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  1. Quote of the Day: 'Those are things he didn't accomplish last year'

    Oct 13, 2009, 1:09 PM EDT

    General manager Theo Epstein, on what the Red Sox expect from Daisuke Matsuzaka this offseason: We want him to have a really productive offseason and come into camp in the best possible shape. We can notice right away that he’s had a strong offseason of workouts. And then also with his shoulder. That he does…

  2. Wagner talks retirement, but agent doesn't buy it

    Oct 13, 2009, 11:49 AM EDT

    Billy Wagner hinted yesterday that he’s leaning toward retirement, saying “I don’t plan on talking to nobody” when asked where he’ll pitch next season. Wagner was dominant after coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery, posting a 1.72 ERA, 26/8 K/BB ratio, and .154 opponents’ batting average in 15.2 innings, but gave up two runs…

  3. "Mike Scioscia, from Upper Darby, Pa., by way of Hell."

    Oct 13, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

    You probably won’t be surprised to learn that, had the Red Sox beat the Angels in the division series, I was prepared to write an extended post about just how miserable another Yankees-Red Sox series stood to be for non-Yankee and non-Red Sox fans.  We’ve seen plenty of it over the years in the playoffs…

  4. Josh Beckett wants Varitek back — but in what role?

    Oct 13, 2009, 9:25 AM EDT

    And with a $3 million player option that he will almost certainly exercise, Varitek will be back.  But in what role? Josh Beckett made it clear on Monday that he would like to see Jason Varitek back in a Red Sox uniform in 2010. “He’s definitely one of those guys I’d love to see back,…

  5. The Astros are going to interview every manager who isn't nailed down

    Oct 13, 2009, 8:55 AM EDT

    The Astros, taking a surprisingly public approach to their managerial search, release a list of names of people they’re planning on talking to about their job opening: The Astros revealed their list of 10 managerial candidates and the list consists of a handful of former skippers–including one of their own, Phil Garner. Yes, you read…

  6. Does baseball need umpires?

    Oct 13, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

    Or at least so many, especially in the postseason.  That’s the question Jonah Keri asks in today’s Wall Street Journal in the wake of some shaky officiating in the first round of the playoffs: The idea, of course, is that more umpires means better play-calling. But this isn’t necessarily true. After Friday’s game, Tim Tschida,…

  7. Howard, Werth come up big as Phillies finish Rockies

    Oct 12, 2009, 9:57 PM EDT

    Ryan Howard had the go-ahead hit in the ninth Sunday. This time he settled for the game-tying two-run double and left it up to Jayson Werth to knock him in. Werth, who hit a solo homer in the sixth, did just that with a single to center and the Phillies won 5-4. The one non-sweep…

  8. Fowler's leap propels Rockies' big inning

    Oct 12, 2009, 9:36 PM EDT

    It was exactly the kind of move one might expect from a player who had a chance to play basketball at Harvard. Fortunately, Dexter Fowler passed on that opportunity and took a $925,000 bonus to sign with the Rockies after being selected in the 14th round in 2004. On Monday, with the Phillies up 2-1…

  9. Flawed Elias Rankings set to play key role this winter

    Oct 12, 2009, 4:23 PM EDT

    Every year, the terribly broken Elias Rankings play a much larger role than most realize in which free agents signs where and when. Fungible relievers and part-time infielders can see their options dwindle because they’re foolishly classified as Type A free agents. Meanwhile, starting pitchers in line for $30 million-$40 million contract can come compensation…

  10. Selig brushes off calls for expanded instant replay

    Oct 12, 2009, 2:20 PM EDT

    Poor umpiring and high-profile blown calls have been one of the biggest storylines of the playoffs so far, but commissioner Bud Selig made it clear today in an interview with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com that he has no plans to expand instant replay: I don’t really have any desire to increase the amount of replay,…

  11. Smoltz hoping to remain in St. Louis

    Oct 12, 2009, 1:25 PM EDT

    John Smoltz finished his season on a high note while the Cardinals were being swept out of the playoffs, striking out five consecutive hitters in two innings of relief Saturday. Afterward the 42-year-old impending free agent made it clear that he’d like to re-sign with the Cardinals, saying: “This would be a great fit. This…

  12. Link-O-Rama: Wakefield slated for back surgery

    Oct 12, 2009, 12:29 PM EDT

    * Tim Wakefield had been hoping to join the Red Sox’s playoff roster if they advanced past the ALDS, but now that Boston’s season is over the 43-year-old knuckleballer will undergo surgery this week to repair a herniated disk in his back. Wakefield struggled down the stretch after returning from the injury, but went 11-3…

  13. It might be fun, but baseball doesn't "need" a Yankees-Dodgers World Series

    Oct 12, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

    William Rhoden in the New York Times: Still, what Major League Baseball needs is a great World Series, a Series for the ages. And with all due respect to those two other potential matchups, it’s a Yankees-Dodgers World Series that could take the game back to its roots at a time when baseball desperately needs…

  14. The heroic struggle of Ed Hearn

    Oct 12, 2009, 10:25 AM EDT

    Folks my age and older might remember Ed Hearn, if not for his role as a dependable backup catcher for the 1986 Mets than at least for his presence in the trade that sent him to Kansas City in exchange for one David Cone.  That resume may be the sort of thing that keeps a…

  15. The cupboard ain't bare in San Diego

    Oct 12, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

    Via MLB Trade Rumors, here’s a choice quote regarding the Padres’ front office situation: Considering the current state of the Padres, it’s an easy guess that whomever CEO Jeff Moorad selects as the new GM will be lauding Towers’ efforts for years to come . . . the Padres’ new GM will walk into one…

  16. Yadier Molina sued for bailing on card shows

    Oct 12, 2009, 9:26 AM EDT

    The Cardinals simply didn’t show up against the Dodgers.  Not that this is anything new for Yadier Molina if a recently-filed lawsuit is to be believed: Yadier Molina of the St. Louis Cardinals has plenty of free time on his hands now that his team is out of the playoffs — and he might be…

  17. What Happened to the Red Sox?

    Oct 12, 2009, 8:50 AM EDT

    Despite their late season charge, everyone kind of figured that the Twins would fall to the Yankees in the ALDS.  While some morons totally blew the call on the Cardinals-Dodgers series, it’s not like the Dodgers winning was a total shocker either. But did anyone really think that the Red Sox would simply roll over…

  18. Phillies brave the cold, benefit from another blown call, to take a 2-1 lead

    Oct 12, 2009, 8:15 AM EDT

    The game story calls Brad Lidge’s save “sweet redemption” but it’s not like it was a shutdown affair. He had shaky control and put two runners on before sealing the deal.  That’s good — certainly better than he had been doing — but let’s not go pretending it’s 2008 again yet, OK? And what would…

  19. A-Rod powers Yankees to ALDS sweep of sloppy, punchless Twins

    Oct 11, 2009, 11:38 PM EDT

    This series had to be awfully confusing for the baseball-watching public, who for years have been assured by every announcer, columnist, and talking head that Alex Rodriguez is incapable of coming through in the clutch and the Twins win by “doing the little things.” Neither of those prepackaged storylines proved accurate in New York’s sweep…

  20. Yankees-Twins Game 3 live blog/chat

    Oct 11, 2009, 6:43 PM EDT

    Yankees-Twins Game 3 LiveBlog/Chat

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