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  1. NLDS Game 4 Live Blog: Phillies vs. Cardinals

    Oct 5, 2011, 8:42 PM EST

    Toronto Blue Jays v St. Louis Cardinals

    8:42pm: Jay makes a sliding catch in center field to end it. Cards win, 5-3. This series will come down to Game 5, Friday in Philadelphia. Chris Carpenter vs. Roy Halladay. You couldn’t ask for much better. 8:40pm: Motte blows a 98 mph heater past Ibanez’s late swing for the second out of the inning.…

  2. The squirrel that stole a strike

    Oct 5, 2011, 7:36 PM EST

    squirrel cardinals

    Just as Roy Oswalt‘s 1-1 pitch crossed the plate in the bottom of the fifth of Wednesday’s NLDS Game 4, a squirrel took off through the batter’s box, racing from the Cardinals dugout area across the field into the stands down the third-base line. And Angel Hernandez was so distracted by the scene that he neglected to…

  3. Justin Verlander unavailable, CC Sabathia a possibility for Game 5

    Oct 5, 2011, 7:33 PM EST

    Justin Verlander

    While the Yankees are likely to have CC Sabathia available out of the pen for Thursday’s ALDS Game 5, the Tigers ruled out using Justin Verlander. Both aces started Monday, so an appearance Thursday would come on just two days’ rest. Doug Fister and Ivan Nova are the scheduled starters for Game 5. Verlander threw…

  4. Terry Francona unsure about managing in 2012

    Oct 5, 2011, 7:03 PM EST

    Terry Francona

    Speaking publicly for the first time since exiting as Boston’s manager, Terry Francona touched on several subjects Wednesday on WEEI, saying that he would have stayed with the Red Sox had his options been picked up and that he’s unsure about his status for 2012. On his departure: I have to own a lot of…

  5. Jose Valverde wins the Delivery Man of the Year award. Um, OK.

    Oct 5, 2011, 5:30 PM EST

    Jose Valverde

    Jose Valverde was named Major League Baseball’s Delivery Man of the Year today.  It’s a fan vote, so take it for what it’s worth.  And from where I’m sitting, it’s not worth a heck of a lot.  Here’s part of that: Other relievers receiving votes from the MLB panel this year included John Axford of…

  6. Red Sox fire first base coach Ron Johnson

    Oct 5, 2011, 5:17 PM EST

    Boston Red Sox v Tampa Bay Rays

    Tough day to be a first base coach. Mookie Wilson is out of a job with the Mets and now Joe McDonald of ESPN Boston reports that the Red Sox have fired their first base coach, Ron Johnson. McDonald notes that Johnson spent a dozen years coaching in the Red Sox’s organization, including the past…

  7. Mike Napoli swallowed a wad of chewing tobacco during that home plate collision

    Oct 5, 2011, 5:00 PM EST

    Rays' Rodriguez runs to collide with Rangers catcher Napoli at home plate, before knocking the ball loose to score in the second inning on a double by teammate Joyce in Game 4 in their MLB playoffs in St. Petersburg

    Reason number 1,246 not to use smokeless tobacco.  Yesterday, during the Rays-Rangers game, Mike Napoli was leveled by Sean Rodriguez at a play at the plate.  The initial concern was that Napoli might have gotten a concussion, but he was examined after the game and his head seems to be fine. His stomach, though? Eh,…

  8. Matt Holliday is “good enough” to play through hand injury, rejoins Cardinals lineup tonight

    Oct 5, 2011, 4:44 PM EST

    holliday getty wide

    Matt Holliday is still bothered by the inflamed tendon in his right hand, but the Cardinals outfielder tested the injury during batting practice this afternoon and has decided to play tonight against the Phillies. Holliday told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that he took “a numbing agent … like a dentist gives”…

  9. What constitutes an emergency in Wisconsin

    Oct 5, 2011, 4:30 PM EST

    911

    I’m against abuse of emergency services, but given the caller’s age and the situation, I wholeheartedly endorse this use of 911 and offer thanks to our brave first responders: A 97-year-old man who wanted to watch a Milwaukee Brewers game called 911 to report someone had stolen his remote control … The remote control was found…

  10. Cliff Lee is available out of the Phillies’ bullpen tonight

    Oct 5, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

    Cliff Lee

    Cliff Lee threw 110 pitches Sunday in a Game 2 loss, but manager Charlie Manuel told reporters that the left-hander will be available out of the Phillies’ bullpen in relief of Roy Oswalt tonight. Lee would normally do his between-starts throwing today, so instead he’ll skip that and be ready to pitch an inning or…

  11. The Mets fire a bunch of coaches … including Mookie!

    Oct 5, 2011, 3:50 PM EST

    Mookie Wilson

    UPDATE: Chip Hale has been hired by the Athletics. Quick work, there, Chip! 3:50 PM: The Mets announced a few minutes ago that bench coach Ken Oberkfell, third base coach Chip Hale, first base coach Mookie Wilson, and bullpen coach Jon Debus won’t be with the the major league club in 2012.  It’s not clear…

  12. Rangers will start C.J. Wilson in Game 1 of ALCS, keep Alexi Ogando in bullpen

    Oct 5, 2011, 3:20 PM EST

    C.J. Wilson

    With the Rangers the first team to advance past the first round manager Ron Washington announced that they’ll predictably line up C.J. Wilson to start Game 1 of the ALCS and will also keep Alexi Ogando in the bullpen. Ogando spent nearly the entire season in the Rangers’ rotation, starting 29 games, but made three…

  13. Mike Francesa has never heard of Al Alburquerque

    Oct 5, 2011, 3:01 PM EST

    Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Al Alburquerque reacts after called for a balk which scored New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez during the fifth inning of Game 4 in their MLB  American League Division Series baseball playoffs in Detroit

    There are a times when a guy I’ve never heard of shows up in a box score. I try to cover every team as much as possible and that hurt’s one’s depth of baseball knowledge, so it happens. I don’t know every fourth outfielder or fifth bullpen arm in the game and if a dude…

  14. Tim McCarver needs “minor” heart procedure, Terry Francona to fill in for early ALCS games

    Oct 5, 2011, 2:40 PM EST

    Terry Francona

    UPDATE: Francona’s role will be a big one, as Ben Grossman of Broadcasting and Cable reports that he’ll be partnered with Joe Buck for Game 1 and Game 2 of the ALCS because Tim McCarver is undergoing a “minor” heart procedure. Quite a first broadcasting gig for Francona. McCarver, who’ll be 70 years in two…

  15. Tigers catcher Alex Avila playing through knee injury

    Oct 5, 2011, 2:17 PM EST

    Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

    Alex Avila doesn’t plan to miss any time, but both the All-Star catcher and manager Jim Leyland admitted yesterday that the knee injury he suffered while stepping on Robinson Cano‘s foot in Game 3 is a concern. “Minor injuries happen to everybody,” Avila told Jason Beck of MLB.com. “Whether I was injured badly or not,…

  16. Johnny Damon and B.J. Upton want to stay with Rays in 2012

    Oct 5, 2011, 12:48 PM EST

    B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, Johnny Damon

    Matthew Pouliot wrote yesterday about how the Rays are in position to potentially bring back nearly their entire roster next season, with the notable exception of Johnny Damon being one of their few free agents and B.J. Upton possibly being on the trading block. Following yesterday’s season-ending loss Damon and Upton both expressed a desire…

  17. Shane Victorino: “There was poo everywhere”

    Oct 5, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

    Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

    Even after the Phillies took a 2-1 series lead over the Cardinals yesterday Shane Victorino mostly just wanted to talk about the Budweiser Clydesdales being part of the on-field pregame festivities in St. Louis, telling Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com: How about the horses? They went around a second time and crapped all by our dugout.…

  18. Tony La Russa: “I’m embarrassed that I crossed the line”

    Oct 5, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    La Russa

    MLB slapped Tony La Russa with an undisclosed fine yesterday for his in-game remarks about the umpiring in Game 2 and the Cardinals manager quietly accepted his punishment, saying he had “no disagreement at all” with the decision. According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch the fine was “four figures” after La…

  19. Rays owner Stuart Sternberg: “This is untenable as a model going forward.”

    Oct 5, 2011, 11:33 AM EST

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game 3

    After yesterday’s loss to the Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays owner Stuart Sternberg held court and he brought the noise regarding the Rays’ future. The extremely pessimistic and damn nigh depressing noise. The upshot: the Rays keep winning but attendance goes down. About how the model that he and everyone believed in — win games, get…

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