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  1. Padres won't exercise $8.5 million option on Chris Young

    Oct 5, 2010, 3:45 PM EST

    General manager Jed Hoyer said yesterday that the Padres will not exercise their $8.5 million option on Chris Young for next year, which isn’t surprising after he missed nearly the entire season with shoulder problems. Young had a 1.49 ERA in three September starts after sitting out five months, but his 10/8 K/BB ratio in…

  2. Your playoff-rooting flowchart

    Oct 5, 2010, 3:35 PM EST

    This is the first time in five years that I haven’t had to look at a bunch of teams that I don’t care about and try and find one to (sorta) root for in the postseason.  Which is what I think you’re obligated to do as a fan, aren’t you? Even if you don’t do…

  3. Francisco Liriano and Tim Hudson win Comeback Player of the Year awards

    Oct 5, 2010, 3:15 PM EST

    MLB announced this afternoon that Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano and Braves right-hander Tim Hudson have won the Comeback Player of the Year awards for their respective leagues. Liriano struggled last year in his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, going 5-13 with a 5.80 ERA, but was one of baseball’s best starters this…

  4. NLDS Preview: Reds vs. Phillies

    Oct 5, 2010, 2:59 PM EST

    It’s not right to cast this series as “the upstart Reds” vs. “the battle-tested Phillies,” but you’re probably safe to go with the rest of your predispositions when it comes to this matchup.

  5. Barry Zito will not be in Giants' rotation for NLDS and could be left off the playoff roster

    Oct 5, 2010, 2:19 PM EST

    Barry Zito was fantastic early on this season, going 5-0 with a 1.49 ERA through six starts, and he had an ERA under 3.50 as recently as mid-August, but the veteran left-hander went 1-8 with a 6.66 ERA in his final 11 starts and now the Giants have decided to bump him from the playoff…

  6. Could Felix Hernandez win the Cy Young for the wrong reasons?

    Oct 5, 2010, 2:07 PM EST

    I’ve written more stuff about the American League Cy Young Award race than I ever wanted to, but the arguments keep going on, and I’m nothing if not a guy who likes to argue, so . . . The latest incarnation is not about the award itself. It’s about the debates about the award (set…

  7. MLB announces playoff umpire assignments for first round

    Oct 5, 2010, 1:48 PM EST

    Angel Hernandez

    Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com has the details on which umpires have been assigned to each first-round playoff series: Twins-Yankees: Jerry Crawford, Hunter Wendelstedt, Greg Gibson, Brian O’Nora, Gary Darling, Chris Guccione. Rays-Rangers: Tim Welke, Jim Wolf, Jerry Meals, Bill Miller, Jeff Kellogg, Mike DiMuro. Giants-Braves: Dana DeMuth, Paul Nauert, Paul Emmel, Mike Winters, Jerry Layne,…

  8. The Braves will go with a three-man rotation. Probably.

    Oct 5, 2010, 1:36 PM EST

    Bobby Cox just announced that his playoff rotation will be Derek Lowe, Tommy Hanson, Tim Hudson and then either Lowe on three days rest or Brandon Beachy. No Jair Jurrjens. He’s down in Florida trying to get healthy. He may be back by the NLCS if the Braves get that far. I assume that by…

  9. Yankees' playoff bullpen has the potential to be dominant

    Oct 5, 2010, 1:18 PM EST

    Andy Pettitte’s health and Phil Hughes’ second-half struggles give the Yankees’ rotation some major question marks after CC Sabathia, but New York’s bullpen may actually be underrated at this point. Mariano Rivera’s late-season rough patch provides a bit of worry that he’ll be something less than his usual unhittable self, but I’m not counting on…

  10. Colletti, Mattingly don't know what the future holds for the Dodgers

    Oct 5, 2010, 1:04 PM EST

    T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times can be a great read. Sometimes I think he stacks the deck a bit with his presentation (query: did he really ask the question that way, or is he making himself look macho in the writeup?), but oftentimes his approach manages to pull out the larger truths of…

  11. GM says Padres "would love to have Miguel Tejada back"

    Oct 5, 2010, 12:45 PM EST

    I scoffed at the Padres acquiring a 36-year-old and seemingly washed-up Miguel Tejada to be their shortstop down the stretch, but he ended up hitting .268/.317/.413 in 59 games, which is actually above average once you factor in Petco Park, and amazingly avoided being a disaster defensively. Yesterday general manager Jed Hoyer said the Padres…

  12. The next time you complain about player salaries . . .

    Oct 5, 2010, 12:33 PM EST

     . . . think about this.  The CEO of Liberty Media, the company that owns the Atlanta Braves — Gregory Maffei — was paid $87.5 million last year.  The entire Braves payroll was $84.4 million. Yes, I realize that there’s more going on with a big company like Liberty Media than just the Braves, and…

  13. ALDS Preview: Yankees vs. Twins

    Oct 5, 2010, 12:01 PM EST

    The Guild sent out a memo saying that I’m obligated to write playoff previews. I think simply waiting for the games to happen and observing what happens is better, but I’m behind in my dues and don’t want to make trouble.

  14. Twins using New York Daily News front page as motivation

    Oct 5, 2010, 11:49 AM EST

    Yesterday the New York Daily News‘ front page featured the headline “E-Z Pass” next to a photo of Jorge Posada and this text: Bad news: Yanks must go on the road for playoffs. Good news: They play the Twins. Some of my fellow Minnesotans who’re apparently unfamiliar with the nature of New York newspapers and…

  15. Great moments in talk radio: "James Shields is pitching because he's a Jewish person"

    Oct 5, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

    This is why I don’t listen to talk radio. A woman called into a sports radio show down in Tampa and opined that the Rays chose to go with James Shields in Game 2 of the ALDS “because he is a Jewish person.”  The caller — Linda, who claimed to be a Quaker “and has…

  16. Matt Murton is Japan's new single-season hit king, breaking Ichiro Suzuki's record

    Oct 5, 2010, 11:17 AM EST

    Matt Murton went 3-for-5 last night, giving the former Cubs outfielder 213 hits on the year to break Japan’s single-season record of 210 hits set by Ichiro Suzuki in 1994. Murton still has two more games to add to his total, although it’s worth noting that Suzuki played when the Japanese schedule was 130 games,…

  17. Why shouldn't Mets fans be happy that Manuel and Minaya got canned?

    Oct 5, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    Yesterday, after the Minaya and Manuel firings, a number of New York (or New Yorky) writers made a point to talk about how great those guys are, how sad it is that they’re losing their jobs and how unseemly it was that Mets fans and bloggers were expressing happiness about the moves. I thought it…

  18. Yankees to use CC Sabathia on short rest rather than start A.J. Burnett in ALDS

    Oct 5, 2010, 10:48 AM EST

    A.J. Burnett is in the second season of a five-year, $82.5 million contract, but the Yankees don’t even trust him enough to start Game 4 of the ALDS and will instead bump Burnett from the rotation while using CC Sabathia on short rest. And it’s tough to blame them, because Burnett is 1-7 with a…

  19. Rockies exercise $2.5 million option on Miguel Olivo for 2011

    Oct 5, 2010, 10:15 AM EST

    Miguel Olivo followed up a big first half by hitting .193 after the All-Star break, but finished with a solid .269/.315/.449 line in 112 games overall and will be back in Colorado next season after the Rockies’ exercised their $2.5 million team option for 2011. Olivo either figures to split time behind the plate with…

  20. Two things you didn't know about Hideki Matsui

    Oct 5, 2010, 9:46 AM EST

    Thing number one: Angels GM Tony Reagins hasn’t totally ruled out bringing him back for 2011: “Would I say that it’s completely out of the likelihood that he’ll be back? I can’t say that at this point. You never know.” Eh, I’m going to assume that’s just polite talk, because the Angels likely aren’t going…

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