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  1. In the middle of 18th straight losing season, Pirates planning "meaningful" payroll increase for 2011

    Aug 20, 2010, 2:47 PM EDT

    Craig noted this morning that the Pirates are one defeat away from their 18th straight losing season and their current 109-loss pace would be the team’s worst record during that horrendous stretch. But fear not, Pirates fans, because today team president Frank Coonelly said the following to Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette: We…

  2. Yet Johnny Cueto continues to walk the streets, a free man

    Aug 20, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    Here’s a pressing and important debate in today’s Post-Dispatch that in no way is designed to enflame the passions of Cardinals fans angry at Johnny Cueto. The headline: “LaRue’s out, Cueto’s in: Is that fair?” While the contours of the actual debate which follow are reasonable enough, the headline just slays me. The obvious implication…

  3. Rays manager soon to be "Doctor Joe Maddon"

    Aug 20, 2010, 2:18 PM EDT

    Between his black, thick-framed glasses and decidedly intellectual persona Joe Maddon already kind of looked and talked the part, but now the Rays manager will actually be a “doctor” thanks to his alma mater awarding him an honorary degree. Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, where Maddon was a student from 1972-76, will give him a “Doctor…

  4. Torii Hunter visits the ballpark he helped build

    Aug 20, 2010, 1:57 PM EDT

    When I read the intro to this story about Torii Hunter’s return to Minnesota in today’s L.A. Times, I was prepared to scoff at yet another strange Torii Hunter statement: Target Field is “The House That Torii Built.”  Ha! Put this alongside “Dominicans are imposters” and “Kirby Puckett moved off centerfield for me.” The usual…

  5. Derrek Lee batting cleanup and facing Cubs in Braves debut

    Aug 20, 2010, 1:48 PM EDT

    Derrek Lee will make his Braves debut later this afternoon at Wrigley Field against his former Cubs teammates. He’s also batting cleanup, which is somewhat unexpected for a guy with a .416 slugging percentage. Of course, Lee hit .304/.358/.528 with six homers and 10 doubles in the 30 games preceding his trade to Atlanta and…

  6. The Red Sox lottery game is outrageously lucrative

    Aug 20, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    Remember back in March when I used the Red Sox scratchoff lottery game to unleash a big anti-lottery screed?  At the time I said I’d provide updates as warranted. That was kind of snarky, actually, but today we have a good reason to update anyway:  the Massachusetts lottery has now brought in $1 billion in…

  7. Clemens' obsession with his image seriously threatens his liberty

    Aug 20, 2010, 1:01 PM EDT

    Earlier this year, the lawyers representing Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger advised him to put his image behind his liberty, advising him to say nothing about an allegation of rape lodged against him in Georgia.  Though Roethlisberger’s reputation took the kind of a beating not seen since Tex Cobb absorbed 15 rounds of jabs, roundhouses, and…

  8. Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies arrested in cocaine bust

    Aug 20, 2010, 12:40 PM EDT

    Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that Phillies prospect Tyson Gillies was arrested in Florida and charged with cocaine possession. According to Greg Auman of the St. Petersburg Times he was arrested at 1:10 a.m. and released at 10:52 a.m. after posting a $2,000 bond. Gillies, who is legally deaf and wears a…

  9. HBT Daily: Looking ahead to the weekend's big matchups

    Aug 20, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    Giants-Cards, Reds-Dodgers and Rays-A’s. Oh, and Tiffany decides to address me by my old radio DJ name. If I had hair and hopes and stuff I’d swear it was 1990!

  10. Vicente Padilla headed back to DL with bulging disk in neck

    Aug 20, 2010, 12:18 PM EDT

    After spending mid-April through mid-June on the disabled list with a forearm injury Vicente Padilla returned to post a 1.80 ERA and 52/16 K/BB ratio in his first nine starts, but he’s been knocked around for 12 runs in his last two outings and now he’s been placed back on the DL with a bulging…

  11. Ty Wigginton: plain spoken, hilarious

    Aug 20, 2010, 12:01 PM EDT

    Andres Blanco was nailed trying to stretch a double into a triple in yesterday’s Rangers-Orioles game (video here).  Fun part about it that wasn’t evident from the video — but which is described in this Orioles Insider post — is that after the play, Blanco was jawing with Ty Wigginton over the putout. Which, as…

  12. Giants announcer Mike Krukow doesn't think much of Buster Posey's defense behind the plate

    Aug 20, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

    Buster Posey is having an amazing rookie season at the plate, hitting .341/.388/.519 with nine homers, 26 total extra-base hits, and 45 RBIs in 71 games, but Giants announcer (and longtime big-league pitcher) Mike Krukow hasn’t been very impressed with the 23-year-old’s work behind the plate. During a game earlier this week reliever Jeremy Affeldt…

  13. Not all saves are created equal

    Aug 20, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    My internet friend Mike Treder pointed out something to me that escaped my notice: Sergio Mitre got the save in yesterday’s Yankees-Tigers game. Which ended 11-5.  Mike’s comment: “You come into a game with your team leading 11 to 2, pitch three innings, give up six hits and three runs, and you’re given a “Save”…

  14. Ted Lilly is the only thing keeping Dodgers from total collapse

    Aug 20, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

    Things aren’t going particularly well for the Dodgers, who’re now just two games above .500 and a dozen games back in the NL West, but at least Ted Lilly has pitched brilliantly since coming over from the Cubs in a trade last month. Lilly racked up a season-high 11 strikeouts in a two-hit shutout of…

  15. Joe Posnanski pretty much nails the psychology of Roger Clemens

    Aug 20, 2010, 10:59 AM EDT

    I’ve spent a lot of time over the past couple of years trying to parse Roger Clemens’ actions for signs of a strategy. As Joe Posnanski points out, however, this may be kind of pointless. That Roger Clemens could throw a bat directly into the path of Mike Piazza on national television, during a World…

  16. Adam LaRoche and Diamondbacks talking contract extension

    Aug 20, 2010, 10:46 AM EDT

    Earlier this week I suggested that Adam LaRoche’s contract would make it tough for the Diamondbacks to trade him even after he cleared waivers, but that may not even be an issue because Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports that the two sides “are in the very preliminary stages” of working on an extension. General manager…

  17. Don Mattingly as the next Dodgers' skipper? Nah — try Tim Wallach

    Aug 20, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Joe Torre is going to announce his career intentions around Labor Day. My guess is that he’s going to retire. Everyone’s assumption is that Don Mattingly is the heir apparent. Bob Nightengale says think again: The assumption is that Don Mattingly is heir apparent to replace Joe Torre,but AAA manager Tim Wallach is looming as…

  18. Not done yet: Omar Vizquel plans to play in 2011 at age 44

    Aug 20, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Back in May, when he wasn’t playing much, Omar Vizquel indicated that this would likely be his final season. However, now that he’s in the White Sox’s lineup regularly and playing well, the 43-year-old infielder said yesterday that he’ll likely be back in 2011. I think it would be sad that if at the end…

  19. Clemens lawyer Rusty Hardin still doesn't get it

    Aug 20, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

    Roger Clemens is ultimately responsible for his own fate. But he’s had absolutely no help from his lawyer.

  20. The Mariners are reportedly eying Ted Simmons

    Aug 20, 2010, 9:34 AM EDT

    FanHouse’s Tom Krasovic reports that the Mariners “are starting to eye” Ted Simmons as a managerial candidate.  Krasovic also reminds us that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and Simmons are longtime friends who worked together in the Pirates and Brewers organizations, so there’s that too. As I said when he was mentioned as a possible candidate…

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