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  1. No Bill, the Dodgers could not have had Cliff Lee: Now with Update

    Oct 19, 2009, 8:50 AM EDT

    The Los Angeles Times’ Bill Plaschke goes on and on this morning about how the Dodgers’ “whiffed” in nixing a trade for Cliff Lee at the deadline: Why did the Dodgers sacrifice the chance to acquire Lee, the starter stolen instead by the Phillies at the trading deadline, the guy who brilliantly held the Dodgers…

  2. The umps deny that there is an unwritten rulebook

    Oct 19, 2009, 8:25 AM EDT

    In the wake of the Erick Aybar play on Saturday night, an article in today’s New York Times attempts to debunk the notion that there are any unwritten rules: But as often as Major League Baseball umpires have been caught making the wrong calls this October, Layne’s call could help eradicate the notion that umpires…

  3. Raze the neighborhood; take out the takeout

    Oct 19, 2009, 3:46 AM EDT

    Baseball was never meant to be a game of contact. Sure, we all know how Ty Cobb went into second base spikes high, but we wouldn’t tolerate those attempts to injure players today. So why do we allow the forearm shiver or the barrel roll? Those ridiculous slides into second base are the reason we…

  4. Lee the story as Phils produce a laugher

    Oct 18, 2009, 11:31 PM EDT

    Jayson Werth and Shane Victorino homered and Ryan Howard extended his streak of postseason games with an RBI to a record seven, but Sunday night was all about Cliff Lee. The left-hander pitched eight shutout innings and struck out 10 in the Phillies’ 11-0 victory. This one was over quickly, as the Phillies scored four…

  5. Holliday prefers New York, New York

    Oct 18, 2009, 9:54 PM EDT

    So Matt Holliday likes the Big Apple? According to Newsday’s Ken Davidoff, who cites “a person in the loop,” the Cardinals’ free agent slugger and playoff goat views the Yankees as his No. 1 free agent choice, with the Mets coming in at No. 2. Davidoff is skeptical that either place makes sense. As of…

  6. NLCS Game 3 live blog/chat

    Oct 18, 2009, 7:34 PM EDT

    Dodgers-Phillies Game 3 LiveBlog/Chat

  7. Random observations from ALCS Game 2

    Oct 18, 2009, 10:26 AM EDT

    Epic game.  Stuff worth discussing further: Question to those who believe that ballplayers actually have some inborn ability to perform (or not) in the clutch as opposed it simply being a matter of chance:  when did A-Rod “learn” this ability?  Last winter?  Some time over the course of the season?  Did he read the Cliff’s…

  8. ALCS Game 1 live blog/chat

    Oct 16, 2009, 7:24 PM EDT

    ALCS Game 1 Live Blog/Chat

  9. Video of the Day: NLCS Game 1 reactions

    Oct 16, 2009, 3:58 PM EDT

    With Game 2 of the NLCS set to begin shortly here are some highlights from the press conference following what was a highly entertaining Game 1, including Charlie Manuel explaining why he always stuck with Brad Lidge and Raul Ibanez explaining how he took George Sherrill deep:

  10. Injuries may help explain awful postseason umpiring

    Oct 16, 2009, 3:22 PM EDT’s Tracy Ringolsby offers a potential explanation for why the postseason umpiring has been so abysmal: The quality of the umpiring has taken a hit because at least a dozen umpires, including seven crew chiefs, were left out of postseason assignments this year due to injuries. Sidelined umpires include crew chiefs John Hirschbeck (testicular cancer),…

  11. The answer is still no: Webb not interested in extension

    Oct 16, 2009, 2:34 PM EDT

    Brandon Webb informed reporters last month that he had no interest in signing an incentive-laden contract extension with the Diamondbacks, and yesterday he reiterated that point to Josh Byrnes in what the general manager called “a check-in meeting.” Byrnes and company obviously have reservations about exercising their $8.5 million option on Webb for 2010 after…

  12. Smoltz, Penny won't change Boston's buy-low rotation plans

    Oct 16, 2009, 1:53 PM EDT

    Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald wrote a good article today about the Red Sox’s rotation plans heading into the offseason, noting that this season’s low-risk, high-reward deals for John Smoltz and Brad Penny working out poorly won’t stop general manager Theo Epstein from pursuing other pitchers with injury issues. Here’s what Epstein had to…

  13. Pujols to have injured elbow examined by Dr. James Andrews

    Oct 16, 2009, 1:10 PM EDT

    Albert Pujols declined to undergo Tommy John surgery last winter and there’s no indication that he’ll opt for the procedure this offseason, but he is scheduled to have his injured right elbow examined next week by Dr. James Andrews. Tommy John surgery is much easier on hitters than pitchers, but Pujols would still be facing…

  14. Bad joke gets good singer dropped from ALCS opener

    Oct 16, 2009, 12:32 PM EDT

    Irish tenor Ronan Tynan has become a Yankee Stadium staple during the playoffs, singing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning, but the New York Daily News has details on why he won’t be at the ALCS opener tonight: His attempt at telling a joke offended a Jewish doctor who found it to be anti-Semitic.…

  15. Sherrill, Ibanez, and the unpredictable playoffs

    Oct 16, 2009, 11:54 AM EDT

    Count me among those who think that the playoffs involve a lot more luck and random chance than most people would like to believe. An example of the unpredictable, anything-can-happen nature of the postseason was on display last night when George Sherrill came out of the Dodgers’ bullpen to pitch the eighth inning of a…

  16. Link-O-Rama: Strasburg, Strawberry, Yost, Acta

    Oct 16, 2009, 11:19 AM EDT

    * No. 1 overall pick Stephen Strasburg will make his Arizona Fall League debut today after pitching five innings for the Nationals’ instructional league team. Barring any injuries, Strasburg seems like a near-lock to be in Washington to stay by the middle of next season. * Darryl Strawberry will be a contestant on the upcoming…

  17. The game plan on A-Rod

    Oct 16, 2009, 10:25 AM EDT

    John Harper of the New York Daily News, after talking about how Bartolo Colon and the Angels stymied Alex Rodriguez in the 2005 playoffs by pitching him inside, passes along the Angels’ top-secret plan to contain A-Rod this year: As a scout from a different AL team said yesterday: “The book on (A-Rod) hasn’t changed over the…

  18. Abreu reportedly offered a two year extension

    Oct 16, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

    More Tweety fun from SI’s Jon Heyman: Angels offered abreu a 2-year extension for about $16 million. after MVP calibre year with LAA, he is looking for more. This is ridiculous for a couple of reasons.  For starters, I have a hard time featuring the Angels, who are, you know, getting ready to play the…

  19. Tim Hudson will take a hometown discount to stay in Atlanta

    Oct 16, 2009, 9:25 AM EDT

    Either Tim Hudson is telling different things to different people, or else yesterday’s report that he’s rejecting his half of the mutual option was bogus.  This from Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who says that he was told the following by Hudson himself:  a. He has made it clear – which he did again…

  20. Jaramillo to the Cubs?

    Oct 16, 2009, 8:55 AM EDT

    Jon Heyman tweets and then reports that the Cubs are talking to the former Rangers’ hitting coach and that “he’s likely to take the gig.” His salary would be $750,000, which would be a $150,000 raise.  Not a bad deal for a guy whose old employer didn’t want him. From what I’ve heard from my…

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