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  1. The Pirates are number one!

    Oct 20, 2010, 1:33 PM EDT

    The Pirates come out on top in at least one very, very important measure of a baseball franchise’s organizational health. And the Yankees’ middling ranking? Clearly Joe Girardi’s fault. If he’d get his head out of his binder and go with his gut for once, things like these wouldn’t be happening. (via Bucs dugout)

  2. First guessing: Lance Berkman batting sixth against a lefty?

    Oct 20, 2010, 1:16 PM EDT

    lance-berkman-yankees-sad

    I briefly made note of this already in posting the Yankees’ lineup, but it’s worth expanding on. Mark Teixeira’s hamstring injury has forced manager Joe Girardi to make some lineup changes for Game 5 of the ALCS today and he has Lance Berkman playing first base and batting sixth against left-hander C.J. Wilson. Berkman is…

  3. Ryne Sandberg is welcome to continue managing the Iowa Cubs. This is news to Ryne Sandberg.

    Oct 20, 2010, 1:06 PM EDT

    Ryne Sandberg

    Cubs GM Jim Hendry told David Kaplan of Chicago Now that Ryne Sandberg is welcome to return to the organization as the manager at Class AAA Iowa. Ryne Sandberg tells David Kaplan of Chicago Now that this is the first he’s ever heard of this. Awwwk-ward! Of course, since he’s been stepped over, Fredo-style, this…

  4. Twins “will likely decline” $5 million option on Nick Punto

    Oct 20, 2010, 12:47 PM EDT

    Minnesota Twins v Detroit Tigers

    Kelly Thesier of MLB.com writes that the Twins “will likely decline” their $5 million team option on Nick Punto for 2011. Under normal circumstances not paying $5 million for a 33-year-old utility man who hit .238/.313/.302 this season and .247/.321/.322 for his career would be a no-brainer, but these circumstances aren’t normal. After all, Minnesota…

  5. HBT Daily Bonus: Is Cholly making a mistake going with Blanton?

    Oct 20, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    Two games, two editions of HBT Daily. Would have been three, but the hot water heater in my basement kicked on during the third taping, so we decided to chuck it.

  6. ALCS Game 5: Yankees lineup versus C.J. Wilson

    Oct 20, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    joe-girardi-yankees-dap1

    Here’s the Yankees’ lineup for Game 5 of the ALCS this afternoon against C.J. Wilson: 1. Derek Jeter, SS 2. Nick Swisher, RF 3. Robinson Cano, 2B 4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B 5. Marcus Thames, DH 6. Lance Berkman, 1B 7. Jorge Posada, C 8. Curtis Granderson, CF 9. Brett Gardner, LF Mark Teixeira’s season-ending hamstring…

  7. The Red Sox want to bring the right field fence in by nine feet

    Oct 20, 2010, 11:55 AM EDT

    Image (1) fenway_park_bullpen.jpg for post 156

    Those Red Sox. Always soooo envious of the Yankees. Now they’re totally copying the whole short porch thing: The team is seeking approval from the Boston Landmarks Commission to widen Fenway Park’s bullpen by about 9 feet – a double-edged alteration that should make hitting home runs to right field that much easier. The change…

  8. Poll: What was Joe Girardi’s biggest mistake last night

    Oct 20, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    Joe Girardi, Boone Logan

    There isn’t much disagreement that Joe Girardi screwed something up last night. People just can’t agree on what the biggest screwup was. I’m partial to “stuck with A.J. too long,” but others think the intentional walk was the biggest problem. Others still smart over the fact that Sabathia wasn’t starting on short rest. No one…

  9. Giants embracing the power of Aubrey Huff’s “rally thong”

    Oct 20, 2010, 11:19 AM EDT

    aubrey huff red thong

    Aubrey Huff started wearing a “lucky” red, rhinestone-encrusted thong around the clubhouse on August 30 and the Giants are 25-12 since then, so suddenly the “rally thong” is a very popular item in San Francisco. In fact, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the company producing Huff’s preferred brand of thongs…

  10. HBT Daily: The “oh noes! The Yankees are screwed” edition

    Oct 20, 2010, 11:03 AM EDT

    Tiffany asks whether the Yankees are in trouble, really in trouble or totally screwed.

  11. Ted Lilly’s three-year deal with Dodgers worth $33 million

    Oct 20, 2010, 10:47 AM EDT

    Ted Lilly

    Ted Lilly and the Dodgers agreed to terms on a three-year contract yesterday and now Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has the details: Lilly will get $33 million, including a $3.5 million signing bonus “to be paid out over the life of the contract” and the remaining $29.5 million “is weighted toward the back end of…

  12. San Jose Mercury News writer kicks the Philly fan hornet’s nest

    Oct 20, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

    Phillies fan taser

    There’s been a lot of talk about fan behavior in these parts over the past couple of days. It’s probably gettin’ played out. Oh, if something happens during the games today we’ll certainly comment on it, but the generalizing about various fan bases is a subject that, however interesting it is, gets old after a…

  13. Adrian Gonzalez has surgery to “clean up” right shoulder

    Oct 20, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Adrian Gonzalez

    After a pair of MRI exams and visits to three doctors Adrian Gonzalez has decided to undergo right shoulder surgery that Padres general manager Jed Hoyer described as a “clean up” procedure. Gonzalez admitted late in the season that he’d been playing through discomfort since May and altered his swing because of it, but he…

  14. The Yankees have hope: they just need to get the series back to Texas

    Oct 20, 2010, 9:56 AM EDT

    Nick Swisher

    The Yankees certainly have their backs up against the wall. A 14.6 % chance of winning the series if you believe Rational Pastime. And to do that they have to channel their inner-2004 Boston Red Sox, and that may be simply unpalatable for them. Tough break, ya know? But hey, maybe their chances are a…

  15. This is kind of scary: that fan from Game 3 was going after A-Rod

    Oct 20, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

    While most fans who run on the field during ballgames are either drunk, attention whores or both, it seems like the one who jumped on the field at Yankee Stadium during Game 3 was a different kettle of fish: he was nuts. And likely dangerous. According to the New York Post, the fan, Grim LeRogue…

  16. Mark Teixeira’s season is over

    Oct 20, 2010, 8:52 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers v New York Yankees, Game 4

    It was painful to watch. And it was downright inspirational to see him do his best to make it to first base. But as he was crumbling towards the bag, I couldn’t help but feel for the guy. As soon as the trainers came out it seemed clear that Mark Teixeira’s game was over. As…

  17. Was Robinson Cano’s homer a case of fan interference?

    Oct 20, 2010, 8:25 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers fielder Nelson Cruz (lower) tries to catch a Yankees Robinson Cano hit into the stands which was ruled a home run in the second inning during Game 4 of their Major League League Baseball ALCS playoff series in New York

    I’m going to admit up front that I’m flummoxed. I’ve gone back and forth on this thing two or three times now. In real time, Robinson Cano’s homer to right in the second appeared to be a case of fan interference, with those awesome, awesome fans in the front row slapping Nelson Cruz’s glove. When…

  18. Phillies must find bats, or go the way of the Yankees

    Oct 20, 2010, 3:04 AM EDT

    ibanez-101019

    They say that pitching wins championships, and while the adage is up for debate, one thing seems clear: no matter how good your pitching is, you have to figure out how to scratch out a few runs at some point. The vaunted New York Yankees offense hasn’t been able to do it against the Texas…

  19. Rangers 10, Yankees 3: An ugly night in the Bronx has the Yankees on the ropes

    Oct 20, 2010, 12:13 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers' Bengie Molina hits a two out three run home run as New York Yankees' Francisco Cervelli waits for the ball during the sixth inning during Game 4 of their Major League Baseball ALCS playoff series in New York

    On an objective level there have been worse losses in recent Yankees history. They’ve been blown out. They’ve lost big games. Bad things have occurred to even this most historically blessed team.  But I can’t recall an uglier night, all around, than what we witnessed tonight. Among the lowlights: Tommy Hunter was quite hittable, but…

  20. Live Blog: Rangers-Yankees ALCS Game 4

    Oct 20, 2010, 12:12 AM EDT

    218px-2010_ALCS.svg

    UPDATE: And this baby is finally over. The Rangers have won 10-3 and now lead the Yankees 3-1 in the ALCS. The Rangers will try to earn their first trip to the World Series tomorrow (okay, well today, technically). As always, thanks for reading. Stay tuned for a post-game recap from Craig. 12:04 AM: Wait,…

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