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  1. Live chat: Rangers-Rays, ALDS Game 4

    Oct 4, 2011, 2:00 PM EST

    Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game 3

    Hang out, avoid work, watch the Rangers-Rays game, and chat with Aaron Gleeman and Craig Calcaterra this afternoon. Pitching matchup: Rangers: LHP Matt Harrison (14-9, 3.39 ERA, 3.85 xFIP in 186 innings) Rays: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (13-10, 2.95 ERA, 4.72 xFIP in 189 innings) Click here for the lineups. And just press “play” to start…

  2. Daisuke Matsuzaka throws for first time since elbow surgery

    Oct 4, 2011, 1:46 PM EST

    Red Sox starting pitcher Matsuzaka of Japan stands on the mound with a trainer and his translator during their American League MLB baseball game against the Mariners in Boston

    Daisuke Matsuzaka played catch yesterday for the first time since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in June, with the Koyodo News reporting that he made 39 throws from “short range” at the Red Sox’s spring training complex in Florida. Matsuzaka reported no problems with his surgically repaired elbow, but he’ll have to clear many more…

  3. MLB fines Tony La Russa for in-game criticism of umpires

    Oct 4, 2011, 1:20 PM EST

    St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks

    MLB has fined Cardinals manager Tony La Russa an undisclosed amount for his criticism of umpires during a between-innings television interview Sunday, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. In speaking to the TBS announcers, La Russa said of home plate umpire Jerry Meals: “I would add–which could get me in trouble,…

  4. Quote of the Day: Josh Hamilton on the Angels

    Oct 4, 2011, 1:00 PM EST

    Kelso burn

    Josh Hamilton spoke to the media a few moments ago and was asked about the success of Vlad Guerrero in a Rangers uniform last season and Mike Napoli in one in 2011:  “I think we’re going to look at who we can get from the Angels next year.” Boom. Roasted. (quote via a bunch of…

  5. Don’t expect Phillies to use any starters on short rest

    Oct 4, 2011, 12:48 PM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies v Cincinnati Reds

    Chris Carpenter‘s first career short-rest start didn’t go well Sunday in Philadelphia and when asked if he’d ever use a Phillies starter on short rest during the playoffs pitching coach Rich Dubee made it pretty clear that he’s against the idea: Most real good players at this level get accustomed to a routine. Apparently that…

  6. Are you experienced? Who cares?

    Oct 4, 2011, 12:32 PM EST

    Experience

    Dan Szymborski — who I will call “Baseball Think Factory’s Dan Szymborski” even though he’s writing this piece for ESPN Insider — has a good column up today.  In it he breaks down playoff performance by players with “playoff experience,” which we are told by so many commentators matters this time of year. Of course, if…

  7. Placido Polanco “definitely” still bothered by sports hernia

    Oct 4, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Placido Polanco went 0-for-8 with three strikeouts in the first two games against the Cardinals and also looked somewhat limited defensively at times, with manager Charlie Manuel admitting yesterday that the third baseman’s sports hernia may still be affecting him. “I think it bothers him some,” Manuel told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. “He’s missed time…

  8. Hey Detroiters: does this bother you?

    Oct 4, 2011, 12:02 PM EST

    Detroit

    I have never lived in Detroit, so I am an outsider to the place in most every respect.  My parents were both born and raised there. My extended family calls the Detroit suburbs home now (like a lot of folks they started moving out after the 1967 riots). But I was born and lived until…

  9. Jordan Schafer arrested, charged with marijuana possession

    Oct 4, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    Jordan Schafer

    Jordan Schafer, who was traded from the Braves to the Astros in July as part of the Michael Bourn deal, was arrested last night in Florida and charged with felony possession of marijuana. According to Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times the arrest took place shortly after midnight at The Cheesecake Factory, which some…

  10. ALDS Game 4 lineups: Rangers vs. Rays

    Oct 4, 2011, 11:19 AM EST

    blank lineup card

    Here are the lineups for Game 4 of the Rangers-Rays series: TEXAS RANGERS TAMPA BAY RAYS 1. Ian Kinsler, 2B 1. Desmond Jennings, LF 2. Elvis Andrus, SS 2. B.J. Upton, CF 3. Josh Hamilton, CF 3. Evan Longoria, 3B 4. Michael Young, DH 4. Ben Zobrist, 2B 5. Adrian Beltre, 3B 5. Johnny Damon,…

  11. Rafael Palmeiro: 3000 hits was “a nightmare”

    Oct 4, 2011, 11:04 AM EST

    Palmeiro Orioles

    We hear from Rafael Palmeiro, and others in his particular place in baseball history, once or twice a year. Usually around Hall of Fame vote time in the winter and then around the time of the inductions in the summer.  They’re asked how he feels to be on the outside looking in because of their…

  12. GM says “no change” in status of Matt Holliday’s hand injury

    Oct 4, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    Matt Holliday

    Matt Holliday had his strained finger tendon examined further by hand specialists in St. Louis yesterday and general manager John Mozeliak said afterward that there’s “no change” in his status. That means Holliday remains on the Cardinals’ roster, but is doubtful to start any of the remaining three games against the Phillies and may not…

  13. HBT Extra: Talking NLDS Game 3

    Oct 4, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    Tiffany asks me if the Phillies should panic. Though the thought would make me happy I, alas, had to answer truthfully.

  14. Mike Scioscia not interested in being Angels general manager

    Oct 4, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    mike-scioscia-angels

    In the wake of Tony Reagins resigning as Angels general manager amid an overall front office housecleaning there’s been a lot written about how manager Mike Scioscia is truly pulling all the personnel strings and any GM would mostly just be a figurehead. In terms of actually becoming the GM, though, Scioscia has no interest.…

  15. No, it is not all up to A.J.

    Oct 4, 2011, 10:00 AM EST

    A.J. Burnett

    I had one earlier, but here’s one more little sharp jab at the “A.J.-Burnett-Will-Be-The-Death-of-Us-All” balloon:  he may not actually pitch too terribly much of tonight’s game. Joe Girardi said last night that Burnett will have a short leash, so we can presume that he will not be allowed to give up five runs on eleventeen…

  16. Verlander was fantastic! Um … wasn’t he?

    Oct 4, 2011, 9:40 AM EST

    New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers - Game 3

    Posnanski makes a great point today about how sports commentators, columnists, broadcasters and the like tend to fall in love with narratives, even if they don’t really hold up.  His example: how everyone during and after last night’s Tigers game was gushing about Justin Verlander, and sticking with that narrative even though, on the merits,…

  17. The Comments Section

    Oct 4, 2011, 9:15 AM EST

    Internet Tough Guy

    I’m old and I go to sleep early so I never watch SNL these days. Given that people have been saying that it’s no good anymore for about the last 30 years, I suppose it’s the same as it ever was: some good stuff, some bad stuff, with the quality ebbing and flowing because that’s…

  18. Photo of the Day: Gut Check Time

    Oct 4, 2011, 8:50 AM EST

    Whoever was in charge of the baseball front of ESPN.com during last night’s Yankees-Tigers game is owed a golf clap for this one. And no, it’s not mean and insensitive to make fun of the appearance of a really rich and successful professional athlete. It’s written down right … well, I’m sure it’s written somewhere.…

  19. A.J. Burnett in an elimination game is scary, but it could be worse

    Oct 4, 2011, 8:25 AM EST

    A.J. Burnett

    The first thing you’ll read in any story about tonight’s Yankees-Tigers game is that the Yankees are throwing out A.J. Burnett in an elimination game.  And yes, that is far from ideal given how unreliable Burnett has been since arriving in New York. He wouldn’t have gotten a start absent last Friday night’s rain, and…

  20. Justin Verlander perseveres as Tigers send Yankees to the brink of elimination

    Oct 4, 2011, 1:17 AM EST

    Justin Verlander

    When Justin Verlander gave up two runs and threw 21 pitches in the first inning tonight, it didn’t look like he would be long for this ballgame. Fortunately for the Tigers, he was just getting warmed up. While CC Sabathia walked a season-high six batters and failed to make it out of the sixth inning,…

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