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  1. Your Monday Afternoon Power Rankings

    Jul 4, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

    Roy Halladay, Carlos Ruiz

    The Phillies tightened their grip on the top spot by taking two of three from the Red Sox. What else that could have shifted the fundamental balance of power in the baseball universe went down in the last week? As always, last week’s rankings are in parenthesis. Thought about going with those fancy-looking bracket things once…

  2. John Lackey rocked again as ERA rises to 7.34

    Jul 4, 2011, 2:39 PM EST

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Boston Red Sox

    Last week John Lackey denied speculation that he may need Tommy John elbow surgery and then tossed 7.2 innings of two-run ball against the Phillies, but the Red Sox right-hander was back to his old tricks this afternoon. Lackey failed to make it out of the third inning versus the Blue Jays, coughing up seven…

  3. Who has bigger forearms? Jose Canseco or Steve Garvey?

    Jul 4, 2011, 2:10 PM EST

    Gun Show

    Probably the most pathetic headline I’ve ever written at HBT, but I don’t care. I really want to know the answer to this. Last night, following the Dodgers-Angels game, there was a charity old timers home run derby thing, the purpose of which was to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research.  Good cause! I…

  4. AL wins interleague play for eighth consecutive season, but just barely

    Jul 4, 2011, 1:43 PM EST

    interleague play logo

    For the eighth season in a row the American League has topped the National League during interleague play, but it was a lot closer than most of those years. With a record of 131-121 the AL had a winning percentage of .520, which is their lowest interleague mark since 2004: YEAR ALW% 2011 .520 2010…

  5. Josh Holden: from prospect to soldier

    Jul 4, 2011, 1:00 PM EST

    Josh Holden

    Good story in the New York Times this morning about Josh Holden, a West Point graduate-turned Cincinnati Reds farmhand.  His baseball race was run as of 2008, so he went back to fulfill his five-year commitment to Uncle Sam. As is often the case with stories about servicemen, one is struck by the subject’s positive attitude…

  6. Placido Polanco on struggling with back injury, leg numbness: “It doesn’t feel right”

    Jul 4, 2011, 12:40 PM EST

    Placido Polanco on bases

    Placido Polanco was voted into the All-Star game as a starter yesterday despite a modest .681 OPS that ranks 59th among NL hitters and the third baseman admitted to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer that he’s been playing through a back injury: I hate to use excuses, but it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t…

  7. “Life, like baseball, is a series of tragedies separated by times of sheer joy”

    Jul 4, 2011, 12:00 PM EST

    George Steinbrenner thumbs up

    Normally when you hear about ALS, Yankee Stadium and the Fourth of July, you think of Lou Gehrig’s “luckiest man on the face of the Earth” speech.  And you should remember it because it’s one of baseball’s defining moments. But former commissioner Fay Vincent has a piece over at Fox News.com today with a different…

  8. All-Star selections: Everyone was snubbed!

    Jul 4, 2011, 11:31 AM EST

    life if not fair rabbits

    Every year the baseball world goes nuts arguing about who was “snubbed” by the All-Star selection process and every year within 24 hours of the All-Star game ending no one cares or remembers. This year Andrew McCutchen, Paul Konerko, and CC Sabathia seem to be the highest-profile cause de celebre, with tons of real and…

  9. Ryan Zimmerman scratched due to abdominal tenderness

    Jul 4, 2011, 11:12 AM EST

    zimmerman bats

    Oh, it may be weary. Them abdomens, they do get wearied. Wearing that same old ace bandage dressing.  But when it gets weary, try a little tenderness, yeah, yeah … What? It’s a holiday. You want some actual hardcore analysis, or do you want Otis Redding references? And before you answer that, remember, you’re not…

  10. Tony La Russa on Albert Pujols’ rehab assignment: “He doesn’t need it”

    Jul 4, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    Kansas City Royals v St. Louis Cardinals

    Not only are the Cardinals hoping Albert Pujols will be able to come back from a fractured wrist shortly after the All-Star break instead of the initial August return timetable, manager Tony La Russa said yesterday that they expect him to rejoin the lineup without even requiring a minor-league rehab assignment. “He doesn’t need it,”…

  11. The Mets might make a big offer to Jose Reyes

    Jul 4, 2011, 10:20 AM EST

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Mets

    Think the Mets are just gonna let Jose Reyes walk? Or maybe even trade him?  Maybe not. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports this morning that Sandy Alderson is “leaning strongly toward authorizing a substantial offer” to Reyes. Reyes is hitting .354/.398/.529 this year and, recent hamstring tweak notwithstanding, has completely changed everyone’s impression…

  12. Nationals promote Bryce Harper to Double-A at age 18

    Jul 4, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    Bryce Harper

    Bryce Harper jumped directly to low Single-A to begin his pro career despite being just 18 years old and after dominating the South Atlantic League for a half-season the Nationals have decided they’ve seen enough from him in the low minors. Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Harper has been promoted to Double-A, bypassing high…

  13. Photo of the Day: Captain America calling

    Jul 4, 2011, 9:30 AM EST

    Captain America punches Hitler

    For so many years, one gets the sense that Derek Jeter fans saw him much like this, single-handedly smashing tyranny and representing all that was Right and True about baseball and America. Well, the years have taken their toll and Jeter has started to be seen in a different, more realistic light. More of a Silver Age…

  14. Ron Washington blasts umpire: “Angel is just bad. That’s all there is to it.”

    Jul 4, 2011, 8:44 AM EST

    Ron Washington, Joe West, Angel Hernandez

    I know Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire. You know Angel Hernandez is a bad umpire. Heck, I presume that everyone affiliated with Major League Baseball in one way or another knows it too. Thing is, you just rarely hear anyone come out and say it. Well, Ron Washington came out and said it last…

  15. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 4, 2011, 5:30 AM EST

    Cleveland Indians v Cincinnati Reds

    Holiday weekends weird me out. Sunday night doesn’t feel like Sunday night so doing the recaps of Sunday games doesn’t feel natural. That’s especially true when Monday is a big honkin’ hardly-anyone-goes-to-work-holiday like today.  Which means it’s a big honkin’ hardly-anyone-reads-the-blog day too. But there are a few of you out there, I’m sure, who…

  16. The 2011 un-All-Star team

    Jul 3, 2011, 9:53 PM EST

    Adam Dunn

    MLB sent 66 players to Phoenix today. Here’s 58 who can head to Siberia instead. Presenting your un-All-Stars. (I won’t be taking salaries or expectations into account. Playing time, however, will be a big factor. Basically, I’m looking for the guys who have done the most harm this year.) Catcher AL: Jeff Mathis, John Jaso…

  17. Snubbed from team, Mark Teixeira won’t take part in Home Run Derby

    Jul 3, 2011, 7:56 PM EST

    Mark Teixeira

    David Ortiz wanted Mark Teixeira for one of the three openings for next week’s Home Run Derby, but the Yankees first baseman has decided to stay home after being snubbed from the AL roster for the All-Star Game. Teixeira had indicated that he would have taken part in the Derby if he were making the trip…

  18. Ryan Dempster hospitalized, scratched from start

    Jul 3, 2011, 7:45 PM EST

    Ryan Dempster

    CSNChicago’s Patrick Mooney reports that Ryan Dempster was hospitalized on Saturday and stayed overnight undergoing tests and taking IV fluids.  Although he was released Sunday, he’s been scratched from his next scheduled start. The Cubs will call up Casey Coleman to take his spot Monday against the Nationals. Besides fighting a stomach virus, Dempster has…

  19. Josh Hamilton willing to consider Home Run Derby bid

    Jul 3, 2011, 6:53 PM EST

    Wes Helms, Josh Hamilton

    Josh Hamilton, who ruled himself out of the previous two Home Run Derbys, said he’d be willing to consider it this time around if approached by team captain David Ortiz. It was revealed Sunday that Ortiz had approached Jose Bautista and Mark Teixeira for two of the three openings on the squad.  Bautista is in,…

  20. Jose Reyes diagnosed with Grade 1 hamstring strain

    Jul 3, 2011, 6:44 PM EST

    Jose Reyes

    Manager Terry Collins had the news following Sunday’s game against the Yankees: Jose Reyes was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain after an MRI and remains day-to-day. Grade 1 is the most mild grade of strain.  Still, the safe play for the Mets would be to keep him shut down for the remaining seven…

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