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  1. Midseason AL Cy Young Award

    Jul 14, 2009, 6:34 PM EDT

    It was the easiest call of all of the awards when we looked back one-third of the way through the year, but things have tightened up a bit since, as Zack Greinke is no longer sporting a 1.10 ERA. Here’s the top 10 in ERA: 1. Zack Greinke – 2.12 ERA in 127 1/3 IP2.…

  2. Midseason NL Rookie of the Year

    Jul 14, 2009, 5:00 PM EDT

    The NL Rookie of the Year race has changed little since we checked in one-third of the way through the season. Randy Wells and J.A. Happ were neck-and-neck then, and I gave the nod to Wells, even though I expected more from Happ the rest of the way. At least a few hitters have started…

  3. Link-O-Rama: Victor Martinez will be busy tonight

    Jul 14, 2009, 3:52 PM EDT

    * Victor Martinez, who figures to be behind the plate tonight if Tim Wakefield pitches in the All-Star game, admitted yesterday that he’s never caught a knuckleball “in my life.” Good luck with that, Vic. He can always follow Bob Uecker’s advice: “Wait until it stops rolling, then go to the backstop and pick it…

  4. Quote of the Day: 'Defensive statistics, I still really don't understand'

    Jul 14, 2009, 3:10 PM EDT

    Royals general manager Dayton Moore, on the advanced defensive statistics that show recent acquisition Yuniesky Betancourt as a poor shortstop: The defensive statistics, I still really don’t understand how some of those statistics are evaluated, I really don’t. When you watch baseball games every single day, it’s very apparent who can play defensively and who…

  5. Longoria to sit out All-Star game, Figgins added to AL roster

    Jul 14, 2009, 1:53 PM EDT

    Evan Longoria has been scratched from tonight’s All-Star game because of an infected right ring finger that had to be drained and treated with antibiotics yesterday. Michael Young will start at third base and bat seventh for the American League while Chone Figgins gets added to the roster as a last-minute replacement. This is Figgins’…

  6. All-Star Game live blog tonight

    Jul 14, 2009, 1:48 PM EDT

    Just a quick note: I’ll be doing a live blog tonight during the game. Questions and comments will be welcome.

  7. Rehab updates: Quentin, Soto, and Guillen

    Jul 14, 2009, 12:34 PM EDT

    * Carlos Quentin switched from left field to designated hitter at Single-A last night after rain postponed the game by an hour, but ripped an RBI double and lined out to center field in two at-bats before exiting in the sixth inning. Quentin is now 8-for-23 (.348) with two doubles, four walks, and just one…

  8. Link-O-Rama: All-Stars coming to Kansas City in 2012

    Jul 14, 2009, 11:48 AM EDT

    * Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star reports that MLB will announce soon that the All-Star game is headed to Kansas City in 2012. Mellinger adds: “It will be our first national sporting event since the Final Four in 1988, and it very well could be our last for decades.” * Padres prospect Chad…

  9. Quote of the Day: "I'm tired of Angel players who don't speak English"

    Jul 14, 2009, 11:04 AM EDT

    I’m tired of Angel players who don’t speak English. At least not with a mike in from of them. This Kendry Morales ignoring our language for Spanish the way Vlad does is outrageous. This is an American team with American fans paying them American millions. Learn to speak to us without a Jose Mota dictionary,…

  10. Should we raise the pitcher's mound?

    Jul 14, 2009, 10:32 AM EDT

    The All-Star break is a good time to talk about stuff we normally don’t have time to discuss because things like ballgames and transactions and stuff get in the way. Things like this, which is an article advocating for a return to the pre-1968 pitchers’ mound: If Major League Baseball is serious about trying to…

  11. Albert Pujols has to be very, very tired

    Jul 14, 2009, 10:02 AM EDT

    Mark Buehrle, when asked how he would pitch to Albert Pujols if he faces him tonight: “High and inside. Hit ‘em. Knock him off the plate. Hopefully he charges the mound.” Of course he immediately backtracked, admitted he was joking and gave all kinds of respect to Pujols. A shame, really, as I think a…

  12. Join the Yankees Universe . . . now only $19.95!

    Jul 14, 2009, 9:40 AM EDT

    The Red Sox may have a nation, but the Yankees have a whole universe: The New York Yankees today announced the creation of Yankees Universe, an official fan club granting members exclusive benefits, unique access and special savings. Membership privileges extend to all aspects of the fan experience, including exclusive Web site advantages, outstanding discounts…

  13. Collusion not likely, but definitely possible

    Jul 14, 2009, 9:00 AM EDT

    Following the 1985, 1986 and 1987 seasons, the owners colluded against the players in order to short-circuit the competitive bidding process for free agents. Arbitrators ruled that the owners violated the collective bargaining agreement not one, not two, but three times, and as result, they ended up agreeing to pay the players some $280 million…

  14. An extremely abbreviated Home Run Derby diary

    Jul 14, 2009, 6:36 AM EDT

    Given my view of it all, you won’t be surprised to hear that I ended up only watching a fraction of the Home Run Derby last night, but I’ll offer the following observations: – It took something like 20 minutes for the actual hitting to start following the commencement of the broadcast. One would think…

  15. Daily Dose: Sell high for the second half

    Jul 14, 2009, 12:06 AM EDT

    While the baseball world pauses for the All-Star break, here are a dozen players who fantasy owners should be looking to cash in for maximum value … Jason Bartlett – Bartlett is batting .347 compared to his career mark of .286 and has already homered eight times in 68 games after never going deep even…

  16. Midseason NL Cy Young Award

    Jul 13, 2009, 6:14 PM EDT

    This was a difficult call one third of the way through the season, when I went with a top three of Dan Haren, Chad Billingsley and Johnny Cueto, and not a whole lot easier now. First, here’s the top 10 in ERA. 1. Dan Haren – 2.01 ERA in 130 IP2. Tim Lincecum – 2.33…

  17. Midseason Awards: AL Rookie of the Year

    Jul 13, 2009, 4:22 PM EDT

    The AL ROY class looks a little stronger now than it did a third of the way through the season, when I had Rick Porcello edging out Elvis Andrus for the top spot, but it’s all because of the pitchers. The rookie position players have been a truly dreadful lot. According to VORP, not one…

  18. Ellsbury, Crawford running like they're in the 1980s

    Jul 13, 2009, 2:51 PM EDT

    Jacoby Ellsbury finished the first half by swiping his 40th base yesterday, joining Hall of Famer Tris Speaker as the only players in Red Sox history to steal at least 40 bases in back-to-back seasons. Ellsbury is also just 15 steals away from breaking the Red Sox’s single-season record of 54 steals, which was set…

  19. Jay Bruce to miss 6-8 weeks with fractured wrist

    Jul 13, 2009, 1:49 PM EDT

    Jay Bruce received some good news and some bad news on his fractured right wrist this afternoon. The good news is that he won’t need season-ending surgery after an MRI exam revealed no damage to tendons or ligaments. The bad news is that he’s still expected to be sidelined for 6-8 weeks and could miss…

  20. Pedro expected to take physical for Phillies tomorrow

    Jul 13, 2009, 12:50 PM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that “Pedro Martinez will take his physical with the Phillies on Tuesday and could sign with the team as soon as Wednesday.” Rosenthal notes that Martinez and the Phillies are hoping that he’ll be ready to join the rotation on August 1 after building up his arm strength in the…

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