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  1. Look! A series with playoff implications!

    Aug 26, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Minnesota Twins

    Let’s stop talking about games that have been cancelled and start talking about games that matter. Like the series that really and truly matters most this weekend, the Angels vs. the Rangers. Who’d-a-thunk it a week and a half ago when Texas soundly dispatched Anaheim, taking three of four in the Big A, and extending…

  2. Indians put Michael Brantley on DL, call up Nick Hagadone

    Aug 26, 2011, 3:07 PM EDT

    Michael Brantley

    With Jim Thome joining the club, the Indians have shaken up their roster some in advance of Friday’s game against the Royals.  Left fielder Michael Brantley (wrist) and starting pitcher Josh Tomlin (elbow) have both gone on the DL, and left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone has been called up to make his major league debut. Hagadone,…

  3. On deck for Derek Jeter: scouting out rebound opportunities

    Aug 26, 2011, 2:35 PM EDT

    Mila Kunis

    We here at HardballTalk sympathize wholeheartedly with Derek Jeter in the wake of his breakup with Minka Kelly. So, to save him some time and stress in the middle of the pennant race, we’ve lined up some rebound possibilities for him. It’s the least we could do. Jennifer Lopez: Alex Rodriguez hooked up with an older diva…

  4. UPDATE: Now both Saturday and Sunday’s Mets-Braves games are canceled

    Aug 26, 2011, 2:21 PM EDT

    Irene - Thursday

    UPDATE:  Earlier today word was that the Sunday Mets-Braves game was cancelled due to the hurricane. Now they’ve cancelled Saturday’s too.  New York is closing mass transit at noon on Saturday for fear of flooding and chaos. Without the mass transit, you’ve got no way to move the fans, the stadium workers and others in…

  5. Hanley Ramirez set to begin rehab assignment tonight

    Aug 26, 2011, 2:19 PM EDT

    hanley getty hurt wide

    Out since August 3 with a sprained shoulder, Hanley Ramirez is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A. Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Ramirez could come off the disabled list and rejoin the Marlins as soon as Monday. Emilio Bonifacio has started all 20 games at shortstop in…

  6. NBC blogger looks to pick fight with millions, proposes “putting ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ out to pasture”

    Aug 26, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    American Flag

    Not me! I swear! Even though I pretty much agree with everything Off The Bench’s Rick Chandler says in his post today about getting rid of “The Star Spangled Banner” as our national anthem:* Now, no one loves America more than me, except perhaps Apollo Creed. But I say it may be time to put The…

  7. Jim Thome is gone, but the Jim Thome giveaway goes on in Minnesota

    Aug 26, 2011, 1:52 PM EDT

    jim thome toy

    Minnesota traded Jim Thome last night and he’ll be in Cleveland’s lineup tonight, but that won’t stop the Twins from going through with their planned Thome “wind-up walker” giveaway. The first 10,000 fans through the turnstiles at Target Field tonight will receive the toy pictured to the right and the fact that the Twins had…

  8. Jim Leyland doesn’t think Justin Verlander should be the MVP

    Aug 26, 2011, 1:31 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander

    The “Justin Verlander should be given MVP consideration” train has been gaining steam this past week. Buster Oleny is shoveling the most coal, but I suppose he’ll be joined by others soon. I don’t deny that he should be given consideration. The rules of the MVP award are clear in stating that pitchers should be…

  9. Heath Bell to remain with Padres as deadline passes without Giants deal

    Aug 26, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

    Padres pitcher Bell is congratulated by teammate and catcher Torrealba after the Padres defeated the Giants during their MLB baseball  game in San Francisco

    San Francisco claimed Heath Bell off revocable waivers, but every indication was that the Giants were highly unlikely to acquire the impending free agent closer from the Padres and now it’s official. Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the 48-hour window to work out a trade has passed without a deal, so Bell will stay…

  10. Adrian Beltre is “moving closer” to a rehab assignment

    Aug 26, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners

    Last time Adrian Beltre was this close to returning from a hamstring strain he tried to test himself by running the bases and aggravated the injury. Three weeks later he’s feeling good again and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Beltre “is moving closer to a medical rehabilitation assignment in the minor leagues.” Beltre took…

  11. The Orioles will wear a Mike Flanagan patch the rest of the season

    Aug 26, 2011, 12:33 PM EDT

    Mike Flanagan

    The Orioles have announced several things they’ll be doing in remembrance of Mike Flanagan, who took his own life on Wednesday.  Among them: Players and coaches will wear a black patch on their sleeves with the word “FLANNY” written on it; A black banner will be displayed with the number 46 on it below the…

  12. Remember when Adrian Gonzalez was in a power slump?

    Aug 26, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox Adrian Gonzalez is congratulated after hitting a solo home run against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

    As recently as last week Adrian Gonzalez‘s lack of homers was making headlines, with Terry Francona speculating that neck problems were to blame for the power slump, Gonzalez later downplaying that notion, and some people even suggesting that participating in the Home Run Derby was the culprit. Suddenly it’s no longer even an issue. Gonzalez…

  13. Ivan Rodriguez will try another rehab assignment

    Aug 26, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v Washington Nationals

    Ivan Rodriguez hasn’t played since July 6 due to an oblique injury and the Nationals don’t really have any room for him with Wilson Ramos and Jesus Flores splitting time behind the plate, but the future Hall of Famer is determined to play again this season. Steven Miller of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez will begin…

  14. What is a “closer’s mentality” anyway?

    Aug 26, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Philadelphia Phillies

    Dash Treyhorn of The Fightins has a long post up today countering the belief among some in Phillies Nation* that Ryan Madson simply doesn’t have a “closer’s mentality.” We get plenty of Phillies navel-gazing in these parts lately so I don’t post it for that (bring back Steve Bedrosian; I really don’t care who closes…

  15. Josh Beckett was almost traded to the Rangers instead of the Red Sox

    Aug 26, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Josh Beckett - All-Star

    Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell were traded to the Red Sox in a November of 2005 blockbuster deal that included then-prospects Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez going to the Marlins, but Rob Bradford of WEEI.com has an interesting article about how Beckett and Lowell were nearly dealt to the Rangers instead. According to Bradford the…

  16. GM says Cardinals will exercise Adam Wainwright’s 2012 and 2013 options

    Aug 26, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    Adam Wainwright

    Adam Wainwright has missed the entire season following Tommy John elbow surgery and will enter 2012 as a major question mark, which put the Cardinals in a tough position regarding his 2012 and 2013 options. As part of Wainwright’s contract the Cardinals must decide by the end of this season whether to exercise both future…

  17. Oh noes! Derek Jeter and Minka Kelly are breaking up!

    Aug 26, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Jeter walks with girlfriend Kelly at Yankee Stadium after final game

    Derek Jeter has been on a tear in recent weeks. He’s hitting like it’s 2006 all over again.  Clearly it has everything to do with him eliminating the distractions in his life: After dating for three years, Minka Kelly and Derek Jeter have broken up, her rep confirms to PEOPLE.  “They care about each other…

  18. Carlos Pena is happy the Cubs didn’t trade him to the Yankees

    Aug 26, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    carlos pena ap

    Earlier this week Carlos Pena was claimed off revocable waivers by the Yankees, but the 48-hour window to work out a trade came and went without a move and the veteran first baseman is happy to remain with the Cubs. When asked why he wouldn’t want to leave a fifth-place team for a playoff team…

  19. Johan Santana won’t pitch this year

    Aug 26, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    johan santana getty

    The New York Post reports that it’s “unlikely” Johan Santana will return this season. The team is looking at winter ball or perhaps the instructional league to get him some work, but Sandy Alderson says that he’s going to need rest too. Color me not surprised. When the initial time tables came out over the winter having…

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