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  1. “Moneyball” earns $20.6 million in strong opening weekend

    Sep 26, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    moneyball poster

    “Moneyball” looks like a mini-hit, as the movie made $20.6 million in its opening weekend while narrowly finishing behind “The Lion King 3D” ($22.1 million) and ahead of “Dolphin Tale” ($20.3 million) at the box office. Claude Brodesser-Akner of New York Magazine places “Moneyball” among the “weekend winners” and reports that the audience was evenly…

  2. Watching the Cubs has soured Bob Brenly on managing again

    Sep 26, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    brenly in booth

    As a former World Series-winning manager Bob Brenly’s presence in the Cubs’ broadcast booth naturally leads to speculation about him moving into the dugout, but watching the team go 145-176 during the past two seasons may have soured him on getting back into managing. Here’s what Brenly told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune: I…

  3. Major League Baseball tried to get tobacco taken out of “Moneyball”

    Sep 26, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

    moneyball poster

    Major League Baseball has made no secret of the fact that it wants players to stop using smokeless tobacco while at the ballpark.  It’s a push they’re likely going to take to the MLBPA during collective bargaining this fall. That may be problematic and may meet resistance, but as I’ve written many times, it’s something worth…

  4. Fernando Rodney on lack of work for Angels: “I’m really mad”

    Sep 26, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo Day

    Fernando Rodney has made no secret about his frustration with losing the closer job and becoming a forgotten man in the Angels’ bullpen, and Mike DiGiovanni of the Los Angeles Times reports that he asked the team for a trade a few weeks ago. His wish was not granted and over the weekend Rodney vented…

  5. Justin Upton left yesterday’s game due to nausea and dizziness

    Sep 26, 2011, 11:35 AM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Everyone is so focused on the chokes-in-progress back east that we didn’t take notice of the nausea out west. Justin Upton‘s nausea, which could be of some concern for Arizona. Upton was hit in the head by a Tim Lincecum pitch yesterday.  He stayed in the game, but he experienced nausea while running the bases…

  6. Davey Johnson is likely to keep job, but Nationals will conduct a manager search anyway

    Sep 26, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    Washington Nationals v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    Davey Johnson has gone 38-42 since taking over for Jim Riggleman as Nationals manager and every indication is that he’ll be retained for 2012, but before that happens general manager Mike Rizzo will go through the process of a manager search. Yesterday the GM told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that “we’ve got a very streamlined…

  7. The ten worst career-ending performances

    Sep 26, 2011, 11:01 AM EDT

    Eddie Murray Dodgers

    Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times makes the best lists. No, they may not get the kind of traffic that lists like “the 101 hottest wives and girlfriends of relief pitchers” get, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy. Today’s list: the ten worst career-ending performances of all time. Specifically, the worst final games of…

  8. Blue Jays manager John Farrell leaves team for son’s surgery

    Sep 26, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    John Farrell

    Blue Jays manager John Farrell will miss today’s game against the White Sox after leaving the team and traveling to Boston for his son’s surgery. According to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star the manager’s 20-year-old son, Luke Farrell, will “undergo a major scheduled operation” the details of which aren’t being made public. Farrell is…

  9. Jacoby Ellsbury for the MVP?

    Sep 26, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury

    To be clear: I do not buy into the premise that a guy who “carried his team to the playoffs” deserves the MVP. Mostly because I don’t believe that one player can truly do that.  Baseball is not basketball. It takes an entire team to win anything, and even if some guy gets hot at…

  10. Braves haven’t ruled out Jair Jurrjens for playoff rotation

    Sep 26, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Jair Jurrjens

    Last week all indications were that Jair Jurrjens‘ knee problems would sideline him through at least the first round of the playoffs, but yesterday manager Fredi Gonzalez “left open the possibility” that he might be cleared to pitch in the NLDS. If the Braves make the playoffs, of course. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal…

  11. Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

    Sep 26, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees

    It’s the last Power Rankings of the season. In some ways it’s rather pointless, what with the season being effectively over for the majority of teams. To what end power, if there is no manner in which to exert it?  An interesting ettickal question. Indeed, I was just gonna not do a Power Rankings. But…

  12. Stephen Strasburg to be on an innings limit in 2012

    Sep 26, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    strasburg wide getty

    A couple of weeks ago Stephen Strasburg said that he just wanted to be normal. One of the guys. To take his starts out from under the microscope and have them just sort of blend into the flow of the season.  I presume he’ll get there one day, but for 2012, it seems, he’s still…

  13. State of the Races

    Sep 26, 2011, 9:17 AM EDT

    Photo finish

    This is pretty much all you need to know: Boston:  89-70 Tampa Bay: 88-71 Atlanta: 89-70 St. Louis: 88-71 Such wonderful symmetry, both in record and in dynamic. A faltering would-be giant above the guys everyone wrote off in August. A three-game sprint to Wednesday evening or — if things break just right — one-game…

  14. HBT Weekend Wrap

    Sep 26, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    brad pitt moneyball getty

    The last weekend of the regular season brought us all kinds of interestingness: Walt Jocketty got a new deal from the Reds. Denard Span‘s fine in the kangaroo court may be five or six figures. You just don’t do that to a teammate, dude. Baseball wants the Dodgers sold. And if McCourt doesn’t do it,…

  15. John Lackey rips media in clubhouse after the game over a text message involving “personal stuff”

    Sep 26, 2011, 8:08 AM EDT

    Lacky phone.bmp

    You might have figured that John Lackey, having actually pitched deep into a ballgame last night — a game the Sox ended up winning — would have been happy about it.  But happy he wasn’t, as was clear from the bizarre scene at his locker. After being asked about his rocky first inning — which…

  16. Jacoby Ellsbury saves Boston’s bacon with 14th-inning homer

    Sep 25, 2011, 11:52 PM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury, Marco Scutaro

    This story could have been about Terry Francona dropping the ball.  Fortunately for the Red Sox, Jacoby Ellsbury was there to bail out his manager, with plenty of help from Boston’s bullpen. Ellsbury, who hit his 29th and 30th homers in a 6-2 loss in the first game Sunday, delivered a three-run bomb off Scott…

  17. Clayton Kershaw will earn the pitching Triple Crown

    Sep 25, 2011, 7:38 PM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw

    The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw furthered his Cy Young case on Sunday by allowing two runs over 7 1/3 innings and beating the Padres in his final start of the year. Kershaw tied Ian Kennedy, who made his last start Saturday, for the NL lead with 21 wins. Justin Verlander has 24 wins in the AL,…

  18. Brian Matusz breaks Roy Halladay’s major league record

    Sep 25, 2011, 6:06 PM EDT

    Brian Matusz

    But Brian Matusz is having an awful season.  How could he break a Roy Halladay record? Well, that’s because Roy Halladay once had a pretty terrible season himself. Starting against the Tigers, Matusz gave up six runs in five innings on Sunday, just slightly increasing his ERA from 10.68 to 10.69.  It’s the worst ERA…

  19. Cardinals gain a game on punchless Braves

    Sep 25, 2011, 5:39 PM EDT

    Rafael Furcal, Albert Pujols

    The Braves were shutout by the Nationals in losing Sunday for the 10th time in their last 15 games, allowing the Cardinals to make up ground and climb to within one game in the wild card chase. Atlanta lost this one 3-0 after dropping Saturday’s game 4-1.  Ross Detwiler tossed six scoreless innings and combined with…

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