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  1. Please, Lupica. Girardi has no choice but to start Pettitte tonight

    Nov 4, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

    I do my best to avoid Mike Lupica whenever possible, but my buddy Jason alerts me to the latest bit of wisdom from the New York Daily News’ alpha dog: Joe Girardi knows the deal as well as he knows his way out to the mound. He’s right about using only three starters in the…

  2. What's Ryan Howard's problem?

    Nov 4, 2009, 10:25 AM EDT

    Paul Hagen of the Philadelphia Inquirer offers five possible explanations for Ryan Howard’s struggles during the World Series: (1) He’s putting too much pressure on himself; (2) That’s just baseball. Slumps happen; (3) The time off between the NLCS and World Series cost him his “mojo”; (4) The Yankees pitchers are just executing; and (5)…

  3. Who closes for Philly tonight?

    Nov 4, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

    Or, if they’re tied or losing, who comes out of the pen late?  Lidge? Madson? Even when his usage suggested that he was going with the hot hand (or, in this case, the less cold hand) Charlie Manuel has at least verbally insisted for most of the postseason that Brad Lidge is still the guy. Now? He’s…

  4. How much was Damon's steal really worth?

    Nov 4, 2009, 9:26 AM EDT

    The latest collection of rumors and notes from SI’s Jon Heyman has a couple of interesting items: Before these playoffs, the Yankees were believed willing to go for two years and $16 million for [Johnny] Damon. But that was before his solo double steal in Game 4. That was a spiffy play and all, but…

  5. Don Mattingly says no thanks to the Nationals. And he may regret it one day.

    Nov 4, 2009, 8:55 AM EDT

    Donnie Baseball was invited to come to D.C. to interview for the Nats job, but declined, says Alden Gonzalez at  The theory: that the Dodgers are working to formalize Mattingly’s heir-apparent status in Los Angeles, officially making him Joe Torre’s successor. I’d like to see Mattingly get the Dodgers’ job, but these heir-apparent situations…

  6. Chase Utley is not the best second baseman ever

    Nov 4, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

    Off days stink because they force writers to fill space with silly stuff like this article making an argument for Chase Utley as “the best second baseman in baseball. Ever.”  The evidence cited: his OPS is higher than Jackie Robinson’s!  He’s on pace to have more hits than Joe Morgan! He’s got more home runs…

  7. Dodgers' offseason: Lawyers, guns and money

    Nov 3, 2009, 11:38 PM EDT

    What has been a disconcerting offseason for the Los Angeles Dodgers just got a little bit weirder. I’m talking Warren Zevon weird. Things have gone downhill since L.A. was ousted quite easily by the Phillies in the NLCS. There is of course, the ongoing saga of the McCourt divorce, which includes a non-stop stream of…

  8. Pirates to acquire Rays' Iwamura in exchange for reliever

    Nov 3, 2009, 6:17 PM EDT

    Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura is headed to Pittsburgh, says the St. Petersburg Times and several other sources. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, right-hander Jesse Chavez will be the return when the deal is announced, something that might not happen until after the World Series concludes. The Rays are expected to surrender a second player…

  9. Yanks make it official: Pettitte to duel Pedro in Game 6

    Nov 3, 2009, 4:23 PM EDT

    The Yankees confirmed Tuesday that Andy Pettitte would take the mound on short rest and start Game 6 against the Phillies and Pedro Martinez on Wednesday. It was obvious the Bombers would go that route from the moment that A.J. Burnett was chosen to start Game 5. If Chad Gaudin was going to pitch, it…

  10. Report: Rays close to trading Akinori Iwamura

    Nov 3, 2009, 2:51 PM EDT

    Mark Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Rays “are on the verge of completing a trade” for Akinori Iwamura. Recent speculation had the Dodgers and Cubs interested in Iwamura, but Topkin writes that “an unexpected team” would be the destination. Tampa Bay holds a $4.85 million option or $550,000 buyout on Iwamura…

  11. Should the Phillies start Cole Hamels in Game 7?

    Nov 3, 2009, 2:01 PM EDT

    Cole Hamels has clarified his headline-grabbing quotes about wanting the season to be over and last night’s incident with Brett Myers may have just been an attempt at humor, but the left-hander’s 7.58 ERA this postseason still has Phillies fans questioning if he’s the right choice for a potential Game 7 start against CC Sabathia.…

  12. Bruised and battered, Shane Victorino plans to start Game 6

    Nov 3, 2009, 1:12 PM EDT

    Shane Victorino’s right hand was bruised and swollen after being plunked by a 93-mph A.J. Burnett fastball in the first inning last night and he played the next seven innings in obvious pain before Ben Francisco finally replaced him. Victorino was clearly having trouble gripping the bat and making throws from the outfield, constantly grimacing…

  13. Ken Rosenthal: Myers-Hamels incident blown out of proportion

    Nov 3, 2009, 12:33 PM EDT

    Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reported that Cole Hamels and Brett Myers had a “tense confrontation” and “escalating situation” following last night’s game. According to his account Myers said, “What are you doing here? I thought you quit” in response to Hamels’ previous quotes about wanting the season to be over and then Hamels “responded…

  14. Joba Chamberlain's mother pleads 'no contest' to drug charges

    Nov 3, 2009, 11:45 AM EDT

    Joba Chamberlain’s mother pleaded no contest Monday to delivery of a controlled substance in Lincoln, Nebraska. Jackie Standley was arrested in May for allegedly selling a gram of methamphetamine to an undercover police officer at her apartment and the felony charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for next…

  15. Football gets better ratings than baseball. So what?

    Nov 3, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

    Jim Donaldson of the Providence Journal thinks he’s throwing bombs when he compares baseball television ratings to football ratings: Baseball likes to think of itself – indeed, likes to bill itself — as the “National Pastime.” But that time is long gone, a distant memory . . . But, give your average sports fan a…

  16. Bob Gibson on three days' rest: "what's the big deal?"

    Nov 3, 2009, 10:25 AM EDT

    Bob Gibson wonders why everyone fusses about the World Series starters going on three days’ rest: “What’s the big deal? I don’t get it. I don’t think it’s going to kill somebody. A pitcher can’t pitch with three days’ rest? Some of those guys make $8 million a week . . . I don’t imagine you’d…

  17. Are Buck and McCarver really rooting for anyone?

    Nov 3, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

    Believe it or not — and my psychiatrist clearly does not believe it — I read every comment posted to this blog.  And based upon reading every comment posted to this blog, I have learned two things: 1. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are rooting for the Phillies; and 2. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver…

  18. The Giants hire a hitting coach who couldn't hit

    Nov 3, 2009, 9:25 AM EDT

    A lot of people attacked the Cardinals last week for hiring a hitting coach with nearly 600 career home runs by complaining about that coach’s career .263 average. What, then, will they have to say about the Giants’ new hitting coach, former Yankees can’t-miss prospect Hensley “Bam Bam” Meulens? Meulens career line: .220/.288/.353. I still have…

  19. Jamie McCourt to the Dodgers: "Get out of my divorce"

    Nov 3, 2009, 8:55 AM EDT

    Jamie McCourt still wants to own the Dodgers, she just doesn’t want them filing legal briefs in which the team accuses her of cheating on her husband: Jamie McCourt argued in a motion Monday that the Dodgers should not be a party in a divorce hearing, asking the court to throw out papers filed in the…

  20. Baseball to put a stop to the Yankees' mound meetings — in the offseason

    Nov 3, 2009, 8:25 AM EDT

    Sunday night’s game will be remembered for the Damon steal, but until that happened the most memorable thing was just how many times Jorge Posada and CC Sabathia met on the mound to discuss the weather or their favorite Pavement album or whatever else it was they were talking about.  Couldn’t have been baseball. I…

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