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  1. Joe Maddon improves to .500 as Rays manager

    Sep 4, 2010, 8:48 AM EDT

    The Rays defeated the Orioles 4-1 on Friday night and remain 1 1/2 games behind the Yankees in the American League East and seven games up on the Red Sox in the American League Wild Card. While the playoffs look like a virtual-lock, there was some extra significance to Friday’s win. As Marc Topkin of…

  2. Aroldis Chapman's vanity plates need an update

    Sep 3, 2010, 9:25 PM EDT

    In case you haven’t had enough of baseball’s new sensation, here’s an interesting tidbit from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer. Apparently, Chapman has vanity plates on his vehicles. Specifically, “102MPH” on his Lamborghini and “101MPH” on his Mercedes. Now that the Cuban fireballer has reached 102.7 MPH and 103.9 MPH in his first two…

  3. Stephen Strasburg undergoes Tommy John surgery

    Sep 3, 2010, 8:24 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg underwent successful Tommy John surgery Friday in Los Angeles, according to Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. “He came through it with flying colors,” Rizzo said. “It went smooth and uneventful.” Not that I would wish this on anyone, but have we ever seen a surgery described as unsuccessful? Just saying. Anyway, Dr.…

  4. Manny Ramirez apologizes for behavior in Boston

    Sep 3, 2010, 7:45 PM EDT

    Returning to Boston for the second time since being traded from the Red Sox to the Dodgers during the 2008 season, Manny Ramirez said Friday that he was to blame for the turn of events that led to his departure from the team he helped lead to two World Series titles. As he told ESPNBoston.com:…

  5. Hurricane Earl washes out tonight's Chicago-Boston game

    Sep 3, 2010, 5:59 PM EDT

    Freakin’ Manny. Quittin’ again . . . The game between the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox was postponed Friday because of the threat of severe weather from Hurricane Earl.The opener of the three-game series was rescheduled as the first game of a day-night doubleheader Saturday. I’m wonderin’ how many baseball games have been…

  6. Rangers sign Mark Prior to minor league contract

    Sep 3, 2010, 5:42 PM EDT

    MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers have signed Mark Prior to a minor-league contract and will assign him to Triple-A, but adds that “this is a long-term project and he is not expected to help the Rangers this season.” Prior hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006 and hasn’t been both healthy and effective…

  7. Must-click link: Omar Minaya gets heckled while flying coach

    Sep 3, 2010, 5:18 PM EDT

    I have no idea whether this is true or not, but it’s pretty funny either way and … well, there’s just not a whole lot worth writing about going on this afternoon. Omar Minaya apparently/allegedly/reportedly flew coach on his flight to Chicago for the series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field and the many Mets…

  8. As planned, Dustin Pedroia underwent foot surgery today

    Sep 3, 2010, 4:45 PM EDT

    As expected, Dustin Pedroia underwent season-ending foot surgery today, with doctors inserting a screw into the fractured navicular bone in his left foot. According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald “the surgery is expected to assure more complete healing in time for Pedroia to be ready for spring training.” And here’s what Pedroia had…

  9. Johnny Cueto did not accompany the Reds to St. Louis

    Sep 3, 2010, 4:32 PM EDT

    Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch tweets that Reds starter Johnny Cueto did not travel with the team to St. Louis for this weekend’s series due to “a serious family issue.” Given how badly “serious family issues” can suck, I would hope for Cueto’s sake that this is really a smokescreen created in order to keep…

  10. Is baseball an inherently conservative sport?

    Sep 3, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    Is baseball a conservative sport? A liberal sport? The answer from this alleged commie pinko may surprise you.

  11. Poll: Who will be caught on camera reading Hardball Talk?

    Sep 3, 2010, 3:49 PM EDT

    The latest episode of Hard Knocks on HBO showed Rex Ryan and the Jets reading Pro Football Talk, which while no surprise–I’d almost guarantee someone from every NFL team reads Mike Florio, Gregg Rosenthal, and company–was pretty amusing to see on screen. It also got me thinking about which prominent person in the baseball world…

  12. The luckiest fan in St. Petersburg

    Sep 3, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    More weird quasi-baseball stuff as absolutely nothing continues to happen in baseball this afternoon. Rays fan Amelia Lamoscatella caught a Ben Zobrist foul ball off her face on Wednesday night. She was OK, and someone retrieved the ball for her. During the same at bat, Zobrist fouled another one to her, which she caught. Next…

  13. Ricky Nolasco and the Marlins haven't made progress on a contract extension

    Sep 3, 2010, 3:14 PM EDT

    Ricky Nolasco has been shut down for the rest of the season with a torn meniscus in his right knee and Juan C. Rodriguez of the Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that his contract extension talks with the Marlins are also “going nowhere.” According to Rodriguez “a significant gulf exists between the two sides” and “don’t hold…

  14. Ryan Klesko: outdoorsman

    Sep 3, 2010, 3:06 PM EDT

    For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today runs an editorial by former Brave Ryan Klesko — which was actually dictated to someone it seems — in which he talks about his love of hunting, fishing, surfing and buying thousands of acres of real estate: There is a lot of carryover…

  15. Eric Chavez has a "Brett Favre Rule"

    Sep 3, 2010, 2:29 PM EDT

    Actually, it’s more of an anti-Brett Favre rule. Susan Slusser of the Chron: Eric Chavez won’t be announcing his retirement today – he said he has his own personal “Brett Favre” rule and will wait until he’s been away at least two years before making any such decision official. Thank goodness. Now we will be…

  16. Lyle Overbay "not all there in the first place" but back in the Blue Jays' lineup after concussion scare

    Sep 3, 2010, 2:16 PM EDT

    Lyle Overbay left last Tuesday’s game after complaining of a “heavy head” following a collision with teammate Brian Tallet, but fortunately for the Blue Jays first baseman a CT scan and other tests revealed that he did not suffer a concussion. Justin Morneau and Jason Bay have missed months following their concussions, with no return…

  17. Chapman is awesome and everything, but are the radar guns juiced?

    Sep 3, 2010, 1:58 PM EDT

    We’ve all been impressed with the Aroldis Chapman show recently. That 103.9 reading the other night was boffo, and it actually made that 105 reading from Louisville — which I had doubted but am maybe coming around to believe — seem more plausible. Baseball Prospectus’ Kevin Goldstein has a great point, though: we should be…

  18. General manager Neal Huntington and manager John Russell are on the hot seat in Pittsburgh

    Sep 3, 2010, 1:18 PM EDT

    With the Pirates on a 109-loss pace in their 18th straight losing season and team president Frank Coonelly venting his frustration by saying things like “losing stinks” during an online chat with fans, it’s no surprise that general manager Neal Huntington and manager John Russell are on the hot seat. Bob Nightengale of USA Today…

  19. Morgan gets an eight game suspension for the Marlins brawl

    Sep 3, 2010, 12:59 PM EDT

    Heyman just tweeted it.*  Those eight games are in addition to the seven he got for his previous jackassery. As we learned a bit ago, his appeal will be heard next Friday. One would assume that appeals of both suspensions would be heard at the same time. Also suspended as a result of that game:…

  20. Rays manager is officially now Dr. Joe Maddon

    Sep 3, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

    Joe Maddon received his honorary “doctor of letters” degree from Lafayette College yesterday, meaning the Rays’ manager is officially now a doctor. Mark Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times notes that approximately 200 people attended the ceremony at the college Maddon dropped out of 35 years ago. Or as he joked: “I was on the…

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