Daniel Cabrera is held back by Freddie Bynum and Melvin Mora
Seriously, who doesn't love a bench-clearing dust-up?

An inning and a half after Baltimore Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera, a rather large man, nailed slugger Gary Sheffield with a pitch, Detroit Tigers hurler Jeremy Bonderman retaliated by throwing at Miguel Tejada's feet, forcing him to jump to avoid being hit.

Tejada pointed his bat menacingly at Bonderman before catcher Ivan Rodriguez got between the two.

Oh, it's on now.

Both benches cleared in the 3-3 game with Tejada, third base coach Juan Samuel and Cabrera, along with the Tigers' Sheffield, Joel Zumaya and Pudge being the most vocal in the argument.

Moments later, Sheffield smoked Cabrera's 2-1 fastball 408 feet into the left-field stands. Shef slowly walked a third of the way down the first base line before trotting around the horn, with Cabrera staring him down the entire way. The two-run shot, just his second of the season, broke the tie and put O's fans everywhere in a foul mood.

Jay Gibbons homered in the sixth before the Tigers' big seventh where Sheffield scored on a wild pitch that moved Magglio Ordonez to third before Carlos Guillen got on base. Craig Monroe then grounded out to third for two more and Marcus Thames doubled in the final run.

  • Rangers 1, Blue Jays 6

  • Angels 3, Royals 1

  • Cubs 2, Pirates 3

  • Phillies 2, Braves 5

  • Cardinals 1, Brewers 7

  • Marlins 9, Mets 6

  • Nationals 3, Padres 2

  • Diamondbacks 9, Dodgers 1

  • Rockies 5, Giants 9

  • [MLB]

    Big Bob is on the DL
    Atlanta Braves husky closer Bob Wickman was placed on the disabled list today with an upper back strain.

    This move comes just one day after the veteran blew his second straight save. Wickman was unable to hang onto a two-run, final-inning lead in a 9-7, 11-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies on Sunday when he walked three and was charged with two runs.

    Wickman also blew a save that cost Tim Hudson - owner of the lowest ERA in the majors at 1.22 - a big win on Wednesday in . Big Bob also gave up two hits and walked two in a non-save situation on Friday.

    Braves manager Bobby Cox claims Wickman's control problems are based on his inability to extend his arm and follow through with his pitches - not the 240+ pounds of meat he's throwing behind them.

    Chad Paronto has been activated from the DLMeanwhile, Atlanta has activated reliever Chad Paronto (also rather husky), who had been out with a strained groin muscle since April 14th.

    There's a good chance Mike Gonzalez or Rafael Soriano could be used as closers while Wickman is out of commission.

    [Atlanta Journal-Constitution] | []

    Jaret Wrights lands himself back on the DLJaret Wright has returned to the disabled list.

    Following a history of arm trouble, the Baltimore Orioles placed the right-hander on the DL for the second time this season on Monday, with no time-table set for his return.

    The 31-year-old has had a sore right shoulder for most of this and half of last season. He was activated Sunday and allowed three runs, four hits and three walks in three innings of a loss at Cleveland.

    Wright has undergone two surgeries on his right shoulder, hampering what began as a very promising career in which he has ended up 68-60 with a 5.09 ERA. This season, he is 0-3 with a 6.97 ERA.

    Kurt Birkins has been called up in Jaret Wright's absence.Lefty Kurt Birkins was recalled from the AAA Norfolk Tides in Wright's absence. Birkins pitched only once in his previous stint with the O's this season, giving up a 12th-inning grand slam to Detroit's Craig Monroe on April 11th. Rather forgettable.

    [] | [Oriole Post]

    Tim Lincecum is having a hard time getting called up.
    Youngster Tim Lincecum is now 4-0 with a 0.29 ERA over 31 innings of relief with the AAA Fresno Grizzlies. He has allowed 12 hits and 46 strikeouts... with no call-up from the San Francisco Giants in sight.

    The 22-year-old right-hander had yet another dominant outing on Sunday, fanning 14 batters and walking no one over six shutout innings.

    Giants manager Bruce Bochy said, "We're keeping track of what's going on down there. We know how well he's throwing, but our pitching has been fine." When asked if he and GM Brian Sabean have discussed promoting Lincecum as a reliever, Bochy said, "We haven't talked about that."
    A challenge to the fellow Babes Love Baseball fantasy baseball league owners: Who will be the fastest to pick up Lincecum when he gets the call?

    [San Francisco Chronicle]

    Say What?

    Some people have the strangest fetishes.What other bloggers are mouthing off about...

  • "Joe Mauer is friends with Paul Moliter. He and his dad turned a leaf-blower attachment into a batting tutorial." - The Extrapolater and friends on the VooDoo Sabermetrics of AL Batting champ Joe Mauer

  • "This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard in my life." -

  • "You've got runners on base, no one out, a world of possibilities before you." -

  • "Alex Rodriguez may have been wearing the pinstripes the past few years, but anyone who follows the team knows he was never a 'True Yankee.'" - The Brushback on the future of A-Rod

  • "If your embattled Yankees manager Joe Torre, you woke up this morning probably not knowing where the future lies." -

  • "Allow me, with your kind permission, to present to you my pièce de résistance." - Mike Vallano of the Onion on his amazing baseball cap collection

  • "Hey guys, it's Ji- Oh you already said my full name. I will not bother finishing that typed phrase." -

  • "Sometimes you wonder why these odd plays happen to the Indians. Other times you half-expect them to always happen to them." -

  • "Hi. Wow. Okay. Last night, I threw up in my mouth a little when Bonds hit that home run. " -
  • Oh, those drugs of abuse and kids today.
    Two more minor leaguers - the third and fourth this month - have been suspended for testing positive for a drug of abuse and performance enhancing drugs.

    AAA Syracuse, a Toronto Blue Jays affiliate, has suspended reliever Matt Roney for 50 games after the positive drug of abuse test.

    Matt Roney has been suspended by the commissioner's office for 50 games due to a failed drugs of abuse test.The 27-year-old righty was pitching well, with a 2-0 record and 0.90 ERA in five relief appearances for the Chiefs.

    Roney signed with Toronto last November and was sent outright to the minors in late March. He has a 1-10 career big league record, going 1-9 in 11 starts and 34 relief appearances for the Detroit Tigers in 2003 and 0-1 in three relief appearances for the Oakland Athletics last year.

    Sendy Vazquez was suspended for 50 games for a positive performance-enhacing drug testThe second offender is Detroit right-hander , penalized for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance under the minor league program. He was suspended for 50 games, starting last Friday. In four starts at Class-A Lakeland, he was 0-3 with an 8.20 ERA.

    Fun Fact: Testing for drugs of abuse is not administered randomly, but on a basis of reasonable cause. The list of banned substances for drugs of abuse include marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, opiates, MDMA, GHB and Ephedra.

    Neither of these players seem like a big loss to me.

    [Yahoo! Sports] | []

    El Duque lands on the DL with pain in his shoulderThe New York Mets have scratched veteran Orlando Hernández from Monday night's start against the Florida Marlins and placed him on the disabled list with bursitis in his right shoulder.

    What exactly is bursitis, you ask? According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a painful condition caused by inflammation in the areas around your joints. Ouch. The pain usually goes away within a week or so with proper treatment, but flare-ups are common and can be frustrating.

    El Duque is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in five starts this season.

    Chan Ho Park had been recalled from AAA New Orleans to take Orlando Hernandez's place in the rotationHernández was replaced by Chan Ho Park, who was happily recalled from AAA New Orleans.

    Park was rather upset when he was moved to the bullpen before being optioned to AAA, under the assumption he came to New York to be a starter. He wasn't too hot in four outings with the Zephyrs, allowing 26 hits in 21 innings, including six home runs. He compiled a 3-1 record and a 7.29 ERA.

    [New York Daily News] | []

    Brandon Webb (1-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (3-2, 4.20 ERA)

    Left-hander Randy Wolf and the worn-out Los Angeles Dodgers (15-10) return home to take on righty Brandon Webb and the Arizona Diamondbacks (15-11) at 10:10pm ET tonight. Good thing it's a night game, cause the Dodgers just got done playing the longest game recorded this season - a 17-inning, 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres.

    Six Dodgers each had two of the team's season-high 16 hits yesterday, coming into today's contest with a strong 6-1 record in their last seven home games against the D'Backs.

    Arizona, coming off a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants, is looking to match its season-high six game winning streak with a rare road win against LA.

    Watch out for second baseman Orlando Hudson, who has reached base in all 29 games thus far and is hitting a career .370 against the Dodgers.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Cubs (10-13) @ Pirates (11-12) 7:05pm ET

    • Phillies (11-13) @ Braves (15-9) 7:05pm ET

    • Cardinals (10-13) @ Brewers (15-9) 7:05pm ET

    • Marlins (11-13) @ Mets (15-8) 7:10pm ET

    • Nationals (8-17) @ Padres (13-12) 10:05pm ET

    • Rockies (10-15) @ Giants (12-11) 10:15pm ET

    Vicente Padilla (0-3 ,5.79 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (3-0, 2.58 ERA)

    The Texas Rangers (10-14) will put right-hander Vicente Padilla on the hill to face righty Roy Halladay, who is looking to start the season at 4-0 for the first time in his career, for the Toronto Blue Jays (12-12) at 7:07pm ET this evening.

    Halladay, the 2003 Cy Young Award winner, is coming off a win against the Boston Red Sox in which he fanned a season-high ten batters. He is 4-4 with a 5.67 ERA in 13 career starts against the Rangers, while their third baseman Hank Blalock is batting .391 with two homers and two doubles against him.

    The Blue Jays are hoping for a split series tonight against the struggling Padilla. Te Rangers have lost all five games he has started and have scored just nine runs behind him.

    Padilla is 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in four road starts, posting a 3.29 ERA in his only two career (winning) starts versus Toronto last July.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Orioles (12-13) @ Tigers (13-11) 7:05pm ET

    • Angels (14-11) @ Royals (8-17) 8:10pm ET


    Ryan Langerhans is welcome in Oakland's outfield.Ryan Langerhans may not be welcome in Atlanta, but he's more than welcome in Oakland.

    The Athletics patched up their outfield a bit on Sunday, acquiring Langerhans in a trade with the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later or cash. Preferably cash.

    Langerhans is slated to start in center for the opener of a two-game series against the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday, hoping a fresh start will rid him of the 3-for-44 (.068) slump he's in.

    Langerhans can play all three outfield spots, which gives the club some much needed flexibility in the absence of Mark Kotsay, recovering from back surgery on the 60-day DL, and right fielder Milton Bradley, on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring.

    But it doesn't end there. Nick Swisher has been out with a strained left hammy while Bobby Kielty is still nursing a strained left calf awaiting a trip to the DL.

    This marks the second trade in three days for the sickly defending AL West champs, who picked up outfielder Chris Denorfia - recovering from Tommy John surgery on his (right) throwing elbow and not expected to play until 2008 - in a trade with Cincinnati on Friday that sent righty Marcus McBeth to the Reds on Saturday as one of two players to be named in the deal.

    To make room on the roster, Oakland optioned Dallas Braden to AAA Sacramento.

    [San Francisco Chronicle] | []


    Jim Thome has been placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right rib cage muscle.
    The Chicago White Sox (12-10) placed DH Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with a strained muscle in his right rib cage.

    Thome originally suffered the injury against Kansas City on Monday, but aggravated it in his first at-bat against the Los Angeles Angels, fouling off a pitch before leaving in the first inning.

    The left-handed slugger had gotten off to a strong start this season, hitting .340 with five homers and 12 RBIs. Thome, 36, leads the American League with 25 walks and a .553 on-base percentage, while sitting at second with a .680 slugging percentage.

    Ryan Sweeney has been called up in Jim Thome's absense.To fill Thome's spot on the active roster, the White Sox recalled outfielder Ryan Sweeney from AAA Charlotte. In 21 games with the Knights, Sweeney hit .256 with two homers and six RBIs. The 22-year-old outfielder appeared in 18 games with the White Sox last season, batting .229 with five RBIs.

    [Chicago Sun-Times]

    St. Louis Cardinals reliever Josh Hancock was killed ina car accident this morning.
    Josh Hancock, a big key to World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals bullpen, was killed in a car crash early Sunday.

    The vehicle driven by the 29-year-old Hancock apparently hit a truck that was assisting a disabled vehicle this morning.

    Hancock joined the Cardinals in spring training last season after the Cincinnati Reds released him for violating a weight clause in his contract. He had been a starter the previous year with Cincinnati, but missed 133 games due to groin and elbow injuries. He had also pitched for the Boston Red Sox and the Philadelphia Philles.

    Hancock, who pitched three innings of relief in Saturday's 8-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs, played for four different big league clubs. He went 3-3 with a 4.09 ERA in 62 regular-season appearances for the Cards last season, pitching in three postseason games. He was 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in eight games this season.

    The Cardinals have postponed their home game tonight against the Cubs to mourn the loss of Hancock.

    His is the second death of a Cardinals player in less than five years. Pitcher Darryl Kile was found dead in a Chicago hotel room in June 2002. The 33-year-old Kile died of a coronary artery blockage.

    [] | []

    Jeff Karstens drops to the ground after being nailed by a Julio Lugo liner on Saturday.
    Terrible news for the New York Yankees this weekend, as they have lost yet another starting pitcher to injury. Jeff Karstens was hit by a Julio Lugo line drive, which broke his right leg.

    On his very first pitch of the game against the Boston Red Sox, Karstens was hit on the side of his knee by Lugo's lined shot. He's not expected to need surgery and should return some time this season after being examined by the team physician.

    The rookie righty fell to the ground in pain after he was hit and received a big hand from the sellout crowd, threw a few warmup pitches and actually remained in the game for a bit. Probably not the smartest thing, since his fibula was cracked.

    He threw five more pitches - two for strikes - but was pulled after giving up a sharp single to Kevin Youkilis.

    Carl Pavano is scheduled to throw off a mound soon.Already desperately missing starters Mike Mussina with an injured hamstring and Carl Pavano with a sore forearm, the Yankees picked Karstens over Kei Igawa for Saturday's assignment.

    Igawa ended up pitching that day anyway, and helped the Yanks end their seven-game skid. The lefty shut out the Red Sox for 6+ innings in the 3-1 victory, giving up only two hits with six strikeouts and 4 walks.

    Mussina is expected to return on Thursday night for a game against the Texas Rangers while Pavano is scheduled to to throw off a mound Sunday, avoiding a full bullpen session.


    Ramon Hernandez hits a line drive to center that cause a whole lot of nonsense between the umps, managers and scoring officials.Of course, the umps are always right. At least, that's what the rulebook says.

    Veteran umpire Ed Montague took the blame for a run being added to Baltimore's total three innings after it appeared to be waved off in the Orioles' 7-4 victory over Cleveland on Saturday night.

    The bizarre chain of events began when Baltimore led 2-1 with one out in the top of the third. Nick Markakis was on third base with Miguel Tejada on first when Ramon Hernandez hit a line drive to center field.

    Indians outfielder Grady Sizemore made a nice diving catch and Markakis tagged up, heading for home and appearing to cross the plate before Tejada was doubled off first. Plate umpire Marvin Hudson waved off the run.

    Orioles bench coach Tom Trebelhorn argued the call before the start of the fourth, forcing Hudson to meet with Montague and the other umps. Miller checked the rule and said the run should have counted. Montague was vague about why it took until the sixth inning to make the change (which brought Indians' manager Eric Wedge out to the field to complain), saying "it kind of went on" with the umpires conferring with the managers.

    In any case, the O's were given the run, but it didn't really make a difference since they won by three runs anyway.

    The moral of the story? Umpires are human, too.

  • Twins 11, Tigers 3

  • Rangers 9, Blue Jays 8

  • Red Sox 1, Yankees 3

  • Devil Rays 5, Athletics 12

  • Angels 3, White Sox 0

  • Royals 8, Marlins 3

  • Cubs 8, Cardinals 1

  • Reds 8, Pirates 1

  • Marlins 11, Phillies 5

  • Brewers 1, Astros 10

  • Mets 6, Nationals 2

  • Braves 6, Rockies 2

  • Giants 4, Diamondbacks 5

  • Dodgers 2, Padres 3

  • [MLB]


    Blow Hard Retaliation

    Is it really blood? Curt Schilling says Yes.
    You saw this coming.

    All this Sock-Gate nonsense has come to a head and Curt Schilling has posted an entry on 38 Pitches to set the record straight.

    An excerpt:

    "When I walked into the room for the post game interviews and offered up my first response to the questions about the game I basically said that the night was a revelation for me. That my faith in God that evening showed me things I’d never believed.

    As I uttered those words I could see pretty much every person in that room roll their eyes and smirk. That’s not what any of them wanted to hear, truth or not. That was not good copy. They needed more and what I didn’t give them, they got themselves."
    I hate to say this with all my heart, but he's right. Especially about Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti's make-up plastered face.

    Hat tip to the tall, dark and handsome Ian at !

    [38 Pitches]

    White Out Indefinitely

    Rondell White is out of the Twins' lineup indefinitely with a torn right calf muscle.For all of you hardcore fantasy owners out there that have Rondell White on your roster, we've got some bad news.

    After hearing a "pop" when running on Thursday, the veteran Twins outfielder underwent an MRI on his injured right calf muscle.

    The exam showed a tear, leaving him out indefinitely.

    [Star Tribune]

    Veteran righty John Smoltz has agreed to a contract extension with the Altanta Braves.
    John Smoltz may or may not have consulted with Randy Johnson, Rogers Clemens and maybe even Bob Wickman about a possible return next season. The outcome is that he is likely to spend his entire major league career with the Atlanta Braves after agreeing to a contract extension Thursday that could be worth $39 million clams.

    Smoltz, who will turn the big 4-0 next month, will be back for a 20th major league season in 2008 with a deal that guarantees him about $14 million.

    The new contract also includes a $12 million option for 2009 that becomes guaranteed if Smoltz pitches 200 innings the first season. The club has left themselves an option for 2010, at a cost of $13 million if he doesn't break a hip.

    The veteran righty, who could have become a free agent after this season, has a 195-138 record with 154 saves and a 3.28 ERA. He is the only present big league pitcher - Hall of Famer is the other - with at least 150 wins and 150 saves in his career.

    a younger John SmoltzSmoltz won the NL Cy Young Award in 1996 and has nine seasons with at least 14 wins. Also, he holds a couple of postseason records with 15 wins and 194 strikeouts. Smoltz began his career as a starter, but moved to the bullpen in 2001. He spent three full seasons as the Braves closer, of course setting an NL record with 55 saves in 2002.

    Since returning to the rotation in 2005, Smoltz has gone 32-17 with a 3.34 ERA in 73 starts. He was 16-9 with a 3.49 ERA and 211 strikeouts last season.

    [USA Today]

    I forgot how fat Bartolo Colon isBartolo Colon, a rather husky gentleman, struck out 11 behind a five-run first inning, leading the Los Angeles Angels (12-10) to an 11-3 whoopin' of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (9-13) on Thursday.

    Colon (2-0, 1.93 ERA) allowed only four hits over seven innings, including a two-run homer by Carlos Peña in the fourth. The 2005 AL Cy Young Award winner showed his stamina as he struck out the side in the seventh, topping 94 mph with his 103rd and final pitch.

    Jae Seo (1-2, 9.51 ERA) lasted 1.1 innings - retiring only three of the 12 batters he faced - charged with six runs and seven hits. Seo threw 42 pitches in the first inning, including a first-pitch fastball to Vladimir Guerrero that cleared the fence in left-center after a walk to Orlando Cabrera.

    Gary Matthews Jr. and Shea Hillenbrand led a 13-hit attack with three hits each while everyone in the Angels' starting lineup had at least one hit, one run scored and one RBI except #9 hitter Brandon Wood, who made his big league debut at third base and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Poor Brandon Wood.

  • Rangers 4, Indians 9

  • Royals 0, Twins 1

  • Mariners 4, Athletics 2

  • Red Sox 5, Orioles 2

  • Blue Jays 6, Yankees 0

  • Astros 3, Pirates 5

  • Reds 5, Cardinals 7

  • Nationals 4, Phillies 2

  • Padres 4, Diamondbacks 7

  • Giants 5, Dodgers 4

  • Tigers @ White Sox - postponed

  • [MLB]


    Torri Hunter messes around in the dugout after coming back from the hospital, where he received 3 stitches in the mouth.
    Minnesota Twins center fielder Torii Hunter began the day with a 12-game hitting streak, tied for the big league lead with 13 doubles. He was batting .315 and tied for the club lead with four home runs and 16 RBIs.

    Leading off the bottom of the second inning against Kansas City this afternoon, Hunter was hit in the face by a Zack Greinke pitch and was taken to a hospital for (3) stitches.

    Hunter took the 2-2 fastball directly to the mouth. A bit stunned, the All-Star gold-glover took a couple of steps toward Greinke before dropping to the turf near home plate. Manager Ron Gardenhire along with the Twins medical staff ran onto the field.

    A towel was needed to clean up the blood, as Greinke and Royals infielders came over to check on him. A few minutes later, Hunter walked off the field on his own power and received a standing ovation.

    Twins reliever Matt Guerrier claimed he didn't hit Reggie Sanders (in the seventh) on purpose, but then criticized the veteran for not taking his base immediately, suggesting he should have seen the beaning coming.

    "If we don't do anything about it, people are going to question that," Guerrier said.
    Great, now they're lobbying for a Kansas City/Minnesota rivalry? I don't think I can handle that.

    [Star Tribune]

    Shawn Hill (1-2, 2.92 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (2-0, 2.57 ERA)

    After starting the season at a dismal 4-11, the Philadelphia Phillies (9-11) are on a small roll as of late - winning their last six games.

    Cole Hamels will get the ball at 3:05pm ET this afternoon against Shawn Hill and the struggling Washington Nationals (6-15), who will try to avoid the sweep.

    With opening day starter Brett Myers moved to the bullpen, Hamels is considered the team's ace as he looks for his third straight victory. He is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA in four career starts against the Nats.

    Hill has allowed two earned runs in each of his four starts and is 1-1 with a 7.45 ERA in two starts against Philadelphia.

    Wednesday, Chase Utley went 5-for-5 with three RBIs and Jimmy Rollins went 1-for-4 with his eighth home run for the Phillies. Utley, who has raised his average to .296, is 11-for-20 with 10 RBIs and nine runs scored over the last six games. Aaron Rowand, who is hitting a team-leading .365, will take a 13-game hitting streak into today's contest.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Astros (9-11) @ Pirates (9-10) 12:35pm ET

    • Reds (10-11) @ Cardinals (9-11) 1:10pm ET

    • Padres (12-9) @ Diamondbacks (11-11) 9:40pm ET

    • Giants (11-8) @ Dodgers (13-8) 10:10pm ET

     (1-1, 5.57 ERA) vs. Philip Hughes (0-0, -.-- ERA)

    In a move some see as total desperation, the last place New York Yankees (8-11) will put highly-touted prospect Philip Hughes on the mound tonight to face right-hander A.J. Burnett and the Toronto Blue Jays (10-10) at 7:05pm ET. The Yanks hobbled home yesterday after consecutive sweeps brought them to the cellar.

    Hughes' big league debut has been on the lips of New Yorkers for most of the week, with the hopes that he can fill the shoes of Mike Mussina and Carl Pavano, since rookie Chase Wright got roughed up in a big way (a history-making way) in his last start against the Boston Red Sox.

    All-Star third baseman Alex Rodriguez, who saw his 23-game hitting streak demolished Tuesday, will try to start a new one and continue his impressive start. A-Rod is a career 3-for-8 with two homers and six RBIs against Burnett, who is coming off a quality start.

    A.J. went 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts against the Yankees last season, losing the final two.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Rangers (8-12) @ Indians (11-7) 12:05pm ET

    • Royals (7-14) @ Twins (11-10) 1:10pm ET

    • Mariners (7-9) @ Athletics (11-10) 3:35pm ET

    • Devil Rays (9-12) @ Angels (11-10) 3:35pm ET

    • Red Sox (13-7) @ Orioles (11-10) 7:05pm ET

    • Tigers (12-9) @ White Sox (11-9) 8:11pm ET


    Dan Johnson has been activated from the disabled list.
    The Oakland Athletics activated first baseman Dan Johnson from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday after he finished nursing a torn labrum in his left hip.

    The club optioned catcher Adam Melhuse - who went 1-for-6 in just three games this year - to AAA Sacramento and moved designated hitter Mike Piazza back to his backup role behind starting catcher Jason Kendall.

    With Milton Bradley and Mark Kotsay still on the DL, and Nick Swisher and Bobby Kielty nursing injuries, the short-handed A's decided they needed DJ's bat in the lineup. His return to first base on Wednesday night wasn't what he expected, as he went 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

    Johnson had a convincing rookie season for Oakland in 2005, batting .275 with 15 homers and 58 RBIs in just 109 games, but struggled from the beginning of last season. He went 0-for-27 at the start of 2006 and hit .234 overall, spending most of the second half in the minors.


    Jarrod Washburn three-hits Athletics
    After patiently waiting three weeks for his first win, left-hander Jarrod Washburn (1-2, 2.96 ERA) pitched a three-hitter for his third career shutout, outdueling righty Joe Blanton (2-1, 3.55 ERA) to lead the Seattle Mariners over the Oakland Athletics, 2-0 Wednesday night.

    Washburn struck out two, walked two and retired 15 of the last 18 batters in his first complete game since a rain-delayed, five-inning blanking of the Kansas City Royals when as an Angel in 2005. His only other shutout came against the Chicago White Sox in July of 2004.

    Blanton allowed six hits for Oakland but gave up homers to Jose Guillen and Kenji Johjima. Blanton struck out six and threw 105 pitches - just one more than Washburn - in a game that lasted just one hour and 47 minutes, the fastest nine-inning game for the A's since 1979.

    The Mariners are 3-1 against the A's this season, finally ending their 10-game losing streak in Oakland.

  • Red Sox 6, Orioles 1

  • Rangers 7, Indians 8

  • Royals 4, Twins 3

  • Tigers 6, White Sox 2

  • Devil Rays 1, Angels 9

  • Rockies 11, Mets 5

  • Brewers 3, Cubs 9

  • Braves 3, Marlins 4

  • Astros 3, Pirates 4

  • Nationals 3, Phillies 9

  • Reds 2, Cardinals 5

  • Padres 2, Diamondbacks 3

  • Giants 6, Dodgers 4

  • Blue Jays @ Yankees - postponed

  • [MLB]


    Freddy Sanchez is awesome when there's nothing wrong with him.
    Speaking of players who were supposed to be awesome but keep raining on your fantasy baseball parade due to various injuries...

    Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez was scratched from Wednesday's lineup about an hour before gametime due to some irritation in his right eye. He had a visit to the doc's office earlier in the day to have unidentified debris removed from the eye.

    Sanchez was last year's National League batting champion with a .344 average, and is a great player when there's nothing wrong with him. But he missed most of Spring Training and the club's first five games with a strained right knee, leading some to wonder how secure his health is.

    The eye thing is not believed to be serious and he should return to the Pirates' lineup tomorrow afternoon against the Houston Astros.


    Pedro Martinez is planning his mid-season return.
    Yeah, he might be back soon. So, all you schlubs that missed your fantasy baseball draft and had him auto-drafted to your team, hang in there!

    Recovering from rotator cuff surgery, Pedro Martinez is confident that he will make his much-anticipated comeback in the second half of the season.

    "I am super excited with how things are progressing. I feel as good as I did in 1996 and 1997," the 35-year-old New York Mets ace told The AP on Wednesday.
    Pedro is a career 206-92 with a 2.81 ERA and is two strikeouts away from 3,000. Last season, he went 9-8 with a 4.48 ERA.

    [CBS Sportsline]

    Sheets Bothered By Groin Injury

    Ben Sheets left after the third inning due to a groin injury.
    Milwaukee Brewers ace Ben Sheets left Wednesday's game against the Chicago Cubs in the third inning with a strained right groin.

    The tough-as-nails righty apparently suffered the injury on the final play of the inning - a Derrek Lee forceout - and walked gingerly to the dugout without returning to the game.

    Sheets had given up four hits over three scoreless innings and was replaced by right-hander Elmer Dessens.

    Sheets, 28, entered the game with a 1-2 record and a 5.00 ERA over his first four starts after battling a variety of injuries over the previous two seasons.


    Oh, Those Drugs Of Abuse

    Another minor leaguer has tested positive for drugs of abuse.

    Outfielder Cedrick "Doc" Brooks, released by the Colorado Rockies in March, was suspended Wednesday for 50 games by the commissioner's office.

    Doc Brooks was busted taking drugs.Brooks hit .277 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs for the Class-A Modesto Nuts in 2006. His penalty will take effect immediately if he signs with another big league organization.

    The Rockies acquired Brooks in 2005 as the player to be named in the trade that sent Preston Wilson to the Washington Nationals.

    Testing for drugs of abuse is not administered randomly, but on a basis of reasonable cause. The list of banned substances for drugs of abuse include marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, opiates, MDMA, GHB and Ephedra.

    [Yahoo! Sports] | []

    Surprise! Prior Out For Season

    Clearly, Mark Prior is made from papier-mâché.Clearly, Mark Prior is made out of papier-mâché.

    The Chicago Cubs once young and promising ace will miss the entire 2007 season after having surgery on his right shoulder Tuesday in Alabama.

    The 26-year-old righty has been plagued by injuries since his first full season in the majors in 2003, when he nearly pitched Chicago into its first World Series in 68 years. He finished third in the Cy Young voting that year, going 18-6 with a 4.24 ERA and striking out 245 in 211.1 innings.

    After beginning the season at AAA Iowa following a terrible spring, the Cubs decided not to put him on the roster. He instead went to extended spring training in Arizona, pitching only two innings on April 12th before feeling the pain return to his shoulder.

    Prior is a career 42-29 with a 3.51 ERA, making just nine starts last year for the Cubs after three stints on the DL.

    [Chicago Sun Times]

    Tim Hudson (3-0, 0.62 ERA) vs. Braden Looper (2-1, 7.50 ERA)

    Right-handed ace Tim Hudson, owner of the lowest ERA in the majors at 0.62, will take the hill for the Atlanta Braves (13-7) when they face lefty Scott Olsen and the Florida Marlins (9-11) at 7:05pm ET tonight.

    Hudson looks to stay absolutely perfect in his career against the Marlins, and help the Braves to a series win on Tuesday night. In four starts this season, he has allowed only two runs over 29 innings with an opponent batting average of .165.

    Hudson is 3-0 with a 2.19 ERA in four starts at Dolphin Stadium while Olsen is 1-3 with a 11.02 ERA in five games against the Braves, allowing at least five runs in three of his four starts.

    Watch out for the Braves' awesome third baseman Chipper Jones! He nailed a two-run homer off Olsen in their last meeting, and is 3-for-6 with a double, triple, home run and eight RBIs against him lifetime.

    After losing the series opener, Atlanta beat the Marlins 11-6 on Tuesday. Jeff Francoeur went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and is 8-for-14 with eight RBIs in his last three games. Florida's right fielder Cody Ross doubled, homered and drove in five in the loss. He's 7-for-16 with two homers and eight RBIs in his last five games.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Rockies (8-13) @ Mets (13-6) 1:10pm ET

    • Brewers (13-7) @ Cubs (7-13) 2:20pm ET

    • Astros (9-10) @ Pirates (8-10) 7:05pm ET

    • Nationals (6-14) @ Phillies (8-11) 7:05pm ET

    • Reds (10-10) @ Cardinals (8-11) 8:10pm ET

    • Padres (12-8) @ Diamondbacks (10-11) 9:40pm ET

    • Giants (10-8) @ Dodgers (13-7) 10:10pm ET

    Edwin Jackson (0-2, 6.75 ERA) vs. John Lackey (2-2, 2.55 ERA)

    The Los Angeles Angels (10-10) will look to move above .500 when they put righty ace John Lackey on the mound to host rookie right-hander Edwin Jackson and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (9-11) at 10:05pm ET tonight.

    The Angels have won only once in eight road games, but are 9-3 at Angel Stadium with a collective .304 average for 10 homers and 63 runs.

    The D'Rays have won just five of their last 29 games in Anaheim, and have not won a series there since taking two of three games in May of 1999.

    Vladimir Guerrero, leading the majors with a .403 batting average, is 9-for-18 with two homers and six RBIs during this seven-game homestand.

    Carl Crawford had been hitless in 11 at-bats before going 4-for-4 with a grand slam on Tuesday to aid Tampa Bay in a 6-4 victory over the New York Yankees, completing the two-game sweep.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Blue Jays (10-10) @ Yankees (8-11) 7:05pm ET

    • Rangers (8-11) @ Indians (10-7) 7:05pm ET

    • Red Sox (12-7) @ Orioles (11-9) 7:05pm ET

    • Royals (6-14) @ Twins (11-9) 8:10pm ET

    • Tigers (11-9) @ White Sox (11-8) 8:11pm ET

    • Mariners (6-9) @ Athletics (11-9) 10:05pm ET


    Ken Griffey Jr. passes Reddie Jacksonon the all-time home runs list.
    Ken Griffey Jr. moved up on the career home runs list with one sweet swing, bumping Hall of Famer out of the top 10.

    The Cincinnati Reds outfielder moved into 10th place on the career home runs list with his first longball of the season - the 564th of his career - aiding his club in a 10-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

    Mr. October called the slugger to congratulate him last fall when he tied him, so another call is expected soon.

    "To pass him, sometimes it's mindboggling because I didn't think when I started playing this game 19 years ago that I'd be anywhere close to where I am now," Griffey said.
    The lefty outfielder is hitting .273 so far this season with the one homer and 9 RBIs. Junior is a career .291 hitter and has played in 2291 games.


    Carl Crawford is congratulated by teammates after hitting the go-ahead grand salami in the bottom of the seventh.
    Not only did Alex Rodriguez end his 23-game hitting streak, the New York Yankees (8-11) dropped into last place in the AL East after their 6-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (9-11) on Tuesday night.

    Scott Kazmir held A-Rod to 0-3 with a walk, gave up a second-inning leadoff homer to Hideki Matsui and a single to Jorge Posada before retiring 12 in a row. In six innings, Kazmir allowed 3 runs - one earned - on 5 hits with 2 walks, striking out five.

    Chien-Ming Wang, back from starting the season on the DL with a right hamstring injury, pitched into the seventh after allowing 4 runs on 9 hits with 3 strikeouts. Carl Crawford had a hot night at the plate, going 4-4 with a seventh inning grand slam off reliever Mike Myers.

    To make matters worse for the Yankees, Derek Jeter was nailed on the left thigh in the first inning. But not to worry Jeter fans, he'll be fine. Trainers checked him out after he took his base, as he remained in the game until New York took the field. Captain hopes to be back today for the start of a two-game set against the Toronto Blue Jays.

  • Braves 11, Marlins 6

  • Astros 0, Pirates 3

  • Nationals 3, Phillies 6

  • Rockies 1, Mets 2

  • Brewers 4, Cubs 1

  • Reds 10, Cardinals 3

  • Padres 10, Diamondbacks 5

  • Giants 5, Dodgers 3

  • Athletics 4, Orioles 2

  • Tigers 8, Angels 9

  • Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 3

  • Indians 5, Twins 3

  • White Sox, Royals

  • Mariners @ Rangers - postponed

  • [MLB]


    Torii Hunter is an all-around nice guy.A simple act of generosity and kindness has gotten Minnesota Twins gold glove center fielder Torii Hunter in some trouble with Major League Baseball.

    Fulfilling a promise he made when the Kansas City Royals swept the Detroit Tigers last season to hand the Twins the AL Central Title, Hunter sent four bottles of champagne to Mike Sweeney's locker this weekend.

    Apparently, Torri has violated MLB rule 21-b. Serious stuff. The rule states:

    "Any player or person connected with a Club who shall offer or give any gift or reward to a player or person connected with another Club for services rendered ... in defeating or attempting to defeat a competing Club ... shall be declared ineligible for not less than three years."
    It might take a bit more than 4 bottles of Dom Perignon to bribe the Royals... since they're such a threat to the division.

    The Twins received a phone call from the commissioner's office Monday, ordering the club to contact the Royals, who agreed to send all four unopened bottles back to Minnesota.

    Twins GM Terry Ryan wasn't aware of the rule, either. "I'm to blame as much as anybody because I didn't know the rule," he said. Although a suspension for Hunter seems unlikely, he could still be fined. The Royals also could face penalties for accepting the gift.

    The violation was first reported by blog, of course.

    [Star Tribune] | []

    John Lackey Has Things On His Mind

    John Lackey has joined the blogosphere.
    Good lord, it's too early for this kind of stuff.

    Los Angeles Angels pitcher John Lackey has started his own blog on YardBarker. What's it called, you ask? Why, it's called "John Lackey's Official YardBarker Blog" of course. Catchy, I know.

    It doesn't seem as personal as Curt Schilling's blog, 38 pitches, but it may provide some insight into his game as he answers questions in the comments.

    So. Who's next, Manny Ramirez? I'm sure the world would love to know what he's really thinking about in the outfield when he's just being Manny.

    [Red Sox Times] | [John Lackey's Blog]

    David Wells (0-1, 5.06 ERA) vs. Randy Johnson (0-0, -.-- ERA)

    You guys thought Jamie Moyer vs. Tom Glavine was the geriatric matchup of the year? You ain't seen nothin' yet.

    Veteran left-hander David Wells, 43, will be on the mound for the San Diego Padres (11-8) when they face another 43-year-old veteran lefty in Randy Johnson and the Arizona Diamondbacks (10-10) at 9:40pm ET.

    The Big Unit returns to the hill after October back surgery in his second stint with the D'Backs. He is 14-3 with a 2.07 ERA in 22 starts - including one relief appearance - against the Padres, but hasn't faced them since his last season with Arizona in 2004.

    Wells is coming off a strong outing against the Diamondbacks, but didn't receive a decision after allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings in San Diego's 5-2 loss on Wednesday. He is 3-2 with a 4.23 ERA in nine starts against Arizona.

    Padres right fielder Brian Giles is batting .074 (2-for-27) with 12 strikeouts against Johnson while center fielder Mike Cameron is hitting .080 (2-for-25) with 15 strikeouts. Let's see if Randy still knows how to leave them swinging.

    The Diamondbacks and the Padres split a two-game set in San Diego last week.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Braves (12-7) @ Marlins (9-10) 7:05pm ET

    • Astros (9-9) @ Pirates (7-10) 7:05pm ET

    • Nationals (6-13) @ Phillies (7-11) 7:05pm ET

    • Rockies (8-12) @ Mets (12-6) 7:10pm ET

    • Brewers (12-7) @ Cubs (7-12) 8:05pm ET

    • Reds (9-10) @ Cardinals (8-10) 8:10pm ET

    • Giants (9-8) @ Dodgers (13-6) 10:10pm ET

    Jeremy Bonderman (0-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. Kelvim Escobar (1-1, 3.18 ERA)

    Wrapping up a two-game series with the Los Angeles Angels (9-10), right-hander Jeremy Bonderman and the Detroit Tigers (11-8) will face Kelvim Escobar at 3:35pm ET this afternoon.

    The Tigers managed 12 hits in a 9-5 win on Monday, its second straight over the Angels and third in a row overall. That may be tough to duplicate against Escobar, who is 8-0 with a 2.10 ERA in 19 career games - eight starts - against Detroit.

    Bonderman will give them a chance however, as he is 2-2 with a 3.55 ERA in six starts against Los Angeles, still looking for his first decision of the season. Tigers right fielder Magglio Ordonez is 9-for-20 with eight RBIs and shortstop Carlos Guillen is 8-for-20 with eight RBIs over the last five games.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Mariners (6-9) @ Rangers (8-11) 2:05pm ET

    • Athletics (10-9) @ Orioles (11-8) 3:05pm ET

    • Blue Jays (9-10) @ Red Sox (12-6) 7:05pm ET

    • Yankees (8-10) @ Devil Rays (8-11) 7:10pm ET

    • White Sox (10-8) @ Royals (6-13) 8:10pm ET

    • Indians (9-7) @ Twins (11-8) 8:10pm ET


    Phil Hughes: the next um... Mike Mussina?
    Phil Hughes will be making his major league debut a bit earlier than expected. The day after finding themselves swept by the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees said they plan on having their top pitching prospect start Thursday against the Toronto Blue Jays.

    With the the Yankees dropping to four games behind the AL East-leading Sox, the 20-year-old righty has compiled a 2-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts with AAA Scranton, pitching six shutout innings last Wednesday at Syracuse where he allowed just two hits, struck out 10 and walked none.

    According to Elias, the Yankees haven't started a pitcher this young since Jose Rijo pitched as an 18- and 19-year-old in 1984.

    Chase Wright is awesome at giving up homers.In Sunday's 7-6 loss at Boston, Chase Wright made a forgettable impression in his second major league start, becoming only the second big league pitcher to allow four consecutive home runs in one inning. Up until last week, Wright had never pitched above the Class-AA level. To make a long story short, Wright was optioned back to Trenton on Monday when the Yankees activated left fielder Hideki Matsui from the 15-day disabled list.

    Chien-Ming Wang will return to the Yankees' rotation shortly.The Yanks are struggling to cope with their injury-plagued rotation with Chien-Ming Wang scheduled to come off the DL on Tuesday after nursing a hamstring injury.

    Andy Pettitte, who already has pitched twice in long relief, will get the ball on Wednesday, leaving Jeff Karstens, Kei Igawa and Wang to start against the Red Sox this coming weekend at Yankee Stadium.

    Mike Mussina, who is out with an injured hamstring, is scheduled for a bullpen session Tuesday and is looking at pitching in a minor league rehab game on Friday. If everything goes as planned, manager Joe Torre says Moose will be slated to start against the Texas Rangers on May 3rd.

    Carl Pavano has been sidelined once again. Wait, you saw this coming?Last but certainly not least is Carl Pavano, who was sidelined with tightness in his right forearm. He played catch for a second straight day Monday, but was still feeling that pesky "grabbing" sensation while throwing.

    While there is no timetable yet for his return, I'm sure after 2 years away from baseball and only starts into the season, Pavano is anxious to pitch again.

    [River Ave. Blues] | [Sporting News]

    Price Fielder hits a two-run shot in the 12th inning last night.
    Prince Fielder hit two balls into the stands, including a 12th-inning shot that capped a five-run rally, leading the Milwaukee Brewers (12-7) in a 5-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs (7-12) Monday night.

    Fielder's fourth homer of the season came with one out off Rocky Cherry (0-1), who started the inning for his big league debut.

    That's not all the damage Fielder caused. Brewers catcher Johnny Estrada left in the seventh with a bruised left knee after colliding with the 262-pound first baseman on a Felix Pie bunt.

    The last-place Cubbies got a less-than-decent outing from Carlos Zambrano, who pitched 5.1 innings while allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, walking three batters and striking out seven.

    Big Z sat down with a 4-2 lead before Fielder homered off Scott Eyre to lead off the eighth. The Brew Crew tied it up when Damian Miller walked with one out, and Geoff Jenkins and Craig Counsell singled.

    Carlos Villanueva (1-0) pitched four scoreless innings along with Milwaukee's bullpen, who allowed five hits in eight scoreless innings with Derrek Turnbow recording his first save of the season.

  • Athletics 6, Orioles 5

  • Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3

  • Yankees 8, Devil Rays 10

  • Mariners 5, Rangers 4

  • White Sox 7, Royals 4

  • Indians 7, Twins 3

  • Tigers 9, Angels 5

  • Braves 7, Marlins 8

  • Astros 4, Phillies 11

  • Rockies 1, Mets 6

  • [MLB]


    A-Rod is the fastest to 14 home runs ever in the history of the world.
    And fourteen.

    Alex Rodriguez became the first player in big league history to hit 13 homers in the first 18 games of a season, smoking a 2-2 pitch into the left field stands off Casey Fossum in the second inning Monday night against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays - a game which the Yankees lost, 10-8.

    Then, the third baseman became the fastest player to fourteen longballs ever in the history of the game when he nailed a two-run shot to left in the top of the ninth off Al Reyes.

    The second home run tied the major league record set by Albert Pujols in 2006 for dingers in the month of April. Rodriguez is the first Yankee to have 14 homers and 34 RBIs in any given calendar month, in addition to Roger Maris hitting 13 of them in July of 1961.

    Update: Sammy Sosa holds the record for most home runs in a month with 20, coming in June of (when else?) 1998.

    [Box Score]

    Is Mark Prior's brief career nearing its end?The Chicago Cubs announced Monday that Mark Prior will undergo exploratory arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Tuesday in Alabama. If doctors must tighten any shoulder capsules, Prior would likely be out for the season.

    GM Jim Hendry hopes that's not the case. He spoke with Prior over the weekend and said he was in good spirits.

    The right-hander was 1-6 with a 7.91 ERA in 9 starts last year - a season cut short by a laundry list of injuries, including inflammation in his pitching elbow. Prior enjoyed his best season in 2003 when he went 18-6 with a 2.41 ERA and 245 strike outs.

    [Chicago Tribune]

    Wade Miller is in sad shape.
    The Chicago Cubs put Wade Miller's season out of its misery on Monday, placing the righty on the 15-day disabled list due to back spasms.

    Curiously, this move comes just one day after Miller was absolutely rocked by the St. Louis Cardinals for seven runs in 4.2 innings of the 12-9 loss. Over three starts this season, Miller is 0-1 with a 10.54 ERA.

    Rocky Cherry: sweetest name ever?Meanwhile, the club recalled righty Rocky Cherry (sweetest name ever?) from AAA Iowa. The 27-year-old Cherry was impressive for the Cubs during spring training, going 1-1 with a 1.46 ERA along with five saves in 12 relief appearances.

    Cherry bears a striking resemblance to Rocky Balboa in that particular photo. It's almost scary.

    [Chicago Tribune]

    Milton Bradley celebrates St. Patrick's Day.Just two days after returning from a strained left hamstring injury, Oakland Athletics center fielder Milton Bradley left Sunday's game in the sixth inning after feeling pain in the same leg when beating out an infield single.

    Bradley stayed in to run the bases but didn't take the field in the bottom of the inning. Nick Swisher shifted from first base to center and Todd Walker entered the game at first.

    The disabled list is a possibility for the switch-hitter, who missed six games with his previous injury.

    Bradley's injury provided an opportunity for the A's to call Brad Halsey up from the minors to take the mound for Tuesday afternoon's game against the Baltimore Orioles, but they've instead gone with Dallas Braden.

    Brad Halsey is pissed.Halsey is absolutely steaming. Since he was held out of his AAA start with the Sacramento River Cats Saturday, he assumed to be called up to take the injured Rich Harden's place in the rotation. The lefty is convinced he was passed over because the A's found out that he is scheduled for an MRI exam later this week.

    Makes sense to me. Why bring someone up that has arm trouble? Halsey has repeatedly complained of tenderness in his biceps since this Spring, but has apparently been told time and again that he doesn't need an MRI.

    "Then they send you down and screw you. I'm grinding it out, trying to be a team guy, and I get [screwed]. It's all just a business decision, because if I came up and pitched Tuesday and then had an MRI and had to go on the DL, they'd have to pay me major-league DL money. It's such a mom-and-pop organization.

    ...I'm a team guy, I'm pitching through problems, and they tell me, 'You're the guy, you're going to start [at Baltimore]' - and then I get skipped specifically for [the possible injury]. It's [messed up] the way they treat the people they employ. I mean, I'm a person too, not just a piece of the puzzle."
    GM Billy Beane says he was unaware of Halsey's scheduled exam, but the young pitcher claims otherwise. He says the organization seems to be fine with him shredding his arm down in the minors, because it doesn't cost them a penny.

    He is well aware that bad-mouthing the A's organization won't help him get the call, but he says he plans on getting his arm healed up with the intention of throwing baseballs for someone else someday.

    Update: Milton Bradley has indeed landed on the 15-day DL along with staff ace Rich Harden, who is suffering from an injured right shoulder.

    [Contra Costa Times] | [San Francisco Chronicle]

    Claudio Vargas (1-0, 3.46 ERA) vs. Carlos Zambrano (1-2, 7.77 ERA)

    Right-hander Claudio Vargas and the Milwaukee Brewers (11-7) will enter Wrigley Field to take on righty Carlos Zambrano and his Chicago Cubs (7-11) at 8:05pm ET tonight with the intention of quieting Big Z. The Cubs' ace called out Milwaukee after his last outing against them, saying the Brew Crew aren't as tough as the Cincinnati Reds.
    Milwaukee centerfielder Bill Hall was a little ticked about Zambrano's comments, saying "We'll see what happens the next time we face him."
    Hall's bat doesn't speak any louder than his words, however. He is just 5-for-27 with 13 strikeouts in his career against Zambrano, which is the worst average of any Brewer with at least 10 at-bats against him.

    Milwaukee lost two of three to Chicago last April, but hasn't lost a series since.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Astros (9-8) @ Phillies (6-11) 7:05pm ET

    • Braves (12-6) @ Marlins (8-10) 7:05pm ET

    • Rockies (8-11) @ Mets (11-6) 7:10pm ET

    Mark Buehrle (1-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Gil Meche (1-1, 2.22 ERA)

    Coming off his first career no-hitter, Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle will take on righty Gil Meche and the Kansas City Royals (6-12) at 8:10pm ET tonight.

    Buehrle's plan is to become just the second pitcher in big league history to throw back-to-back no-no's, which may prove more difficult than he assumes against the Royals, who are coming off a series win against the Minnesota Twins.

    Meche is 5-2 with a 4.62 ERA in nine starts against the White Sox (9-8) without receiving a decision in two starts against them last season. In that pair of outings, he gave up nine runs on nine hits over 10.1 innings.

    Kansas City was 5-4 at home last season versus Chicago.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Blue Jays (8-10) @ Red Sox (12-5) 7:05pm ET

    • Athletics (9-9) @ Orioles (11-7) 7:05pm ET

    • Yankees (8-9) @ Devil Rays (7-11) 7:10pm ET

    • Mariners (5-9) @ Rangers (8-10) 8:05pm ET

    • Indians (8-7) @ Twins (11-7) 8:10pm ET

    • Tigers (10-8) @ Angels (9-9) 10:05pm ET


    Eric Gagne poses all tough in front of a red background.
    Texas Rangers closer Eric Gagne got one out in the ninth before leaving with a strained right hip. He landed awkwardly after releasing a pitch to Oakland Athletics' second baseman Mark Ellis before eventually limping off the field.

    The 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner, who signed a one-year deal with the Rangers this offseason, pitched in only 14 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2005 before having season-ending surgery on his right elbow. Then, he appeared in just two games last year before having back surgery to end that season.

    Rangers manager Ron Washington said Gagne is day-to-day and his status will be reevaluated Monday.

    Update: Eric Gagne has indeed landed on the 15-day DL after being diagnosed with a hip injury.

    [Texas Rangers news]

    The Super Nintendo stole my childhood.James "Buster" Douglas knocks out Mike Tyson to win the World Heavyweight boxing crown. The Super Nintendo is released in Japan. At 12:34:56 (am and pm) on 7/8/90, the time and date aligned. The year was 1990 and it was the last time the Boston Red Sox swept the New York Yankees.

    It seems this series will not be ignored.

    On ten pitches from youngster Chase Wright (1-0, 7.88 ERA), the Red Sox nailed four straight homers, helping to complete a sweep of the Yankees for the first time in seventeen years.

    Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek connected against the lefty in just his second (rather forgettable) big league start. Derek Jeter hit his first homer of the season for New York to tie it at 4 in the fifth after Jason Giambi drove in three runs, but the Yankees' bullpen failed - even with starter Andy Pettitte making his second relief appearance of the year.

    Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-2, 4.00 ERA) had his worst outing in four big league starts, allowing six runs in seven-plus innings.

    The last team to hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back longballs in an inning was the Los Angeles Dodgers last season against the San Diego Padres. The last American League team to do so was the Minnesota Twins in 1964. The Red Sox are the fifth team in major league history to perform the feat.

  • White Sox 5, Tigers 6

  • Blue Jays 3, Orioles 7

  • Indians 6, Devil Rays 4

  • Twins 1, Royals 3

  • Athletics 3, Rangers 4

  • Mariners 1, Angels 6

  • Nationals 6, Marlins 12

  • Braves 9, Mets 6

  • Phillies 9, Reds 3

  • Astros 3, Brewers 4

  • Cardinals 12, Cubs 9

  • Padres 2, Rockies 4

  • Diamondbacks 1, Giants 2

  • Pirates 7, Dodgers 5

  • [MLB] | [Dodgers Homers Video] | [Red Sox Homers Video]


    Tom Gorzelanny (2-0, 1.33 ERA) vs. Brett Tomko (0-0, 1.64 ERA)

    Right-hander Brett Tomko and the red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers (13-5) will host lefty Tom Gorzellany and the Pittsburgh Pirates (6-10) at 4:10pm ET this evening.

    Tomko will look for his first decision of the season and another home sweep over Pittsburgh for the Dodgers. He went 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts against the Pirates last season, but also faced them once in relief, when he allowed four runs - one earned - on four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Tomko is a career 7-5 with a 4.35 ERA in 19 games against them.

    Gorzelanny has allowed just three runs in 21.1 innings this season, but has only faced the Dodgers once in his career, pitching one inning of relief in which he gave up three runs and two hits.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Nationals (6-12) @ Marlins (7-10) in progress

    • Braves (11-6) @ Mets (11-5) 1:10pm ET

    • Phillies (5-11) @ Reds (9-9) 1:15pm ET

    • Astros (9-7) @ Brewers (10-7) 2:05pm ET

    • Cardinals (7-10) @ Cubs (7-10) 2:20pm ET

    • Padres (11-7) @ Rockies (7-11) 3:05pm ET

    • Diamondbacks (10-9) @ Giants (8-8) 4:05pm ET

    Jake Westbrook (0-2, 12.08 ERA) vs. James Shields (1-0, 5.40 ERA)

    Coming off one of the worst outings of his career, right-hander Jake Westbrook will again try for his first victory of the season and help the Cleveland Indians (7-7) avoid dropping the series to righty James Shields and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (7-10) when the teams finish up a three-game set Sunday at 1:40pm ET.

    Westbrook is a career 5-2 with a 4.21 ERA in nine starts against the Devil Rays (7-10) and has won his last three outings against them. Shields will make his first appearance against the Indians after allowing five runs on nine hits over 6.1 innings in a 9-7 loss to Baltimore on Monday.

    Watch out for that monster, Travis Hafner. He went 1-for-4 with a three-run shot Saturday, the sixth straight game in which he's homered in Tampa. Hafner, who is batting .632 in his last five games, has nine longballs and 19 RBIs in 55 career at-bats at Tampa Bay.

    More AL Games Today...
    • White Sox (9-7) @ Tigers(9-8) in progress

    • Blue Jays (8-9) @ Orioles (10-7) 1:05pm ET

    • Twins (11-6) @ Royals (5-12) 2:10pm ET

    • Athletics (9-8) @ Rangers (7-10) 3:05pm ET

    • Mariners (5-8) @ Angels (8-9) 3:35pm ET

    • Yankees (8-8) @ Red Sox (11-5) 8:05pm ET


    Hamels K's 15, Phillies Triple Play

    Cole Hamels fans fifteen Saturday night against the Reds.
    Ladies and gentlemen, your new strike out leader, Cole Hamels.

    Hamels enjoyed the best performance of his short career when he fanned a career-high fifteen batters in his first complete game Saturday night. Meanwhile, the Phillies turned the first triple play in the big leagues this season - the first in nearly eight years for the club - in their 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

    Hamels (2-0, 2.57 ERA) allowed five hits and walked two using 115 pitches. His previous career high for strikeouts was 12, which he managed twice last season. He leads Johan Santana by one strikeout for the major league lead, with 33 K's and is three ahead of Ted Lilly for the NL best.

    David Ross hit into a triple play Saturday, bringing his batting average down to a shoddy .105.With Josh Hamilton on second and Edwin Encarnacion on first in the fifth inning, David Ross grounded out to Phillies third baseman Abraham Núñez, who stepped on the bag to force Hamilton before throwing to second baseman Chase Utley to force Encarnacion for the second out.

    Utley's relay to first baseman Wes Helms nailed Ross by a step, helping the Phillies hang onto a 2-1 lead. The Reds' catcher is batting only .105 this season after going 0-for-2 when his only well-hit ball of the evening went for three outs.


    Barry Bonds hits #739
    We haven't really mentioned The Barrys around here for a while, so a Giants recap was in order.

    Barry Zito put together his second straight scoreless outing to earn his first win at home with the San Francisco Giants (8-8), leading the club to a 1-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks (10-9) Saturday afternoon while Barry Bonds hit his 739th career home run, moving within 17 longballs of Hank Aaron's 755. We will do our best not to mention that again if and until he ends his quest for The Record.

    Zito (2-2, 3.70 ERA) strung together 7.1 scoreless innings of baseball, giving up only 4 hits and striking out five batters, but walked three.

    Opposing pitcher Edgar Gonzalez (1-1, 5.40 ERA) threw seven solid innings, but was handed the loss after his team failed to score any runs against the former Cy Young Award winner. Gonzalez allowed only five hits and struck out seven, the lone run coming on, of course, Barry's solo shot to deep center in the second inning.

  • White Sox 7, Tigers 5

  • Twins 7, Royals 5

  • Yankees 5, Red Sox 7

  • Blue Jays 2, Orioles 5

  • Indians 5, Devil Rays 6

  • Athletics 0, Rangers 7

  • Mariners 6, Angels 7

  • Braves 2, Mets 7

  • Cardinals 0, Cubs 6

  • Astros 4, Brewers 6

  • Nationals 3, Marlins 9

  • Phillies 4, Reds 1

  • Padres 7, Rockies 3

  • Pirates 3, Dodgers 7

  • [MLB]


    "Hello again, everybody. It's a bee-yooo-tiful day for baseball."

    Some people have the strangest fetishes.Instead of quoting various sports bloggers' stories today, we've decided to bust out some of the more memorable quotes from the players themselves. Enjoy!

  • "If a tie is like kissing your sister, then losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out." - George Brett

  • "I get the ball, I throw the ball, and then I take a shower." - Mariano Rivera

  • "Why should I stretch? Does a cheetah stretch before it chases its prey?" - Ken Griffey Jr.

  • "I've seldom seen a horny player walk into a bar and not let out exactly what he did for a living." - Johnny Bench

  • "I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice." - Casey Stengel

  • "I think everyone is ticklish. You just gotta find the right spots." - Derek Jeter

  • "When I began playing the game, baseball was about as gentlemanly as a kick in the crotch" - Ty Cobb

  • "Anybody with ability can play in the big leagues. But to be able to trick people year in and year out, the way I did, I think that was a much greater feat." - Bob Uecker

  • "The reality is that players can't play forever." - Cal Ripken, Jr.
  • Chuck James (2-1, 2.25 ERA) vs. Oliver Pérez (1-1, 3.72 ERA)

    Two of the hottest teams in the National League will meet up today as left-hander Oliver Pérez and the New York Mets (10-5) host the division rival Atlanta Braves (11-5) with lefty Chuck James on the hill at 1:10pm ET this afternoon.

    The Mets are looking to regain control of the NL East, but Pérez has been wildly inconsistent thus far, pitching a 6-strike out, 5-hitter against the Braves on April 6th before walking seven and allowing three runs against the Phillies 5 days later.

    James will try to rebound from his first loss of the season after a cold and windy start against the Nationals on Monday, when he gave up three runs and five hits through five innings of a 5-1 loss.

    Atlanta took a big lead in the series opener Friday, cruising to a 7-3 win behind eight sharp innings from starter Tim Hudson. Mets third baseman David Wright went 0-for-3, ending his franchise-record hitting streak at 26 games. He's batting .235 with one RBI and six strikeouts versus the Braves.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Cardinals (7-9) @ Cubs (6-10) 3:55pm ET

    • Diamondbacks (10-8) @ Giants (7-8) 4:05pm ET

    • Nationals (6-11) @ Marlins (6-10) 7:05pm ET

    • Astros (9-6) @ Brewers (9-7) 7:05pm ET

    • Phillies (4-11) @ Reds (9-8) 7:10pm ET

    • Padres (10-7) @ Rockies (7-10) 8:05pm ET

    • Pirates (6-9) @ Dodgers (12-5) 10:10pm ET

    Jeff Karstens (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (3-0, 1.50 ERA)

    Alright. I give up. Right-hander Jeff Karstens and the New York Yankees (8-7) face righty Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox (10-5) in the second game of the first three-game series between the two heated rivals at 3:35pm ET today.

    It didn't matter how many homers the sizzling A-Rod hit last night, the Yankees managed to squander a four-run, eighth inning lead. The Sox scored five runs in the bottom of the inning off Yankee relievers, including the final two off closer Mariano Rivera, who fell to 0-for-2 in save opportunities after blowing just three in 37 chances last season.

    Boston center fielder Coco Crisp tripled home the tying runs in the eighth before scoring the eventual winning run on Alex Cora's bloop single, marking the third straight and sixth victory in seven games for the Red Sox.

    Beckett has allowed just one run in each of his three starts this season, while limiting opponents to a .159 batting average and striking out 18 batters over 18 innings. Meanwhile, the 24-year-old Karstens makes his 2007 Yankees debut after beginning the season on the DL with elbow stiffness. Karstens went 2-1 with a 3.80 ERA in eight appearances - including six starts - last year and has never faced Boston.

    More AL Games Today...
    • White Sox (8-7) @ Tigers (9-7) 1:05pm ET

    • Twins (10-6) @ Royals (5-11) 2:10pm ET

    • Blue Jays (8-8) @ Orioles (9-7) 7:05pm ET

    • Indians (7-6) @ Devil Rays (6-10) 7:10pm ET

    • Athletics (9-7) @ Rangers (6-10) 8:05pm ET

    • Mariners (5-7) @ Angels (7-9) 8:05pm ET


    Angels pitcher and Hokies' alumnus Joe Saunders honors the victims of the VT tragedy
    Joe Saunders wore his old college cap with "VT" written on his cleats, standing on a mound that had "Virginia Tech" scribbled in its dirt Friday night.

    The only Hokies' alumnus currently in the big leagues ended his tribute to the 32 victims shot to death on the Virginia Tech campus last Monday by pitching six scoreless innings in the Los Angeles Angels' 8-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

    During a moment of silence for them before the game, Saunders seemed near tears. Commissioner Bud Selig had given him special permission to wear the school cap, and Saunders said, "I can't thank him enough for that. I think somebody upstairs was looking after me tonight, and everybody in Blacksburg was looking after me," he said. "My heart was out to them."
    Lefty Saunders (2-0, 1.96 ERA) gave up seven hits, walked two and struck out one as the Angels ended a six-game losing streak.

    There hasn't been a lot of talk about the tragedy around here, mostly because I can't even think about it without tears. It's a sad, unfortunate event that hopefully helps everyone realize the ones close to us are completely irreplaceable.

    [Los Angeles Daily News]

    Wouldn't you know, our 600th post is about something scandalous.

    Minnesota Twins minor league pitcher Anthony Swarzak was suspended Friday for 50 games after testing positive for a drug of abuse banned by baseball's testing program.

    The 21-year-old righty was 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA in one start and one relief appearance over 5.2 innings this season for Class-AA New Britain.

    He is the fourth minor leaguer suspended under the drug program this year, with 37 suspensions under the program last year - 32 for performance-enhancing drugs and five for drugs of abuse.

    Something that completely boggles my mind is why on earth would these players risk their season and reputations by taking banned substances? Is it really worth it?

    Testing for drugs of abuse is not administered randomly, but on a basis of reasonable cause. The list of banned substances for drugs of abuse include marijuana, cocaine, LSD, PCP, opiates, MDMA, GHB and Ephedra.

    [Star Tribune]

    Friday's Babelicious Scoreboard

    Travis Buck is greeted by third base coach Rene Lachemann as he rounds third after nailing a two-run homer off Bruce Chen in the fourth inning.
    Everybody loves a good ass-whoopin', right? That's what the Texas Rangers (6-10) got from Travis Buck and the AL West-leading Oakland Athletics (9-7) Friday night.

    Rangers starter Brandon McCarthy (1-3, 10.20 ERA) pitched just into the second inning, but managed to give up 6 runs and 2 walks worth of damage on 4 hits. Oakland got a two-run double from Bobby Crosby, an RBI double by Sexy Mark Ellis - before adding a two-run double in the eighth - and a run-scoring single from Shannon Stewart. McCarthy did strike out Mike Piazza once, however.

    Oakland starter Joe Blanton (2-0, 4.12 ERA) allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking one. Buck, 0-for-6 in his previous two games and 2-for-3 with 5 RBIs Friday, added a two-run shot in the fourth off Bruce Chen that stretched Oakland's lead to 10-zip.

    The Rangers lost for the fifth time in six games as Ron Washington managed his first regular-season game against his former team.

  • White Sox 5, Tigers 4

  • Yankees 6, Red Sox 7

  • Blue Jays 4, Orioles 5

  • Indians 4, Devil Rays 3

  • Twins 7, Royals 11

  • Cardinals 2, Cubs 1

  • Nationals 6, Marlins 5

  • Braves 7, Mets 3

  • Phillies 1, Reds 2

  • Astros 6, Brewers 5

  • Padres 11, Rockies 1

  • Diamondbacks 2, Giants 4

  • Pirates 2, Dodgers 10

  • [MLB]

    Mesa On The DL

    Jose Mesa has landed himself on the disabled list after pulling a groin muscle. Ouch.
    The Detroit Tigers placed right-handed reliever Jose Mesa on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a pulled right groin muscle. Mesa is 0-1 with a 20.25 ERA in 2.2 innings over four relief appearances.

    Detroit recalled righty reliever Aquilino Lopez from the AAA Toledo Mud Hens to fill Mesa's roster spot. Lopez has recorded four saves and hasn't allowed a run over seven appearances - 6.1 innings - without being awarded a decision.



    Happy Holidays!

    Dmitri Young wishes you a happy 4/20.

    All my love,
    Dmitri Young

    Under The Bleachers

    Mark Buehrle
    We caught up with Mark Buehrle after his recent no-hitter to ask him how it felt to be a star for a day.

    Sooze: Hey, Mark! Thanks for sitting down with us.

    Mark: Have you guys ever met my friend A.J. Pierzynski?

    Lizzy: No, we haven't had the pleasure.

    A.J.: I'll give you the pleasure.

    Sooze: So... Mark, how did you feel after your no-no?

    Mark: You know, it was really great --

    A.J. likes getting punched in the faceA.J.: Have you girls ever "done it"?

    Lizzy: Done it?

    A.J.: You know, with each other?

    Sooze: Wouldn't you like to know.

    Lizzy: We've actually never met each other, Mark.

    A.J.: He brought me along cause he's shy around girls...

    Mark: Shut up dude, you practically begged me to come along.

    Lizzy: Back to that no-hitter --

    A.J.: I totally called that no-no. I was in the dugout talking crap to Jim Thome and I was all, "Burly's totally gonna have a perfect game." Then he walked Sammy and Jim hit me in the face. He hurt me, see? (points to his misshapen melon)

    Sooze: Let me see that (smack!)

    A.J.: Ouch!

    Mark: You're always such a baby.

    David Eckstein is so scrappy and littleA.J.: Nu-UH! Did you see me take down Eckstein on Pay-Per-view? I kicked that midget's ass!

    Lizzy: David Eckstein is not a midget.

    Sooze: That's right, he's just vertically challenged.

    Mark: Ahh, plus that whole thing was set up.

    A.J.: Whatever.

    Mark: I felt great after my no-hitter. But what really matters is that we won the game as a team.

    A.J.: I totally had a hit in that game.

    Mark: God, A.J. you're always trying to steal my thunder! You're hitting like, .195 this season!

    Lizzy: Yeah, you suck.

    A.J.: I totally --

    Sooze: I think that's all the time we have for today guys. Thanks again.

    Squeeze Play

    Braden Looper (2-1, 2.37 ERA) vs. Ted Lilly (1-1, 2.37 ERA)

    In a matchup between two 6-9 teams, the St. Louis Cardinals will look to avoid their fifth straight loss when they put right-hander Braden Looper on the hill to face veteran lefty Ted Lilly and the arch-rival Chicago Cubs at 2:20pm ET this afternoon.

    Chicago's St. Louis' 6-9 start is the worst by a reigning World Series champion since the 1998 Florida Marlins opened at 1-11. The outlook is not sunny either, having gone 2-8 against the Cubs last year and losing their last 13 of 18 meetings since the start of 2005.

    While the Cardinals were pretty terrible against the Cubs last season, Looper was outstanding against them, pitching 12.2 scoreless innings over 10 relief appearances. This being his first season as a starter, Loop has given up just 5 runs over 19 innings.

    Lilly did well in his only career start against the Cards, allowing four hits over seven shutout innings of a 5-2 victory last June, while pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Nationals (5-11) @ Marlins (6-9) 7:05pm ET

    • Phillies (4-10) @ Reds (8-8) 7:10pm ET

    • Braves (10-5) @ Mets (10-4) 7:10pm ET

    • Astros (8-6) @ Brewers (9-6) 8:05pm ET

    • Padres (9-7) @ Rockies (7-9) 8:05pm ET

    • Diamondbacks (10-7) @ Giants (6-8) 10:15pm ET

    • Pirates (6-8) @ Dodgers (11-5) 10:40pm ET

    John Danks (0-2, 3.97 ERA) vs. Chad Durbin (0-1, 12.46 ERA)

    Yeah, I could have written a heart-felt preview on the dramatically overly-televised series between the Yankees and Red Sox, but I'm sure there are a zillion other sites like here and where you could find more information on that matchup...

    No, instead we are going to take a look at two different division rivals: The Chicago White Sox will look to youngster John Danks as they take on Chad Durbin and the Detroit Tigers at 7:05pm ET tonight.

    The left-handed rookie, Danks has a tough act to follow after teammate Mark Buehrle pitched a no-hitter the evening before. He's been pretty solid in his first two big league starts, allowing five runs over 11.1 innings, without receiving a single run of support. This marks his first career start against the Tigers.

    Durbin would love to bounce back from a string of bad outings, but it will be tough against a Chicago team that has owned him in the past. He is 1-6 with a 10.90 ERA in nine starts against them, allowing at least five runs in six of those outings. This season, Durbin has allowed 12 runs on 17 hits over 8.2 innings, with opponents batting .425 off of him.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Blue Jays (8-7) @ Orioles (8-7) 7:05pm ET

    • Yankees (8-6) @ Red Sox(9-5) 7:05pm ET

    • Indians (6-6) @ Devil Rays (6-9) 7:10pm ET

    • Athletics (8-7) @ Rangers (6-9) 8:05pm ET

    • Twins (10-5) @ Royals (4-11) 8:10pm ET

    • Mariners (5-6) @ Angels (6-9) 10:05pm ET


    Felix Hernandez should return to Seattle's rotation around the first week of May.
    Felix Hernandez will likely miss two or three starts after an MRI revealed a muscle strain inside his right elbow and forearm - an injury that could have been much worse, to the delight of the Seattle Mariners and their fans.

    The 21-year-old righty has been advised not to throw for five days before playing catch. It's a good thing manager Mike Hargrove took him out of Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Twins when he did, because doctors told him that if he would've continued to pitch with the strain, he could have stressed the elbow so severely he would have required elbow-ligament replacement surgery.

    Hargrove said after Hernandez resumes throwing, he will have two bullpen sessions before he returns to the rotation, likely around the first week of May.

    Hernandez had allowed only four hits over 17 scoreless innings - including a one-hitter in Boston last week - up until Wednesday night, when he allowed three runs (1 earned), walked two and threw a wild pitch that scored a run, before he waved trainers out to the mound to remove him from the game.

    Brandon Morrow may get a shot at the Mariners' rotation in the absense of Felix Hernandez.Righty Brandon Morrow could be Hernandez's replacement in the rotation. The hard-throwing 22-year-old who was the fifth overall choice in last June's draft, was destined to be a member of Seattle's rotation soon, anyway.

    Mostly a starter through last spring at the University of California, Morrow hasn't appeared in a game since Saturday and has thrown just three innings this month.

    AAA Tacoma reliever Eric O'Flaherty, a lefty, could be the bullpen replacement for Morrow if the rookie does take Hernandez's place.

    [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

    Ryan Howard sits in the dugout Thursday after being sidelined by a minor leg injury.
    Ryan Howard, resting an injured left leg, sat out the Philadelphia Phillies' 4-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday. The reigning NL MVP is expected to be sidelined at least one more game.

    Howard hurt himself running out a fielder's choice grounder in the 10th inning Wednesday night, but stayed in for the rest of Philadelphia's 5-4, 13-inning loss and went 0-for-5 to drop his average to .213 for the season.

    The Phillies listed him as day-to-day, saying he sprained a ligament just below the knee. X-rays done Wednesday showed nothing was torn and that an MRI wouldn't be necessary.

    Greg Dobbs started at first base in Howard's place, going 0-for-4 Thursday while Pat Burrell moved up in the batting order from fifth to cleanup and went 0-for-1 with three walks. The struggling Phillies find themselves in last place in the NL East at 4-10 this season.


    Alex Rodriguez hits another walk-off homer.
    Alex Rodriguez, homering in his third straight game, smoked a three-run shot that capped a comeback from a four-run deficit with two outs in the ninth inning, leading the New York Yankees to a three-game sweep with an 8-6 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

    It probably can't get much more exciting than that.

    Rodriguez matched Albert Pujols (2006) and Luis Gonzalez (2001) for the second-fastest to 10 home runs behind Hall of Fame third baseman (12 games in 1976), according to Elias Sports Bureau. A-Rod is the first player with two walk-off homers this early in the season since Philadelphia's Pat Burrell had two over the first nine games in 2002, and his 10 longballs and 23 RBIs leads the major leagues.

    Sean Henn (1-0) pitched one inning, following Chase Wright and Kei Igawa to become the third Yankees rookie in three games to get his first big league win.

  • Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3

  • Twins 6, Mariners 5

  • Rangers 4, White Sox 6

  • Phillies 4, Nationals 6

  • Pirates 5, Brewers 7

  • Dodgers 8, Rockies 1

  • Diamondbacks 6, Padres 11

  • Cardinals 2, Giants 6

  • Mets 11, Marlins 3

  • Astros 8, Reds 6

  • Cubs 3, Braves 0

  • [MLB]

    Willy Aybar Update

    Willy Aybar was suspended indefinitely for not showing up to the ballpark.For those of you concerned or intrigued by the , it turns out he has a rather serious substance abuse problem.

    The backup third baseman's agent, Luis Valdez, told the Atlanta Journal Constitution that Aybar is in Boston with his brother trying to deal with "drinking and drugs" before backpedaling minutes later, saying that he wasn't sure if the troubled young man was involved with anything other than alcohol.

    As of right now, Aybar is on the disabled list with a sprained right hand, which he is supposed to be rehabbing with the club. He instead has been a no-show and in turn was suspended indefinitely.

    Atlanta Braves assistant GM Frank Wren said the club was aware Aybar has substance issues, since that is one of the first things that comes to mind when a player doesn't report to the ballpark.

    Aybar was scheduled to meet with the MLB Players Association in New York on Thursday, but overslept and would not be able to make it until Friday.

    Hat tip to Satchmo.

    [Atlanta Journal Constitution] | [Willy Aybar Stats]


    Happy Birthday Joe

    'I think there's room for two in this hammock, Sooze.'
    Joe, I created an amazing photo montage for you, but just as I was about to hit enter, the stripper I bought you for your 24th birthday sat on my keyboard and erased the entire post.

    'Yeah baby. They're real.'So I'll instead just say that I think you're the best. You're my hometown hero. You're the batting champ. You look just as hot in a hammock as you do as a backstop, and I hope you're behind the plate for a long time. And man, is that a sweet swing.


    Oh yeah... Happy Birthday to you too, Dennys Reyes. You're one scary dude.

    Some people have the strangest fetishes.What other bloggers are mouthing off about... I'm sorry. Some of this stuff isn't even about baseball, it's just too great to pass up.

  • "I can't believe the one person he walked was Sammy Sosa.....that's irony right there for Chicago fans." - Awful Announcing on Mark Buehrle's no-no

  • "I hate to say this, but Steve Phillips and I construct arguments in much the same way..." -

  • "We’re tired of Americans losing every marathon, and are starting our own. The course will be nine miles and can be driven." -

  • "From the heavens above, Darwin was watching, tapping his curved fingers together in anticipation, only to say, “No. Not yet.”" -

  • "You have to wonder if the Minnesota Twins looked out from the dugout at the scene on the mound in the top of the first inning at Safeco Field and felt a twinge of sympathy..." -

  • "It’s not often in the sports world we hear about guys wanting to sacrifice their position in the starting lineup for the good of the team." - PostmanE on Ryan Freel

  • "Bloggers are calling the new font, Arial 9, “loud and annoying” and "an ugly monstrosity that shows how out of touch ESPN is with its target demographic.”" - The Brushback on ESPN's new front page font

  • "I think it's official now. Hank Aaron is a hater." -

  • "The oddest part: being was asked by a co-worker last night if I thought the Sox would win and I told him that the way the offense was going they'd probably need a no-hitter to do so. So... you're welcome." -

  • "Why, we can already hear the clever, slurred chants from Fenway’s finest fans, wailing away into the wind in third-grade mad-lib fashion..." -
  • Johan Santana (2-1, 3.60 ERA) vs. Jarrod Washburn (0-1, 3.75 ERA)

    In a battle between talented lefties, the Minnesota Twins (9-5) will put ace Johan Santana on the hill against the Seattle Mariners (5-5) and Jarrod Washburn at 6:35pm ET tonight in the series finale at Safeco Field. The Twins took the first two games with wins from Ramon Ortiz and Carlos Silva, having outscored their opponents 19-7 in their last three road wins, including the series finale against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Sunday.

    Johan is looking to rebound after going 24-straight home games without a loss (17-0) before the streak was snapped by a 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Friday. The reigning Cy Young award winner is 6-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 14 career games versus Seattle.

    Washburn, still looking for his first victory of the season, is 5-3 with a 3.52 ERA in 11 career starts against the Twins; 4-1 with a 2.84 ERA in his last five starts against them.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Red Sox (8-5) @ Blue Jays (8-6) 12:37pm ET

    • Indians (6-5) @ Yankees (7-6) 1:05pm ET

    • Rangers (6-8) @ White Sox (6-7) 8:11pm ET

    Orlando Hernandez (1-1, 4.00 ERA) vs. Rick Vanden Hurk (0-0, 3.86 ERA)

    Orlando Hernandez will look to bounce back from Saturday's game against the Washington Nationals, where he was roughed up for six runs on eight hits over five innings. The righty is 2-1 with a 5.19 ERA in three career starts against the Marlins, winning both his outings at Dolphin Stadium.

    The New York Mets (9-4) improved to 6-2 on the road following their 9-2 win Wednesday, in which John Maine carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning before Miguel Cabrera ruined it with a leadoff single.

    The Florida Marlins (6-8), who have lost four in a row, will turn to rookie Rick Vanden Hurk, looking to notch his first big league win at 7:05pm ET tonight. The 21-year-old righty held the Milwaukee Brewers to one run and five hits in 4.2 innings on April 10th, before leaving without a decision in a game that was eventually suspended due to rain.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Phillies (3-10) @ Nationals (5-10) 1:05pm ET

    • Pirates (6-7) @ Brewers (8-6) 1:05pm ET

    • Dodgers (10-5) @ Rockies (7-8) 3:05pm ET

    • Diamondbacks (10-6) @ Padres (8-7) 3:35pm ET

    • Cardinals (6-8) @ Giants (5-8) 3:35pm ET

    • Astros (7-6) @ Mets (8-7) 7:05pm ET

    • Cubs (5-9) @ Braves (10-4) 7:35pm ET


    Willy Aybar is still missing in action.
    Atlanta Braves backup third baseman Willy Aybar has been suspended indefinitely for failure to report.

    The 24-year-old switch-hitter was initially grounded for three days by the club for not showing up at Turner Field for treatment on his sore right hand over the weekend. After contacting Aybar via telephone earlier in the week, the Braves expected him to be at Wednesday night's game against the Chicago Cubs.

    When he pulled another no-show, Braves GM John Schuerholz was not happy. He extended the suspension, saying that he expects each of his players to attend every game.

    Aybar suffered the hand injury while playing in the Dominican Winter League this past offseason, and hasn't been able to hit from the left side of the plate since March 9th. Picked up in a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers last season, he batted .280 over 83 games between the two clubs, hitting four longballs with 30 RBIs.


    King Felix Dethroned

    Felix Hernandez leaves Wednesday's game against the Twins after feeling tightness in his pitching elbow.
    Felix Hernandez left his start against the Minnesota Twins Wednesday night with tightness in his pitching elbow in the first inning - a much bigger concern for the Seattle Mariners than their dramatic 5-4 loss.

    The 21-year-old phenom recorded just one out, but was charged with three runs before being pulled "for precautionary reasons". He will be re-evaluated Thursday. Hernandez left the stadium before the end of the game, leaving fans with flashbacks of Francisco Liriano's elbow injury, which started out as a feeling of "tightness".

    Hernandez was coming off a one-hitter against Boston, having given up no runs on just four hits over his first two starts -17 innings - before Wednesday's setback.

    [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

    Mark Buehrle gets a beer shower after his first career no-no against the Texas Rangers, April 18, 2007.
    The quote of the day goes to Mark Buehrle: "What just happened?"

    It was 42 degrees outside and nearly 9:15 at night. Chicago White Sox starter Mark Buehrle (1-0, 2.08 ERA) had just polished off the first no-hitter of his career against the Texas Rangers, ending in a 6-0 victory.

    The 28-year-old lefty allowed only a fifth-inning walk to Sammy Sosa, before promptly picking him off at first.

    Amid the ninth inning chaos, with no one daring to utter the N-word, Buehrle zeroed in on the outside corner for a 90-mph fastball to freeze Matt Kata looking for the first out. Then he pulled the string on Nelson Cruz for the second out, his eighth K of the evening. Gerald Laird's soft grounder ended the game and the beer-shower from his teammates was imminent.

    Jim Thome went 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs, So Taguchi had a 2-for-4 evening with a run scored and Jermaine Dye hit a Grand Slam in the fifth... completely overshadowed by Buehrle's spectacular pitching performance.

  • Royals 4, Tigers 3

  • Orioles 6, Devil Rays 4

  • Angels 0, Athletics 3

  • Indians 2, Yankees 9

  • Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1

  • Twins 5, Mariners 4

  • Mets 9, Marlins 2

  • Phillies 4, Nationals 5

  • Astros 7, Reds 2

  • Cubs 6, Braves 8

  • Pirates 3, Brewers 7

  • Dodgers 2, Rockies 7

  • Diamondbacks 5, Padres 2

  • Cardinals 5, Giants 6

  • [MLB]


    Jose Lopez makes a great running catch.The Seattle Mariners have secured their young double-play combo through at least 2010.

    The club's All-Star second baseman Jose Lopez signed a four-year contract on Wednesday - including a club option for a fifth season - just two weeks after they inked their 25-year-old shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt to a $13.75 million, four-year deal.

    The Mariners signed Lopez when he was just 16 years old out of Venezuela in 2000. He made his big league debut midway through the 2004 season, and hit .282 with 10 homers last year, his first full season in the majors.

    [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]

    Brett Myers has been moved from the rotation to the bullpen in favor of Jon Lieber.
    In a surprising move for the Philadelphia Phillies this week, Brett Myers has made a quick transition from staff ace to setup man with the possibility of seeing some time at the closer spot.

    Manager Charlie Manuel says that Myers, 0-2 with a 9.39 ERA over three outings this season, will be used mostly in the seventh or eighth innings and may also see some work as a closer when Tom Gordon isn't available.

    Myers, a righty, had 12 wins and a 3.91 ERA over 31 starts (198 innings) - all team bests - last season. He also led the club with 189 strikeouts before signing a $25.75 million, three-year contract during the offseason.

    Jon Lieber has taken Brett Myers' spot in the rotation.Jon Lieber has taken Myers' spot in the rotation, news which he is surely happy with after expressing some disappointment when the Phillies informed him he'd be used as a reliever instead of a starter late this spring. Lieber has allowed three runs in 2.1 innings this year out of the bullpen.


    Dice-K ralks in the rinning run.
    After striking out 10 batters over just six innings, Daisuke Matsuzaka walked in the go-ahead run to Gregg Zaun with bases jammed in the fourth, as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Boston Red Sox 2-1 Tuesday night... despite getting just three hits.

    Matsuzaka (1-2, 2.70 ERA) retired his first eight batters and Wily Mo Pena's third-inning homer gave him a lead, but Lyle Overbay's single tied the score in Toronto's two-run fourth. This marks the second outing Dice-K has K'ed ten.

    Fun fact: The last pitcher to reach double-digit strikeouts twice in his first three major league starts was the Los Angeles Dodgers' Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.

    Lefty starter Gustavo Chacin (2-0, 3.57 ERA) allowed one run and six hits over 6.2 innings for the Jays, improving to 6-0 in seven starts against Boston.

  • Indians 3, Yankees 10

  • Royals 6, Tigers 7

  • Orioles 4, Devil Rays 6

  • Rangers 8, White Sox 1

  • Angels 1, Athletics 4

  • Twins 11, Mariners 2

  • Pirates 6, Cardinals 1

  • Padres 4, Cubs 3

  • Braves 6, Nationals 4

  • Mets 8, Phillies 1

  • Brewers 5, Reds 11

  • Marlins 1, Astros 6

  • Giants 3, Rockies 5

  • Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 4

  • [MLB] | []


    Byung-Hyun Kim left the Rockies game against the the Diamondbacks Monday after injuring his thumb.
    The Colorado Rockies placed pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim (1-2, 10.50 ERA) on the 15-day disabled list Monday with a thumb injury before purchasing the contract of pitcher Zach McClellan from AAA Colorado Springs.

    Kim left Sunday's start against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fourth inning with a bruised thumb on on his pitching hand which he hurt while batting earlier in the game.

    Zach McClellan will take the injured Byung-Hyun Kim's spot on the roster.The 28-year-old McClellan has never appeared in a major league game, but has tossed four shutout innings with the Sky Sox this season. Manager Clint Hurdle plans to use him in late-inning situations.


    Angels right fielder Vladimir Guerrero was hit by a Josh Beckett pitch in the first inning Monday in a game against the Red Sox.Los Angeles Angels slugger Vladimir Guerrero left Monday's game against the Boston Red Sox with a bruised right wrist after being smoked by a Josh Beckett pitch in the first inning.

    X-rays taken at Fenway Park were negative, to the delight of every Angels fan in the world. The right fielder was nailed on an 0-2 pitch after Orlando Cabrera hit a one-out homer.

    Guerrero, who was sixth in the AL with a .364 batting average and second with 12 RBIs as of Monday, crouched down and held his wrist as manager Mike Scioscia came out of the dugout.

    Plate umpire Rick Reed issued a warning to Beckett and the Angels, but all sides agreed there was no intent to hit Guerrero.

    [FOX Sports]

    Tom Glavine (2-1, 3.12 ERA) vs. Freddy Garcia (0-0, -.-- ERA)

    After patiently waiting to make his season debut, Freddy Garcia hopes to help the Philadelphia Phillies (3-8) shake their worst start in 10 seasons when they host veteran Tom Glavine and the New York Mets (7-4) at 7:05pm ET.

    As Garcia makes only his second start against the Mets, Glavine will make his second against Philadelphia already this season. He gave up three runs in six innings of Thursday's 5-2 win over the Phillies, finally settling down after a rocky start to outpitch Jamie Moyer in the most wrinkly matchup of lefty starters in 85 years.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Pirates (5-6) @ Cardinals (6-5) 1:10pm ET

    • Padres (7-6) @ Cubs (5-7) 2:20pm ET

    • Braves (8-4) @ Nationals (4-9) 7:05pm ET

    • Brewers (7-5) @ Reds (7-6) 7:10pm ET

    • Marlins (6-6) @ Astros (5-6) 8:10pm ET

    • Giants (4-7) @ Rockies (5-8) 8:35pm ET

    • Dodgers (9-4) @ Diamondbacks (9-5) 9:40pm ET

    Jered Weaver (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Chad Gaudin (0-0, 2.53 ERA)

    In a battle between two 6-7 division rivals, Chad Gaudin will get the ball for the Oakland Athletics, when they host Jered Weaver and the Los Angeles Angels at 10:05pm ET.

    This marks Weaver's first start since an impressive rookie year, which he no doubt hopes to duplicate, after beginning the season on the disabled list with tendinitis in his right biceps. The Angels' rotation should also soon welcome back former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, who is rehabbing from a shoulder injury.

    A lineup which has scored only five runs over the last four games certainly won't be helped by the possible absence of Vladimir Guerrero, who suffered a bruised wrist when he was hit by a pitch Monday. The club was relieved to get negative x-rays, but left the hard-hitting Vlad day-to-day.

    Gaudin, a 24-year-old righty who worked his way into the rotation in the absence of Esteban Loaiza, faired well in his previous start against the Chicago White Sox, allowing only one run and three hits over 5.2 innings in the 2-1 win.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Indians (6-3) @ Yankees (5-6) 7:05pm ET

    • Royals (3-10) @ Tigers (8-5) 7:05pm ET

    • Red Sox (7-4) @ Blue Jays (7-5) 7:07pm ET

    • Orioles (7-6) @ Devil Rays (5-8) 7:10pm ET

    • Rangers (5-7) @ White Sox (5-6) 8:11pm ET

    • Twins (7-5) @ Mariners (5-3) 10:05pm ET



    Alfonso Soriano left the game in the fifth inning with a hamstring injury.
    The Chicago Cubs may have beaten the San Diego Padres after going 0-7 against them last season, but they lost Alfonso Soriano in the fifth inning.

    The centerfielder injured a hamstring while diving for a shallow, 1-out Clay Hensley fly ball. Soriano raced in, dove and rolled over as he trapped the ball, slipping as he got up to attempt the throw.

    A trainer ran out onto the field, but Soriano walked off gingerly on his own. The initial diagnosis was a strained left hamstring, but the club hopes to know more after an MRI exam on Tuesday. Even if the test reveals no tears, he may miss at least a few days.

    Cliff Floyd, who replaced Soriano, went 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs, Derek Lee went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Matt Murton had 2 RBIs on a 2-for-4 night. Winning pitcher Jason Marquis threw six good innings, allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits, striking out five but walking four. He went 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored at the plate.

  • Angels 2, Red Sox 7

  • Royals 5, Tigers 12

  • Orioles 9, Devil Rays 7

  • Braves 1, Nationals 5

  • Brewers 10, Reds 6

  • Marlins 3, Astros 4

  • Pirates 3, Cardinals 2

  • Giants 8, Rockies 0

  • Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 1

  • [MLB]

    Oh My Goodness

    Oh My Goodness.Boys and girls, that giant void that was once in the heart of the sports blogosphere has been filled.

    Alyssa Milano has a Los Angeles Dodgers blog. That's right. Go check it out for a while. I'll be here...

    Alyssa goes into great detail of sitting on her father's lap and her undying love for all that is Dodger baseball. She writes about burping up tofu dogs and diet soda (Yum!) and her Russell Martin bias. You can also buy Alyssa's *touch* apparel on the site. (Sweet!)

    You can now find her down in our Season Ticket Holders section 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for your Dodger fan enjoyment. And non-Dodger fan enjoyment.

    [Hat tip to Anthony from the Oriole Post]

    Pat Burrell seems to be having some difficulty fielding this grounder.
    Check out the Extrapolater and company's new edition of VooDoo Sabermetrics. This week's victim subject? Non other than Philadelphia Phillies' left fielder, Pat Burrell.

    [VooDoo Sabermetrics - Pat Burrell]

    Sunday's Babelicious Scoreboard

    The St. Louis Cardinals line up for the National Anthem on Jackie Robinson Day.
    Albert Pujols, through with his April hitting drought, homered twice with five RBIs, spear-heading the St. Louis Cardinals' (6-5) thirteen-hit, 10-2 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers (6-5) on Sunday.

    In just his third start after making 572 consecutive relief appearances, Braden Looper (2-1, 2.37 ERA) allowed two runs on five hits over six innings, winning his second decision. The Cardinals first home win since Game 5 of the World Series came against Brewers ace Ben Sheets (1-2, 5.85 ERA), who fell to 4-14 in 22 career starts against St. Louis after allowing eight runs - seven earned - on eight hits in five-plus innings.

    Prince Fielder and Johnny Estrada drove in a run apiece in the first inning for the Brewers, but that's all they'd get. The other five RBIs for St. Louis came on a Looper groundout in the fourth and a Chris Duncan homer in the fifth. Then Scott Spiezio took one for the team in the sixth before David Eckstein hit a sac fly later in the inning. Adam Kennedy hit an RBI single in the seventh.

    Everyone in uniform wore #42 to honor the 60th anniversary of major league debut. Granddaughters of Robinson along with , the Brooklyn Dodgers' 1947 GM, threw out the ceremonial first pitches.

  • Marlins 4, Braves 8

  • Reds 1, Cubs 0

  • Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 6

  • Padres 3, Dodgers 9

  • White Sox 1, Indians 2

  • Tigers 1, Blue Jays 2

  • Rangers 6, Mariners 14

  • Devil Rays 6, Twins 4

  • Yankees 4, Athletics 5

  • Astros @ Phillies - postponed

  • Angels @ Red Sox - postponed

  • Nationals @ Mets - postponed

  • Marlins @ Braves - postponed

  • Royals @ Orioles - postponed

  • Giants @ Pirates - postponed doubleheader

  • [MLB]

    *In case anyone is wondering why the Cardinals (and Pirates) entire roster was wearing #42, the Cardinals took the opportunity when they heard it was an option. Tony La Russa asked everyone on the team and they all wanted to participate. He said, "I guess that sends a message about how this club feels about what he went through [and the] opportunities he's provided for others."


    The Disabled Yankees List

    Carl Pavano finally went down.The New York Yankees' starting five just got a little bit worse. Carl Pavano has landed back on the disabled list, along with teammate Mike Mussina.

    Pavano and Moose were placed on the 15-day DL before Sunday's game at Oakland. Pavano went down with a right forearm strain and Mussina with a left hamstring injury.

    Pavano's injury-ridden past had been the target of media spotlight this spring, with many wondering if he could come back and produce after two seasons away from the game. There's your answer, people. He is 1-0 with a 4.76 ERA in two starts this time around.

    Mike Mussina leaves in the third inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins after an awkward release.Mussina sustained his injury after an awkward delivery to Minnesota's Luis Castillo in the third inning of the Yankee's 5-1 loss to the Twins on Thursday, leaving immediately after consulting with team trainers. The veteran righty has struggled so far this season, giving up 6 earned runs on 11 hits while posting an 0-1 record with a 9.00 ERA over two starts.

    So, the Yankees recalled reliever Chris Britton from Class AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Britton, who was acquired from the Baltimore Orioles for Jaret Wright in the offseason, did not make the club in spring training, but has pitched three scoreless innings and allowed only two hits in the minors this season.

    The club also plans to call up Chase Wright from Class-AA Trenton on Tuesday to fill the massive void in the rotation. Wright, a 24-year-old lefty, is 1-0 with an impressive 19 strikeouts and one walk without a run allowed in two starts (14 innings).

    Chien-Ming Wang went on the DL on March 23rd with a right hamstring injury.Yankees "ace" Chien-Ming Wang, who is rehabbing a right hamstring injury, may be close to returning from the DL, which he has been on since March 23rd. The righty threw five no-hit innings in an extended spring training game against Tampa Bay minor leaguers on Saturday.


    Know Your Rights! Check out eff.org/bloggers to learn more.Since you're here, maybe you think this blog is awesome. Maybe it even deserves an award nomination! Right?

    If you think we kick ass, go to the ! We'd love that more than we love Johan Santana and Manny Ramirez.

    Well, almost.

    *Be sure to check out the , some of which are located in our Season Ticket Holders blogroll.

    [] | [Eff Bloggers]

    B.J. Ryan was placed on the 15-day DL Sunday with a strained throwing elbow.
    The day after B.J. Ryan blew his second save in five chances, the Toronto Blue Jays placed their closer on the 15-day disabled list with a strained elbow.

    Ryan, who gave up four runs in the final inning of Saturday's 10-7 loss to the Detroit Tigers, will be examined on Monday for further evaluation.

    The lefty screwed up only four saves in 42 opportunities last season, but is 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA so far in 2007.

    Jason Frasor will take the closer's spot from B.J. Ryan, who has been placed on the 15-day DL.Setup man Jason Frasor will take over the closer's spot and righty Jamie Vermilyea, who was called up from AAA Syracuse, will take Ryan's place on the roster to be used as the long man out of the bullpen.


    There are in fact, a few games that are not rained out today...

    Chris Young (1-0, 2.13 ERA) vs. Randy Wolf (1-1, 3.75 ERA)

    Chris Young gets the ball tonight when the Los Angeles Dodgers (7-4) honor Jackie Robinson on the 60th anniversary of the day he broke the MLB color barrier at 8:05pm ET. Randy Wolf will start for the San Diego Padres (7-4) as the two clubs wrap up their weekend series. The Padres bounced back from a 9-1 blowout loss in the opener with a 7-2 win on Saturday.

    Young put up great numbers in five starts against the Dodgers last season, allowing only 16 hits and nine runs over 30.1 innings, but went 0-1. Wolf gave up one run and three hits over six innings in his last start to earn the win in the Dodgers' 10-4 victory against the San Francisco Giants last Sunday. He hasn't faced the Padres since 2003, when he went 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA against them.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Marlins (6-4) @ Braves (7-3) 1:05pm ET

    • Brewers (6-4) @ Cardinals (5-5) 2:15pm ET

    • Reds (6-5) @ Cubs (4-6) 2:20pm ET

    • Rockies (5-6) @ Diamondbacks (8-4) 4:40pm ET

    • Padres (7-4) @ Dodgers (7-4) 8:05pm ET

    • Nationals (3-9) @ Mets (7-4) postponed

    • Astros (4-6) @ Phillies (3-8) postponed

    • Giants (3-7) @ Pirates (4-6) doubleheader postponed

    Jae Seo (0-1, 9.64 ERA) vs. Boof Bonser (0-1, 6.97 ERA)

    I think it's safe to say that this game will not be postponed due to bad weather... unless the top of the Metrodome flys off. Right-hander Jae Seo will take the hill for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (4-7), who will try to even up the score in the finale of a four-game series against righty Boof Bonser and the Minnesota Twins (7-4). Minnesota had scored only 16 runs in their previous seven games before Saturday's 12-5 win over the D'Rays, smoking a season-high 13 hits.

    Boof was roughed up in his second start, allowing six earned runs and six hits over 4.1 innings during the Twins' 10-1 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday while Seo lasted only three innings after allowing 10 runs - five earned - and eight hits (including three longballs) in Tampa Bay's 12-9 loss to the Texas Rangers the same day.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Tigers (7-4) @ Blue Jays (6-5) 1:07pm ET

    • Devil Rays (4-7) @ Twins (7-4) 2:10pm ET

    • Yankees (5-5) @ Athletics (5-7) 4:05pm ET

    • Rangers (5-6) @ Mariners (4-3) 4:05pm ET

    • Angels (6-6) @ Red Sox (6-4) postponed

    • Royals (3-9) @ Orioles (6-6) postponed


    Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947, becoming the first black player to play in a major league baseball game.
    was more than just a baseball player. He was a legend - a brave soldier in the fight for black players to be treated as equals in the game of baseball and in life.

    It was 1947 - only 60 years ago - that Jackie suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers' Opening Day, as the first black man to play in a major league baseball game.

    Find out which players will be wearing #42 today, honoring the great Jackie Robinson over at .

    Read more on this topic...

    [The Jackie Robinson Foundation]
    [The Fanhouse]
    [The Oriole Post] | [Oriole Post]

    Rickie Weeks rounds the bases after breaking a 1-1 tie with a two-run shot in the fifth.
    Jeff Suppan, one of the three starting pitchers the St. Louis Cardinals (5-5) chose not to sign after winning their first World Series title in 24 years, pitched 6.1 good innings in a 3-2 Milwaukee Brewers (6-4) victory Friday. He allowed two runs on five hits and no walks, beating Kip Wells, who pretty much replaced him in the Cardinals' rotation.

    Rickie Weeks hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth inning for Milwaukee, snapping the Cards' four-game winning streak.

  • Reds 0, Cubs 7

  • Nationals 6, Mets 2

  • Giants 8, Pirates 5

  • Astros 5, Phillies 8

  • Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 5

  • Padres 7, Dodgers 2

  • White Sox 0, Indians 4

  • Tigers 10, Blue Jays 7

  • Angels 0, Red Sox 8

  • Royals 4, Orioles 6

  • Devil Rays 5, Twins 12

  • Yankees 4, Athletics 3

  • Marlins @ Braves - postponed due to rain

  • Giants @ Pirates - postponed due to rain

  • [MLB]


    Jason Jennings puts the tag on Jim Edmonds
    Houston Astros righthander Jason Jennings will miss his next start on Saturday. He's been diagnosed with tendinitis in the flexor muscle of his right elbow, after putting Jim Edmonds in a headlock while applying a tag last Sunday.

    Actually, that's not how it happened at all. But he is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow in Houston and be evaluated at a later date.

    The 2002 NL Rookie of the Year went 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts this season, including a 10-1 loss Saturday against St. Louis when he allowed three runs on five hits over six innings.

    Woody Williams is old schoolVeteran Woody Williams will assume Jennings' starting duties on Saturday as the Astros continue their series with the Phillies.

    [Houston Chronicle]

    Chad Durbin (0-1, 11.57 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (1-1, 7.27 ERA)

    In a battle between two 6-4 teams, Chad Durbin will be on the hill for the Detroit Tigers against A.J. Burnett and the Toronto Blue Jays at 1:05pm ET this afternoon.

    Toronto took the second game of the series with a 2-1 win last night, thanks to Alex Rios' homer and game-winning RBI. He's the only Blue Jay with a hit in every game this season. Durbin will look to help the Tigers take the four-game series lead, as he is a career 2-0 with a 1.77 ERA in four appearances - three starts - against the Blue Jays.

    More AL Games Today...
    • White Sox (5-4) @ Indians (4-3) 1:05pm ET

    • Angels (6-5) @ Red Sox (5-4) 3:55pm ET

    • Rangers (5-5) @ Mariners (3-3) 3:55pm ET

    • Royals (3-8) @ Orioles (5-6) 7:05pm ET

    • Devil Rays (4-6) @ Twins (6-4) 7:10pm ET

    • Yankees (4-5) @ Athletics (5-6) 9:05pm ET

    Jake Peavy (1-0, 0.69 ERA) vs. Jason Schmidt (1-1, 4.00 ERA)

    Jake Peavy will be looking for his fifth straight victory over the San Diego Padres rival Los Angeles Dodgers when he faces righty Jason Schmidt at 10:10pm ET tonight at Dodger Stadium.

    Schmidt, a three-time All-Star, is trying to rebound from a horrid 11-9 record last season, his fewest wins since an injury-plagued 2000 season with Pittsburgh, where he recorded only two victories.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Reds (6-4) @ Cubs (3-6) 1:05pm ET

    • Nationals (2-9) @ Mets (7-3) 1:10pm ET

    • Astros (4-5) @ Phillies (2-8) 3:55pm ET

    • Marlins (6-4) @ Braves (7-3) 7:05pm ET

    • Giants (3-7) @ Pirates (4-6) 7:05pm ET

    • Brewers (5-4) @ Cardinals (5-4) 7:10pm ET

    • Rockies (5-5) @ Diamondbacks (7-4) 9:40pm ET


    Some people have the strangest fetishes.What other bloggers are mouthing off about...

  • "Boo Yah SI!" - Awful Announcing on the life of a literary icon.

  • "We do love ourselves a good old-fashioned sports debate." -

  • "Among white baseball players, the glory and power of the Eighties big league moustache has been bastardized as the shit-ugly goatee of the Nineties and Oughts." - The Extrapolater and co. on the VooDoo Sabermetrics of Lou Merloni

  • "As part of an ongoing project, One More Dying Quail will be profiling the 182 current members of the Bizarro Hall of Fame, an organization that currently exists only in my mind." -

  • "Sorry. You all are masochists. It's scientific fact." - Signal to Noise on Cubs fans and Mark Prior

  • "What the hell happened to me." -

  • "A lot of words have been written lately about the 150 or so Major Leaguers who will be honoring Jackie Robinson by wearing his number 42 Sunday..." - Jeff Schwager from Bugs and Cranks on paying tribute to Jackie Robinson and Josh Gibson

  • "Carl Crawford is really fast, and he does not care for your doubles!" -

  • "Mariano is easily my favorite pitcher, and I think it's wonderful that I finally have the opportunity to show how much he has meant to both me and to the game of baseball." - The Onion on Jeff Kent wearing #42

  • Carlos Lee connected for three longballs, including one grand salami in the Astros' 9-6 win over the Phillies Friday night.
    Carlos Lee: three home runs - one grand slam.

    Morgan Ensberg added a three-run shot and the Houston Astros (4-5) emerged with a 9-6 victory over the struggling Philadelphia Phillies (2-8), who are off to an incredibly sad start to a season that began with high playoff expectations.

    Astros starter Roy Oswalt was uncharacteristically wild, walking six batters and allowing six earned runs in just five innings. He was nearly ejected after balking in a run in the fifth, but stayed in and struck out Jimmy Rollins to end the inning. Phil Garner was tossed shortly after returning to the bench and five Houston relievers combined for four scoreless innings.

  • Reds 6, Cubs 5

  • Giants 8, Pirates 5

  • Nationals 2, Mets 3

  • Marlins 11, Braves 4

  • Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 3

  • Padres 1, Dodgers 9

  • Angels 1, Red Sox 10

  • White Sox 6, Indians 4

  • Royals 1, Orioles 8

  • Tigers 1, Blue Jays 2

  • Devil Rays 4, Twins 2

  • Yankees 4, Athletics 5

  • Rangers 5, Mariners 2

  • Brewers @ Cardinals - postponed due to rain

  • [MLB]


    Reed Johnson dives safely back into first base during the second inning against the Kansas City Royals at the home opener in Toronto.
    The Toronto Blue Jays placed their leadoff hitter, Reed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list Friday due to soreness in his back, retroactive to Thursday. Johnson had appeared in seven games this season - batting .265 with one home run and seven RBIs - but sat out during the Jays' 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night.

    Johnson, 30, missed two weeks of spring training with the same injury after setting career highs in batting average (.319) and on-base percentage (.390) in 2006.

    Adam LindThe club also recalled outfielder Adam Lind from AAA Syracuse. The 23-year-old lefty hit .367 with two home runs and eight RBIs in 18 games after being called up last September, so he'll take over as the everyday left-fielder.

    Toronto is also waiting to see how long third baseman Troy Glaus will be out with a sore left heel and hamstring. Glaus left Thursday's game after just two innings and sat out of the lineup Friday.

    [Sporting News]

    Jake Westbrook has proven to be a reliable starter for the Cleveland Indians.
    Before possibly losing him as a free agent, the Cleveland Indians inked Jake Westbrook to a three-year, $33 million contract extension (no options) through 2010 on Friday.

    The 29-year-old righty has been one of the American League's most reliable pitchers over the past three seasons, winning 44 games. Since his All-Star year in 2004, he is one of only four pitchers to win at least 14 games in each season and one of only eight to pitch at least 210 innings in the last three years. He went 15-10 last season, including a big-league high 8 games after August 1st and is a career 56-53 with a 4.30 ERA.

    hard-hitting Travis HafnerNow that Westbrook is taken care of, the Tribe can focus on the possibility of new deals for designated hitter Travis Hafner and left-hander C.C. Sabathia.

    [Plain Dealer]

     Dontrelle Willis (2-0, 3.00 ERA) vs. Mark Redman (0-1, 7.94 ERA)

    Dontrelle Willis will look to continue his April dominance as the Florida Marlins (5-4) open a three-game series against Mark Redman and the Atlanta Braves (7-2) at Turner Field tonight at 7:35pm ET.

    Willis is 11-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 17 career April starts, and will attempt to improve to 3-0 in three starts for the third time in his career. Redman will look to help the Braves bounce back after a tough 2-0 loss to the Washington Nationals (2-8) yesterday.

    The Braves, who had scored 24 runs in their previous four games, had not been shut out since last September, when they lost 8-0 in the second game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets. The Marlins are coming off a tough Wednesday, where they lost both games of a double-header against the Milwaukee Brewers, ending a three-game winning streak.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Reds (5-4) @ Cubs (3-5) 2:05pm ET

    • Astros (3-5) @ Phillies (2-7) 7:05pm ET

    • Giants (2-7) @ Pirates (4-5) 7:05pm ET

    • Nationals (2-8) @ Mets (6-3) 7:10pm ET

    • Brewers (5-4) @ Cardinals (5-4) 8:10pm ET

    • Rockies (4-7) @ Diamondbacks (7-3) 9:40pm ET

    • Padres (6-3) @ Dodgers (6-3) 10:40pm ET

    Kei Igawa (0-0, 12.60 ERA) vs. Dan Haren (0-2, 0.69 ERA)

    The New York Yankees (4-4) need a productive outing from Kei Igawa now more than ever, with the rotation rattled by injuries. While Igawa is looking to bounce back from a terrible major league debut, Grizzly Adams Dan Haren and the Oakland Athletics (4-6) will try to contain the hot-hitting Alex Rodriguez, who leads the majors with 6 home runs and 16 RBIs.

    Oakland's starters hold the league-best ERA at 1.98, but that success hasn't translated to wins for Haren, who is 0-2 with a low 0.69 ERA. He is a career 3-0 with 32 runs of support behind him in five career starts against New York. The game starts at 10:05pm ET sharp!

    More AL Games Today...
    • Angels (6-4) @ Red Sox (4-4) 7:05pm ET

    • White Sox (4-4) @ Indians (4-2) 4:05pm ET

    • Royals (3-7) @ Orioles (4-6) 7:05pm ET

    • Tigers (6-3) @ Blue Jays (5-4) 7:07pm ET

    • Devil Rays (3-6) @ Twins (6-3) 8:10pm ET

    • Rangers (4-5) @ Mariners (3-2) 10:05pm ET


    Padres closer Trevor Hoffman secures a 1-0 victory over the Giants on April 9, 2007Nine games into the season, the seven San Diego Padres relievers - all rightys - have combined to throw the equivalent of three straight shutouts, plus 1.1 innings. They've also earned three of the team's six wins. That's more than 28 scoreless innings of baseball.

    The bullpen is closing in on the longest stretch of scoreless relief in club history: 32 innings set over 17 days in the dog days of summer, August 1978.

    We might find this incredibly impressive, but for the most part, the relievers are treating the streak in the same manner a starter deals with a no-hitter in progress.

    They don't talk about it. Just ask closer Trevor Hoffman, baseball's all-time saves leader with 484.

    "I think it's something that nobody really wants to talk about, to be honest with you. You're a couple of crooked numbers away from blowing this thing up and nobody's going to give a crap in July. It's something where if a run's given up, I don't think it's going to change the demeanor of how people are going to approach their game plan."
    The Padres relief corps have allowed just 12 hits and four walks during the insane streak, striking out 23 batters with only one of eight inherited runners allowed to score.

    [San Diego Union-Tribune]

    Mark Prior really sucks at staying healthy.Surprise! Mark Prior was feeling some discomfort in his right shoulder Thursday, and ended up leaving his first extended spring training start after just two innings.

    He was optioned to AAA Iowa at the end of spring training, then immediately put on the minor league team's disabled list.

    Prior was limited to nine games last season due to shoulder problems and pitched only 10.1 innings so far this spring. The Cubs said Prior is scheduled to visit an orthopedic specialist in California for further evaluation.

    Remember when Prior was an 18-game winner in 2003? Those days seem long-gone since the 26-year-old righty has been plagued by a laundry list of injuries over the last three seasons. Will he ever be healthy enough to pitch an entire season and possibly help the Cubs contend?


    Ronnie Belliard and Ryan Zimmerman highfive their teammates after their second win of the season Thursday night.
    Ronnie Belliard hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning off starter John Smoltz (1-1, 3.15 ERA), aiding the Washington Nationals (2-8) in a 2-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves (7-2) in only their second win of the season Thursday night, halting a six-game skid.

    The hard-hitting Ryan Zimmerman also hit an RBI single for the Nats, who had never led in any games so far this year. Jason Bergmann (3.72 ERA) struck out a career-high eight in six innings for the Braves, allowing just one hit - a leadoff double in the fourth by Andruw Jones.

    Smoltz gave up four hits and four walks - two intentional - over eight innings, striking out six. He is a career 16-9 against the Nationals/Expos in 35 starts.

  • Angels 2, Indians 4

  • Royals 1, Orioles 2

  • Tigers 5, Blue Jays 4

  • Devil Rays 2, Twins 3

  • Phillies 3, Mets 5

  • Mariners @ Red Sox - postponed due to rain

  • [MLB]


    I'd Knit Glavine A Sweater If Only I Cared

    Tom Glavine is old. The prophecy of the Mets Season Preview Haiku says so.

    On a serious note, Glavine (1-1, 2.38 ERA) is not too thrilled about pitching in the cold weather this week. He says it's because it affects his feel on the ball, not because he's decrepit, it's freakin' cold outside, and they don't allow on the mound.

    However, the veteran who is only 9 wins away from 300 career victories says he's not at all concerned about circulatory problems that popped up last season during cold weather spells.

    Glavine is set to pitch when the Mets take on the Phillies on Thursday night, where the temperature is expected to be in the high-30s to low-40s by game-time. Better wear your long johns, ya old fart!

    [Yahoo! Sports]

    Jason Bergmann (0-1, 9.82 ERA) vs. John Smoltz (1-0, 3.75 ERA)

    Jason Bergmann takes the hill for the struggling Washington Nationals (1-8) against righty John Smoltz and the surging Atlanta Braves (7-1) at 7:35pm ET tonight. The Nationals are off to their worst start since they were called the Expos in 1998, having been outscored 61-21, falling behind by at least 3-0 in every game.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Phillies (2-6) @ Mets (5-3) 7:10pm ET

    Mike Maroth (1-0, 7.20 ERA) vs. Tomo Ohka (0-0, 10.38 ERA)

    In a battle between two 5-3 teams, lefty Mike Maroth and the Detroit Tigers - in the midst of a 10-game road trip - will face right-hander Tomo Ohka and the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:07pm ET tonight. Last season, Detroit was a major league-best 49-32 on the road, and won two of three games at against the Jays.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Angels (6-3) @ Indians (3-2) 1:05pm ET

    • Mariners (3-2) @ Red Sox (4-4) 4:05pm ET

    • Royals (3-6) @ Orioles (3-6) 7:05pm ET

    • Devil Rays (3-5) @ Twins (5-3) 8:05pm ET


    Mike Mussina leaves the Metrodome mound after straining his left hamstring in the third inning.New York Yankees starter Mike Mussina left Wednesday's game against the Minnesota Twins three batters into the third inning after straining his left hamstring on a 2-1 count to Luis Castillo. He then motioned to the dugout for pitching coach Ron Guidry and manager Joe Torre to visit the mound. Trainers escorted the 38-year-old righty to the clubhouse after a short discussion.

    Mussina, beginning his 17th big league season, gave up a walk and a double in the first two innings against the Twins, after allowing eight hits and six runs in just four innings against the Baltimore Orioles last week in his first start of the season.

    Sean Henn, who came in to relieve Mussina, will likely start in his place Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians, but the club hasn't put Mussina on the DL just yet.

    Kyle Farnsworth was roughed up for 4 runs in the Yankees 5-1 loss to the Twins Wednesday.Moose's injury proved to be untimely for the Yanks, who were shooting for a series sweep of the Twins, as Minnesota roughed up their bullpen for 5 runs and the win. Henn gave up one run in the fourth and Kyle Farnsworth (0-1, 10.80 ERA) allowed 4 consecutive runners to score in the eighth for the loss. Ramon Ortiz (2-0, 1.80 ERA) pitched eight innings, allowing 3 hits and 1 run - an Alex Rodriguez sacrifice fly.

    News out of Minnesota: The team called up lefty Glen Perkins to help out the relief corps and sent third catcher Chris Heintz down to AAA Rochester.


    Felix Hernandez pitched a no-hitter into the 8th inning, spoiled by a J.D. Drew single on the first pitch he saw.

    Fans tuned in from all across the globe to witness an outstanding pitching performance. They got one - from strikeout leader Felix Hernandez (2-0, 0.00 ERA) - rather than the expected show by Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-1, 2.57 ERA). Seattle's pitching phenom racked up 6 more K's and didn't allow a hit until J.D. Drew spoiled his no-no bid with a single on the first pitch he saw in the eighth inning.

    The Mariners' (3-2) victory, a 3-0 win over the Red Sox (4-4), marked Hernandez's third complete game in 45 starts - his performance overshadowing the much-anticipated first big league matchup between Dice-K and Ichiro Suzuki.

    Matsuzaka gave up the first run in the second on a single by Jose Guillen, a double by Kenji Johjima and a sac fly by Yuniesky Betancourt, while the other two runs came in the fifth on a double by Adrian Beltre and a base hit by Jose Vidro.

  • White Sox 6, Athletics 3

  • Angels 4, Indians 1

  • Tigers 4, Orioles 1

  • Royals 4, Blue Jays 7

  • Devil Rays 6, Rangers 5

  • Yankees 1, Twins 5

  • Cardinals 3, Pirates 2

  • Brewers 3, Marlins 2

  • Brewers 5, Marlins 2

  • Phillies 5, Mets 2

  • Nationals 3, Braves 2

  • Reds 2, Diamondbacks 1

  • Giants 0, Padres 4

  • Rockies 0, Dodgers 3

  • Astros @ Cubs - postponed due to snow

  • [MLB]


    A-Rod is an a freakin' roll right now.
    It might have taken over three seasons, but it seems that Alex Rodriguez is finally starting to fit in with the Bronx Bombers and gain some acceptance from their ornery, demanding fans.

    As much as it pains me to write this, A-Rod is on a freakin' roll right now. He leads the league with 6 longballs and 15 RBIs... that's six home runs and fifteen runs driven in over just seven games.

    He effortlessly lofted a 3-2 changeup from Boof Bonser into the left-field stands for his sixth homer of the season, giving the Yankees an early 2-0 lead last night in their 10-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome - one of the toughest places for clubs to win on the road.

    Skeptics are sure to point out that all this production is coming during the regular season - unlike the 1-for-14 escapade during last year's postseason, when he was dropped to eighth in the batting order for the final game. Rodriguez is batting .098 (4-for-41) without even 1 RBI in his last 12 playoff games dating back to 2004.

    So, welcome back to stardom, Alex. You've earned it.

    [New York Times]

    Adam Wainwright (1-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Paul Maholm (0-1, 7.20 ERA)

    Adam Wainwright looks to give the St. Louis Cardinals (4-4) another productive outing as they try for their fourth straight win and a three-game sweep over the Pittsburgh Pirates (4-4) and Paul Maholm at PNC Park at 12:35pm ET this afternoon. The Cards rallied from a two-run deficit in the ninth to defeat the Pirates 3-2 in 12 innings on Tuesday.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Brewers (3-4) @ Marlins (5-2) 7:05pm ET

    • Phillies (1-6) @ Mets (5-2) 7:10pm ET

    • Nationals (1-7) @ Braves (6-1) 7:35pm ET

    • Reds (4-4) @ Diamondbacks (7-2) 9:40pm ET

    • Giants (2-6) @ Padres (5-3) 10:05pm ET

    • Rockies (4-4) @ Dodgers (5-3) 10:10pm ET

    • Astros (3-5) @ Cubs (3-5) - postponed due to crappy weather

    Joe Saunders (0-0, 4.76 ERA) vs. Jake Westbrook (0-0, 12.60 ERA)

    It's not exactly the Home Opening series that fans of the Cleveland Indians (3-1) would like, but it's a good thing it's been moved to Miller Park, because snow is piling up across the entire Midwest right now. Lefty Joe Saunders will take the hill for the Los Angeles Angels (5-3) against Jake Westbrook and the Tribe at 7:05pm ET tonight for game 2.

    More AL Games Today...
    • White Sox (3-4) @ Athletics (4-5) 2:05pm ET

    • Tigers (4-3) @ Orioles (3-5) 7:05pm ET

    • Mariners (2-2) @ Red Sox (4-3) 7:05pm ET

    • Royals (3-5) @ Blue Jays (4-3) 7:07pm ET

    • Devil Rays (2-5) @ Rangers (4-4) 8:05pm ET

    • Yankees (4-3) @ Twins (4-3) 8:10pm ET


    Chris Young was handed a $14.5 million, four-year contract by the Padres Tuesday.
    Chris Young has pleased the San Diego Padres into giving him a $14.5 million, four-year deal that would be worth $23 million if the club uses the 2011 option.

    Young, a 6'7" baseball and basketball star at Princeton, is 1-0 with a 2.13 ERA in two starts this year. He allowed Barry Bonds' only homer of the season so far last Wednesday in San Francisco, getting a no-decision in the 5-3 Padres win. The 27-year-old righty hasn't been beaten on the road in nearly two years and is the only Padres pitcher to win a playoff game since 1998.

    Young came along with first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and left fielder Terrmel Sledge in a six-player trade with the Texas Rangers in January. He was 11-5 with a 3.46 ERA last season, when he came within two outs (so close!) of the Padres' first no-hitter on Sept. 22nd against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also took a no-no into the eighth against the Colorado Rockies last May.

    Since June of 2005, Young is 9-0 with 16 no-decisions in 25 starts on the road. Only one other pitcher in big league history went undefeated in 25 straight road starts - Allie Reynolds during the 1948 and '49 seasons.

    [San Diego Union-Tribune] | [Baseball Almanac]

    Brendan Donnelly is restrained by teammates after Seattle's Jose Guillen ratted him out for using pine tar, which caused the benches to empty in the eighth inning.
    Brendan Donnelly is restrained by teammates after Seattle's Jose Guillen ratted him out for using pine tar, which caused the benches to empty in the eighth inning.

    The Red Sox celebrated their Home Opener by roughing up World Series star Jeff Weaver (0-1) for 7 runs. Jason Varitek and Kevin Youkilis each had three of Boston's 14 hits, and J.D. Drew homered in his debut at Fenway Park. The Sox also drew seven walks and hit seven doubles. Josh Beckett (2-0) pitched a seven inning two-hitter, striking out eight and allowing only one run while sending down his final 15 batters. The Mariners didn't help their cause, committing 2 errors between leftfielder Raul Ibanez and shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt.

  • Angels 6, Indians 7

  • Tigers 3, Orioles 1

  • Royals 6, Blue Jays 3

  • Devil Rays 9, Rangers 12

  • Yankees 10, Twins 1

  • White Sox 1, Athletics 2

  • Astros 4, Cubs 2

  • Cardinals 3, Pirates 2

  • Nationals 0, Braves 8

  • Reds 4, Diamondbacks 5

  • Giants 6, Padres 5

  • Rockies 1, Dodgers 2

  • Brewers 2, Marlins 2 - suspended due to rain in 11th inning

  • [MLB]


    'I'm 72 years old, and I'm not hopping on a plane and flying all the way to San Francisco for anybody.'

    "I'm 72 years old, and I'm not hopping on a plane and flying all the way to San Francisco for anybody." - Hank Aaron
    doesn't plan to be around if and when Barry Bonds breaks his home run record. He won't attend the San Francisco Giants series, either, when they come to Atlanta to face the Braves in mid-August.

    Barry is 20 bombs short of the record - 755 homers - that Aaron set on July 20, 1976. The chances of him breaking the record are pretty good if he remains healthy this season.

    The Hall of Famer told Terence Moore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he'd probably fly to West Palm Beach to play golf if Bonds achieves his goal. He said it has nothing to do with anybody, other than he's had enough of it.
    "I don't want to be around that sort of thing anymore. I just want to be at peace with myself... It's going to be a no-win situation for me anyway. If I go, people are going to say, 'Well, he went because of this.' If I don't go, they'll say whatever. I'll just let them make their own mind up."
    Aaron also said that commissioner Bud Selig told him that Bonds has asked several times why Aaron hasn't called him as he gets closer to the record. Aaron simply said that he doesn't really talk to anyone, and has never spoken with Bonds other than a commercial they did together a few years back. With all the controversy surrounding Bonds' career, why should the great Hammerin' Hank be excited at all? Leave the man alone in his greatness.

    [] | [Deadspin]

    Arthur Rhodes is old school.
    Arthur Rhodes has somehow managed to land himself on the disabled list without even pitching a single game this season.

    The Mariners placed the veteran lefty on the 15-day DL on Tuesday (retroactive to April 4th), citing inflammation in his pitching elbow.

    The 37-year-old Rhodes arrived at Seattle's Spring Training camp as a non-roster invitee before making the club when he posted a 2.57 ERA in eight appearances. Beginning his 17th season in the majors, Rhodes owns a career 75-60 record with 30 saves and a 4.31 ERA in 653 games.

    [MLB News]

    mouthing offWhat other bloggers are mouthing off about...

  • "Sidney Ponson is like butter! Like a big stick of butter!" -

  • "More pressing would be the Yanks' pitching problems, with another lame start, this time courtesy of Kei Igawa, who deflects it by asking not to be compared to Daisuke Matsuzaka." - Signal To Noise in a great MLB wrapup

  • "Two more steals, and he ties last year's three steal total! Shoot for four, old man!" - Ron from Sports Bastards on Barry Bonds actually stealing a base

  • "So how are you going to celebrate your 62nd Birthday? Have a CD release party at a bar in Boston??? Sweet." - Awful Announcing celebrates one of my favorite writers, Peter Gammons' birthday

  • "We [also] would like to nominate either Fernando Cabrera or Fausto Carmona for the part of Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn and Casey Blake for the role of Roger Dorn." -

  • "As you can see, he’s much better at guitar than he is at playing the outfield." - Joseph P. from River Ave. Blues on Bernie Williams' mad guitar skills

  • "I just can't believe that piece of junk ate my $14.5 million again." -

  • "I have been a closet (OK, maybe that’s not the right word) A-Rod fan for a while now..." - PostmanE on A-Rod's recent in-yo-face-yankee-fans success

  • "This could be a result of the fact that he was born in Bad Kissingen, Germany, where a square face is considered the height of Teutonic engineering." - The Extrapolater on the Colorado Rockies' Jeff Baker

  • "My quality of life improves by a margin of approximately 27.5% the moment baseball begins each year..." - Yankees Chick on the AL East

  • "First off, I am not a Imus fan... in fact, I think the guy is a shriveled prune who needs a haircut..." -
  • Rondell White is one old-ass MoFoFollowing the Minnesota Twins painful attempt at playing baseball 8-2 loss to the Yankees on Monday, the club placed infielder Jeff Cirillo and outfielder Rondell White on the 15-day disabled list.

    With Old Man White's lingering right calf strain and Cirillo's inability to do anything right run due to a sore left knee, the team's bench was shallow.

    White was trying to jog Monday for the first time since his injury on Saturday night, but it became clear that he was not ready to perform. He hurt himself not playing baseball, but while running out of the dugout steps and skipping onto the field before the game against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular. The club hopes a short stint on the DL and some rest will have White back in action before long.

    Cirillo's injury could keep him out much longer, since he is now scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery to fix an old meniscus tear in his left knee. The utility infielder played only once so far this season - in the team's Opening Day game against the Baltimore Orioles. He received a cortisone shot in the knee last Tuesday, but felt the same pain while running sprints on Sunday. Cirillo will likely be out of commission for 4-6 weeks.

    Josh Rabe is such a babe.This led the club to call up second baseman Alexi Casilla from AAA Rochester and purchase the contract of delectable outfield sensation Josh Rabe. Yes! The speedy Casilla is 1-for-8 in 2 games for Rochester while Rabe Baby is batting .429 with 1 homer and 3 RBIs so far this season.

    [Minnesota Twins News]

    Ricky Nolasco will be out for a couple weeks with elbow inflammation.
    Florida Marlins righty Ricky Nolasco landed on the disabled list Monday with elbow inflammation, and will be replaced by Rick Vanden Hurk, a young Holland native who has never pitched above the Class-A level.

    Nolasco is expected to miss only a couple of starts, since his DL placement is retroactive to Saturday. He made his only appearance of the season Friday, when he pitched 1.1 innings of relief, giving up a three-run shot to Philadelphia's Pat Burrell. Nolasco was 11-11 with a 4.82 ERA as a rookie Marlin last season.

    Holland native Rick Vanden HurkVanden Hurk, 21, was called up from the minors to make his big league debut Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers. He was on the Double-A Carolina Mudcats roster this season, but hadn't pitched yet. The 6'5" righty is 5-12 with a 3.47 ERA in four minor league seasons, spending last year with the Gulf Coast League Marlins and Class-A Jupiter.

    Vanden Hurk's family plans to fly in from Holland to see him pitch.

    The Marlins were already sans right-hander Josh Johnson, who will likely be out until at least June with an irritated ulnar nerve.

    [Sporting News]

    Jon Garland (0-0, 8.44 ERA) vs. Chad Gaudin (0-0, 3.60 ERA)

    The White Sox (3-3) are hoping for a quality start out of righty Jon Garland today when they face Chad Gaudin - the replacement for the injured Esteban Loaiza - in an attempt at consecutive wins in Oakland (3-5) for the first time in almost seven years at 10:05pm ET tonight.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Marlins (2-1) @ Red Sox (3-3) 2:05pm ET

    • Angels (5-2) @ Indians (2-1) 7:05pm ET

    • Tigers (3-3) @ Orioles (3-4) 7:05pm ET

    • Royals (2-5) @ Blue Jays (4-2) 7:07pm ET

    • Devil Rays (2-4) @ Rangers (3-4) 8:05pm ET

    • Yankees (3-3) @ Twins (4-2) 8:10pm ET

    Chris Sampson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Jason Marquis (0-0, 1.50 ERA)

    History shows that Jason Marquis pretty much sucks as Wrigley Field. Hopefully pitching for the home team will change that, as the righty makes his debut with the Chicago Cubs (3-4) today at 2:20pm ET. The Astros (2-5) are putting Chris Sampson on the hill, after he pitched three innings of scoreless relief on Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Sampson made his first big league start last June against the Cubs in Houston, pitching seven three-hit innings in a 1-0 Astros victory.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Brewers (3-4) @ Marlins (5-2) 7:05pm ET

    • Cardinals (3-4) @ Pirates (4-3) 7:05pm ET

    • Nationals (1-6) @ Braves (5-1) 7:35pm ET

    • Reds (4-3) @ Diamondbacks (6-2) 9:40pm ET

    • Giants (1-6) @ Padres (5-2) 10:05pm ET

    • Rockies (4-3) @ Dodgers (4-3) 10:10pm ET


    That's Not An Itch

    Jason Schmidt grabs his right hamstring after straining it to make a play at first.
    On the day he hit his seventh career home run, right-hander Jason Schmidt left the Los Angeles Dodgers' home opener against the Colorado Rockies in the fifth inning with tightness in his right hamstring.

    Kaz Matsui led off the inning with a grounder to first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, who tossed to Schmidt, covering first. That's when the pitcher grabbed his hammy. He walked off the field and was relieved by Mark Hendrickson. Schmidt is day-to-day.

    He allowed four runs - three earned - and seven hits in his second start for the Dodgers after signing a $47 million, three-year deal, striking out six and walking none.

    Matt Kemp hurt his right shoulder after banging into the auxiliary scoreboard in the fourth inning.Also hurt in the game was right fielder Matt Kemp. He left in the fourth with a sore right shoulder after banging into the scoreboard in an attempt to catch Jeff Baker's RBI triple. Kemp was taken to a nearby hospital for X-rays.

    [Sporting News]

    Carpenter Placed On DL

    Chris Carpenter: Spring Training 2007
    St. Louis Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter is on the 15-day disabled list after an MRI revealed arthritis and an impingement in his right elbow. Limited to one start this season, Carpenter will rest for likely the next two weeks until he is re-examined by team doctors. His condition can sometimes require surgery but may also be taken care of by rest and treatment. The club would obviously prefer the latter.

    An impingement happens when a thin layer of membrane lining the elbow gets snagged in the joint. Ouch! The problem is relatively common among athletes and arthroscopic surgery can repair the often painful injury if initial treatment is not successful.

    The reigning NL Cy Young winner hasn't pitched since allowing five runs in six innings during a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets in the big league season-opener April 1st. With Carpenter unable to make his previously scheduled start Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, lefty Randy Keisler (who looks like a young Sly Stallone) was called up from AAA Memphis to fill in.

    Randy Keisler was called up Monday to take over for the injured Chris CarpenterThe 30-year-old Keisler signed with the Cards as a free agent during the offseason and had no decisions with a 4.50 ERA in 11 games last season with the Oakland Athletics. He is 4-4 with a 6.82 ERA in 51 games over five major league seasons, including 17 starts.


    Carlos Delgado and David Wright celebrate after scoring on a Moises Alou hit in the eight inning against the Philadelphia Phillies Sunday night.
    Carlos Delgado had three hits and two RBIs for the New York (5-2), who overshadowed Ryan Howard's three-run bomb and roughed up Philadelphia's (1-6) struggling bullpen in the first of 18 meetings between the division rivals. The Mets rallied in the eighth when Moisés Alou and Shawn Green lef off the inning with singles off Geoff Geary (0-1), and a walk to pinch-hitter Julio Franco to load the bases with one out. The hot-hitting Jose Reyes then drove in the tying run on a botched Jimmy Rollins grounder, leaving the bases loaded. Geary's run-scoring wild pitch gave the Mets the lead before Carlos Beltran hit a sac fly against Jon Lieber. David Wright added a two-run double, and Alou made it 11-5 with a two-run single - his first RBI as a Met.

  • Tigers 2, Orioles 6

  • Yankees 8, Twins 2

  • Royals 1, Blue Jays 9

  • Devil Rays 4, Rangers 8

  • White Sox 4, Athletics 1

  • Cardinals 3, Pirates 0

  • Astros 5, Cubs 3

  • Rockies 6, Dodgers 3

  • Brewers 3, Marlins 5

  • Reds 2, Diamondbacks 3

  • Giants 0 , Padres 1

  • Mariners @ Indians doubleheader - postponed

  • [MLB]


    Babes Love Man Muscles

    Babes Love Man Muscles. A lot.Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer was 6'4" last season. Then he showed up to Spring Training an inch taller. As of this weekend, Joe is 6'6 and possibly still stretching. Turning 24 on April 19th, the lefty wishes he would stop growing.

    "I don't want to get too big, or I might have to move positions," said the reigning American League batting champion. "Hopefully I'll grow the other way... I'd like to get a little stronger, but I don't know about taller."

    Mauer claims the recent growth spurt was not responsible for the stress reaction in his left fibula this spring and he doesn't believe it's affecting his coordination at all. This year's 7-for-19 start begs to differ.

    Is he growing too tall to be a backstop? The Twins have a strong backup in Mike Redmond, who hit .341 in 47 games last season and made up all sorts of quirky sayings like "Smell 'Em" to fire up the club on their road to the postseason. The Twins are in desperate need of a quality designated hitter, as well. Mauer was hitting .630 at DH by July last season - have they had what they've needed all along?

    [Star Tribune] | []

    Mike Hampton Is Made Out Of Papier-mâché

    Mike Hampton works the first inning against the Florida Marlins on Tuesday, May 3, 2005.
    Mike Hampton is out for a second straight season after electing to have surgery on his left elbow Tuesday to repair a torn tendon. He will strand the Atlanta Braves without one of their starting pitchers once again for at least six months.

    The lefty had elbow ligament-replacement surgery performed by the same doctor late in September of 2005, before a healthy return this season was hampered by a strained left oblique this spring.

    The 34-year-old went 5-3 in 12 starts for the Braves in 2005, struggling through the season with elbow pain. His best year came in 1999, when he went 22-4 with the Houston Astros; he's a career 138-101 with a 3.97 ERA over 13 seasons with 5 different clubs.

    Mark RedmanWith Hampton lost for the season, Mark Redman, Kyle Davies and Lance Cormier are the team's top three options for the last two spots in the rotation behind veterans John Smoltz, Tim Hudson and youngster Chuck James.


    You're Fired, Lidge

    Brad Lidge reacts after giving up a two-run shot with two outs in the ninth inning of the season opener against the Pirates.One week of baseball goes by and Brad Lidge has already been replaced.

    The Houston Astros relieved the right-hander of his closing duties Monday, replacing him with Dan Wheeler. This could have everything or nothing to do with Lidge giving up five runs in 2/3 of an inning against the St. Louis Cardinals the day before.

    Lidge has saved 29 or more games in each of the last three seasons for Houston, entered Monday's game against the Chicago Cubs with a 16.20 ERA along with a shiny new blown save to help the Astros begin their season losing five out of six games.

    Houston manager Phil Garner wrestled with the decision to demote Lidge all day Sunday, saying he "felt that [he] had to make this move for the benefit of the team."

    Lidge went 1-5 with a 5.28 ERA, converting 32 of 38 save opportunities last season. He will now move to middle relief, with the possibility of regaining his job if he begins to show significant improvement.

    Brad Lidge's temporary replacementDan Wheeler is only half as terrible: 0-1 with a 9.00 ERA in three games.

    [ABC Sports]

    Well, it was a tie. But whatever. The bracket "challenge" was held by one of my favorite blogs, of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. My prize was a $25 gift card and a free guest post.


    Eric Gagne and his sweet goggles are ready to come back to the big leagues after pitching two straight days in the minors.
    Eric Gagne was a little surprised with how good he felt after pitching two straight days in AA-Frisco - his first back-to-back appearance in almost two seasons.

    After being limited to 15.1 innings over the past two years due to operations on his elbow and back, the former NL Cy Young winner began the season on the disabled list to give him some more time to get ready to become the Texas Rangers' closer.

    Gagne is eligible to come off the DL on Friday and the club hopes to have him traveling with the team Thursday to be activated before the start of their weekend series against the Mariners in Seattle.

    Proving he could pitch consecutive days was the main hoop the righty had to jump through. He threw 15 pitches to three Arkansas batters on Friday, then 17 pitches against five hitters Saturday, when he gave up a solo shot, taking the 1-0 loss.

    Manager Ron Washington says he isn't sure if Gagne will be used in the closer role right away, or if he will make a couple of appearances in non-save situations when he returns. Gagne believes he is ready to close, asap.

    Gagne had 152 saves from 2002-04 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, converting a record 84 straight save chances, including all 55 he was presented in 2003 when he had a 1.20 ERA and won his Cy Young.


    Ramón Hernández: Spring Training 2007The Baltimore Orioles placed catcher Ramón Hernández on the 15-day disabled list Sunday due to a strained left oblique, retroactive to March 31st. He was scratched from last Monday's opener and will be eligible to be activated April 15th.

    Hernández will rehab alongside left fielder Jay Payton, who is nursing a strained right hamstring at the Orioles' complex in Sarasota, Florida.

    In other O's news, lefty Kurt Birkins, who has not pitched since the Spring, was recalled from AAA Norfolk.

    [Washington Post]

    Update: FALSE ALARM. Seriously. The Seattle vs. Cleveland series will be played in Milwaukee due to out-of-control weather in Ohio.

    Jeff Weaver (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia (1-0, 4.50 ERA)

    Let's try this again. The good people of Cleveland and Seattle have been screwed out of two double headers in a row by mother nature, so hopefully they will see some baseball today. Jeff Weaver will get the ball for the Mariners against lefty C.C. Sabathia and the Indians at 4:05pm ET, as both clubs try to improve their 2-1 record. The second game of the double header will begin at 7:35pm ET when Felix Hernandez is on the mound for Seattle facing Cleveland right-hander Brian Slocum.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Tigers (3-2) @ Orioles (2-4) 3:05pm ET

    • Yankees (1-2) @ Twins (4-1) 7:05pm ET

    • Royals (2-4) @ Blue Jays (3-2) 7:15pm ET

    • Devil Rays (2-3) @ Rangers (2-4) 8:05pm ET

    • White Sox (2-3) @ Athletics (3-4) 10:05pm ET

    Jeff Suppan (0-1, 2.57 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (0-0, 6.35 ERA)

    After losing his debut with his new team, Jeff Suppan takes the hill for the Brew Crew against the winless Anibal Sanchez and the Florida Marlins at 7:05pm ET. Sanchez is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts against Milwaukee, walking five and striking out 13.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Phillies (1-5) @ Mets (4-2) 1:10pm ET

    • Cardinals (2-4) @ Pirates (4-2) 1:35pm ET

    • Astros (1-5) @ Cubs (3-3) 2:20pm ET

    • Rockies (3-3) @ Dodgers (4-2) 4:10pm ET

    • Reds (4-2) @ Diamondbacks (5-2) 9:40pm ET

    • Giants (1-5) @ Padres (4-2) 10:05pm ET


    Big Papi grins after hitting two homers against the Texas Rangers on Sunday.
    Big Papi finally hit out of a 2-for-18 slump Sunday, smoking a solo shot in the first inning and adding a two-run bomb in the third that put the Red Sox ahead of the Rangers for his 27th career multihomer game.

  • Orioles 6, Yankees 4

  • Blues Jays 6, Devil Rays 3

  • Twins 3, White Sox 1

  • Tigers 3, Royals 2

  • Athletics 2, Angels 1

  • Mets 2, Braves 3

  • Pirates 6, Reds 3

  • Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 1

  • Cubs 4, Brewers 9

  • Cardinals 10, Astros 1

  • Rockies 1, Padres 2

  • Dodgers , Giants

  • Mariners @ Indians doubleheader - postponed

  • [MLB]


    New York Yankees left fielder Hideki Matsui was placed on the 15-day disabled list this weekend after straining his left hamstring. An MRI showed blood near the injury.

    New York plans to recall outfielder Kevin Thompson from AAA Scranton.

    Hanley Ramirez grimaces as he strains his hammy in a game against the Phillies on Sunday.Short stop Hanley Ramirez exited Sunday's Florida Marlins game against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning after injuring his right hamstring.

    The reigning NL Rookie of the Year led off the bottom of the inning with a groundout to short, hurting himself while running down the first base line before limping off the field.

    Ramirez is batting .320 with one home run, two RBIs and three stolen bags this season. He is listed as day-to-day and has been temporarily replaced by Alfredo Amezaga.



    mouthing offWhat other bloggers are mouthing off about... mostly that Colin Cowherd is an assface.

  • "What fun is baseball without a little wind, ice, and severe ligament tear potential?" - Jeff from Lookout Landing

  • "Colin Cowherd is not a very nice person." - One More Dying Quail

  • "Those peacenik clowns up in Canada have struck again." - Flash Warner

  • "People are just brilliant sometime(s)." - Awful Announcing on the response to the Colin Cowherd TBL attack

  • "He’s not riding a Big Wheel any more, let’s stick to one Zoom." - The Extrapolater on Joel Zumaya's Voodoo Sabermetrics

  • "Chuck Norris uses ribbed condoms inside out, so he gets the pleasure." - Lauren from Girls Gone Sports

  • "Cowherd decides to swing his [penis] around and try and [fornicate] over their site..." - Big Daddy Drew

  • "Nothing like an 800-pound gorilla bitch-slapping a friggin' mouse for the helluvit." - Panger from Foul Balls

  • Finally, from We Are The Postmen, quite possibly the sickest thing you'll see all day...

  • Update: FALSE ALARM. Damn it.

    Jeff Weaver (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. C.C. Sabathia (1-0, 4.50 ERA)

    Jeff Weaver will look to continue his roll after a World Series title with the St. Louis Cardinals last season as the Seattle Mariners' fifth starter this year. He and Ichiro Suzuki will take on lefty C.C. Sabathia and the Cleveland Indians at 1:05pm ET Saturday afternoon, as both clubs try to improve their 2-1 record. Just a few hours later, at 7:05pm ET, strikeout leader Felix Hernandez will take the hill in a second game for the Mariners facing Cleveland right-hander Brian Slocum.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Orioles (1-3) @ Yankees (1-2) 1:05pm ET

    • Twins (3-0) @ White Sox (1-2) 3:55pm ET

    • Tigers (1-2) @ Royals (2-2) 2:10pm ET

    • Blue Jays (1-2) @ Devil Rays (2-1) 7:10pm ET

    • Red Sox (2-2) @ Rangers (1-3) 8:05pm ET

    • Athletics (2-3) @ Angels (4-1) 10:05pm ET

    (Tony Armas (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. (Aaron Harang (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

    3-0. Believe the hype. Lone Pirate veteran Tony Armas will get the ball for the Pittsburgh Pirates today at 1:05pm ET against the Aaron Harang and the Cincinnati Reds. Armas has fanned 24 batters in 27.1 innings against Cincy, while Harang is 8-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 13 career games against the Swashbucklers. Both clubs are 3-1.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Cubs (2-2) @ Brewers (2-2) 1:05pm ET

    • Dodgers (2-2) @ Giants (1-3) 3:55pm ET

    • Mets (4-0) @ Braves (3-1) 3:55pm ET

    • Diamondbacks (3-2) @ Nationals (1-4) 7:05pm ET

    • Phillies (1-3) @ Marlins (2-2) 7:05pm ET

    • Cardinals (1-3) @ Astros (0-4) 7:05pm ET

    • Rockies (3-1) @ Padres (2-2) 10:05pm ET


    Marty McFlyWrestleMania debuts at Madison Square Garden. The Nintendo Entertainment System is released in the United States. The world is introduced to Marty McFly. The year was 1985 and it was the last time the New York Mets opened their season with 4 wins.

  • Red Sox 0, Rangers 2

  • Diamondbacks 7, Nationals 1

  • Orioles 6, Yankees 4

  • Phillies 8, Marlins 2

  • Pirates 1, Reds 6

  • Blues Jays 5, Devil Rays 6

  • Cubs 9, Brewers 3

  • Cardinals 4, Astros 2

  • Tigers 1, Royals 3

  • Rockies 4, Padres 3

  • Athletics 2, Angels 5

  • Dodgers 2, Giants 1

  • Mariners @ Indians - postponed

  • Twins @ White Sox - postponed

  • [MLB]


    FALSE ALARM. The Twins vs. White Sox game has been postponed due to terribly cold weather. Sadly, the forecast for Saturday in Chicago is cloudy, with a high near 33. Breezy, with a northwest wind around 20 mph and scattered flurries. Sweet.

    Carlos Silva (0-0) vs. Javier Vazquez

    The Minnesota Twins (3-0) will take on their Central division rivals, the Chicago White Sox (1-1) at 8:11pm ET Friday night. Right-hander Carlos Silva, in an attempt to prove he belongs in the rotation, will take the hill behind the AL MVP Justin Morneau, batting champ Joe Mauer and the little piranhas, facing righty Javier Vazquez and a potent Chicago lineup.

    More AL Games Today...
    • Red Sox (2-1) @ Rangers (0-3) 2:05pm ET

    • Mariners (2-1) @ Indians (2-1) 4:05pm ET

    • Orioles (0-3) @ Yankees (1-1) 7:05pm ET

    • Blue Jays (1-1) @ Devil Rays (1-1) 7:10 ET

    • Tigers (1-1) @ Royals (1-2) 8:10pm ET

    • Athletics (2-2) @ Angels (3-1) 10:05pm ET

    Adam Wainwright (0-0) vs. Wandy Rodriguez (0-0)

    In a battle of the winless, right-hander Adam Wainwright gets the ball for the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals (0-3) to take on lefty Wandy Rodriguez and the Houston Astros (0-3) at 8:05pm ET tonight.

    More NL Games Today...
    • Diamondbacks (2-2) @ Nationals (1-3) 7:05pm ET

    • Phillies (0-3) @ Marlins (2-1) 7:05pm ET

    • Pirates (3-0) @ Reds (2-1) 7:10pm ET

    • Mets (3-0) @ Braves (3-0) 7:35pm ET

    • Cubs (1-2) @ Brewers (2-1) 8:05pm ET

    • Rockies (2-1) @ Padres (2-1) 10:05pm ET

    • Dodgers (1-2) @ Giants (1-2) 10:15pm ET

    Dice-K made his regular season debut for the Boston Red Sox Thursday.
    It's 3am in Japan and everyone man, woman and child is watching a phenom pitch his first major league ball game, halfway across the world.

    Daisuke Matsuzaka made his regular season debut for the Boston Red Sox Thursday in what turned out to be a seven inning, six hit, one run, one walk, 10 strikeout win over the Kansas City Royals. Not bad for starters.

    "Up to now," Matsuzaka said, "given all the expectations that have surrounded me, I felt happy about those expectations at the same time feeling that, perhaps, they were a little bit extreme."
    Really? I hadn't noticed any hype.

    A question still remains: Does the gyroball exist? I say no, only because Peter Gammons and Tim Kurkjian (whose opinions are about the only ones I care about at the WWL) say no. But you know who people should really ask? Scouts. They know everything.

    And ask, they did. The consensus between scouts behind the plate yesterday was seven pitches: a straight four-seam fastball that tops out at 95 mph, a sinking two-seam fastball that sits at 91, a cut fastball that jumps in on leftys around 91, a curveball that spins slowly at 72 or tight at 78, an everyday changeup at 80, a power slider at 86 and a shuuto (often mistaken for a gyroball), the Japanese pitch that sinks like a screwball, at 81.

    Art Stewart, the Royals scout beginning his 55th year in baseball said, "Kid's got moxie. He's got something, all right." Moxie? Chalk that up to the cutest old man-quote ever. Also, the most elusive... still no evidence of a gyroball.

    Oh yeah, the Red Sox won this one, 4-1.

    [Newsday] | []

    A.J Pierzynski tosses his bat after being hit by a Roberto Hernandez pitch for the game winning run.

  • Toronto @ Detroit - snowed out.

  • Cubs 2, Cincinnati 5

  • White Sox 4, Indians 5

  • Red Sox 4, Royals 1

  • Braves 8, Phillies 4

  • Diamondbacks 4, Nationals 3

  • Devil Rays 7, Yankees 6

  • Athletics 4, Angels 3

  • Giants 5, Padres 3

  • [MLB]


    Johnny Damon is bringing sexy calves back.Johnny Damon, out with a mild strain in his right calf from Monday night's game, was not in the New York Yankees' lineup Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

    Awaiting MRI results, the club is considering placing the center fielder on the 15-day disabled list.

    Damon, who has never actually been on the DL, was in the trainer's room receiving treatment before the game and had this to say:

    "I'm feeling better today than I was yesterday. I'm going to get after it with the trainers for the rest of the day and see where we are tomorrow. I still have sexy calves."

    No, I didn't make that last part up.

    Melky Cabrera started center in Damon's place, with second baseman Robinson Cano in the leadoff spot.


    It's a pencil.Ever notice that Season Ticket Holders spot to the right of your screen? Those sites are bad ass. These guys deliver only the finest in sports-related rants, so we're showing our blogging pals some love.

    Check out some of their recent stories...


    Breaking The Color Barrier

    The late, great Jackie Robinson.
    Every player on the Los Angeles Dodgers roster will be wearing #42 on Sunday, April 15th.

    The club will honor the late by having all of its players wear his number when the Dodgers face the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, celebrating the 60th anniversary of Robinson becoming the first African-American player to appear in a big league game.

    Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. called Commissioner Bud Selig and received permission to wear Robinson's number that day, as well.

    Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. The team moved to Los Angeles ten years later.

    Each of the 15 games played on April 15th will have festivities to honor Robinson. The ceremony held at Dodger Stadium will be broadcast live on ESPN at 8:00pm ET as well as on XM Satellite Radio.

    Update: One player from each club will wear Robinson's number on the anniversary of his MLB debut.

    [MLB Press Release] | [CBS News]

    Andy Pettitte wipes the sweat off his brow at Legends Field in Tampa, Fl. during 2007 Spring Training.

    AL Matchup: Tampa Bay D'Rays @ NY Yankees 7:05pm ET

    The New York Yankees' bringing back Andy Pettitte (possibly to lure Roger Clemens away from Houston) is supposed to help them get to the postseason. It's a pretty good plan, since he has helped them win four World Series titles.

    Pettitte will make his first start for New York since Game 6 of the 2003 World Series (which they lost) when he faces the Devil Rays at Yankee Stadium on Thursday, the day after a postponement due to rain.

    Pettitte was 149-78 with a 3.94 ERA during his first nine seasons with the Bronx Bombers and in 2005 with the Astros, went 17-9 with a 2.39 ERA. The Astros advanced to the World Series that year where they were swept by the Chicago White Sox in a freak baseball-related incident. Last season, Pettitte went 14-13 with a 4.20 ERA in 36 appearances in Houston.

    Jae SeoOn the other side of the ball, Jae Seo will get the start for the Rays. The righty struggled through 17 games last season going 1-8 with a 5.00 ERA after leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers in late June.

    Seo is 1-3 with a 7.82 ERA in five starts against the Yankees, while Pettitte is clearly more dominant with an 11-1 record and 3.14 ERA in 17 appearances against Tampa Bay.


    NL Matchup: Chicago Cubs @ Cincinnati Reds 12:35pm ET

    Jason Marquis: Spring Training 2007
    Jason Marquis, who signed a three-year, $20 million contract this offseason, will take the hill in an attempt to lead the Chicago Cubs to a season-opening series win Thursday.

    Marquis went 2-9 with a 6.99 ERA in 12 outings with the St. Louis Cardinals last year, ending a poor season with an 0-4 mark and 7.25 ERA in his final five starts. He finished 14-16 to lead the NL in losses - his 6.02 ERA in 33 starts a career worst.

    Kyle Lohse gets the ball for the Reds Thursday against the Chicago CubsChicago got some much-needed encouragement from Ted Lilly's debut Wednesday, a 4-1 victory over the Reds in which he struck out nine over seven good innings. The win was also Chicago's first under new manager Lou Piniella, who left baseball for a year after leaving Tampa Bay.

    The Reds (1-1) will give Kyle Lohse the ball as the righty starts his first full season in Cincinnati after joining the team in a trade from Minnesota late last July. Lohse went 3-5 with a 4.57 ERA in 12 games, including 11 starts, for the Reds.

    Lohse struggled in his only career start against the Cubs last season, allowing six runs and seven hits over three innings of an 11-4 defeat.


    Houston Astros 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 5

    Jose BautistaThat's right. The Pittsburgh Pirates have something to prove: that they're a decent team.

    Jose Bautista drove in three runs to aid the Pirates in a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros, rallying to a 5-4 victory Wednesday night.

    After opening last season with six straight losses, the club is 3-0 for the first time since 2003, completing its first three-game sweep in Houston since 1991. This is special because the Pirates lost 18 of their first 23 games last year - their 14th straight losing season.

    Tom Gorzelanny (1-0) allowed seven hits and three runs with four strikeouts in five innings for the win. Carlos Lee's RBI single to center field in the first put the Astros ahead 1-0 before Bautista's run-scoring double in the second tied it at 1.

    In the third, Craig Biggio and Chris Burke hit back-to-back singles before Biggio scored on a Lance Berkman sacrifice fly to right that put Houston ahead 2-1. Bigs had three hits Wednesday to put him 66 hits shy of 3,000 in his career. Houston's other run came in the fourth inning when Gorzelanny hit Burke with a pitch with the bags full.

    Pirates catcher Ronny Paulino got an RBI double in the fifth and Bautista drove in two runs with his single to center, putting Pittsburgh ahead 4-3. With two outs in the inning, Astros starter Woody Williams (0-1) was replaced by Dave Borkowski.

    Adam Everett had trouble fielding a Chris Duffy grounder Wednesday.The Pirates stretched their lead to 2 when Chris Duffy's grounder bounced off Adam Everett's glove. The shortstop chased down the ball, but comically accidentally kicked it and couldn't scoop it up on his first try. (cue circus music) By the time Everett got a hand on the ball, Bautista had scored. Everett, who had just seven errors in 2006, was charged with two errors on the play. Ouch.

    Shawn Chacon pitched two perfect innings before Matt Capps retired three straight in the eighth. Salomon Torres, who went 12-for-12 in save chances last year, pitched the ninth for the Pirates - allowing Biggio's two-out homer - for his league-leading third save in as many nights.


    Toronto Blue Jays 9, Detroit Tigers 10

    Curtis Granderson hits his first career Grand Slam against the Toronto Blue Jays Wednesday.
    Curtis Granderson hit his first career grand slam as Detroit built a nine-run lead Wednesday, almost collapsing late in the game, but held on for a 10-9 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

    Coming off their first pennant since 1984, and after losing Monday's opener 5-3 in extra innings, Detroit got to A.J. Burnett (0-1) early in what turned out to be one of the shortest outings of his career. He gave up six runs, five hits and four walks in two-plus innings, leaving after Detroit's first six batters reached in the third.

    Granderson connected for a grand salami off Shaun Marcum for his first homer of the season, capping an eight-run third with a drive that bounced on top of the right-center wall, hitting the yellow home-run line, before landing back onto the field. Then, in the seventh inning, he nailed an RBI triple off Victor Zambrano, back from elbow surgery, that tied his career-high with five RBIs in a game.

    Magglio had a tough time with the wind.Toronto ended up with seven runs in the eighth off relievers Jason Grilli and Fernando Rodney, but the potential tying run was stranded at third when Magglio Ordonez, who lost two fly balls earlier in the inning, made a running catch to nab Troy Glaus' drive to right-center. The harsh wind became a factor late in th game, carrying a handful of easy outs away from Ordonez.

    Nate Robertson (1-0), who took Kenny Rogers' spot in the rotation, allowed two runs and seven hits over 5.2 innings, exiting after Aaron Hill's two-run bomb.

    Ivan Rodriguez, who was hitless in the opener, went 4-for-5 for the Tigers while Carlos Guillen added two RBIs.


    Power To The People

    Extra Innings logoMajor League Baseball has finally come to a seven-year agreement with iN Demand for the cable provider to offer its Extra Innings package to cable operators across the country. That means you now have the ability to access any baseball game your little heart desires. If you're a Brewers fan that lives in El Paso, this news has probably made your day.

    The deal had already been inked by DirecTV, which was supposed to have exclusive rights to the deal, but MLB has chosen to do better business by its fans and make the package available to more than just satellite providers.

    Those cable operators that agree to carry Extra Innings will also be required to offer the new MLB Channel on its basic tier when it is launched in 2009.

    MLB and iN DEMAND had been put under increasing pressure from Congress to come to an agreement so that fans without satellite access would still be able to view out-of-market games. MLB had set a deadline of Opening Night for iN DEMAND to match the same terms, but negotiations were extended past Sunday as the parties continued to work out the kinks.

    DirecTV had agreed to pay a ridiculous $700 million for that exclusivity, but that deal will be for less since the satellite provider has lost the 'exclusive rights' part of the deal. iN DEMAND offers its products to systems around the country such as Cox, Time-Warner, Comcast, and Cablevision.

    MLB.TV is also offering its package of out-of-market games via the Internet again this season. In the words of Mike Greenburg, I'm not watching baseball games on my computer. That's why I bought this giant television. I want to sit on my couch and watch the game, not at my desk.

    [MLB] | [Mike and Mike]


    Rich Harden threw 94 pitches (64 for strikes) and allowed just three hits Wedsnesday against the Mariners.

  • Devil Rays @ Yankees - rained out

  • Blue Jays 9, Tigers 10

  • Indians 8, White Sox 7

  • Rangers 3, Angels 5

  • Orioles 2, Twins 7

  • Red Sox 7, Royals 1

  • Athletics 9, Mariners 0

  • Marlins 6, Nationals 7

  • Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 7

  • Braves 3, Phillies 2

  • Cubs 4, Reds 1

  • Dodgers 5, Brewers 4

  • Pirates 5, Astros 4

  • Mets 10, Cardinals 0

  • Padres 5, Giants 3

  • [MLB]

    The Big Hurt Will Whoop Your Child's Ass

    With a pillow, of course. Sadly, this video has been banned by Canadian television.


    The Most Dedicated Closer Of All Time

    Joe Nate is the best. Hands down. Don't give me any of that Francisco Rodriguez nonsense.One of the top closers in the game, Minnesota's Joe Nathan (Joe Nate is the best around here) is a very busy man.

    Just how busy, you ask? Well, Monday night, after saving a baseball game, Joe stayed up with his son Cole, who had a 104 degree temperature. The next night, after saving another game, his wife Lisa was scheduled to deliver their second child - a girl they plan to name Riley.

    "If the game's close and Riley's not out yet, then it's going to be pretty crazy," Joe says. "Hopefully my wife is understanding if I have to leave for a couple hours and finish a ballgame."

    Say what?

    That's right. Joe plans to leave the hospital if the Twins are in a save situation. For the sake of his marriage, may the Twins score at least 3 more runs than the Orioles by the ninth inning tonight.

    [MLB Fanhouse]

    Beckett Tries To Escape A KC Beatdown

    AL Matchup: Red Sox @ Royals 8:10pm ET

    Josh Beckett hopes to avoid the embarrassment endured by Curt Schilling on Opening Day.
    The Kansas City Royals knocked the Sox off Boston on Opening Day, looking like the World Series contenders with the top-notch pitching staff. Okay, I won't go that far.

    The Red Sox will try to get things turned around with Josh Beckett on the hill, continuing the three-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

    The Royals, who are coming off three straight 100-loss seasons, played like a new team on Monday, roughing up Curt Schilling and co. with a 7-1 victory. Schilling is supposed to be the ace of one of the better pitching staffs in the majors - with Beckett, Japanese sensation Daisuke Matsuzaka and knuckleballer Tim Wakefield - but he ended up getting knocked around for one of the shortest outings of his career. He was pulled before the fifth inning began after allowing five runs on eight hits. Then, he blogged about it.

    So, the Royals opened their season with a W for the third time in the last nine years with a variety of players stepping up, including starter Gil Meche, who left the game to a standing O when he was relieved after 7.1 innings.

    Beckett, the former World Series MVP, finished 16-11 with a 5.01 ERA, and had a career-high 74 walks while giving up 36 homers, the second-most in the majors. The city of Boston is expecting a bit better from him in his second season with the team. Luckily, he is 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA in three starts against Kansas City.

    Odalis Perez will try to recreate Gil Meche's attack on the Red Sox Wednesday night.
    Odalis Perez will make his first start for the Royals in an attempt to put a miserable 2006 behind him. The lefty finished 6-8 with a 6.20 ERA in 32 games between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Royals. Perez is 0-1 with a 3.32 ERA in three starts against the Red Sox.


    NL Matchup: Cubs @ Reds 7:10pm ET

    Bronson Arroyo will rock your socks off.Aside from swooning the ladies with his guitar-playing skills, Bronson Arroyo will look to continue dominating the Cubs tonight at Great American Ballpark.

    After leaving Boston for Cincinnati last March, Arroyo went 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in five starts against Chicago, including wins in his first two outings as a Reds hurler. Not only did he strike out 26 Cubs in 35.2 innings, he homered in each of his first two games against the club last April.

    Arroyo went 14-11 with a 3.29 ERA for Cincinnati in 2006 and led the majors with 240.2 innings pitched as the Reds' lone All-Star. He struck out 184 batters and tied teammate Aaron Harang for the NL lead with 35 starts.

    Adam Dunn continues to have success against the Cubs, as well... then again, who doesn't? He's hit 30 homers and driven in 55 runs while batting .279 in 297 plate appearances against Chicago. BUT! Dunn has never faced Ted Lilly, who will make his Chicago debut Wednesday.

    Ted Lily makes his Cubs debut Wednesday.Lilly, a 31-year-old lefty who signed a four-year, $40 million contract this winter, posted a career high for wins with the Blue Jays last season, going 15-13 with a 4.31 ERA and 160 strikeouts.

    Even with over-priced free agent acquisition Alfonso Soriano and a healthy Derrek Lee in the lineup, the Cubs managed just eight singles and scored their only run on a Cincinnati throwing error Monday.

    "We are going to get off to a fast start," claimed Cubs manager Lou Piniella. "Just because you lose the first game doesn't mean ... It's just one ballgame."

    Whatever you say, Lou.

    Lee went 2-for-3 and Soriano went 1-for-4 with an infield single on Monday. Soriano has struggled in his career against Arroyo, going 1-for-15, striking out 5 times and driving in one run.


    Carpenter Scratched From Start

    World Series hero Chris Carpenter was feeling some stiffness in his throwing elbow after his season opening start Monday.
    The world champion St. Louis Cardinals' already unstable rotation has taken another hit with ace Chris Carpenter missing at least his next start with right elbow inflammation.

    After the club's season opening loss to the New York Mets, he felt tightness in his elbow, which turned to swelling the following morning. Carpenter was set to start Friday against the Houston Astros but will skip the game as a precautionary measure and will get checked out over the next few days.

    The Cards lost starters Jeff Suppan, Jeff Weaver and Jason Marquis as free agents in the offseason and replaced them in the starting five with relievers Adam Wainwright and Braden Looper along with free agent Kip Wells, who was out with injuries most of last season. Righty Anthony Reyes rounds out the rotation.

    As the 2005 Cy Young winner, Carpenter went 15-8 with a 3.09 ERA in 32 starts last season.

    [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

    Colorado Rockies 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 3

    Troy Tulowitzki celebrates with teammate Willy Tavaras after Tulowitzki scored the winning run on a hit by Chris Iannetta in the 11th inning Tuesday night againt the D'BacksThe Diamondbacks took the lead in the top half of the 10th when Stephen Drew hit a two-out single off Byung-Hyun Kim (1-0). Kim got the first two outs, but walked Chris Snyder and hit third baseman Alberto Callaspo with a pitch, setting up Drew's single that drove Snyder home. Brad Hawpe's throw from the outfield barely missed the sliding catcher.

    Todd Helton and Matt Holliday led off the 11th with singles against closer Jose Valverde (0-1), but Hawpe hit into a double play. Rookie shortstop Troy Tulowitzki then hit a low fastball, driving in pinch-runner Jamey Carroll to tie it up. Eric Byrnes just about had it, but the ball hit him on the wrist as he dove toward the wall in a valient effort.

    Tulowitzki then scored the game-winner on a Chris Iannetta grounder that Callaspo couldn't handle.

    The Rockies then relied on their bullpen to get the win. Kim and 5 other releivers took control when Jeff Francis came out after six solid innings, allowing 2 runs on seven hits with four strikeouts.

    Livan Hernandez went seven innings for Arizona, giving up two earned runs on five hits, striking out four and walking two.


    Los Angeles Angels 8, Texas Rangers 3

    Vladimir Guerrero went 4-for-4, smoking the ball like it were batting practice.

    The Rangers' biggest nemesis had a solo shot and two RBI singles to lead the Angels to an 8-4 victory Tuesday night. In 56 career games against the Rangers, Vlad is hitting .442, with 21 homers, 49 RBIs and 49 runs scored.

    Texas starter Vicente Padilla (0-1), who gave up all of Guerrero's run-scoring hits in the loss, pitched only 4.2 innings, giving up 6 earned runs on 9 hits, walking three and striking out one.

    Kelvim Escobar (1-0) went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs and three hits. One of them came on an Ian Kinsler home run, his second in as many games. The Angels' righty struggled with precision, walking five batters and striking out four.

    Justin Speier, signed by the Angels as a free agent during the offseason, threw 1.1 scoreless innings, and Scot Shields closed with two perfect innings.

    After a one-year hiatus, Sammy Sosa went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts - including a huge whiff on a chest-high, 3-2 slider for the final out of the fifth inning as Escobar pitched out of a bases-loaded jam.

    Gary Matthews Jr. went 2-for-3 with an RBI and scored twice against his former team.



    BarryZito has a terrible debut for the Giants.

  • Orioles 2, Twins 3

  • Athletics 4, Mariners 8

  • Rangers 3, Angels 8

  • Padres 7, Giants 0

  • Marlins 9, Nationals 3

  • Dodgers 3, Brewers 4

  • Pirates 3, Astros 2

  • Mets 4, Cardinals 1

  • Pirates 4, Astros 2

  • Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 4

  • [MLB]

    Oh, The Humanity!

    This gem comes straight from Awful Announcing...

    Mark Mallory, the Mayor of Cincinnati, throws what could possibly be considered the worst Ceremonial First Pitch of all time. Someone please send this man a !

    [Awful Announcing]

    I'm rich bitch!Baseball commissioner Bud Selig earned as much last year as some of the league's best players, receiving $14.5 million in the fiscal year ending October 31st, according to Major League Baseball's tax return - obtained by the Sports Business Journal.

    Bob DuPuy, the league's chief operating officer, received $4.875 million and pay for executive vice presidents included $1.92 million for Rob Manfred in labor relations, $1.3 million for John McHale Jr. in administration and $1,245,000 for Jonathan Mariner in finance.

    The guy who takes care of the finances actually made the least?

    The publication, citing unidentified sources, claims Selig received a $6 million base salary, an equal amount in a bonus and the remainder in expenses and personal fees.

    Interestingly enough, baseball's central office paid $77.3 million in salaries and benefits to 231 employees while the NFL paid $41.5 million to 839 employees. Hmmmm...


    Nook Logan hobbles off the field on Opening Day with a left foot strain.The Washington Nationals placed Nook Logan on the 15-day DL Tuesday with a left foot strain.

    The center fielder suffered the injury in Monday's 9-2 loss to the Florida Marlins in the fourth inning when he banged his foot against the center field wall during a sweet leaping catch.

    At first, Logan was thought to have a hyperextended left foot, but after X-Rays were found negative, an MRI confirmed the strain. He is expected to miss two to three weeks.

    Last season, Logan hit .300 over 90 at-bats in his first campaign with the Nationals and third in the big leagues. He spent his first two seasons with the Detroit Tigers, batting .271 with two homers, 35 RBIs and 33 steals in 204 games.

    The Nats recalled outfielder Kory Casto from AAA Columbus to replace Logan. Casto has absolutely no major league experience, so that should work out well.

    [Washington Post]

    AL Matchup: Athletics @ Mariners 10:05pm ET

    Jarrod Washburn: Spring Training 2007.Seattle will look to take a second straight game from the A's and open 2-0 for the first time in 11 years when the two clubs continue their three-game series at Safeco Field tonight. The Mariners (1-0) took the first meeting with Oakland (0-1) last season, but lost the next 15 matchups on the way to a 2-17 season series record between the AL West rivals.

    Jarrod Washburn will take the hill after a tumultuous 2006 season punctuated by an 8-14 record and 4.67 ERA in 31 starts. The lefty struggled against the A's last season along with the rest of the Mariners, going 0-2 with a 6.88 ERA in three starts. He is a career 7-12 with a 4.10 ERA in 28 appearances against Oakland.

    Joe Blanton is a big boy.The Athletics are counting on Joe Blanton, who gets the start after Esteban Loaiza was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday with tightness in his shoulder. Blanton went 16-12 last season with a 4.82 ERA in 32 appearances, including 31 starts, tying Barry Zito for the team lead in wins. But his .309 opponents' batting average was the third-highest in the majors.

    The righty owned the Mariners, however, posting a 1.55 ERA and winning all four of his starts against them last season. Blanton is a career 6-1 with a 2.50 ERA in eight starts versus Seattle.


    NL Matchup: Padres @ Giants 4:35pm ET

    Barrys Being Barrys
    For the 13th straight year, manager Bruce Bochy will be in the dugout when the San Diego Padres open their season. Only this time, he'll be on the opposing bench along with Barry Bonds, who has been a thorn in his side over the past 12 years.

    Bochy will make his managerial debut with Bonds and the San Francisco Giants today, kicking off a three-game series against the NL West rival Padres.

    Despite gnawing allegations of steroid use, Bonds begins the season with 734 career homers, needing just 22 to break Hank Aaron's big league record. He has hit 85 bombs in his career versus the Padres - 22 more than against any other opponent.

    Bonds won't be the only Barry attracting mass amount of attention for the Giants, as they send expensive offseason pickup Barry Zito to the mound for the opener. The 28-year-old lefty, who went 102-63 with a 3.55 ERA in seven seasons with Oakland and won the 2002 AL Cy Young award, hopped across the bay after signing a $126 million, seven-year contract with the Giants in January.

    The Giants took 12 of 19 meetings in last season's series with the Pads, including five of nine in San Francisco.

    Jake Peavy laughs at your attempt at giving him a parking ticket.The Padres enter this season with one of the NL's most impressive pitching staffs, including 25-year-old righty Jake Peavy, who leads Chris Young, future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux and 21-year veteran left-hander David Wells in the rotation.

    Peavy, who gets the ball today, led the majors with a 2.27 ERA in 2004, and had an NL-high 216 strikeouts in 2005, but crapped-out with an 11-14 record and 4.09 ERA last season as he struggled with shoulder tendinitis.

    The Padres will play without Mike Piazza, who departed for Oakland via free agency. Former backup catcher Josh Bard, who batted .338 in 93 games with San Diego last season, will take over the starting duties at catcher.

    Veteran outfielder Brian Giles returns to anchor the lineup in his fourth full season with the Padres, hoping to rebound from a 2006 season where he hit .263 with 14 homers - both career lows.


    Boston Red Sox 1, Kansas City Royals 7

    Gil Meche waves to his new fans after his 7-inning performance MondayOver 41,000 fans gave Gil Meche (1-0) a well-deserved standing ovation Monday, forgetting all about the criticism they may have given the organization for dishing out a $55 million contract to the 28-year-old righty this offseason.

    Meche went 7.1 solid innings, leading his new Kansas City Royals team to a 7-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox and an incredibly ineffective Curt Schilling.

    After a shaky first inning, Meche gave up six hits and one run, striking out six and walking only one in the longest outing by a Royals Opening Day starter since Bret Saberhagen in 1988.

    Mark Grudzielanek went 3-for-5 and drove in three runs while Tony Pena Jr. hit two triples in his Royals debut.

    Curt Schilling reacts after sucking on Opening DaySchilling, on the other hand, lasted just four innings. The six-time All-Star gave up five runs on eight hits with two walks and five strikeouts in his shortest outing in almost a decade, giving him a 1-3 record in five career starts at Kauffman Stadium.

    He was in deep from the very start, giving up three straight 1-out singles before walking in a run in the first inning.

    "Four innings, 89 pitches. Those were four hard innings," said manager Terry Francona.

    Julio Lugo, the free-agent shortstop signed to Boston this winter in hopes of adding some pop to the leadoff spot, struck out three times.

    With his first pitch in the big leagues, Boston reliever Hideki Okajima gave up a home run to John Buck leading off the sixth. Long-time Royal Mark Sweeney and Mark Teahan each went 2-for-4.

    First baseman Kevin Youkilis went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Boston while second baseman Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-3. Manny Ramirez and Jason Varitek each went 0-4.

    [Box Score]

    Los Angeles Dodgers 1, Milwaukee Brewers 7

    Ben Sheets reacts to the final out of his two-hit complete game April 2ndBen Sheets (1-0) gave up an early homer to Jeff Kent before retiring the next 22 batters he faced in a two-hit performance that led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 7-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday.

    He pitched the first opening-day complete game of two hits or fewer since Tom Glavine (1-0) tossed a two-hitter for the Braves against Astros in 1992.

    This marks Sheets' 12th complete game in 167 starts. The ace says the shoulder problems that hindered him last season didn't bother him at all during spring training.

    Dodgers starter Derek Lowe (0-1) gave up six runs and walked five in four innings. Brady Clark had the other hit for LA, a double to left in the top of the ninth inning.

    [Box Score]


    Drunk on the D-Train.

  • Devil Rays 5, Yankees 9

  • Blue Jays 5, Tigers 3

  • Indians 12, White Sox 5

  • Red Sox 1, Royals 7

  • Athletics 0, Mariners 4

  • Orioles 4, Twins 7

  • Rangers 1, Angels 4

  • Marlins 9, Nationals 2

  • Braves 5, Phillies 3

  • Dodgers 1, Brewers 7

  • Cubs 1, Reds 5

  • Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 6

  • Pirates 4, Astros 2

  • [MLB]

    It's a pencil.Ever notice that Season Ticket Holders spot to the right of your screen? Those sites are bad ass. These guys deliver only the finest in sports-related rants, so we're showing our blogging pals some love.

    Check out some of their recent stories...

    • The clever and creative Extrapolater got some blogging fools together to rate MLB players in the strangest of categories in a little segment he calls Voodoo Sabermetrics. Today's subject: Man-Ram.

    • Awful Announcing opens his heart to us all on the Opening Day thread.

    • In another instance of bloggers getting together, here is a heartfelt discussion on on Rumors and Rants.

    • The tall dark and handsome Ian from Random Thoughts .

    • Keith Hernandez's mustache from the Sports Hernia.

    • Matt "Sexy" Sussman on Opening Day.

    • Check out Bugs and Cranks for all of your baseball needs.

    • From Deadspin: .

    • Last but certainly not least, the lovely Flash Warner .


    For those of us who aren't Cards or Mets fans... Happy Opening Day.

    AL Matchup: Baltimore @ Minnesota 7:05pm ET on ESPN2

    Johan Cytana
    I'm such a homer. Johan Santana will take his first step toward a third Cy Young in four seasons when the Twins open the season against lefty ace Erik Bedard and the Orioles.

    Most of last season's team will return for Minnesota, led by Santana, who went 19-6 with a league-leading 2.77 ERA and league-best 245 strikeouts last season, tying the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang for the big league lead in wins. Johan has a 2-1 record and 3.18 ERA in eight career starts against the Orioles, having not faced them since 2005.

    With Brad Radke lost to retirement and Francisco Liriano out for the season following Tommy John surgery, the Twins' rotation behind Santana includes the returning baggage of Carlos Silva, newly acquired Ramon Ortiz, a bit more experienced Boof Bonser and a large project in Sidney Ponson to round out the staff... so to speak. Closer Joe Nathan, who had 36 saves a year ago, anchors one of baseball's best bullpens, which will absolutely find themselves carrying more than their share of the load if the final four starters can't make quality starts.

    The club's potent middle of the lineup with AL MVP Justin Morneau, batting champ Joe Mauer and Michael Cuddyer, who had a breakout 109-RBI season last year, will carry the team's offense with a little help from the pirahnas.

    Mourneau became of the league's best in the game last season, hitting .321 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs while Mauer became the first catcher in AL history to win a batting title, hitting .347 with 13 homers and 84 RBIs - .471 in eight games against the Orioles last season. The underrated Cuddyer went from 12 homers in 2005 to 24 last season, hitting 67 more RBIs than the year before.

    The Twins won six of nine games against the Orioles last season, taking two of three at home.

    Erik Bedard: Spring Training 2007
    The Orioles are entering this year with the expectation of avoiding their 10th straight losing season. After spending $42 million in the offseason on four new relievers, the hope is that the bullpen will improve on the 19-25 record and collective 5.25 ERA they produced in 2006.

    Orioles starters didn't do much better than the relief corps, finishing 13th in the AL with a 5.40 ERA - allowing a major league high 216 homers. Bedard leads a rotation that has hopeful youngsters in Daniel Cabrera and Adam Loewen along with veteran strength in Jaret Wright and Steve Trachsel, who was hired to replace the injured Kris Benson, likely out for the season.

    Bedard, who will take the ball today, won a career-high 15 games and finished ninth among AL starters with a 3.76 ERA, ranking 11th with 171 strikeouts last season. This was a pleasant surprise for the O's, who have been without a real ace since Mike Mussina hit the road after the 2000 season. Bedard went 0-2 with a 4.66 ERA in two starts against the Twins last season, but has allowed only two earned runs over 11 innings in two starts at the Metrodome.

    Baltimore's offense revolves around their All-Star shortstop Miguel Tejada, who drove in 100 runs and batted a career-high .330 with 24 bombs last season. Nick Markakis rebounded from a slow start in his rookie season to hit .338 in June, .403 in July and .354 in August.

    First baseman Aubrey Huff was signed to a $20 million, three-year contract to provide Tejada with protection in a lineup that tied for 20th in the majors with 164 home runs.


    Opening Day For The Rest Of Us: NL

    For those of us who aren't Cards or Mets fans... Happy Opening Day.

    NL matchup: Atlanta @ Philadelphia 1:05pm ET on TBS

    Grandpa Smoltz will help you with your lawn.Speaking of the Mets, the Atlanta Braves' incredible run of 14 straight division titles ended last season with New York's takeover of the NL East. While the Braves think they have what it takes to return to the top, the Phillies believe they're ready to become the new team to beat in the NL East.

    The new underdogs will face an optimistic Phillies club Monday in the teams' season opener.

    After finishing third in the East last season - six games behind Philadelphia and 18 behind the New York - the Braves found themselves under .500 for the first time since 1990 - one season before their run of division championships began.

    The Braves ranked second in the league with 849 runs and first with 222 homers in 2006 with a potent middle of the order in Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones, Jeff Francoeur and Brian McCann. They lost Adam LaRoche, however, who hit 32 homers and drove in 90 runs, and last season's leadoff hitter, Marcus Giles.

    Veteran righty John Smoltz, who turns 40 in May, will take the hill for Atlanta. He went 16-9 with a 3.49 ERA last season, leading the team in wins and (232) innings pitched.

    Brett Myers: Spring Training 2007
    The Phillies, meanwhile, haven't reached the playoffs since 1993, but have stayed in contention for the wild card until the final weekend of the last two seasons. They led the NL with 865 runs last season and ranked third with 216 home runs, so the goal is to duplicate that performance this year behind a lineup led by 58-homer-hitting Ryan Howard, Jimmy Rollins and hard-hitting second baseman Chase Utley.

    Philly upgraded its pitching to complement its powerful lineup, adding Freddy Garcia and Adam Eaton to a rotation that includes Brett Myers, Cole Hamels and veteran lefty Jamie Moyer, a late-season acquisition from Seattle.

    Myers, 12-7 with a 3.91 ERA last season, will get the start for Philadelphia in his first opening-day start. He's 4-5 with a 4.14 ERA in 16 starts against Atlanta and went 1-1 with a 3.55 ERA in five outings against them last season.


    Dudes and Bitches, the day is upon us. The day that most of us have been waiting for since the Most Boring World Series That Nobody Cared About: Opening Day 2007. Professional baseball players and their entourages have vacated Florida (well, except the Marlins and the Devil Rays, but they're barely professional anyway.)
    Some burning questions to ponder for 2007...

    A-Rod's color1. Oh A-Rod, how my heart bleeds for you. You make more money in the time it takes to wipe that ice cream scented poop out of your fanny than I will make in an entire lifetime. But New Yorkers hate you. Derek Jeter won't come over and play Clue anymore. Will you finally get the love and affection from all of New York that you rightly deserve when you hit .170 in the playoffs? Perhaps this year, oh pretty purpled-lipped one, this year, will be your year to earn those pinstripes.

    Bring back the school girl.2. Princess Carl Pavano, the baseball equivalent to Britney Spears. You started out so promising, as a NAAAtional League pitcher who so badly wanted to go and play real baseball. Kind of like Miss Britney in her bustier and school girl skirt. However, as time went on, it became increasingly obvious what a complete and total headcase you were. You haven't pitched in a major league game in two years, and in a few hours, you will get your chance. Give Carl a chance. See if he can get back into that jailbait, pleated skirt and kneesocks form.

    The devil says no.3. The Chicago Cubs. Now, the most pathetic lovable losers in baseball. Will this finally be your year, with Sweet Lou at the helm and Alfonso Soriano taking over at 2nd?

    Kill that billy goat, Cubbies fans.

    Oh wait...sorry, my phone just rang. Satan says it's still a balmy 2,000 degrees in hell. Hasn't frozen over yet. No World Series rings for you.

    Yummy gyroball4. Dice-K, (whose name I cannot spell, so I won't even try) will you be worth the GNP of a third world countries equivalent that the Sox paid to talk with you? You have been hit or miss in spring training, and the debate on whether the gyroball exists outside of Greek restaurants is still fine blogger fodder. Do we believe the hype?

    Not to get all serious, but the beginning of baseball season is the most glorious time of year for those of us who live in colder states. It's a reminder that the dark, frigid, snow-blanketed days filled with North Face parkas and boots are behind us, and the wait is not long for 8pm sunsets, long walks, ice cream cones and fireworks that explode in the night.

    Happy Opening Day, bitches. And Go Red Sox!!!


    Matt Thornton gives Gustavo Molina the knucks
    Closer Matt Thornton agreed Sunday on a $3.25 million, three-year contract with the Chicago White Sox. The 30-year-old lefty went 5-3 with a 3.33 ERA and 49 strikeouts over 63 appearances in his first season with the Sox last year.

    Utility player Pablo Ozuna was given a $1.25 million, one-year extension through as well, after he hit .328 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 79 games last year.

    The club also picked up the contracts of lefty John Danks and catcher Gustavo Molina from AAA Charlotte and placed backup catcher Toby Hall on the 15-day disabled list - retroactive to March 26th - with a dislocated right shoulder.

    Danks, acquired in a trade with the Texas Rangers, earned the fifth spot in the starting rotation. Hall, who is out for Lord know how long, was set to place backup to A.J. Pierzynski after signing with the club in December.


    Adrian GonzalezThe San Diego Padres finally gave their first baseman the contract he deserves.

    Adrian Gonzalez received a $9.5 million, four-year deal on Sunday, a month after the club renewed him at just $500 more than the MLB minimum.

    The contract has the potential to be worth $15 million if the Pads exercise the $5.5 million option for 2011, as well.

    Gonzalez, who grew up in the bay area, had performed well in his first full big league season when the Padres acquired him in a six-player trade with the Texas Rangers on last January.

    He led the NL West champion Padres with a .304 average and 24 homers, finishing second with 82 RBIs before being honored as the team's MVP.

    [San Diego Union Tribune]

    Carneal Will Be Missed

    Herb Carneal, Halsey Hall and Ray Scott for WCCO Broadcasting
    It's those untelevised day games, or the evenings we have to work. Riding in the car or cooking dinner and listening. We'll miss that.

    Hall of Fame broadcasting legend Herb Carneal's smooth baritone narration of the Minnesota Twins radio broadcasts have been a staple of Minnesota radio for the past 45 seasons - all but the first year the Twins came to Minnesota. He passed away Sunday morning of congestive heart failure at the age of 83.

    Carneal called Athletics and games in Philadelphia and Orioles games in Baltimore before coming to Minnesota in 1962 - a year after the Washington Senators moved west to become the Twins. It was then that he became one of the most beloved figures in Minnesota sports.

    He was honored with the for major contributions to baseball broadcasting by the Hall of Fame in 1996.

    "He is the absolute consummate pro of broadcasting," his longtime partner, John Gordon, said in an interview last summer. "He works very hard. He does all of his homework. He's never been a guy that's been real flashy. He just kind of slips into the seat and says, 'Hi, everybody."'
    Herb CarnealWith that signature greeting, Carneal had a mind like a steal trap - easily recalling old facts and stats well into his 80s - when his duties had been drastically cut back.

    Sadly, he stopped traveling with the team in 1998 and his time on the air was cut back even further in 2003. Last year, Carneal called only the first three innings of weekend and weekday afternoon home games and was scheduled to do the same this season until a series of health problems began to cast doubt on that scenario as well.

    One of the most recognizable calls and his all-time favorite came in 1987, when the Twins won their first World Series: the final play of the Game 7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals.
    "Willie McGee hits a little bouncer down to Gaetti, there's the throw to Hrbek ... and the Twins are World Champions! The Twins are World Champions!"
    Garrison Keillor's "Porch Song" he wrote for one of his Prairie Home Companion shows paid tribute to the Twins icon with this stanza:
    "Just give me two pillows and a bottle of beer. And the Twins game on radio next to my ear. Some hark to the sound of the loon or the teal. But I love the voice of Herb Carneal."

    This marks the third year in a row the Twins organization has lost a beloved personality just before the season. Longtime announcer Bob Casey died at the age of 79 in 2005 and Hall of Fame center fielder and fan favorite passed away last March at the age of 45.

    [Star Tribune]

    Twins 6, Pirates 4

    Man Muscles
    AL Batting Champ Joe Mauer returned to the Twins' lineup Saturday following a stress reaction in his left leg, just in time for Minnesota's final spring victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, a 6-4 win in front of a sellout crowd of 8,029 at .

    The All-Star catcher hit a three-run double in the third that scored Jason Bartlett, Luis Castillo and Nick Punto, who returned from a strained right groin.

    Pirates catcher Ronny Paulino hit run-scoring doubles in the first and third innings, polishing off his spring performance with a .481 average.

    Before the game, the Pirates put NL batting champion Freddy Sanchez on the 15-day disabled list - retroactive to March 23rd - making him eligible to be activated April 7th. He hasn't played a big league game this spring since spraining his right knee while turning a double play March 6th.

    Sanchez did play in minor league games Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, but said his swing still isn't where he wants it to be. After hitting .344 last season, he will stay at the Pirates' minor league camp and play in extended spring games for a few more days before a possible move to AAA Indianapolis on a rehab assignment.

    Jose Castillo, his second base replacement, went 2-for-3.

    Braves 4, White Sox 2

    Mark RedmanMark Redman threw four innings for the Atlanta Braves in a 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox, tuning up for his next start on Friday night against the NL East champion New York Mets. The lefty allowed two runs - one earned - and five hits, striking out two and walking one.

    Chicago starter Javier Vazquez gave up four runs, eight hits and two walks in 6.2 innings, striking out six. The righty had a rough spring, going 0-4 with an 8.00 ERA in six starts.

    The White Sox, who dropped seven of their last eight exhibition games, finished at 10-22-1 this spring, their most losses since 1989.

    The Braves took a 2-0 lead in the second on a Kelly Johnson RBI single and a sacrifice fly by Ryan Langerhans, who finished with three RBIs, including a two-run bomb in the fourth.

    Chicago tied it up at two in the fourth when Langerhans misplayed Roberto Valido's single in center, allowing Pablo Ozuna to score before Rob Mackowiak hit an RBI single.

    Vazquez, who signed a three-year extension worth $34.5 million on March 6th, finished 2006 by going 0-6 with a 4.22 ERA in his last 10 starts. The right-hander will start Friday night in Chicago against the Minnesota Twins.

    The Braves finished the spring with an 18-12-2 record.

    Angels 4, Dodgers 2

    Maicer IzturisMaicer Izturis had an RBI single and scored the go-ahead run on Tommy Murphy's groundout, helping the Los Angeles Angels beat the crosstown Dodgers, 4-2 Saturday.

    Joe Saunders allowed two runs and nine hits over four innings, finishing the spring at 2-0 with a 5.40 ERA over six starts. The lefty will make his regular-season debut Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.

    Brad Penny allowed three runs - two earned - and seven hits over five innings for the Dodgers in his last outing before Friday's regular-season debut in San Francisco. Limited to just 16 innings this spring due to stiffness in his throwing shoulder, the righty went 0-2 with an 8.44 ERA over five starts.

    The Angels will begin their season Monday against the Texas Rangers, with John Lackey making his second career opening-day start, replacing former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colón, who has started the club's last three season openers.

    [MLB] | [MiLB]