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  1. Pirates bench Akinori Iwamura, move ex-catcher Neil Walker to second base

    May 31, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

    Back in November the Pirates traded reliever Jesse Chavez to the Rays for Akinori Iwamura and then picked up his $4.85 million option for 2010, but manager John Russell announced today that they’re already cutting bait on the struggling second baseman. Iwamura has batted just .173 in 44 games while showing decreased range defensively following…

  2. Great Moments in out of context signage

    May 31, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    I love a cheap laugh, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Derrick Goold provides a couple for us today.  He’s in Chicago, and he took pictures of the famous Wrigley Field marquee in mid-message.  They can be seen here (scroll down).  Taken out of context, a couple of them provide some pretty sharp commentary on the…

  3. Who needs the minors? Mike Leake thriving in Cincinnati

    May 31, 2010, 11:44 AM EDT

    I criticized the Reds for having 2009 first-round pick Mike Leake completely skip the minors to join the Opening Day rotation, but so far the decision certainly looks like a good one. Cincinnati is in first place and Leake became the latest pitcher to shut down the Astros with six scoreless innings yesterday, cutting his…

  4. The Phillies designate Nelson Figueroa for assignment

    May 31, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    The Phillies activated Brad Lidge today. In order to make room for him they designated Nelson Figueroa for assignment. You know the drill: ten days to trade him, release him or send him down to the minor leagues.  The smart money is on the releasing, of course, because that’s just how these things usually go.…

  5. Does being in first place on Memorial Day matter?

    May 31, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

    Quick answer: If the Braves beat the Phillies today and take first place then, yes, a lead on Memorial Day is the most important thing ever. At least to Bravos Backers like myself. Answer based on data rather than emotion: It matters about 65.625% of the time.  That’s the number Buster Olney’s research team came…

  6. Quote of the Day: Furman Bisher

    May 31, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Jason Hayward now leads the National League in OPS, a statistic with which I’m not familiar. It refers to On-Base/Slugging Percentage. His leading number is .991, and your guess is as good as mine. It can’t be bad, so be grateful. – Former Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Furman Bisher commenting on young Mr. Heyward’s season thus…

  7. Victory has never hurt so bad: Orlando Hudson hurt on game-ending catch

    May 31, 2010, 9:42 AM EDT

    Kendry Morales hurt himself after a walkoff homer on Saturday.  Another bittersweet game-ending play occurred last night as Denard Span’s awesome game-ending catch in last night’s Rangers-Twins tilt resulted in Orlando Hudson writhing on the ground. The game’s final out occurred on a pop fly that was heading towards no-man’s land between second base and…

  8. Mike Lowell might make sense in Anaheim

    May 31, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

    Sean McAdam, while noting that no conversations have occurred to this effect, observes that Mike Lowell might be a good fit with the Angels. Makes sense: LAAofA just lost Kendry Morales for the year, they have a swirling vortex of suck at third base right now in the form of Brandon Wood and their DH…

  9. Mets players want Oliver Perez gone

    May 31, 2010, 8:38 AM EDT

    News flash: Oliver Perez is having a pretty terrible year. He has walked 32 dudes in 26 innings against only 29 strikeouts and has an ERA of 6.25. His demotion to the bullpen hasn’t helped anyone either, with his latest performance coming Saturday against the Brewers when he gave up three runs just as the…

  10. And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

    May 31, 2010, 5:00 AM EDT

    Cardinals 9, Cubs 1: Things people were doing for about ten seconds and then suddenly pretending that they never did: (1) listening to swing music; (2) playing poker; and (3) wondering if it was possible that Albert Pujols was no longer the best player in baseball. Pujols: 3 for 3 3 HR, 4 RBI; Cherry…

  11. The Week Ahead: Moment of truth for Blue Jays

    May 30, 2010, 10:18 PM EDT

    The Yankees, Red Sox, and perhaps, the Rays. That was the common thinking on how the AL East race would go entering the season. The Toronto Blue Jays didn’t listen to those projections and enter the week at 30-22. They’re only in third place and 4 1/2 games back. But their record would be good enough…

  12. Posada ahead of schedule, takes batting practice

    May 30, 2010, 6:50 PM EDT

    Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was placed on the disabled list just 11 days ago with a hairline fracture in his right foot.  According to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch, he is already chomping at the bit to return. Posada took batting practice on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium and is no longer wearing a protective boot on…

  13. Balance of power shifting toward pitchers in MLB

    May 30, 2010, 6:01 PM EDT

    The baseball world has already been treated to several impressive pitching feats this season and it’s not even June.  From Ubaldo Jimenez’s no-hitter on April 17 against the Braves, to Dallas Braden’s perfect game on May 9 against the Rays, to Roy Halladay’s perfecto last night in Florida — 2010 has largely been the year…

  14. Scherzer racks up 14 Ks in return to big leagues

    May 30, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    The Tigers made the right move in demoting Max Scherzer to Triple-A Toledo two weeks ago after he rattled off a 1-4 record, a 7.29 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP through his first eight starts in a Detroit uniform.  And it will really seem like the right move now. Scherzer, 25, allowed just one run…

  15. Big Z to rejoin Cubs' starting rotation Wednesday

    May 30, 2010, 3:22 PM EDT

    Veteran right-hander Carlos Zambrano was moved to the bullpen in late April in a highly criticized move by manager Lou Piniella and the Cubs front office.  According to the Chicago Tribune’s Dave van Dyck, that will all change Wednesday when he rejoins the starting rotation and faces the Pirates. Big Z allowed six earned runs…

  16. Joey Votto remains out of Reds' starting lineup

    May 30, 2010, 2:04 PM EDT

    Reds first baseman Joey Votto will miss his fifth consecutive game on Sunday due to a stiff neck.  He ran and threw on Saturday, according to MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, and will try to take batting practice this afternoon.  But he’s unlikely to return to the Cincinnati starting lineup until Monday, or maybe even Tuesday when…

  17. Video of the day: Roy Halladay talks perfecto

    May 30, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

      Roy Halladay kept the hat, jersey, ball, lineup card and pitching rubber from his perfect game Saturday against the Marlins, according to Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. He also received a call from vice president Joe Biden after the game, writes the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb. Oh, and he showed up to the ballpark at…

  18. Eri Yoshida debuts in Golden Baseball League

    May 30, 2010, 12:39 PM EDT

    18-year-old Eri Yoshida became the first woman to pitch professionally in the United States in close to a decade on Saturday, throwing three innings for the Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League. Dubbed Japan’s “Knuckle Princess” because of her patented knuckleball, Yoshida pitched a scoreless first inning before allowing four runs over her final…

  19. Sizemore to have knee surgery, out 6-8 weeks

    May 30, 2010, 11:48 AM EDT

    According to the Indians’ official Twitter feed, center fielder Grady Sizemore will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery next week in Vail, Colorado and will miss at least the next six-to-eight weeks, and likely more. Sizemore was placed on the disabled list in mid-May with a deep bone bruise in his knee.  Further testing must have revealed…

  20. A few reactions to Roy Halladay's perfect game

    May 30, 2010, 11:02 AM EDT

    Roy Halladay captured the nation’s attention on a sports-heavy Saturday night, throwing the 20th perfect game in Major League Baseball history as the Phillies defeated the Marlins 1-0 in south Florida.  Let’s take a trip around the baseball world for some unique reactions to the perfecto: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports noticed some rather deep…

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