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  1. Is Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman Anaheim-bound?

    Oct 20, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Andrew Friedman Reuters

    I’m angry at DRays Bay. Oh, they’re a fine blog and in this case they have a neat little news/gossip item that could be pretty significant, so that’s all good. No, I’m mad that they took the “my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this girl who’s going out…

  2. Change of plans: Dirk Nowitzki to throw out Game 3 first pitch

    Oct 20, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    dirk nowitzki rangers

    Marc Stein of ESPN Dallas reported yesterday that MLB rejected the Rangers’ request to have Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki throw out the ceremonial first pitch once the World Series moves to Texas. That led to a lot of angry fans, particularly since MLB’s attempted explanation didn’t really make much sense, and now they’ve changed their…

  3. Crown the Cardinals!

    Oct 20, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols slaps hands with relief pitcher Jason Motte after defeating the Texas Rangers in Game 1 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis

    We like to say that anything can happen in a short series, but at some point you have to acknowledge that some things happening are pretty unlikely, at least from a statistical/historical point of view. Example: the team losing Game 1 of the World Series going on to win it.  In fact, as noted in…

  4. C.J. Wilson achieves a rare and dubious feat

    Oct 20, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher C.J. Wilson faces the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1st inning of Game 1 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis

    I presume it’s rare. I couldn’t think of anyone else who has done it, and I’m not exactly sure how to research it without sifting through 100 box scores I don’t feel like sifting through right now. But C.J. Wilson‘s loss last night means that in 2011 he lost (a) the All-Star Game; (b) a…

  5. In Game 2, Rangers turn to playoff ace … Colby Lewis?

    Oct 20, 2011, 1:56 AM EDT

    lewis-colby-111019

    ST. LOUIS — All the talk about bad starting pitching from these two World Series teams — and the numbers to back it up — has taken the focus away from the hottest starting pitcher in the last two postseasons. Who’s that, you’re thinking? Colby Lewis, that’s who. The Rangers’ Game 2 starter is the…

  6. Josh Hamilton, clearly in pain, goes 0-for-4 with a K

    Oct 20, 2011, 1:43 AM EDT

    World Series Rangers Cardinals Baseball

    Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton told reporters this past weekend, after Texas had secured a World Series berth by taking care of the Detroit Tigers, that he has been operating at about 50 percent health this postseason due to a lingering groin injury. After checking out Game 1 of the World Series, we’re thinking he’s hurting…

  7. La Russa presses the right buttons again, Cardinals defeat Rangers in World Series Game 1

    Oct 19, 2011, 11:58 PM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa greets Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington during introductions ahead of Game 1 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis

    Locked in a 2-2 tie with the Rangers in the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday night at Busch Stadium, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa stuck by the script he’s been authoring since his club snuck into the playoffs on the final day of the regular season. Game 1 starter Chris Carpenter was cruising, fresh…

  8. World Series Game 1 Live Chat: Rangers vs. Cardinals

    Oct 19, 2011, 8:05 PM EDT

    Fans are shown as they enter Busch Stadium before the start of play between the Texas Rangers and the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of MLB's World Series baseball championship in St. Louis

    Game 1 of the World Series between the Rangers and Cardinals is set to get underway this evening just after 8:00 p.m. ET in St. Louis. Busch Stadium should be rocking, despite the cold and rain. We’ll be chatting it up here at HardballTalk from the player introductions through the final pitch. Stop by, hang…

  9. Skip Schumaker merely a fourth outfielder in World Series

    Oct 19, 2011, 7:31 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v St. Louis Cardinals

    Skip Schumaker started two games at second base in the Cardinals’ NLDS defeat of the Phillies, going 6-for-10 in that five-game series. But Schumaker missed the NLCS due to an oblique strain and is on the bench for Game 1 of the World Series on Wednesday night in St. Louis. According to beat writer Joe…

  10. Jeremy Affeldt making steady recovery from sliced hand

    Oct 19, 2011, 6:29 PM EDT

    affeldt getty

    Giants setup man Jeremy Affeldt was shut down in early September after slicing open his right (non-throwing) hand while trying to separate frozen hamburger patties in his home kitchen. The cut was deep — coming within a millimeter of a major artery — so the left-hander has been treated with care over the last month-plus.…

  11. Hmmm. Maybe Bud Selig is retiring next year after all

    Oct 19, 2011, 5:33 PM EDT

    Bud Selig

    Bud Selig has said he plans to retire after the 2012 season. Most people don’t believe he will. They believe that some emergency or some groundswell of support from the owners or the simple fact that there isn’t an obvious successor will cause him to extend his time in a job that (a) he truly…

  12. Yankees decline 2012 option on reliever Damaso Marte

    Oct 19, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT

    Damaso Marte throwing

    Damaso Marte missed all of this season following shoulder surgery last October and today the Yankees officially declined his $4 million option for 2012, buying the left-handed reliever out for $250,000 instead. Marte was consistently one of the best southpaw setup men in baseball prior to joining the Yankees in a mid-2008 trade with the…

  13. What should be THE LAST word on the beer and fried chicken thing

    Oct 19, 2011, 5:04 PM EDT

    Fried chicken

    Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe writes what — if the universe is reasonable and just — should be the final word on the Red Sox’ beer and friend chicken scandal.  The upshot: this is no scandal and everyone should get a grip. What makes it so persuasive is how he lays out what goes…

  14. World Series Game 1 lineups: Rangers vs. Cardinals

    Oct 19, 2011, 4:49 PM EDT

    blank lineup card

    Here are the lineups for Game 1 of the Rangers-Cardinals series tonight: TEXAS RANGERS ST. LOUIS CARDINALS 1. Ian Kinsler, 2B 1. Rafael Furcal, SS 2. Elvis Andrus, SS 2. Jon Jay, CF 3. Josh Hamilton, CF 3. Albert Pujols, 1B 4. Michael Young, 1B 4. Matt Holliday, LF 5. Adrian Beltre, 3B 5. Lance…

  15. MLB changes mind, invites Dirk Nowitzki to throw first pitch

    Oct 19, 2011, 4:10 PM EDT

    dirk nowitzki rangers

    UPDATE: MLB apparently changed its mind–or had its mind changed–and has now invited Nowitzki to throw out the first pitch at an as-yet-undecided game in Texas. ========== Dirk Nowitzki threw out of the ceremonial first pitch at a Rangers game back in June and they wanted the Mavericks star to do so again when the…

  16. HBT Extra: Even more World Series previewage-a-palooza!

    Oct 19, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    In the future, everyone will preview the World Series for 15 minutes. Or in my case, at least 15 times. Tiffany’s here, though, so you may want to listen to me do it again.

  17. Ralph Branca knows his minor league ERA from 1945

    Oct 19, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    Ralph Branca

    There’s a whole lot of other stuff in this interview that our friend Bill from The Platoon Advantage did with Dodgers legend Ralph Branca.  Stuff about Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey and the Shot Heard ‘Round the World. All of it interesting and historic and cool. But I gotta tell ya, the thing that sticks out…

  18. Cardinals add Skip Schumaker and Jake Westbrook to roster

    Oct 19, 2011, 2:50 PM EDT

    Skip Schumaker

    As expected, the Cardinals have added utility man Skip Schumaker and right-hander Jake Westbrook to the World Series roster in place of right-hander Kyle McClellan and outfielder Adron Chambers. Schumaker was left off the NLCS roster after injuring his oblique muscle in Game 5 of the NLDS versus Philadelphia, but was the Cardinals’ primary second…

  19. Phiten necklaces and the placebo effect

    Oct 19, 2011, 2:28 PM EDT

    CJ Wilson necklace

    This was more of a 2010 phenomenon, but those Phiten necklaces haven’t gone away. Especially on the Rangers. All of those dudes have ’em, it seems.  Drives me nuts that these dudes think — or that people who buy those necklaces may think — that they help with your body’s energy flow or what have…

  20. Place your bets: Albert Pujols and Nelson Cruz are favorites for World Series MVP

    Oct 19, 2011, 1:48 PM EDT

    gambling poster

    Bodog has betting odds on which player will be named World Series MVP and not surprisingly Albert Pujols and Nelson Cruz lead the way: Albert Pujols 5/1 Nelson Cruz 6/1 Adrian Beltre 7/1 Josh Hamilton 7/1 Field 10/1 Ian Kinsler 10/1 Michael Young 10/1 David Freese 11/1 Matt Holliday 11/1 Lance Berkman 14/1 Yadier Molina…

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