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  1. Maddux, Glavine and the wide strike zone of the 1990s

    Oct 10, 2011, 9:48 AM EDT

    Maddux Glavine Smoltz

    Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times has a story about the evolution of the strike zone over the past 30 or 40 years and how monitoring of it by Major League Baseball via first the QuesTec system and then Pitch f/x has changed things and made it more uniform. The overall story is good…

  2. Hideki Irabu’s sad final years

    Oct 10, 2011, 9:15 AM EDT

    Hideki Irabu

    Ken Belson of the New York Times had an excellent albeit sad story in yesterday’s New York Times about the final years of Hideki Irabu, who committed suicide in late July. In some ways it’s a familiar story of an athlete who doesn’t know what to do with himself after his playing days are over.…

  3. If you missed our Phillies postmortem over the weekend

    Oct 10, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    Phillies' Ibanez reacts to grounding out to end the seventh inning of their MLB baseball playoff game against the Cardinals in Philadelphia

    I know some of you don’t read the site much over the weekend. That’s cool. We’d love to have a more meaningful relationship with you, but we can handle being your workplace fling if that’s all you want of us. Anyway, given how much real estate has been devoted to the Phillies on this blog…

  4. The rain-free rain postponement

    Oct 10, 2011, 5:57 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers players sit in the dugout during the game's second rain delay in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs against the Texas Rangers in Arlington

    I woke up this morning and had an email from a reader who lives fairly close to the Rangers’ ballpark and tells me that it never rained last night. At least not before the Tigers-Rangers game that was postponed due to the threat of rain would have been over. Oh well, that’s life. And weather.…

  5. Cards have no answer for Brewers’ power in Game 1

    Oct 9, 2011, 7:44 PM EDT

    Yuniesky Betancourt

    Ryan Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt both homered and doubled, and Prince Fielder added a two-run bomb of his own against the Cardinals as the Brewers claimed Game 1 of the NLCS 9-6. In all, the Brewers had eight extra-base hits, the most any team has had in a postseason game since 2007. Only seven teams…

  6. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder putting on a show in Milwaukee

    Oct 9, 2011, 6:05 PM EDT

    Ryan Braun, Jerry Hairston Jr.

    The Brewers took a 8-5 lead on the Cardinals in the fifth inning¬†of Sunday’s NLCS Game 1 on a two-run double from Ryan Braun and two-run homers from Prince Fielder and Yuniesky Betancourt. Braun and Fielder had combined to drive in all six Brewers runs until Betancourt homered with Rickie Weeks on base.¬† Fielder’s shot,…

  7. Porcello still on tap for Game 4, Verlander starts Game 5

    Oct 9, 2011, 5:13 PM EDT

    verlander reuters

    The Tigers were forced to use two of their starting pitchers in Saturday night’s rain-ravaged Game 1 loss to the Rangers, and they just had Game 2 postponed, but they’re not going to let any of that affect their mapped-out ALCS rotation. According to CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler, right-hander Rick Porcello is still scheduled to…

  8. After homer and HBP, warnings issued in NLCS Game 1

    Oct 9, 2011, 4:28 PM EDT

    Jaime Garcia

    The NLCS umpiring crew had obviously gotten the memo: the Cardinals and Brewers just don’t like each other very much. Prince Fielder was plunked by Jaime Garcia‘s very first pitch after Ryan Braun‘s two-run homer in the first inning Sunday, leading to warnings being issued in Game 1. Garcia’s pitch wasn’t necessarily intentional — he…

  9. Magglio Ordonez shut down for year due to broken ankle

    Oct 9, 2011, 4:05 PM EDT

    magglio getty

    Bad news (with terrible timing) for the Tigers. According to SI.com’s Jon Heyman, Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced Sunday afternoon that outfielder Magglio Ordonez has been ruled out for the rest of the ALCS because of an ankle injury. Ordonez was 5-for-11 with a double and a run scored during the Tigers’ ALDS defeat of…

  10. ALCS Game 2 postponed due to rain, will be played Monday

    Oct 9, 2011, 3:41 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v Texas Rangers - Game One

    Rain, rain — go away. And all that. According to beat writer Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Sunday night’s Game 2 of the ALCS between the Tigers and Rangers has been officially postponed due to looming thunderstorms in the area surrounding Arlington, Texas. The game will be played Monday at 4:19 p.m. ET…

  11. Cardinals add two right-handed relievers to NLCS roster

    Oct 9, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals

    The Brewers made no changes to their 25-man postseason roster heading into Sunday’s NLCS Game 1. The Cardinals were a littler bit busier. According to B.J. Rains of FOX Sports Midwest, the Cardinals have added right-handed relievers Kyle McClellan and Lance Lynn for the NLCS while dropping Skip Schumaker and Jake Westbrook. Lynn is finally…

  12. NLCS Game 1 lineups: Cardinals vs. Brewers

    Oct 9, 2011, 1:09 PM EDT

    blank lineup card

    Here are the starting lineups for Game 1 of the NLCS between the Cardinals and Brewers, set to get underway just after 4:00 p.m. ET on TBS: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS MILWAUKEE BREWERS 1. Rafael Furcal, SS 1. Corey Hart, RF 2. Jon Jay, CF 2. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B 3. Albert Pujols, 1B 3. Ryan…

  13. Rain in the forecast for Game 2 of the ALCS

    Oct 9, 2011, 12:23 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers players sit in the dugout during the game's second rain delay in the fifth inning of Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs against the Texas Rangers in Arlington

    Game 1 of the ALCS Saturday night in Arlington, Texas featured nearly two hours of rain delays. Game 2 on Sunday could see much of the same. According to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com, there’s a 60 to 70 percent chance of thunderstorms Sunday night in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington area and the ALCS umpiring crew has…

  14. Phillies and Cardinals drew strong ratings in NLDS Game 5

    Oct 9, 2011, 11:14 AM EDT

    Rafael Furcal

    From the Associated Press, via MSNBC.com: St. Louis’ 1-0 victory over Philadelphia in Game 5 of the NL division series Friday night received a 5.1 rating and was seen by 8,389,000 viewers on TBS, a National League record for first-round games on cable. For reference, the NLDS Game 5 played between the Diamondbacks and Brewers…

  15. Chicagoan says he spotted Theo Epstein near Wrigley Field

    Oct 9, 2011, 10:57 AM EDT

    Carl Crawford Signs with the Boston Red Sox

    Take all of this with a boulder-sized grain of salt, but keep in mind a Boston Globe report from only a few days ago stating that the Cubs’ ownership had officially asked permission of the Red Sox to speak with their current general manager, Theo Epstein. According to Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, a…

  16. Angels cut ties with fourth key front-office executive

    Oct 9, 2011, 9:38 AM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    The Halos are shaking things up in a major way. From beat writer Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times comes word that the Angels have cut ties with another member of their front office, this time letting go director of player development Abe Flores. General manager Tony Reagins resigned a couple days after the…

  17. Yankees, Brian Cashman nearing contract extension

    Oct 9, 2011, 8:41 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees

    The Yankees made a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs this year, but they’re not panicking or seeking a scapegoat. It’s much the opposite. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, negotiations have gone smoothly between the Yankees and GM Brian Cashman as the two sides look to reach agreement on a multi-year contract extension. Cashman’s current…

  18. Nelson Cruz comes alive, plays hero in ALCS Game 1 win

    Oct 9, 2011, 2:03 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fourth inning of Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Arlington

    It might not be remembered this way because of Game 1’s dual rain delays and the lights-out performance by the Rangers’ bullpen, but Nelson Cruz‘s solo home run to left field in the bottom of the fourth inning proved to be a game-winning blast. And considering he hit it off Tigers ace Justin Verlander, we…

  19. Rangers’ bullpen shines in rainy ALCS Game 1 victory

    Oct 9, 2011, 1:26 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers pitcher Mike Adams reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers' Jhonny Peralta to end the eighth inning of Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Arlington

    A fifth-inning rain storm caused two hours of delay time in Saturday’s ALCS opener at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, stripping C.J. Wilson of his command and forcing Justin Verlander from the game. A battle of aces turned into a battle of bullpens. And while both relief corps posted zeroes, it was the fellas from Texas…

  20. ALCS Game 1 halted in fifth inning by two rain delays

    Oct 8, 2011, 10:37 PM EDT

    Fans try to stay dry during the game's second rain delay in the fifth inning in Game 1 between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers in their MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Arlington

    A fairly sizable rain storm is now making its way through the Dallas-Fort Worth area, so the Rangers’ groundscrew has rolled out the tarp and put a temporary halt to Game 1 of the ALCS. There’s been no estimate as to when the action might resume. The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the bottom…

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