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  1. The Astros play a prank on Chris Johnson

    Jul 21, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    I love stuff like this: Astros’ rookie Chris Johnson hit his first major league home run on Monday. He subsequently became the victim of a prank: He was originally given a ball he was told was the home run ball. “They wrote all over it, I mean just destroyed it,” he said. “I was like,…

  2. Mark Cuban isn't just playing: he's a serious bidder for the Rangers

    Jul 21, 2010, 2:12 PM EDT

    There was a big, acrimonious hearing in Fort Worth yesterday regarding the timing and procedures of the auction to sell the Rangers. Something fun happened during the hearing: some lawyer showed up and as if he were Scott Boras or someone said that he represented an “undisclosed bidder.”  That bidder has turned out to be…

  3. Carlos Zambrano scheduled to pitch at Triple-A tomorrow

    Jul 21, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

    With his anger-management courses complete, Carlos Zambrano is now scheduled to pitch at Triple-A tomorrow. Monday night Zambrano tossed a scoreless inning at rookie-ball for his first game action since June 25. According to Carrie Muskat of MLB.com he’s “not expected to join the Cubs until the end of the next road trip” that finishes…

  4. HBT Daily: The Cubs look good, Buchholz is back and the Mets face reality

    Jul 21, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    Our daily look ahead to a couple-three of the day’s games

  5. The Mets make their move! Well, they sign Chad Cordero

    Jul 21, 2010, 1:13 PM EDT

    He’s not Ted Lilly, Prince Fielder or some holy man who will come in and cure all that ails the Mets’ unhappy clubhouse, but hey, he’s a bullpen arm:  the Mets are signing Chad Cordero. Cordero is coming off labrum surgery a couple of years ago and he was let go by the Mariners. Such…

  6. Twins dump Nick Blackburn and his 6.53 ERA from rotation

    Jul 21, 2010, 12:43 PM EDT

    After another poor start Sunday raised his ERA to an MLB-worst 6.53 the Twins have decided to bump Nick Blackburn from the rotation and replace him with Brian Duensing. Blackburn’s situation is made more complicated by the fact that the Twins misguidedly signed him to a four-year, $14 million contract this offseason instead of simply…

  7. Great Moments in ignoring history; being doomed to repeat it

    Jul 21, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    I don’t sense any sarcasm from Buster when he says this regarding the Dodgers’ plans: Heard this: The Dodgers think they will be able to add both a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher before the July 31 deadline, making trades similar to those they’ve made in recent years when they surrendered a high-caliber prospect…

  8. Quote of the Day: some anonymous executive slams the Phillies

    Jul 21, 2010, 12:14 PM EDT

    Buster Olney quotes an anonymous executive on all the Roy-Oswalt-to-the-Phillies hype: “They’ve got real holes over there, and I know they need a starting pitcher, but I think their lineup is as much of a problem now. If they got two Roy Oswalts, I’m not sure it would make a difference.” Ouch. I mean, I…

  9. Erik Bedard is 'probably not' going to pitch this season

    Jul 21, 2010, 11:44 AM EDT

    On the verge of joining the Mariners’ rotation before suffering a setback last week, Erik Bedard said last night that he’s “probably not” going to pitch this season. Bedard underwent an MRI exam and the team hasn’t released any details of the results yet, but Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that he’s met…

  10. Aramis Ramirez is on fire

    Jul 21, 2010, 11:22 AM EDT

    No one had a worse April and Maya than Aramis Ramirez has, but after taking most of June off on the DL, his July has been something else.  The Cubs’ third baseman is hitting .383/.406/.950 this month, with nine homers and 24 RBI. Last night was the jewel in this month’s crown, as Ramirez went…

  11. Video: Lou Piniella talks about his decision to retire

    Jul 21, 2010, 11:07 AM EDT

    Lou Piniella spoke last night about his decision to retire (it’s “the age factor). I gotta say, this is the most focused and animated I’ve seen the guy for a couple of years. That it took announcing his retirement for that side of him to re-emerge in public means that it’s probably a good move…

  12. Ouch! Carl Crawford is day-to-day with a 'testicular contusion'

    Jul 21, 2010, 10:42 AM EDT

    Jake Arrieta threw over to first base as Carl Crawford took his usual lead in the first inning last night, but as the Rays left fielder stretched to get his foot back to the base the ball hit him right in the … well, let’s call it “groin.” MLB.com has video of the play, although…

  13. The Mets are imploding

    Jul 21, 2010, 10:16 AM EDT

    The losses are bad enough — New York has dropped nine of twelve games and have gone from a half-game down on June 27th to 6.5 down as of this morning — but now the clubhouse is starting to get ugly: Alex Cora is mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. The…

  14. Could Jayson Werth end up with the Rays?

    Jul 21, 2010, 9:53 AM EDT

    The Roy-Oswalt-to-the-Phillies talk came pretty fast and furious last night, as did the attendant Jasyon-Werth trade chatter as well.  Lost in all of that was a series of tweets from Buster Olney who has heard that a possible landing spot for Werth could be Tampa Bay. Olney’s thinking is that moving Werth makes sense for…

  15. Don Mattingly goofs again while managing the Dodgers

    Jul 21, 2010, 9:25 AM EDT

    For a guy who is supposedly Joe Torre’s heir apparent, Don Mattingly hasn’t exactly distinguished himself the couple of times he’s had the chance to manage.  You’ll recall that the Dodgers batted out of order the last time Mattingly was in charge. He blundered again last night. Both Joe Torre and bench coach Bob Schaefer…

  16. Bob Uecker to return on Friday

    Jul 21, 2010, 8:59 AM EDT

    Great news from Milwaukee:  Bob Uecker is going to be back in the booth for this Friday’s Brewers-Nationals game. You’ll recall that Uecker underwent heart surgery back in April. He was supposed to miss 12 weeks, so he’s right on schedule and — quite apparently — is recovering nicely. Uecker is one of the best…

  17. And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

    Jul 21, 2010, 6:10 AM EDT

    Year of the pitcher my butt. Runs came by the bushel last night.

  18. UPDATE: Phillies exploring deal for Oswalt, moving Werth?

    Jul 20, 2010, 11:31 PM EDT

    UPDATE: According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro said he is not close to a trade. In addition, Rosenthal reports that the Diamondbacks Astros, A’s are not close to a trade, either. In other words, it’s probably safe to go to bed now.10:55 PM: Stark hears that the Phillies have spent…

  19. Manny Ramirez goes on disabled list for third time this season

    Jul 20, 2010, 9:14 PM EDT

    Manny Ramirez was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday after an MRI revealed a severe strain in his right calf, according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com. It’s his third trip to the disabled list this season and his second this month. Ramirez was backdated to July 17, meaning that he would be eligible to…

  20. Laynce Nix's incredible 2010 season

    Jul 20, 2010, 7:45 PM EDT

    You say incredible doesn’t describe it? Well, no, for a bench player to be hitting .225/.265/.396 with four homers and 12 RBI in 111 at-bats three and a half months into the season isn’t particularly notable. In fact, it’s not far off from what should have been expected. My preseason projection called for him to…

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