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  1. The Cardinals are complaining about slick balls again

    Apr 6, 2010, 9:44 AM EDT

    Last October John Smoltz and the Cardinals complained mightily about the balls being used in Great American Ballpark. The beef: that the Reds don’t properly rub them down with Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud to remove the gloss as God and Major League Baseball rule 3.01(c) intends. They’re at it again, with Chris Carpenter saying…

  2. The umps blow a would-be replay moment in the Cubs-Braves game

    Apr 6, 2010, 9:15 AM EDT

    I’ve noticed a lot of great camera work in the first two days of the baseball season. That ESPN matrix-vision thing they used to show the double-steal on Sunday night was pretty spiffy. That Mark Buehrle gem was covered from a zillion angles. Also captured really well?  Nate McLouth having the ball pop out of…

  3. Billy Butler made me cry this morning

    Apr 6, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    Gettin’ a little misty in Chez Shyster. A tweet from the Royals’ Billy Butler a few minutes ago: Didn’t get the win in the end but I’m glad my Grandpa Butler got to watch me one last time on TV. RIP grandpa. I i love ya & will miss ya. Grandpa Butler left the Earth…

  4. Mets fans boo the team trainers

    Apr 6, 2010, 8:45 AM EDT

    Stay classy, New York! Boo to the medical crew — and Ollie, too. With the fans at Citi Field in no mood to forgive and forget, plenty of boos filled the air during yesterday’s pregame introductions. The loudest jeers were reserved for trainers Ray Ramirez and Mike Herbst, in addition to strength and conditioning coordinator…

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

    Apr 6, 2010, 5:43 AM EDT

    Braves 16, Cubs 5: Yeah, I saw it. Right before it happened I even berated Chipper Jones for scoring from third because it screwed up Heyward’s inevitable debut at-bat grand slam. A few seconds later: bammo. By the way, everyone seems to want to go with “J-Hey” as a nickname. I suppose there’s no stopping…

  6. Daily Dose: Everyone, Meet Mr. Heyward

    Apr 6, 2010, 1:53 AM EDT

    In a moment the baseball gods couldn’t have scripted much better, 20-year-old stud prospect Jason Heyward made his big-league debut Monday afternoon and blasted a three-run homer 450 feet off Carlos Zambrano in his first at-bat. The crowd in Atlanta chanted Heyward’s name before he stepped into the batter’s box and the post-homer scene can…

  7. Play of Opening Day: Mark Buehrle flashes leather

    Apr 6, 2010, 1:43 AM EDT

    Jason Heyward, whose middle name may as well be “Braves phenom,” announced his arrival with authority when he smashed a Carlos Zambrano offering into the cheap seats for a three-run home run in his first at-bat.  [Watch here] And Diamondbacks shortstop Stephen Drew dazzled the crowd with his inside-the-park home run against the Padres. But…

  8. The stars and chumps of Opening Day

    Apr 6, 2010, 1:11 AM EDT

    It all started with a John Lannan pitch to Jimmy Rollins around 10 a.m ET, and ended when Denard Span’s fly ball settled into Bobby Abreu’s glove about 15 hours later. Once again, Opening Day didn’t disappoint, as there were stellar defensive plays, dramatic home runs, and dominant pitching performances. It was everything you want out…

  9. Little reason to intentionally walk Ichiro

    Apr 6, 2010, 12:53 AM EDT

    The A’s and Mariners were tied at 3 in the top of the ninth tonight when Rob Johnson walked with one out and advanced to second on an infield chopper. That brought up Ichiro Suzuki with the go-ahead run at second. Like most managers would have in that situation, Bob Geren opted for the intentional…

  10. Cliff Lee progressing towards bullpen session

    Apr 5, 2010, 10:11 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee, who was forced to begin the season on the disabled list due to a strained abdominal muscle, played catch for a second straight day on Monday without incident, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times. “It’s pretty good,” he said. “I felt absolutely nothing.” Now that he’s throwing without discomfort, the goal…

  11. Huston Street visits Dr. James Andrews

    Apr 5, 2010, 8:18 PM EDT

    Just don’t call it a setback. According to what Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd told Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, Huston Street was simply seeking a second opinion on his nagging right shoulder. “Everything looked great. I was told they didn’t see any issues at all, so we are going to keep doing…

  12. Braves phenom Jason Heyward homers in first at-bat

    Apr 5, 2010, 7:41 PM EDT

    I figured Craig would be all over this one, but in case you missed it, 20-year-old Jason Heyward homered off Carlos Zambrano in his first major league at-bat Monday. The majestic three-run shot put the Braves up 6-3 in the first inning, and Atlanta went on to 16-5 in a rout. Howard, who started in…

  13. Say goodbye to the Coca-Cola slide in San Francisco

    Apr 5, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

    Maybe not officially or anything, but the big slide in the Coke bottle at AT&T Park may not be around much longer: The famous Coca-Cola bottle slide at the San Francisco Giants’ waterfront ballpark is becoming known for another reason: lawsuits. The team, which starts its season Monday, is facing a $6 million suit by…

  14. Cameron Maybin gets lost in Citi Field

    Apr 5, 2010, 6:10 PM EDT

    Cameron Maybin’s body was in Citi Field on Monday afternoon, but he may have left his head somewhere in the depths of Roger Dean Stadium. The Marlins’ center fielder, who just turned 23 on Sunday, was 0-for-4 with three swinging strikeouts, narrowly avoiding the dreaded golden sombrero. But that’s not even the worst of it.…

  15. Reds lead the way in stupid Opening Day lineups

    Apr 5, 2010, 5:47 PM EDT

    It’s usually about putting your best foot forward when it comes to setting a lineup on Opening Day. Dusty Baker, though, decided to lead with his head up his ass. The Reds played both their fourth and fifth outfielders Monday, with Chris Dickerson leading off and Laynce Nix in the seventh spot. The choice to…

  16. Roy Halladay: yeah, he was a good pickup

    Apr 5, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    Between Aaron’s last post and this post we’re sort of recapping games which is not what we usually do, but (a) it’s Opening Day and everyone has been good enough not to mess up the vibe with real news; and (b) these sorts of recaps pretty much capture what Opening Day is all about: renewal…

  17. Albert Pujols homers twice in Opening Day win

    Apr 5, 2010, 4:48 PM EDT

    New season, same best player in the world. Albert Pujols went 4-for-5 with two homers, three RBIs, and four runs this afternoon as the Cardinals blew out the Reds in Cincinnati. He now has the following career numbers in 142 games versus the Reds: .365 with 42 homers, 48 doubles, 121 RBIs, and 131 runs.…

  18. Pedro Martinez plans on pitching this year

    Apr 5, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    Watching Pedro lob up last night’s first pitch while wearing a baggy jersey and a pair of old man slacks gave off the impression of a man retired. Not so, says Pedro: Pedro Martinez did not exactly light up the radar guns with his ceremonial first pitch, or lob, last night at the Red Sox-Yankees…

  19. Why are the Reds rushing prospect Mike Leake?

    Apr 5, 2010, 3:46 PM EDT

    In my “Daily Dose” column this morning I wondered why the Reds decided to have last year’s first-round pick, Mike Leake, completely skip the minors to join their rotation. To me it makes little sense on several different levels, because at 22 years old giving him a couple months at Double-A or Triple-A would probably…

  20. Your Monday Afternoon Power Rankings

    Apr 5, 2010, 3:17 PM EDT

    Here’s something new. And something that, once we get a couple of weeks under our belt, will hopefully be fun.  Power rankings. Yes, lots of places do them. No they don’t mean a thing, especially in baseball. But I’m a college football fan who is kind of addicted to arguing over arbitrary rankings that are…

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