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  1. They teach them young in Philly

    May 1, 2010, 9:22 AM EDT

    Highlight of the night as far as I’m concerned: A Philadelphia father helps his baby daughter throw the ball back onto the field after a Rod Barajas home run in the Mets-Phillies game.  As someone who is raising a taunting young girl himself, he’s a man after my own heart. People like to rip Phillies…

  2. The Braves snap the skid behind Hanson, Heyward

    May 1, 2010, 8:46 AM EDT

    The Braves snapped their nine-game losing streak behind a two-run homer from Jason Heyward in the third and eight strong innings from Tommy Hanson.  But Heyward and Hanson are good and we knew that. The real relief is that Nate McLouth hit a homer, establishing that, contrary to all previous indications, he was not spending…

  3. Cliff Lee returns, and it is good. Mostly.

    May 1, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    Yeah, I think Cliff Lee is all better. Lee handcuffed the Rangers for seven innings last night, allowing only three hits, not walking anyone and striking out eight. He threw 98 pitches, 73 of which were strikes. He was up around 93 m.p.h. with his fastball.  It was like the guy from Game 1 of…

  4. Will Brad Lidge be trusted right away?

    May 1, 2010, 12:31 AM EDT

    Entering Friday, it was assumed that Brad Lidge would be eased back into the closer’s role, sharing the responsibility with Ryan Madson. Well, now the Phillies are without their safety net. Madson was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday afternoon after breaking his right toe. He told of Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that…

  5. Billy Wagner to retire after 2010

    Apr 30, 2010, 8:15 PM EDT

    Billy Wagner told manager Bobby Cox that he intends to retire at the end of the season, reports Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Braves inked the 38-year-old southpaw to a one-year, $7 million contract over the winter. The deal includes a vesting option for 2011, something Wagner says the Braves simply “threw in.”…

  6. Sports Illustrated Writer: contract the Pirates!

    Apr 30, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    Paul Daugherty, usually of the Cincinnati Enquirer, but writing here for Sports Illustrated, saw just about all he needed to see from the Pirates last week: In the seven days between April 20 and 26, the Pirates were outscored 72-12. Not by the Yankees, or even the Jets, but by the Brewers and the Houston…

  7. Bob Uecker undergoes successful heart surgery

    Apr 30, 2010, 5:14 PM EDT

    Tom Haudricort reports that Brewers’ broadcaster Bob Uecker had his heart surgery today and that it was a success: “As of 2:30 pm, Bob is out of surgery and in the ICU. We are pleased that Mr. Uecker’s surgery went smoothly today,” said Nicolosi. “We replaced his aortic valve, aortic root and part of his ascending…

  8. Rangers promote prospect Tanner Scheppers to Triple-A

    Apr 30, 2010, 4:46 PM EDT

    Earlier this week I wondered if Tanner Scheppers could be close to joining Neftali Feliz and Frank Francisco as late-inning options in Texas’ bullpen. He’s one step closer this afternoon, as the Rangers promoted him from Double-A to Triple-A after the 23-year-old right-hander posted a 0.82 ERA, .079 opponents’ batting average, and 19/0 K/BB ratio…

  9. Part of Ringolsby's anti-A-Rod screed gets axed

    Apr 30, 2010, 4:18 PM EDT

    You know that “A-Rod represents everything that is wrong with baseball” column written by Tracy Ringolsby from this morning?  Yeah, a whole bunch of it has been removed or changed by FOX, some of it for being wrong, some of it, apparently, for rubbing people the wrong way. Lisa Swan at SubwaySquawkers has the details.

  10. Quote of the Day: GM on criticism of Howard deal

    Apr 30, 2010, 3:52 PM EDT

    Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr., on criticism of the Ryan Howard contract extension: The sabermetricians are welcome to have their opinions about our business. However, I choose to ignore their opinions. Fair enough. However, as Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com notes: “Amaro is getting criticized for the Howard deal not just by sabermetricians, but also…

  11. Players' Union to Arizona: modify or repeal your immigration law

    Apr 30, 2010, 3:28 PM EDT

    MLBPA head Michael Weiner has issued a statement opposing Arizona’s recently-passed SB 1070 immigration law: “The recent passage by Arizona of a new immigration law could have a negative impact on hundreds of Major League players who are citizens of countries other than the United States.  These international players are very much a part of…

  12. Ryan Madson goes on the DL with a broken toe after kicking a chair

    Apr 30, 2010, 3:11 PM EDT

    Brad Lidge came off the disabled list today, and as Aaron pointed out yesterday, there is an open question as to whether he jumps right back into his customary role as the Phillies’ mediocre closer or if, instead, Ryan Madson will retain the job of Phillies’ mediocre closer for the time being. Or at least…

  13. Ryan Zimmerman back in the Nationals' starting lineup after seven games

    Apr 30, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

    After missing seven straight starts with a strained hamstring Ryan Zimmerman is back in Washington’s lineup for tonight’s game against the Marlins. Zimmerman stayed off the disabled list while making two pinch-hitting appearances since his last start on April 21, which is the same approach the Nationals took when he initially missed time with a…

  14. Cliff Lee to make his Mariners debut tonight

    Apr 30, 2010, 2:16 PM EDT

    He’s facing the Rangers and he’s more than ready.* He says “my sights have been set on them for several days now. I’m preparing the best I can for them.” Lee threw six shutout innings during his rehab start for Tacoma on Sunday, which suggests that the Cliff Lee we’ve seen the last two years…

  15. Did you know? Barry Zito has a 2.46 ERA since last season's All-Star break

    Apr 30, 2010, 1:46 PM EDT

    Barry Zito is 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA and Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News wrote a lengthy article about the oft-criticized southpaw’s resurgence, noting that he’s gone from “the most sunken of sunk costs” to thinking about pitching until he’s Jamie Moyer’s age. One great month after multiple hugely disappointing seasons obviously…

  16. U2 is messing with the baseball schedule

    Apr 30, 2010, 1:13 PM EDT

    I’m sure Bono didn’t mean to bug ya, but he’s doing it all the same: Don’t know whether or not Bono favors the designated hitter rule, but based on U2′s summer concert tour, they’re definitely American Leaguers. The band is playing Angels Stadium (June 6-7), the Oakland Coliseum (June 16) and Toronto’s Rogers Center (July…

  17. Red Sox coach blames 'bad habits' from Indians on Victor Martinez's throwing struggles

    Apr 30, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

    Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports that Victor Martinez has tried to improve his woeful throwing numbers by participating in twice-daily workout sessions with catching instructor Gary Tuck. Tuck praised Martinez’s work ethic while adding that “he came over here with some really bad habits” and “you can’t break them overnight.” I’d be interested to hear…

  18. Shelley Duncan, Dave Duncan in his underwear, my daughter and me

    Apr 30, 2010, 12:14 PM EDT

    I’ll bore you with one more story about my trip with the kids to the Columbus Clippers-Charlotte Knights game last night. Shelley Duncan’s name is announced as he comes to bat for Columbus. Anna, my six year-old daughter, hears this and giggles a bit that a man is named Shelley.  I tell her that Shelley…

  19. Rick Ankiel likely sidelined through the weekend

    Apr 30, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

    Rick Ankiel got off to a great start with the Royals, hitting .308 with three homers and three doubles through 11 games, but then went into a 1-for-21 slump that dropped his OPS nearly 250 points and suffered a strained right quadriceps muscle while running out a ground ball Saturday. Ankiel hasn’t played since the…

  20. Jermaine Dye is unemployed for a reason

    Apr 30, 2010, 11:21 AM EDT

    Joe Cowley wrote a story in the Sun-Times today about how the White Sox (or anyone) should give Jermaine Dye a contract. Quote of the article from Dye: ”I’m not going to a bad team, and I’m not playing for $1.5million,” Dye said. And people are suggesting that race has something to do with him…

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