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  1. Report: Rangers to make big run at Yu Darvish

    Oct 7, 2011, 7:40 PM EDT

    Yu Darvish

    USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale tweets the following: Rival teams are predicting that the Rangers will be the winners in the [Yu] Darvish derby, with every scout predicting stardom. It’s certainly an interesting thought. Once the posting fee is factored in, Darvish figures to be about as expensive as the Rangers’ own free-agent-to-be, C.J. Wilson, and if that’s the…

  2. Chris Young is making the LDS his highlight reel

    Oct 7, 2011, 7:22 PM EDT

    Chris Young

    It wasn’t a banner regular season for the center fielder, but with three homers against Milwaukee and now the defensive play of the month so far, Chris Young is making a name for himself in October. With Brewers on first and second, Young ran down a long Jerry Hairston Jr. drive in the sixth inning to momentarily keep…

  3. Scratch that: Tigers alter ALCS rotation

    Oct 7, 2011, 6:55 PM EDT

    Max Scherzer

    Just a few hours after announcing their rotation for the ALCS, the Tigers adjusted it Friday, moving Max Scherzer up to Game 2 and Rick Porcello to Game 4. Scherzer certainly would have been the No. 2 starter originally if not for his relief appearance in Thursday’s Game 5 against the Yankees, but the Tigers originally…

  4. Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels both available in relief tonight

    Oct 7, 2011, 6:32 PM EDT

    Cole Hamels, Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay

    The Phillies would prefer that Roy Halladay take care of business tonight against the Cardinals, but he has some pretty good reinforcements if needed. According to David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said this afternoon that both Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels are available in relief for Game 5. Lee…

  5. Enjoy your Joe West-less and Angel Hernandez-free LCSs

    Oct 7, 2011, 5:50 PM EDT

    Terry Francona, Joe West, Angel Hernandez

    The umpiring crews for the League Championship Series have been announced, and as prescribed, Joe West and Angel Hernandez will get a welcome respite. ALCS: Tim Welke (crew chief), Larry Vanover, Jim Wolf, Fieldin Culbreth, Jeff Nelson and Tom Hallion NLCS: Gary Darling (crew chief), Tim Timmons, Sam Holbrook, Mike Everitt, Bill Miller and Mike Winters Umpires…

  6. NLDS Game 5 lineups: Cardinals vs. Phillies

    Oct 7, 2011, 5:21 PM EDT

    blank lineup card

    Here are the lineups for Game 5 of the Cardinals-Phillies series tonight: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES 1. Rafael Furcal, SS 1. Jimmy Rollins, SS 2. Skip Schumaker, CF 2. Chase Utley, 2B 3. Albert Pujols, 1B 3. Hunter Pence, RF 4. Lance Berkman, RF 4. Ryan Howard, 1B 5. Matt Holliday, LF 5. Shane…

  7. Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement

    Oct 7, 2011, 5:00 PM EDT

    Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

    Joel Sherman of the New York Post just tweeted that, while there’s nothing official yet, he’s hearing that Yankees utilityman Eric Chavez is “leaning heavily” toward retirement. Chavez had more plate appearances this year than he had had since 2007 — a whole 175 of them — but the magic is long gone.  He hit…

  8. Tigers set ALCS rotation: Verlander, Porcello, Fister, Scherzer

    Oct 7, 2011, 4:46 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander

    By defeating the Rays in four games the Rangers got a chance to set up their ALCS rotation in the same order as the ALDS, but the Tigers will juggle things a bit after needing five games to defeat the Yankees. Jim Leyland avoided using Justin Verlander as a reliever in Game 5, so he’ll…

  9. The Yankees continue to ensure that their fans will be unhappy most years

    Oct 7, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    George Steinbrenner AP

    George Steinbrenner started and perpetuated the notion that a New York Yankees season is a failure if it doesn’t end with a World Series title.  Not that winning a championship is the goal — it’s obviously every team’s goal — but that in addition to it being the goal, it is the only acceptable outcome.…

  10. Rangers choose Derek Holland for Game 2 start in ALCS

    Oct 7, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    Derek Holland

    Ron Washington waited to see who the Rangers would be playing in the ALCS before announcing their rotation, but it looks like the Tigers will be facing the same starters the Rays did. C.J. Wilson will start Game 1 for Texas, followed by fellow left-hander Derek Holland in Game 2. Washington hasn’t named his Game…

  11. Yankees have struggled in playoffs against non-Twins teams

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:47 PM EDT

    joe girardi and ron gardenhire

    I’m a Minnesotan and so it has seemed at times like the Yankees are unbeatable in the playoffs, but it turns out they haven’t been so good when they’re not beating up on the Twins. During the past 10 seasons the Yankees’ playoff record is 12-2 against the Twins and 26-34 against all other teams.…

  12. Pray that no home runs are hit in the new Marlins ballpark

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    unseen

    This is not exactly news — it was announced a couple of years ago and I recall mocking it then — but today Grant Brisbee reminds us of one of the signature features of the Marlins’ new ballpark:  a plug-ugly and gigantic … thing which will light up and go crazy every time there’s a…

  13. Ivan Nova diagnosed with Grade 1 forearm strain

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

    New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova reacts after giving up a solo home run to Detroit Tigers left fielder Delmon Young in the first inning of Game 5 of their MLB American League Division Series baseball playoffs at Yankee Stadium in New York

    Ivan Nova was pulled from last night’s game after two innings with tightness in his forearm and today the Yankees announced that he’s been diagnosed with a Grade 1 flexor strain. Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yankees expect the injury to “heal on its own this winter,” so there’s no…

  14. Headline of the Day about which I don’t care one single bit

    Oct 7, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    I’m going to dig down deep … deep … deep to find some sympathy for everyone as the result of this story in the L.A. Times and — er, no, can’t find any. Sorry. Fans of the teams that make the LCS and World Series will watch and enjoy.  The networks which bid on the…

  15. Cardinals to squirrel: you’re going down

    Oct 7, 2011, 2:45 PM EDT

    The Menace in St, Louis

    The Cardinals have brought out the big guns at Busch Stadium. No, not Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Chris Carpenter. They’re all in Philadelphia for Friday’s Game 5. We’re talking peanut butter, gated traps and underground mines in the outfield. Faced with a public safety crisis after a squirrel ran across the field during Wednesday’s…

  16. HBT Extra: Turning to the NLDS Game 5s

    Oct 7, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Tiffany and I break down the Snakes vs. the Brew Crew and the Cards vs. the Phills

  17. NLDS Game 5 lineups: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers

    Oct 7, 2011, 2:18 PM EDT

    blank lineup card

    Here are the lineups for Game 5 of the Diamondbacks-Brewers series: ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS MILWAUKEE BREWERS 1. Willie Bloomquist, SS 1. Corey Hart, RF 2. Aaron Hill, 2B 2. Nyjer Morgan, CF 3. Justin Upton, RF 3. Ryan Braun, LF 4. Miguel Montero, C 4. Prince Fielder, 1B 5. Paul Goldschmidt, 1B 5. Rickie Weeks, 2B…

  18. It’s a beautiful day in Milwaukee, so naturally the roof at Miller Park is closed

    Oct 7, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    Miller Park

    As we speak, it is in the upper 70s in Milwaukee.  At game time this afternoon it will be around 76 degrees. The skies are as clear as a bell. It should remain gorgeous throughout the evening.  Indeed, the Milwaukee weather is expected to be spectacular though at least next Wednesday. So naturally baseball has…

  19. Phillies are only playoff team left with payroll over $110 million

    Oct 7, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

    Money Bag

    New York getting bounced from the playoffs last night means that of the 12 teams with payrolls above $100 million this season only the Phillies, Tigers, and Cardinals remain alive. And if the Phillies lose to the Cardinals tonight that would mean none of the nine highest-payroll teams advanced past the first round. Here are…

  20. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: team owner to get divorce, finds himself in sea of financial troubles

    Oct 7, 2011, 1:30 PM EDT

    stack of money

    A team owner with nine houses and three-dozen other properties scattered around the world? Crazy spending on cars and baubles? An acrimonious divorce that could impact the course of the franchise? Nah, not Los Angeles.  Seattle. Geoff Baker has the story of Mariners’ minority owner Chris Larson. A man who, it has long been thought, would…

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