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  1. When the rooting interests get nutty

    Sep 12, 2011, 4:10 PM EDT

    Go team

    This happens every year when the playoff races tighten, but it’s been fun to think about this today: Braves fans probably have to root pretty hard for the Phillies as they play the Cardinals this weekend. Red Sox fans probably have to root pretty hard for the Yankees, as they play the Rays seven times…

  2. Carlos Quentin returns from DL, but how much will he play?

    Sep 12, 2011, 3:51 PM EDT

    quentin getty wide

    Carlos Quentin is back from the disabled list after missing the past three weeks with a shoulder injury, but he returns to a much more crowded White Sox lineup. Quentin’s injury opened the door for 22-year-old rookie Dayan Viciedo, who’s hit .354 in 14 games since being called up. With the White Sox all but…

  3. Another Yankees pitcher shoots for history

    Sep 12, 2011, 3:32 PM EDT

    burnett getty wide

    Mariano Rivera‘s saves record is a forgone conclusion. A.J. Burnett probably won’t break a record this year, but he will come pretty close: Burnett already has 23 wild pitches this year, which puts him on a historic pace. Since 1901, only five pitchers have finished a season with more than 23 wild pitches, led by…

  4. Johan Santana’s next rehab start will be Thursday at Single-A

    Sep 12, 2011, 3:19 PM EDT

    johan santana face getty

    Johan Santana is still trying to get some more rehab work in before the minor-league season is over, so his next start is scheduled for Thursday at Single-A in the South Atlantic League championship series. Santana tossed three shutout innings in the SAL semi-finals last week and Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that he’s slated to…

  5. Rays call up Triple-A MVP Russ Canzler

    Sep 12, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT

    russ canzler rays

    Tampa Bay calling up stud pitching prospect Matt Moore is getting all the attention–and rightfully so–but the Rays have also promoted Russ Canzler to the majors after the 25-year-old took home International League MVP honors by hitting .314 with 18 homers, 40 doubles, and a .930 OPS in Durham. Canzler signed with the Rays as…

  6. Roy Oswalt is probably not endearing himself to his old fans in Houston

    Sep 12, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    oswalt wide getty

    Brian McTaggart — who has a story up today about Roy Oswalt and Hunter Pence‘s return to Houston for this weeks’ Phillies-Astros series —  just tweeted a quote from Roy Oswalt, apparently said in response to a question about how he’ll be received by his former hometown fans: “… probably be just as many Phillies…

  7. Mariano Rivera is close to the all-time saves record

    Sep 12, 2011, 2:03 PM EDT

    Mariano Rivera

    The point to this David Waldstein article in the New York Times is that Mariano Rivera‘s imminent surpassing of Trevor Hoffman on the all-time saves list is getting surprisingly little hype.  Given that, until I read this David Waldstein article in the New York Times I wasn’t aware that Mariano Rivera was about to surpass Trevor…

  8. James Shields has the most pickoffs by a right-handed pitcher since 1988

    Sep 12, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox - Game One

    Last week James Shields became the first pitcher since Randy Johnson in 1999 to complete 11 games in a season and yesterday he became the first right-handed pitcher with 12 pickoffs in a season since Charlie Hough in 1988. In MLB history there have only been 14 instances of a right-hander recording double-digit pickoffs in…

  9. “Exotic math” is going to cost Justin Verlander the MVP award

    Sep 12, 2011, 1:35 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander

    A friend asked me if there was a point to the “Moneyball” movie coming out now, several years after the book.  All of the lessons its insights have long since been coopted and mainstreamed, my friend said. It’s kind of old news. I considered the argument for a minute and, as I often do, I…

  10. Hiroki Kuroda’s past neck problems “have resurfaced”

    Sep 12, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

    kuroda throws getty

    Hiroki Kuroda failed to make it out of the fifth inning yesterday and afterward admitted that the neck problems he’s struggled with in previous seasons are once again an issue. Kuroda downplayed the severity, telling Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that “compared to what it’s been in the past it’s very mild.” However,…

  11. Tom Ricketts wants Theo Epstein

    Sep 12, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

    Carl Crawford Signs with the Boston Red Sox

    Phil Rogers of the Chicago Tribune has another in what will certainly be a looooong line of stories trying to put Theo Epstein in Chicago as the Cubs next GM.  We saw some of those a couple of weeks ago, and Epstein made it clear that he’s not going to fan those flames while the…

  12. Is this the worst season in Minnesota Twins history?

    Sep 12, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers

    If the Twins’ season was a fight the corner would’ve thrown in the towel several rounds ago, as they’ve now lost 12 of the past 13 series, including seven in a row. Since climbing to 50-56 on July 29 to convince the front office not to become sellers at the trading deadline the Twins have…

  13. Andre Ethier to have season-ending knee surgery Wednesday

    Sep 12, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    Andre Ethier

    Last week the Dodgers ruled out Andre Ethier for the remainder of the season with a right knee injury and now Tony Jackson of ESPN Los Angeles reports that the outfielder will undergo arthroscopic surgery Wednesday. According to Jackson “the recovery time is expected to be short enough that Ethier can still engage in something…

  14. Your Monday afternoon Power Rankings

    Sep 12, 2011, 12:03 PM EDT

    Young Elvis

    Once again, we’ve pretty much said all that can be said about these teams. So let’s force them into arbitrary categories!  I sort of feel like I’m stealing Peter Gammons’ bit here, but what the heck. NOTE: the bands/artists are only for description purposes, They themselves are not being ranked. Because there’s no way I’d…

  15. Phillies’ stacked rotation means rookie Vance Worley may be in playoff bullpen

    Sep 12, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    Vance Worley

    Everyone expected Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Cole Hamels to be amazing this season, but injuries to the rest of Philadelphia’s rotation opened the door for Vance Worley to claim a full-time spot and the 23-year-old rookie has responded by going 11-2 with a 2.92 ERA in 117 innings. On many teams that would put…

  16. The Cubs are thinking about putting Jeff Samardzija in the 2012 rotation

    Sep 12, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    Jeff Samardzija

    For the past several years, the name Jeff Samardzija has been synonymous with “Oh my god, what a disaster! Really, avert your eyes, everyone avert your eyes!”  No, it’s not a synonym that comes in handy for writers all that often, but any shorthand can be useful. Useful has not been something Samardzija has been, putting…

  17. Reds interested in extending Francisco Cordero’s contract

    Sep 12, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Francisco Cordero

    Francisco Cordero‘s contract has a $12 million team option or $1 million buyout for next season and general manager Walt Jocketty admitted yesterday that the Reds “are trying to determine” what their best course of action will be. Cordero has said he’d be open to renegotiating the deal and Jocketty told John Fay of the…

  18. Jorge Posada actually caught a game

    Sep 12, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Jorge Posada

    I missed this yesterday, but something happened on Saturday night that hadn’t happened in nearly a year: Jorge Posada donned the tools of ignorance and caught a baseball game.  This season he has been a DH, with a couple of spells at first base and one gimmicky one at second. The reason he caught: emergency.…

  19. Theo Epstein reveals that J.D. Drew has broken middle finger

    Sep 12, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    J.D. Drew

    Last week Terry Francona replied “we don’t know” when asked about J.D. Drew‘s return timetable and now we know why, as general manager Theo Epstein revealed during a radio interview today that Drew has a broken middle finger. Drew was on the verge of returning from a shoulder injury and possibly taking back significant playing…

  20. Quote of the Day: Vin Scully on the 9/11 anniversary

    Sep 12, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Dodger Stadium 9 11

    Apart from some random aside kind of things I have refrained from doing a big 9/11 remembrance post. Mostly because — despite our being implored to “never forget” — I find it pretty unpleasant to think about. And it’s not like there’s any chance those of us who were adults when that went down are going to…

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