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  1. Ken Macha gets his wish, as Jonny Venters and Bobby Cox are suspended for Prince Fielder plunking

    Jul 19, 2010, 4:48 PM EDT

    I’m not sure if Ken Macha’s various complaints had anything do with it, but MLB has suspended Braves rookie reliever Jonny Venters four games for plunking Prince Fielder in the back Saturday. Venters also threw a pitch over Fielder’s head on the previous offering after the Brewers first baseman tied the game with a homer…

  2. Oliver Perez as a 'lefty-on-lefty specialist' might actually work

    Jul 19, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT

    Jerry Manuel said yesterday that when Oliver Perez returns from the disabled list–possibly as soon as this week–the Mets plan to use him as a situation left-handed reliever. Or as Manuel phrased it, a “lefty-on-lefty specialist.” Setting aside the unpleasant thought of paying someone $12 million per season to fill such a limited role, I…

  3. The Braves are looking at outfielders

    Jul 19, 2010, 3:32 PM EDT

    Based on today’s report from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, it’s pretty clear that the Braves are going to make one more move before the trade deadline, in all likelihood for an outfielder: When McLouth was sidelined on June 9 with a concussion, he was hitting just .176 with a .295 on-base percentage. In the seven rehab…

  4. The Red Sox and Rockies are talking about Chris Iannetta

    Jul 19, 2010, 3:16 PM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal reports that the Red Sox are talking to the Rockies about Chris Iannetta.  Rosenthal doesn’t see it going anywhere and neither do I, really. I know the Sox are hurt now, but sometime soon they’re going to have Victor Martinez and Jason Vairtek back and not a lot of room for a third,…

  5. Rocco Baldelli stops coaching to begin comeback at Single-A

    Jul 19, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

    Rocco Baldelli played reasonably well as a backup outfielder for the Red Sox last season, but after struggling with a shoulder injury in the second half he decided to spend the first half of this season as a “special assistant” for the Rays. That role involved mostly coaching minor leaguers, but now Baldelli is ready…

  6. Yankees, Red Sox both interested in Scott Downs

    Jul 19, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    AOL’s Ed Price says that the Yankees and the Red Sox have “a big time interest” in Blue Jays’ reliever Scott Downs. And he’s definitely interesting. He has a 2.56 ERA in 38.2 innings, and has a K/BB ratio of 30/8.  Both the Yankees and the Red Sox could use some bullpen help, but it’s…

  7. Your Monday Afternoon Power Rankings

    Jul 19, 2010, 2:13 PM EDT

    A slight twist this week: instead of summarizing where the teams are, I list what the teams need. Be it at the trade deadline or otherwise.

  8. Former closer Jason Isringhausen to throw for Reds

    Jul 19, 2010, 1:44 PM EDT

    Jason Isringhausen hasn’t thrown a pitch since last June, hasn’t been healthy and effective since 2007, will be 38 years old in a couple months, and is just 12 months removed from Tommy John elbow surgery, but the former Cardinals and A’s closer said during a radio interview today that he’s been invited to throw…

  9. Marlins: the price for Cody Ross is "very, very high"

    Jul 19, 2010, 1:14 PM EDT

    That’s what Buster Olney is saying the Marlins are saying.  And I can only think that the reason the Marlins are saying that is because the Braves — a division and geographic rival — are the team that has been mentioned with the greatest interest in the Ross. Don’t get me wrong, Ross is a…

  10. Ken Macha complains to MLB about Brewers being plunked

    Jul 19, 2010, 12:46 PM EDT

    Brewers batters have been hit by an MLB-high 47 pitches this season and after the latest plunking of Prince Fielder over the weekend manager Ken Macha revealed that he’s complained to officials about the situation. Macha said he’s spoken to former umpire and current umpiring department special assistant Bruce Froemming, and Guy Curtright of MLB.com…

  11. John Smoltz doesn't live up to his own golfing hype

    Jul 19, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    The American Century Celebrity Golf Championship is a — duh — celebrity golf tournament that the good people at NBC happen to broadcast and sponsor and everything. It went down in Lake Tahoe this past weekend and, as usual, a lot of ex-baseball players participated. The bosses didn’t let me go though, presumably because John…

  12. Olney: the Yankees are not looking for a starting pitcher

    Jul 19, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    We talked “should” a couple of hours ago. Now here’s the “will”:  Buster Olney tweets that New York is not looking for a starting pitcher in the wake of Andy Pettitte’s injury.  Rather, they are going to concentrate on improving the bench and improving the bullpen, presumably content to let the rotation play out the…

  13. Phillies and Twins reportedly interested in Ben Sheets, but will the A's even trade him?

    Jul 19, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

    Ben Sheets is signed to a one-year, $10 million contract and won’t bring back compensatory draft picks as a free agent because he missed all of last season, so with Oakland barely clinging to contention at 45-46 it would seemingly be a no-brainer for the A’s to trade him. Despite that Susan Slusser of the…

  14. Because things aren't crazy enough: Mark Cuban may get in on the Rangers now

    Jul 19, 2010, 11:14 AM EDT

    I missed this from late last week, but Mark Cuban — who has been denying any interest in the Rangers for a solid year now — has changed course and may now get involved in the upcoming auction: “The economics have changed, which has gotten me interested. My lawyers are still going through everything, but…

  15. No longer closing, Trevor Hoffman quietly turns things around

    Jul 19, 2010, 10:46 AM EDT

    Trevor Hoffman allowed three runs on May 18, blowing his fifth save in 10 chances as his ERA rose to 13.15. He was stripped of ninth-inning duties and given four days off, with 27-year-old rookie John Axford grabbing hold of the Brewers’ closer job. Axford has converted 11-of-11 save chances with a 2.96 ERA in…

  16. Quote of the Day: Lou Brown

    Jul 19, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

    We honor the memory of the Indians’ best manager since Tris Speaker.

  17. Should Andy Pettitte's injury make the Yankees go out and get a pitcher?

    Jul 19, 2010, 10:09 AM EDT

    Andy Pettitte is going to miss 4-5 weeks with a groin injury.  That likely puts Sergio Mitre in the rotation.  Does that transform the Yankees from a team that appeared like it was going to stand-pat at the deadline into a serious buyer? I’m sure the rumors will start flying now, but I’m less interested…

  18. Bud Selig's battle to sell the Rangers

    Jul 19, 2010, 9:41 AM EDT

    The daily blow-by-blow of the legal battle involving the sale of the Texas Rangers has gotten so technical and boring that it’s understandable if you’ve tuned out by now.  But the big picture is still a fascinating one.  Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of it all is that, at its heart, the Rangers sale is…

  19. The Padres are giving Bud Black a three-year extension

    Jul 19, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

    Corey Brock of MLB.com is reporting that the Padres are going to give manager Bud Black a three-year extension today. Good move. There are any number of ways to explain the Padres’ unexpected success this year, but whether its about motivating a team to play above its head, about bringing along a young and talented…

  20. McCarver compares Yankees to Nazis and Communists. But that's not the real problem

    Jul 19, 2010, 8:50 AM EDT

    What McCarver said wasn’t, as many are claiming, “outrageous.” It was simply dumb.

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