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  1. Obama to pitch to Pujols

    Jul 13, 2009, 10:27 AM EDT

    President Obama is going to throw out the first pitch of the All-Star Game tomorrow night, and unlike every fifth pitch in Major League Baseball these days, it won’t be caught by a Molina: Albert Pujols of the Cardinals will slide behind the plate for one memorable play when he catches the ceremonial first pitch…

  2. The fans don't care for the All-Star rosters either

    Jul 13, 2009, 10:04 AM EDT

    This time it counts! But nobody cares! By a margin of 56 percent to 42 percent, fans said the All-Star game shouldn’t be used to determine which league’s champion gets to open the World Series at home . . . In other poll results: More than half of fans said every team shouldn’t have a…

  3. One of the 5,359 reasons the Home Run Derby sucks

    Jul 13, 2009, 8:54 AM EDT

    And now, the moment only the masochistic among you have been waiting for, the Home Run Derby: The 2009 State Farm Home Run Derby field was finalized on Sunday, when American League home run leader Carlos Pena was named to replace the Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia on the AL roster for Tuesday’s All-Star Game and…

  4. Piniella out-La Russas La Russa

    Jul 13, 2009, 8:43 AM EDT

    In case you missed it, there was some fun stuff in last night’s Cubs-Cardinals game: Angel Guzman started the ninth, and the first two Cardinals batters got on base via a hit and an error. Guzman was lifted for [Sean] Marshall, who walked pinch-hitter Nick Stavinoha to load the bases. Piniella then moved Marshall to…

  5. Manny Acta is fired

    Jul 13, 2009, 6:19 AM EDT

    We knew this was going to happen, we just thought it was going to happen sooner: In the middle of his third season as manager, Manny Acta has been fired by the Washington Nationals, a source with knowledge of the situation said tonight. Asked in an e-mail about his job status, Acta replied, simply, “Thanks…

  6. And That Happened: Sunday's scores and highlights

    Jul 13, 2009, 5:33 AM EDT

    Why do we need an All-Star break? I’m not even tired . . . Tigers 10, Indians 1: I listened to this game on the radio while painting the railing and trim around my front porch with my old man. My dad is great, if for no other reason than he’ll help me paint my…

  7. Daily Dose: Jay Bruce fractures wrist

    Jul 13, 2009, 1:19 AM EDT

    Jay Bruce rejoined the Reds’ lineup Saturday following a brief benching that was meant to, as manager Dusty Baker put it, “clear his head.” Instead he struck out in the top of the first inning and then fractured his wrist while attempting to make a diving catch in the bottom of the frame. The good…

  8. Previewing Sunday Night Baseball: Cards at Cubs

    Jul 12, 2009, 7:45 PM EDT

    With the Cardinals and Cubs about to bring the first half of the season to a close, here’s some things to consider… On the bump – Adam Wainwright (9-5, 3.09) toes the rubber for the Cardinals. He tossed 8 1/3 shutout innings in his last start against the Brewers on Tuesday. Wainwright has allowed two…

  9. Rumor mongering for Sunday

    Jul 12, 2009, 2:31 PM EDT

    - Troy C. Renck of the Denver Post says that second baseman Freddy Sanchez will be traded. He believes the Giants could land him for Jonathan Sanchez and a prospect. Renck also reports that the Giants are “lukewarm” on Matt Holliday and would love to land Jermaine Dye. – With the wrist injury to Jay…

  10. Stat of the day: Home runs in past calendar year

    Jul 12, 2009, 11:49 AM EDT

    Taken from FanGraphs: Albert Pujols – 51Ryan Howard -43Carlos Pena – 41Miguel Cabrera – 39Prince Fielder – 39Adam Dunn – 39Adrian Gonzalez – 38Mark Teixeira – 37Raul Ibanez – 35Jermaine Dye – 34Alex Rodriguez – 34Jason Bay – 34Mark Reynolds – 34 By the way, if we handed out superlatives for the past year, Albert…

  11. Potent quotables: Mora's walkoff blast

    Jul 12, 2009, 11:29 AM EDT

    “I just think, ‘Oh my God, all the questions I have to answer today after the game. You haven’t hit one home run since April.’” – Melvin Mora, after his 12th-inning walk-off homer against the Blue Jays ended a 50-game homerless drought. “I still consider myself the best third baseman in the league.” – Sometimes…

  12. Quick hits: Bruce leaves with wrist injury

    Jul 12, 2009, 10:34 AM EDT

    - Jay Bruce fractured his right wrist attempting to make a sliding catch in the first inning of Saturday’s game against the Mets. He is scheduled to return to Cincinnati for an MRI on Sunday. The 22-year-old outfielder is batting just .207 this season, but he does have 18 homers and 41 RBI. Chris Dickerson…

  13. What to watch tonight: Frenchy takes on New York

    Jul 11, 2009, 6:40 PM EDT

    With an unusually light schedule this afternoon, here’s what to watch tonight: – At Citi Field, all eyes will be on No. 7, err, No. 12 as Jeff Francoeur makes his unlikely debut as a New York Met against Johnny Cueto and the Reds. The Mets have been shut out in three of their last…

  14. Rumor mongering for Saturday

    Jul 11, 2009, 4:11 PM EDT

    - The Mariners and Twins remain in the mix for second baseman Freddy Sanchez. – Don’t expect the Rays to trade for help at the deadline unless it comes cheap. – Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle wonders if Jonathan Sanchez is more or less likely to get traded after Friday night’s no-hitter. -…

  15. All-Star Futures Game preview

    Jul 11, 2009, 2:57 PM EDT

    Unfortunately, the All-Star Futures Game, while a great idea, still hasn’t really caught on as an event because of MLB’s insistence on playing it while all of the major league games are going on the Sunday afternoon before the All-Star Game. On the plus side, at least they treated it like a real game for…

  16. Potent quotables: Jonathan Sanchez edition

    Jul 11, 2009, 2:18 PM EDT

    “I didn’t think I was going to be out there very long.” – Jonathan Sanchez, returning from the bullpen to make his first start since June 22. “After the first few innings, he had unbelievable stuff. That’s what he’s capable of. And he was able to put it together tonight.” – Eli Whiteside, an unlikely…

  17. Anti-OBPer traded for guy who once missed third base

    Jul 11, 2009, 11:58 AM EDT

    Couple thoughts on the Jeff Francoeur for Ryan Church trade: One reason why this trade might seem a bit jarring (or as jarring as a swap of mediocre outfielders could be) is that these two clubs almost never do business. Since the divisions were realigned in 1995, they have made one trade: Paul Byrd for…

  18. Division rivals make challenge trade: Church for Francoeur

    Jul 10, 2009, 6:41 PM EDT

    Now this one was positive stunning. One-for-one trades involving established players at the same positions are unusual enough. To see division rivals making such a deal in the middle of the season when they’re separated in the standing by a half-game makes this one of the most unusual trades in memory. This seems like a…

  19. Royals add to collection of terrible shortstops by acquiring Betancourt

    Jul 10, 2009, 4:57 PM EDT

    Two and a half years later, the Royals finally got their man. It’s believed that they offered Billy Butler to the Mariners for Yuniesky Betancourt after a 2006 season in which Betancourt, then 25, hit .289/.310/.403 in his first full year as a big leaguer. The Mariners saw Betancourt as a future Gold Glover who…

  20. What we're watching – Joba takes on the Halos

    Jul 10, 2009, 4:27 PM EDT

    - A pair of surging seven-game winners will face off with the White Sox in Minnesota tonight. John Danks has pitched seven scoreless innings in back-to-back victories and has a 1.51 ERA over his last five starts. Nick Blackburn is coming off his third complete game of the season, a 6-2 win over the Tigers.…

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