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  1. Live blog/chats upcoming

    Oct 15, 2009, 4:06 PM EDT

    If listening to Chip Caray and Joe Buck just isn’t enough for you, we’ll be blog-chatting throughout the LCS. I’ll be your host for the Game 1s in primetime tonight and on Friday. Also, D.J. Short will take Sunday night’s NLCS Game 3.

  2. Fake trade: Carlos Lee for Derek Lowe

    Oct 15, 2009, 3:59 PM EDT

    Braves acquire OF Carlos Lee from the Astros for RHP Derek Lowe and OF Brandon Jones. Why it works for Atlanta: the Braves would love to bring Tim Hudson back, yet they already have five starters in Lowe, Javier Vazquez, Jair Jurrjens, Tommy Hanson and Kenshin Kawakami. One of the vets needs to go, and…

  3. Yankees, Dodgers, Phillies tweak rosters for LCS

    Oct 15, 2009, 2:45 PM EDT

    Following their first-round victories the Yankees, Dodgers, and Phillies have each made a slight roster change for the LCS. New York has dropped bench bat Eric Hinske in favor of pinch-runner Freddy Guzman, which makes sense given that Hinske would rarely get the call to pinch-hit for anyone in the Yankees’ stacked lineup after batting…

  4. Link-O-Rama: Umpires, Pedro, Mariano, Brenly

    Oct 15, 2009, 2:04 PM EDT

    * MLB announced the umpiring crews for the ALCS and NLCS, and first-round goats C.B. Bucknor, Jerry Meals, and Phil Cuzzi are all absent. Committing to improving umpire performance and utilizing instant replay further to avoid obvious blown calls would be nice, but short of that keeping the offending umpires off the field is something…

  5. Hitting coach Jaramillo suddenly sought-after free agent

    Oct 15, 2009, 1:24 PM EDT

    Rudy Jaramillo has spent the past 15 years as the hitting coach in Texas, but he’s now a free agent after leaving the Rangers earlier this week: I’m not going to be in this position very often, and I don’t know what’s going to happen with the Rangers and the ownership situation. I didn’t want…

  6. Shocking! A-Rod uses time off for travel, dating, visiting children

    Oct 15, 2009, 12:44 PM EDT

    Page 6 of the New York Post provides a few details on how Alex Rodriguez has spent the long layoff between ALDS and ALCS: What are a few thousand miles to a man in love? Alex Rodriguez flew from New York to Miami for one night to wine and dine Kate Hudson at Prime 112…

  7. Pujols 'not desperate to sign contract extension'

    Oct 15, 2009, 12:05 PM EDT

    According to the Associated Press, Albert Pujols said yesterday during an interview with a Dominican radio station that he’s “not desperate to sign a contract extension.” Pujols confirmed that general manager John Mozeliak has approached him about a new deal, but added: “We have not yet sat down to talk about contracts. I still have…

  8. Rollins likes Phillies' chances against Padilla in Game 2

    Oct 15, 2009, 11:34 AM EDT

    Jimmy Rollins spent the first six seasons of his career as Vicente Padilla’s teammate in Philadelphia before the right-hander left on a sour note in 2005. Padilla is now back in his life as the Dodgers’ starter for Game 2 of the NLCS and Rollins likes the Phillies’ chances: I don’t know what you’re going…

  9. Your tax dollars at work

    Oct 15, 2009, 10:57 AM EDT

    There are ways in which public money is used to benefit baseball that are far more egregious than this — say, in the billions of tax dollars used to give shiny new ballparks to billionaire owners — but this is at least cranky-letter-to-the-editor-worthy, isn’t it? Hamels threw 82 pitches last Thursday and when he was told his wife…

  10. Forget the Yankees, Dodgers, Phils and Angels: TBS is the real winner of the division series

    Oct 15, 2009, 10:38 AM EDT

    Overall, TV ratings were down for the 2009 baseball season, especially late in the year when, outside of Detroit and Minnesota, there wasn’t all that much to play for.  Fortunes have changed in the postseason, however: The first round of the Major League Baseball playoffs helped TBS to its best one-week ratings in its 33-year…

  11. Could rain disrupt the Yankees' master plan?

    Oct 15, 2009, 10:14 AM EDT

    Aaron and Matthew have both noted how a superfluous offday is going to allow the Yankees to go with a three-man rotation, thereby giving them an advantage.  When people plan, Mother Nature says “Ha!” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that the possibility of showers affecting Games 1 and 2 is playing into the decision-making process…

  12. NLCS Preview: Phillies vs. Dodgers

    Oct 15, 2009, 9:42 AM EDT

    Rematch.  And from a historical perspective, a rubber match of sorts as well.  The Dodgers beat the Phillies in the 1977 and 1978 NLCS.  The Phillies took 1983.  For our purposes, however, really only last year is relevant, and the Phillies won 4-1.  Going in to that series the question was whether the Phillies’ big bats would…

  13. The Rangers are keeping your money for a while

    Oct 15, 2009, 8:55 AM EDT

    The cash-strapped Rangers just need a little loan to tide ‘em over. They’ll get you back at the end of the month, they swear.  Tim Cowlishaw: I found out Wednesday that those who had enough faith in the team to buy playoff tickets have been told via e-mail that those refunds won’t be coming until…

  14. The Dodgers' owners are splitting up

    Oct 15, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

    This is the sort of thing that can cause a team serious trouble: Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie, the team’s chief executive, have separated, raising questions about the potential effect of their rift on the ownership of the franchise as the Dodgers prepare to start the National League Championship Series against the…

  15. Dodgers opt for Kershaw as Game 1 starter

    Oct 14, 2009, 6:42 PM EDT

    Anyone else thinking about Rick Ankiel right now wouldn’t be off base. Manager Joe Torre announced Wednesday that Clayton Kershaw would start Thursday’s Game 1 against the Phillies. He was picked over Randy Wolf, who started Game 1 against the Cardinals last week. Kershaw followed in Game 2 of that series and allowed two runs…

  16. ALCS Preview: Angels vs. Yankees

    Oct 14, 2009, 5:19 PM EDT

    After convincing sweeps in Divisional Series play, the Angels and Yankees will meet in the ALCS. It’ll be the third postseason series in eight years for the teams. They never played in the first 31 years of the Angels’ existence, but they met in the ALDS in 2002 and 2005, with the Angels winning both…

  17. Matt LaPorta out 4-6 months following hip surgery

    Oct 14, 2009, 3:51 PM EDT

    Things apparently aren’t going to be easy for Matt LaPorta in Cleveland. Despite being one of the best hitting prospects in baseball and more or less MLB-ready at the age of 24, LaPorta began this season at Triple-A, played sparingly after being called up to Cleveland for the first time in May, and was sent…

  18. Unlike Yankees, Angels to use four-man rotation for ALCS

    Oct 14, 2009, 3:13 PM EDT

    Earlier this week I speculated that the Angels would use four starting pitchers for the ALCS despite the drawn-out schedule making a three-man rotation possible, and after playing coy for a couple days manager Mike Scioscia announced this afternoon that he’ll indeed use John Lackey, Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver, and Scott Kazmir against the Yankees.…

  19. Farrell turns down chance to interview for Indians managerial job

    Oct 14, 2009, 1:58 PM EDT

    Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell has taken himself out of consideration to be the Indians’ next manager, saying: “My desire is to fulfill the commitment between Boston and myself.” Farrell spent five of his eight big-league seasons in Cleveland, going 32-30 with a 3.93 ERA as a starter, and served as the Indians’ farm…

  20. Torre planning to retire after next year … probably

    Oct 14, 2009, 1:01 PM EDT

    As his Dodgers prepare for the NLCS against the Phillies that begins tomorrow night, Joe Torre indicated yesterday that 2010 will likely be his final season as manager. “I have one year on my contract and I don’t anticipate it being more than that,” said Torre, who then added a disclaimer. “I’ve said that before…

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