If course, if he's in the playoff rotation for the Red Sox come October, something tells us he won't be complaining.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 2, 2009; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  | Tags: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Red Sox, minor leagues  
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MLB TV's Test of David Wright's Helmet

For those of you worried about how the Mets were going to protect David Wright's cabeza in his return from a recent concussion, don't worry, MLB TV has you covered. On Tuesday night, the same evening that Wright made his comeback, Billy Ripken and Victor Rojas, two of the network's nightly anchors, gave Wright's "enhanced" helmet a thorough testing. And by thorough we mean that Rojas basically beat up Ripken while he was wearing the helmet for a few minutes.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 2, 2009; 1:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mets  | Tags: David Wright, Mets, concussion, helmet  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I was hoping I remembered how to jog around the bases. ... There was a sense of relief." -- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton who homered (twice, in fact) for the first time since August 7 Game 1: Texas Rangers 5, Toronto Blue Jays 2 Game...

By CJ Holley  |  September 2, 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 thought that was a really big at-bat. It made us kind of relax a little and say, 'You know what, we can score some runs off this guy.'" -- Rockies slugger and elder statesman Todd Helton, on a bases loaded walk off New York...

By Cameron Smith  |  September 2, 2009; 7:40 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

No, it's not a spa, it's a baseball game played at 94-degree heat. In California. Of course, that could mean that it's nearly identical to a sauna. Your call. Either way, if we were Daric Barton, we'd want our face in a cold towel, too.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 1, 2009; 5:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Athletics  | Tags: A's, Athletics, Daric Barton, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture  
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Calling All Cincinnati Fans: Do You Exist?

According to the Associated Press, the attendances for yesterday's day-night doubleheader between the Reds and Pirates in Cincinnati were the smallest in Great American Ballpark history. The nightcap hosted only 9,087 fans, a paltry sum for a park which can comfortably seat 42,000, particularly when you consider how many of those tickets were part of a season ticket package. If you think that's bad, brace yourself for the daytime attendance: below 2,000.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 1, 2009; 2:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Pirates , Reds  | Tags: Reds, attendance, fans  
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The Dodgers Got Better Overnight

Yes, despite some pretty horrendous defending by Manny Ramirez and a loss to the cellar-dwelling Diamondbacks, the Dodgers suddenly look a lot deeper and more formidable for the postseason, thanks to two last second moves that added significant pieces to their puzzle just before the deadline for players to be made eligible for postseason rosters.

By Cameron Smith  |  September 1, 2009; 12:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diamondbacks , Dodgers , Giants  | Tags: Brad Penny, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Giants, Jim Thome, Jon Garland, Jose Contreras, Red Sox, White Sox, trade  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "He certainly didn't have very good success today." -- Tigers Manager Jim Leyland on pitcher Jarrod Washburn who got shelled for eight runs Monday night Tampa Bay Rays 11, Detroit Tigers 7 The Rays put up six runs in the top half of the first...

By CJ Holley  |  September 1, 2009; 7:56 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  The Wrap: AL  | Tags: The Wrap: AL  
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The Wrap: NL

NL Quote of the Night: "I just think that I see the ball real good here. "If you take a ballpark that you see the ball real good, for me it's here. I hit a lot here - I got places I don't see the ball good and it's the...

By Cameron Smith  |  September 1, 2009; 7:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

It may not be graceful on grass, but imagine if Arizona's Stephen Drew were pulling this slide on top of a board while riding a wave? It's a pretty decent wipe out pose, no? And Drew clearly could pull off the whole surfer look, even if he could enhance it a ton by growing out those locks a little bit ...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 31, 2009; 5:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Diamondbacks  | Tags: Diamondbacks, Moment of Levity: The Big Picture, Stephen Drew, error  
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Orioles Review and Preview: Indians, Yankees

Baltimore managed to split a four-game series against the visiting Cleveland Indians this weekend to bring their post-all-star-break record to 14-29. Sadly for the Orioles, the end of the Indians series also marked the end of the easy part of their schedule.

By CJ Holley  |  August 31, 2009; 3:56 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Indians , Orioles , Yankees  | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Talking Behind Their Back, cleveland indians, new york yankees  
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The Trey Hillman Dictionary

After listening to Royals Manager Trey Hillman and trying to decipher the manager for nearly two years, the Kansas City Star's Sam Mellinger broke down and offered up a comprehensive "Hillman dictionary". We wholeheartedly encourage you to work your way through the entire list at the blog post linked above, but here are our favorite excerpts from "Trey Speak":

By Cameron Smith  |  August 31, 2009; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Royals  | Tags: Royals, Trey Hillman  
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August Wrap-Up: The Best and Worst So Far

But from the morning of August 1 through this Monday morning, none of the six division races changed hands, nor did either of the wild card leads. In fact, on the morning of August 1, the Giants and Rockies were tied for the NL wild card lead -- and Monday morning, they were still tied (thanks to the Giants' three-game sweep this weekend).

By Dave Sheinin  |  August 31, 2009; 11:48 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Tags: Dave Sheinin, monthly wrap-up  
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The Wrap: AL

AL Quote of the Night "I'm just so excited to be back. I want a World Series ring. Hopefully I can help this team get there. I'll clean toilets if I have to, and I told them that." -- Red Sox pitcher Paul Byrd who went from throwing batting practice...

By CJ Holley  |  August 31, 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: "He is opening up his front shoulders. They're getting a good look at him, because they're not swinging and missing at all. That's usually a pretty good indication you're showing the ball to the hitter a little prematurely and you're giving the hitter a longer...

By Cameron Smith  |  August 31, 2009; 7:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  The Wrap: NL  | Tags: The Wrap: NL  
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