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  1. The Pirates need a mercy rule for Brewers games

    Apr 27, 2010, 9:28 AM EDT

    Here are the scores of the last four Brewers-Pirates games. The Brewers have the big number in each of these, of course: 8-18-020-017-3. Not that the Brewers are good. After all, in between game three and four of that list they lost three in a row to the Cubs, being outscored 25-4 in the process. …

  2. Boy hit with shattered bat at Miller Park

    Apr 27, 2010, 9:12 AM EDT

    He’s fine, but this is scary: In the bottom of the fourth, Alcides Escobar’s bat shattered when he grounded out to end the inning. A sharp piece of the barrel flew into the Miller Park stands about 10 rows behind the Pirates’ on-deck circle, careering off several fans and hitting the boy in the head.…

  3. Marlins ace Josh Johnson loving life after Tommy John surgery

    Apr 27, 2010, 8:45 AM EDT

    Josh Johnson notched a career-high 12 strikeouts in a complete-game victory Monday night and equaled the Padres’ hit total by going 3-for-4 with three RBIs at the plate. One of the biggest Tommy John surgery success stories, Johnson has upped both his strikeouts and ground balls while cutting his walks since returning and is now…

  4. What they're saying about the Ryan Howard deal

    Apr 27, 2010, 8:27 AM EDT

    I said plenty yesterday, but so did a lot of other people. Here’s some of it, starting with the sort of hyperbole that may inspire ESPN to place Jayson Stark under psychiatric evaluation for the next 72 hours, and ending with Matt Swartz at Baseball Prospectus, with what is probably the most middle-ground take I’ve…

  5. Image of the Day: A-Rod at the White House

    Apr 27, 2010, 8:16 AM EDT

    President A-Rod can’t hear you over the sound of how awesome he is.

  6. And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

    Apr 27, 2010, 5:41 AM EDT

    Red Sox 13, Blue Jays 12: Just your standard 25 run, 34 hit, 4+ hour nine inning game. Lyle Overbay, Jose Bautista and Jason Varitek each had 4 RBI, Bill Hall, Jeremy Herminda and Travis Snider all had 0-fers, and the starting pitchers — Josh Beckett and Dana Eveland — were each tied up and…

  7. Carlos Zambrano promised move to bullpen is temporary

    Apr 26, 2010, 9:05 PM EDT

    Carlos Zambrano told Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com that Cubs manager Lou Piniella promised him that his move to the bullpen will only be temporary as general manager Jim Hendry searches for a set-up man. “Yeah, that’s what [Cubs manager] Lou [Piniella] said, that’s what we agreed [upon],” Zambrano said. “They are looking for a setup…

  8. Cardinals place Felipe Lopez on DL with elbow injury

    Apr 26, 2010, 8:01 PM EDT

    The Cardinals have placed infielder Felipe Lopez on the 15-day disabled list with a Grade 1 strain of his right elbow, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Lopez had been sidelined since last week due to discomfort in the elbow, but it’s amazing how much this has flown under the radar considering…

  9. Ex-Cub Matt Murton an early-season start in Japan

    Apr 26, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    With the NPB season about 25 games in, let’s have a look at some of the early numbers from Japan: Central League hitters Matt Murton – .343/.398/.525 in 99 AB Jose Castillo – .341/.371/.538 in 91 AB Tony Blanco – .314/.385/.581 in 105 AB Craig Brazell – .280/.344/.573 in 82 AB Jamie D’Antona – .245/.296/.480…

  10. Top prospect Mike Stanton beating down the door in Florida

    Apr 26, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    Jason Heyward casts a pretty massive shadow, but the NL East is home to three more terrific right field prospects in Philadelphia’s Domonic Brown, New York’s Fernando Martinez and Florida’s Mike Stanton. Stanton may even have a chance to become the best of the bunch. Heresy? Perhaps. I’d certainly take Heyward, but Stanton’s incredible strength…

  11. The Yankees know: don't sign players until you have to

    Apr 26, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

    It’s safe to say I’ve given up on my hopes of becoming a major league GM. But if a reader hits the lottery, buys a team and decides to give me a shot, know that there’s a couple of rules I’d live by: 1. Never give multiyear deals to bench players 2. Don’t re-sign veterans…

  12. Make no mistake, people: Ryan Howard's production is declining

    Apr 26, 2010, 5:20 PM EDT

    I’ve made some comments this afternoon about Ryan Howard likely declining. I’m not a stats guy, though, so I’m just making some guesses, albeit guesses informed by history.  Bill Baer at the Phillies’ blog Crashburn Alley is a stats guy, however, and in the course of assessing the wisdom of the Howard contract extension, he…

  13. Quote of the Day: Keith Law

    Apr 26, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT

    “If Howard is worth $25 million, Pujols is worth $50 million a year.” – ESPN’s Keith Law on the Ryan Howard extension. Hyperbole? Sure, but not as much as a lot of folks think.  If I represent Pujols I start the bidding at $35 million, though I’d probably be willing to come down to $30…

  14. Ryan Zimmerman is still out

    Apr 26, 2010, 4:46 PM EDT

    The Nationals’ Ryan Zimmerman made a pinch hitting appearance yesterday, but his hamstring is still bothering him and he won’t start in tonight’s game against the Cubs. Zimmerman hasn’t played a full game since last Wednesday. Adam Kennedy is taking his place at third. You have to figure, though, that if he can’t go soon,…

  15. One more winner from the Howard contract: Domonic Brown

    Apr 26, 2010, 4:26 PM EDT

    I’ve not yet seen any statements from the Phillies on this, but in light of the Howard extension, is it at all likely that they’ll be able to sign Jayson Werth once he hits free agency this fall? As of now, the Phillies’ contractual obligations for 2012 are $87 million for a mere eight players…

  16. The Ryan Howard contract: winners and losers

    Apr 26, 2010, 4:12 PM EDT

    Anytime something big like the Ryan Howard extension goes down the repercussions can be felt all throughout the Greater Baseballosphere.  The extension was announced scarcely an hour ago, but it’s probably worth tallying up the winners and losers of the deal: Winners Ryan Howard: Now that he has his extension, he will no longer have…

  17. Video: Kevin Kennedy will take you out on a plane

    Apr 26, 2010, 3:44 PM EDT

    Longtime catcher and current television announcer Kevin Kennedy was taking a red-eye flight from Los Angeles to Florida over the weekend when a fellow passenger rose from his seat and threatened to blow up the plane. What happened next is … well, I’ll let Kennedy explain: Wow. I’ve never thought much of Kennedy as an…

  18. The Phillies will regret the Ryan Howard extension

    Apr 26, 2010, 2:53 PM EDT

    Ryan Howard is making $19 million this year and will get $20M in 2011.  Now, courtesy of the extension he just signed, he’ll make $20 million in 2012 and 2013 as well, and $25M per year for 2014, 2015 and 2016. There’s a team option for 2017 at $23M with $10M buyout. He also gets…

  19. A flop in Boston, Brad Penny thriving back in NL

    Apr 26, 2010, 2:48 PM EDT

    After pitching for the Giants in the second half last season Brad Penny shut out his former teammates for seven innings last night, improving to 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA on the year. Penny looks to be the latest in a long line of veteran starters who turned things around and had more success than…

  20. Ryan Howard, Phillies sign a five year, $125 million contract extension

    Apr 26, 2010, 2:28 PM EDT

    UPDATE:  Done deal. 5 years, $125 million. It kicks in starting in 2012.  This seems like a really bad, really unnecessary move for the Phillies. More later on this, of course. 2:20 P.M.: Part of what we do here is pass along rumors. When it’s one that I’m really dubious about, I make extra sure…

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