Astros, Cubs, Indians all win in walk-off style

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Mark Loretta, Aramis Ramirez, and Ben Francisco all led their respective teams to victory on friday with walk-off blasts. For Loretta, this was the second time in two nights his Astros had a walk-off homer to end it, the previous one being a walk-off grand slam by Carlos Lee. Ramirez's blast came after the Cubs clawed back from a 5-0 deficit to win 6-5 against the first place Brewers. It was only the second time all year the Brewers had lost after leading after 8 innings. Francisco, in his first big league start, made it a memorable one with his first career home run propelling the Indians to victory over the Devil Rays in Cleveland. Francisco described the feeling as, "Pure joy".

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Bonds only 5 away from Aaron

Barry Bonds was at it again, belting number 750 of his career in the 8th inning against the Diamondbacks on Friday night, sending the ball some 380 feet to deep right field. More and more teams are walking Bonds, though, rather than having to face him and risk being another victim of his home-run prowess. He has been walked 79 times this year, and that number figures to keep going up as he inches closer to the historic milestone ahead of him. Bonds is only on pace to hit 35 homeruns this year, well behind his averages of the last five years, but this can be attributed to a lack of protection in his lineup as well as more days off to rest his aching body. As much as Bonds is scrutinized for his actions off the field, we cannot argue that he is a hell of a player on it.

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Padres Acquire Bradley

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Padres have acquired Milton Bradley from the Oakland A's for a pitching pitching prospect, according to sources close to negotiations. The A's designated Bradley for assignment because of poor play and bad attitude and are happy to finally trade him. If he can recover from his injury in time, he could be in left field as soon as Sunday.

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Buerhle to stay in Chicago?

Is Mark Buerhle about to re-sign with the White Sox? A contract worth between 50M and 60M for 4 years is being whispered about with neither side confirming the offer. There are known to be at least a half a dozen teams interested in him.

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Phillies Slugger Howard sets record

Phillies Slugger Ryan Howard reached a milestone yesterday that set a new record. He hit his 100th home run in only 325 games played. That is faster than any player in major league history. The Phillies first baseman hit 12 of the last 18 since coming off the DL May 25th. He hit 58 last season.

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Cubs Call Back Jones Trade

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Cubs were on the verge of trading Jacque Jones to the Marlins this afternoon and nearly agreed to a deal before a "major snag" ended trade discussions, according to one source. The Marlins were planning on using him as their everyday center fielder while Alejandro De Aza is out while the Cubs were hoping to acquire a solid minor league prospect or two. Many can assume that the snag is over money. Jones is owed 4 million this season and 5 million next season and any trade where more than one million dollars is involved has to be approved by the Commissioners Office. Jones' stay in Chicago got off to a rocky start and got worse even as he improved. He complained about the rowdy fans in right field and was the subject of many trade talks in the off season. Jones is batting .234 with 2 HR and 20 RBI this season in 63 games and is drawing interest from the Padres, Rangers, and Pirates.

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Padres After Bradley

When the A's designated Milton Bradley for assignment, the Padres were immediately interested in acquiring him. However, when they contacted GM Billy Beane, their interest seemed to dwindle. In 19 games this season, Bradley is batting .292 with 2 HR and 7 RBI; but his hot head is the main reason many teams do not want him. Bradley is a native to California and although he doesn't have the choice, would welcome a trade to the Padres. Talks are not very far and would only heat up if the A's lower their asking price.

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Blue Jays Listening To Glaus Offers

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Blue Jays are willing to listen to trade offers after shunning teams away for the first few months of the season. And a greater portion of the trade talks are directed at third baseman Troy Glaus. Although he has a no trade clause, that isn't stopping the Padres, Dodgers, and Angels, who are looking to pull away in their division. Glaus is just 30, and would probably wave his clause to return home to Southern California. Glaus is batting .295 with 11 HR and 35 RBI in 54 games with the Blue Jays. Glaus is signed through 2008 with a player option through 2009.

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Contreras to Mets?

The Mets have been looking for a quality starter all season and have set their sights on the soon to be selling White Sox. For the past couple of months, Mets GM Omar Minaya has been in communication with the White Sox about Mark Buehrle and Jose Contreras but are interested in Contreras because he is signed through 2009. Furthermore, Contreras has always been a personal favorite of Minaya's and that could be good for Contreras to pitch under him. This season, Contreras is 5-8 with a 4.63 ERA and 52 K. However, he is 53-35 career with a 4.32 ERA. If any trade were to happen, it would happen after the All Star Game or as soon as the fire sale begins.

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Which Cub will be the next to go?

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Chicago Cub watchers are calling it a toss-up as to who will be traded next: Jacque Jones or Caesar Izturis. Both players were expected to start when the season began but have become highly expendable of late. With the success of Ryan Theriot and Mike Fontenot at short and second base and Mark DeRosa being a more versatile infield backup (also slated as a starter when the season began) Izturis' services are no longer needed. It is no secret that the Cubs have been shopping Jones since last winter. He is talented but the Cubs are suddenly long on right fielders, now that Pie is set in center.

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Former Pitcher Rod Beck dead at 38

Former All-Star reliever Rod Beck was found dead at his Phoenix, Az home today. Foul play is not suspected but police have not announced a cause of death.

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Buehrle Will Trigger Fire Sale

Saturday, June 23, 2007

The White Sox will definitely be having a fire sale this trade deadline, and Mark Buehrle will start it off. But Buehrle will not be the only one traded. Kenny Williams knows that this is a lost season, and plans to start fresh next season. So not only will he trade Buehrle, but he will unload Garland and Contreras. By trading them, he will be able to bring in a boat load of prospects, and let an old White Sox era wash out. Then following the season they will look to hire the "Big Three" of available managers in Joe Torre, Joe Girardi, and Don Mattingly and let these young prospects ease their way into the majors. This season, the White Sox are 29-41 and their three big pitchers have combined to go 13-16. In the White Sox case, all they can hope is that this can turn positive for them like it has for the Brewers and Mets.

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Who will be the next Orioles manager?

The Baltimore Orioles are still shopping for a new manager and the well-known names being bandied about include: former Oriole and Mets skipper Davey Johnson, former Giants and Cubs manager Dusty Baker and former Twins manager Tom Kelly. He might have the inside track as he is well liked by new Orioles boss, Andy McPhail, who worked together in Minnesota years ago. McPhail also has history with Dusty Baker in Chicago but those were not happy times for either man.

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Miguel Tejada's consecutive game streak ends

Orioles shortshop Miguel Tejada's consecutive game streak came to an end yesterday at 1,152 as he was placed on the 15-day DL with a broken wrist. It was the 5th longest consecutive game streak in MLB history, but a long 1,480 games behind Cal Ripken Jr's.

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Zambrano Back in Form

Friday, June 22, 2007

Chicago Cubs ace Carlos Zambrano pitched magnificently Friday against the Chicago White Sox, limiting them to one run on three hits over eight innings, including 12 strikeouts, tying his career high. In his past four starts, Zambrano has allowed four runs in 31 2/3 innings, accumulating a 1.14 ERA. Zambrano was coming off a game in which he took a no hitter into the 8th, and retired the first ten batters he faced today. This is great news for Cubs fans as he seems poised once again to be the leader of their pitching staff and one of the top pitchers in the majors.

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Maroth Dealt to Cardinals

Just daysafter claiming Tomo Okha off of waivers, the Cardinals made a deal to acquire Tigers' lefty Mike Maroth. Details on the deal are forthcoming. Maroth was 5-2 with a 5.06 ERA in 13 starts thus far but with Kenny Rogers' return to the rotation a trade seemed necessary. The Cardinals are in desperate need of pitching help, with the back end of their rotation, Kip Wells and Anthony Reyes, a combined 2-19 thus far. The Cardinals rotation has an NL worst 5.63 ERA.

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Giambi to speak to Mitchell about steroid use

NY Yankee Jason Giambi is set to become the first active player to agree to meet and talk with former Senator George Mitchell about his own personal past drug use. He stated firmly that he will not implicate anyone else. This comes after much wrangling and arm-twisting from Commissioner Selig, who threatened disciplinary action if Giambi didn't cooperate. It is really Selig who is feeling the pressure to move the investigation forward. Until some kind of formal report is made, there is a stain on the game that will never go away. The "steroid years" diminishes the accomplishments of so many players from those years, maybe not all of them guilty.

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Joe Girardi turns down Orioles offer

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Joe Girardi turned down an offer to become the new Baltimore Orioles manager. It is not known if he wasn't satisfied with the monetary offer or if he is sitting out the season waiting to see if a more appealing franchise comes calling, i.e. the Yankees, White Sox or Astros.

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Brandon Watson's 43-game hitting streak ends

Brandon Watson's 43-game hitting streak ended today for a good reason. He was brought up by the Washington Nationals to play center field. It is his second shot in the majors and is warranted by his streak. General Manager Jim Bowden said, "he's earned this promotion based on the streak alone."

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Marlins Anibel Sanchez out for the season after shoulder surgery

Florida Marlins right-hander Anibel Sanchez is out for the season after exploratory surgery on his shoulder revealed a torn labrum. Sanchez pitched a no-hitter last year as a rookie.

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Sammy Sosa hits 600th home run

Sammy Sosa hit his 600th home run last night against his former team, the Chicago Cubs. It has to be seen as a bittersweet accomplishment, at best. While his former teammates professed their happiness and respect for him before the game, it is the respect of fans that he may never regain. While he is not alone among active and retired sluggers tainted by steroid use allegations, he seems to care more than any of them about his place in history. 600 home runs is quite a feat, with or without the drugs but other than Barry Bonds, who is loved by no one, he is the only other player to join that list who is under suspicion.

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Michael Barrett traded to Padres

The Chicago Cubs have traded Michael Barrett to the Padres for backup catcher Rob Bowen, minor league pitcher and $1.5 mil in cash. This trade has been coming for the once prized catcher who seemingly got off on the wrong foot with Lou Pinella. When he came to the Cubs in late 2003, he was touted as their catcher for the next decade. He was strong offensively but the signs were always there that he was not strong enough defensively or highly regarded by the pitchers. Of late, he made several fielding and base-running mistakes and the handwriting was on the wall that his days with the Cubs were numbered. After his fist fight with Carlos Zambrano on June 1st, he clearly was going to be shown the door. This leaves the Cubs, once again, without a dependable marquee catcher. They haven't really had one since Randy Hundley.

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Cardinals Desperate For Pitching, Sign Ohka

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Cardinals, who have struggled to find pitching this season, signed released pitcher Tomo Ohka to a minor league deal. With Toronto this year, Ohka was 2-5 with a 5.79 ERA. His contract calls for him to be called up within 10 days or he can pursue other opportunities, according to sources close to negotiations. With Chris Carpenter out until September, a lot is riding on his signing to come up in that number three hole behind the struggling Kip Wells and Anthony Reyes. Ohka will join the Cardinals within the next 10 days and probably start right around the start of July.

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Angels Join Teixeira Hunt

The Angels are looking for a solid power hitter after striking out on Adam Dunn and are planning to pursue Mark Teixeira, if he becomes available. Texeira would put that team over the top in the AL West and would help them pull farther away from the Rangers, A's, and Mariners. If they can't claw Teixeira away from the Rangers, they may also look at Ken Griffey Jr., Elijah Dukes, and possibly Jacque Jones. However, I am convinced that Bill Stoneman will do everything possible to acquire a power hitter.

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Lou Wants Sweet Relief

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lou Piniella urged General Manager Jim Hendry to go after the best players available during last off season; Well now, he is doing it again. Although the bullpen has been doing okay as of late, Piniella would love to add another solid arm to take some stress off the older guys. He is eying Eric Gagne, and the Front Office is considering to make a move on it. Gagne is doing well since coming off the Disabled List, and would fit nicely as a possible closer if they decide to move Dempster. A trade for Gagne would probably cost at least two prospects, maybe three. The negotiations aren't anywhere as of yet, so it is hard to gauge what the Rangers asking price will be.

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New Project!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Barry Zito has been working with the Strikeouts For Troops for some time now and I have decided to contribute. However many strikeouts he gets, he donates a certain amount of money. If I were a playing on a regular basis like he is over the summer I would do something but I am going to do the same thing I did last time. As of today, I have had about 350,000 people come to the site. So starting July 1st and ending August 1st, how ever many people come to the site, I will add that number to 350,000 and donate one dollar for every 1000 people that have come. So if 400,000 people come, that's 500 dollars. I hope you will all continue coming to the site and if you want to donate money yourself, check the side column for further information. Spread the word any way you can!

Eli

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Bonds Hits 748th Homerun

Barry Bonds moved to within seven of tying Hank Aaron's all time homerun record. He connected on a 1-0 knuckleball from Tim Wakefield that sailed well into the Giants bullpen. So when will teams start pitching around him? I think that although some teams respect Bonds as a player, they do not want to be the team that give up the homerun. And for a pitcher, I do not think any pitcher wants to give up the homerun. Bonds is now batting .287 with 14 HR and 31 RBI for the struggling Giants, who are currently 30-38, ten games out of first.

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Who Isn't a GM Winner!

I want to thank everyone who participated in the Who Isn't a GM Contest. I had over 250 trade proposals and I looked over each one. All of them were pretty good, but I have to reward the one that stood out the most. So I am happy to announce that eleven year old Michael Lenson will be taking home a Authentic Twins Jersey. his trade involved the Twins and the Nationals:

Twins trade: Nick Blackburn and Garrett Guzman
Nationals trade: Dmitri Young and John Lannan.

This will not be the last contest and I will be announcing the next one soon! Thanks for participating.

Eli

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Rockies Looking To Get Back In Race

The Rockies are rolling right now, winning 8 of their last 10, and are looking to add not only a catcher, but a starting pitcher as well. They are looking to bring in a pitcher that is still under contract, and will be beyond 2008. They have a lot of prospects, and could sacrifice Brad Hawpe along with others to acquire Rich Harden, Dontrelle Willis, or Brad Penny. The Rockies are currently 5.5 games out of first and will have to endure the Yankees, and then a long road trip that will include the Blue Jays, Cubs, and Astros into July.

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Yankees Shopping For Relievers

Whether it is a righty or a lefty, the Yankees are looking to bolster that weak bullpen. They are tired and could benefit from another arm. They are scouting Aki Otsuka and Eric Gagne, but it is uncertain whether Gagne has the Yankees on his list. They may also have interest in the Padres' Scott Linebrink, the Cubs' Michael Wuertz, Twins' Pat Neshek. All three pitchers are off to great starts. Neshek is 3-0 with a 1.10 ERA. Wuertz is 0-2 with a 3.23 ERA and Linebrink is 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA. Joe Torre is known for over using his bullpen and bringing in another arm would probably save a lot of games because not only would give guys like Vizcaino and Farnsworth some time to rest, but it would give them a solid arm to use in the late innings.

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Pitching Woes On Barrett

With Koyie Hill helping Carlos Zambrano take a no-hitter into the eighth inning, along with several other strong performances, it made lead to the quick departure of Michael Barrett, a strong offensive catcher who lacks good defense. Not only that, but Lou Piniella prefers a solid defensive catcher over an offensive one, but that might change when they see how the team fairs without Lee and Ramirez for a couple days. The Rockies lack a good catcher with Chris Iannetta becoming a bust, and they would be smart to bring in Barrett, who could hit 20+ homeruns in Colorado. Although his homerun average would probably stay the same in Florida, the Marlins are also interested and have had scouts at a few Cubs games.

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Steve Trachsel Drawing Interest

The Baltimore Orioles have been getting a lot of calls concerning not only Miguel Tejada, but pitcher Steve Trachsel too. And now that that June 15th deadline has passed, he can be traded. Miguel Tejada is drawing most of his interest from the Angels and Dodgers, but a trade will only happen if owner Peter Angelos makes him available. For Trachsel, who is 5-4 with a 3.94 ERA, he has been made available and is drawing interest from Mets, Mariners, White Sox, and Reds.

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Nationals Would Be Smart To Sell

The Nationals have had a lot of guys that have gotten off to good starts and they would be smart to maximize the amount of prospects they can bring in. Dmitri Young is drawing interest from the Yankees, Red Sox, and Twins, but nothing is really brewing until each team can determine the status of Mark Texeira. The Nationals also have a great closer in Chad Cordero, and he has been scouted by a lot of teams. They could really rake in some good prospects if they swing a deal.

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Rangers Will Be Sellers

Whether the Rangers want to be or not, they will be sellers. They have a lot of guys on this team that are drawing interest, and they could all be used for help. Eric Gagne has a list of twelve teams that he can go to, but can waive that clause and receive more money if a team not on that list tries to swing a deal. Gagne is currently 1-0 with a 0.50 ERA and 7 SV. Mark Texeira will only be traded if he can come back strong from that quad injury. He will probably be out until the All-Star Break, and if he can come back strong, the Rangers might consider a trade.

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Dunn's Days Are Numbered

Adam Dunn's tenure with the Reds will be ending soon, and Adam Dunn knows it. The NL West is in a closest of all the races in baseball, and has been for so long because of excellent starting rotations but poor offensive numbers. So each NL West should be calling the Reds about Dunn. Not only that, but each team has a pretty deep farm system that could please the Reds. Besides the NL West, the White Sox seem very interested along with the Braves, Astros, Angels, and Tigers. Dunn is on pace for another 40 homerun season and is expected to command 50-60 million dollars this off season, but this will all be determined when he signs during the off season. If he signs early, he will set the tone for money being thrown around. But if he signs late, he will make whatever players of his caliber are making. Dunn is currently batting .275 with 19 HR and 46 RBI and has been with the Reds since 2001.

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Yankees Should Swing Another Deal

The Yankees have gained a lot of ground on the AL East leading Red Sox, who now have a 8.5 game lead. The Yankees have a lot of pitching prospects at each level, and could swing a deal to land Mark Texeira. But why trade for Texeira, who will make a lot of money in the near future and require a bundle of prospects, when they could trade for Dmitri Young, who would only require a prospect or a reliever to acquire him. Not only would that be a good deal because he only has one year in his contract, but they have an old rotation with good Double-A pitchers along with two solid Triple-A pitchers that are near MLB ready. A lot will be determined about a potential trade if he can return in time from that quad injury which could have him out for as long as a month. And trading for Texeira would only force the Yankees to trade some of their best prospects and ultimately force them to spend more money in the off season to replace them, instead of looking to their minors. Now one would argue that the Yankees have the money to spend on the best players, but everyone knows that a good organization and team is built from the ground up. Look at the Marlins in 2003, Brewers today, or Braves the past 15 years. By bringing in Young, it would also clear the way for Andy Phillips, Shelly Duncan, or Eric Duncan. Players that come up through the system are all on the same page and it improve team chemistry when players have been together for three or four years. Imagine a rotation lead by Chien-Ming Wang, Phil Hughes, Kei Igawa, and two of the following: Chase Wright, Russ Ohlendorf, Humberto Sanchez, Joba Chamberlain, Jeff Marquez, or Brett Smith. They could always trade a couple of them but they would have to trade their best to acquire Texeira.

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Tempers Boil Over in Wrigley

Saturday, June 16, 2007

This fight can be credited to Jake Peavy's comments following yesterday's game, even though he didn't pitch. After Alfonso Soriano's homerun off David Wells, Soriano took three steps to watch the ball and then trotted along to first. Both Wells and Peavy were upset, but Peavy definitely instigated today's brawl: "I didn't appreciate that. Just play the game," Peavy said after the Padres were defeated 4-1 at Wrigley Field. "They pay him $136 million to hit home runs. They don't pay him to be a circus act on the field. If I think a player shows me up like that, I like the next guy to take one in the stinkin' ribs." Derrek Lee came up in the fourth inning of play with Chris Young throwing a no-hitter. His first pitch plunked Lee in the left shoulder and as Lee walked to first base, Chris Young smiled at Lee as words were exchanged. At one point Lee said "What?!" and began walking towards Young. Young then said "Better get going, I might do that again." And before he could finish, Lee through a punch that missed followed by Young's punch that missed. As Marcus Giles pulled Young away Lee landed a punch, but no other punches were thrown. Order was ultimately restored but not after Lee, Young, Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry, and Jake Peavy were ejected. Suspensions will be handed out Monday.

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Buehrle to Mets?

Buehrle got off to a great start with the White Sox, contributing the first no hitter of the season. But a lot of no decisions have pushed his record to even with a good AL ERA of 3.69. The Mets have excellent pitching, and a pretty good bullpen but would love to bolster their pitching to really run away with the NL East. If they could solidify their pitching, all they'd really waiting on is Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran heating up. Although nothing is really brewing as of yet, the White Sox have informed the Mets that they think they cannot sign him and want to trade him soon. The Mets have also inquired about Astros closer Brad Lidge, who they are looking to shop. The Mets are trying to add another power arm, especially in that setup role where Heilman and Mota have thrived off only one pitch. The Mets certainly have the system to acquire both, but would need to give more than that to acquire both.

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What Beane Saw

When the A's traded Mark Mulder, they made sure that they acquired Dan Haren in the deal. At the time of the deal, I thought "why Haren?" But looking back on the deal you can see why Beane asked for him. Haren was not just a lucky breakout player, he put up consistent numbers in the minors and when he came up with the Cardinals, he had good strikeout numbers and was able to shutdown good teams. What has also led to Haren's success is a good offensive team, above average bullpen, and a low media environment where he can grow into a good ballplayer, which he has. So what the A's need now is a strong outfield and another strong pitcher behind Haren. Haren was able to dominate the Cardinals tonight, going seven strong innings and giving up two earned runs. He is now 8-2 with a 1.64 ERA. But Haren really didn't have to do much. Every player that started got a hit, and the 2-3-4 batters combined for six RBIs. Braden Looper has started to slow down, now 6-6. And the bullpen hasn't only got worse as the seasons gone on. The A's are now four games out of first and have the opportunity to make up some ground with five more home games against St. Louis and then Cincinnati.

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Mets Looking For Outfielders

Friday, June 15, 2007

With Moises Alou out indefinitely and and Endy Chavez out as well, Omar Minaya is desperately looking for outfield help. However, he isn't looking at a big name player like Aaron Rowand or Jermaine Dye, he's looking for a Jay Payton type player. Names that come to mind are Jeff Conine, Jacque Jones, Jay Gibbons, or Juan Encarnacion. Acquiring a player like this would not be hard especially with a loaded minor league system. If any trade were to happen, it would happen sooner rather than later because the Mets are clinging on to the division lead and the Braves are starting to heat up again.

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Broadcast Tomorrow

A Father's Day Broadcast! We will be talking about just about everything in 30 minutes. Upcoming trades, All-Star teams, Standings, and much more. Call 1.646.478.5102 at 11:30 A.M.

More details soon...

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Who Isn't a GM?

Here is your opportunity to win gear from your favorite team, courtesy of MLB Rumors. Starting today, everyone has til Sunday night to email me at mlbrumors@gmail.com with their best trade proposal. The winner will win a customized jersey from their favorite team on me! Any trade will work and Monday morning after careful examination of each trade, I will pick a winner. You will then be notified and asked for your last name, number, and favorite team. After I receive the jersey, I will email you again for your shipping information, which will not be shared with anyone.

Good luck!

Eli

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Dodgers After Cabrera?

Although the Dodgers outfield is a mess and their lack of offensive production has lead to the dismissal of hitting coach Eddie Murray, the Dodgers are looking for a third baseman. Juan Pierre is batting .279 with 0 HR, 14 RBI, and 20 SB, but hasn't had the same effect on the Dodgers like he did on the Cubs and Marlins, which was the main reason they signed him. And the two year deal worth 18 million dollars with Nomar Garciaparra is also a bust. He is batting .273 with 1 HR and 34 RBI. He had 20 HR last season and in 62 games in 2005, had 9 homeruns. Although Andre Ethier is struggling and Luis Gonzalez is under contract for one year, the Dodgers are shying away from available outfielders like Adam Dunn and Jermaine Dye, and are attempting to acquire Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera. The Dodgers certainly have the prospects to please the Marlins but the only way this will happen is if the Marlins are willing to give up their best offensive player. If the Dodgers were to acquire Cabrera it would also be the start of a younger wave starting in 2008. With Abreu at second base, Loney in left field, and LaRoche at either first or third, they have the potential to dominate the NL West for the next several years.

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Three Way Trade In Works?

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Twins are now expressing interest in Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, and it is possible with their interest in acquiring Teixeira, that they will eat his contract to get a decent prospect to throw at the Rangers with others. But, with Theo Epstein's success in negotiating trades with Terry Ryan of the Twins, and other multi-team deals, he could include the Rangers in the deal that would send Lowell to the Twins, Teixeira to the Red Sox, and good young prospects to the Rangers. The prospects that would probably have to go would be Michael Bowden, along with two to three others. The Rangers year is lost, and the best way to rebuild is to try and not only balance out hitting and pitching, but get some young good prospects to become a contender in the next couple years. Although this three way trade is probably unlikely, the Twins Front Office is in the process of trying to acquire Mike Lowell, and the Red Sox have held preliminary talks with the Rangers about Mark Teixeira. But in both cases, nothing is boiling.

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Everett Out After Collision

Jason Kendall hit a routine fly ball to short left field that brought shortstop Adam Everett out and Carlos Lee in. Due to miscommunication on both parts, Lee slid in and his knee made contact with the outside part of his leg, breaking the fibula. Everett had to be carted off the field after he was unable to stand up. The timetable is 4-8 weeks, but with an injury like this, I expect a return around early August. Mark Loretta will probably take over at shortstop for the time being. In 62 games, Everett was batting .230 with 2 HR and 15 RBI.

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Interview with Kyle Blanks

Two days ago, I had the opportunity to interview Padres prospect Kyle Blanks, who is tearing it up the California League. Blanks, who is a first baseman, is batting .323 with 12 HR, 57 RBI, and 4 SB. He is just twenty, so we should expect to hear from this kid in the next couple years. I want to thank him for donating him time to me and MLB Rumors. I also want to thank Jeff Joseph, who heads Media & Public Relations for the Storm for his help in setting up this interview.

ELI: You are off to a great start this season, did you do anything different during the off-season to prepare?

KYLE: Yeah, just a lot of lifting, working out, and hitting. A lot of things to get in shape for the season.

ELI: The season ended in early September, how much time did you take off before getting back to work?


KYLE: Actually, this past off season I had to go to Instructional [hitting] from mid-September to mid-October. So I hit for that month period and then started hitting again in December.

ELI: Because of your strong start, have you noticed pitcher pitching different to you? More off speed stuff?

KYLE: I'll say it varies from team to team. It goes by what their pitching philosophy is as an organization. But it does come down to what I have done in the past. I do notice some teams pitching me differently, but it is just making the adjustment to how they are throwing.

ELI: You grew up in Pennsylvania, were you a Pirates fan or Phillies fan?

KYLE: I liked the Phillies a little bit when I saw younger, I wasn't there that long.

ELI: Oh. Who'd you root for growing up then?

KYLE: I'd have to say, growing up, more than anything probably a Boston Red Sox fan.

ELI: With the draft just happening last week, you were once taken in the draft in the 42nd round. What was that like being drafted?

KYLE: It was kind of a surprise. I played well in high school, it was just nice to year after four years of hard work. And right after that, there was more work to do so I could sign and then go out and play.

ELI: Did you see it coming? Did you think about it as the draft approached?

KYLE: I was hoping I'd go. I'd talk to a couple of people who said I should be drafted. And when it happened I was pretty happy about it.

ELI: Do you remember which teams you were talking to?

KYLE: I received things from the Padres, Red Sox-mainly questionnaires and other stuff like that.

ELI: You are batting .463 against lefties, is it easier to pick up the ball?

KYLE: I always preferred hitting off righties just because I see them more. I don't know, I guess I'm seeing it better off lefties.

ELI: What is your favorite minor league stadium?

KYLE: Favorite minor league stadium. I'd have to say Isotopes park because that is where I live and it is an unbelievable park.

ELI: How about major league stadium?

KYLE: I'd have to say Fenway.

ELI: Your favorite food on the road. Whether it is at the ballpark or a fast food place.

KYLE: Ooh. Probably any kind of sub place like Quiznos.

ELI: Favorite minor league uniform?


KYLE: Ooh. Um. [pause] Whoo I-

ELI: Storm's pretty good?

KYLE: Yeah, they are at the top of my list.

ELI: And major league jersey?

KYLE: I'm a really big fan of the Padres throwback jersey.

ELI: Oh yeah, like the early eighties.


KYLE: Yeah, like the Dave Winfield jersey's.

ELI: Yeah, yeah, those are like '84.

KYLE: Yeah, those were great.

ELI: Alright, how about your best roommate on the road?

KYLE: I only have one and he's pretty good: Burke, Greg Burke.

ELI: Is he an infielder too?

KYLE: No, pitcher.

ELI: Oh, how about funniest guy in the clubhouse?

KYLE: Probably Burke.

ELI: You got a pretty good deal, huh?

KYLE: Yeah, yeah I do.

ELI: Do you follow baseball during the off season?

KYLE: I try to follow it as much as I can. I like to check Minor League Baseball. Keep myself updated with all the rosters and see where people are going.

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All-Star Voting Is Ending Soon

Breakout player and Devil Ray star B.J. Upton has proved he can be All-Star, being the most consistent second baseman in the American League. Batting .320 with 9 HR, 31 RBI, and 13 SB in just 56 games, it comes as no surprise that he is an All-Star. Check out B.J. Upton's All-Star Page and see how he compares to other second baseman. Voting ends soon, and if B.J. Upton heads to the All-Star game, he will be the first Devil Ray in the history of the franchise to go. Vote Now!

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He's Had Enough

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has been the Yankees catcher since 1995 and is coming up on thirty six years of age. If his career year continues, he should make good money in the market. But he is aging and it is not the best risk to take him for three or four years. He has said this season that the Yankees haven't given him any reason to stay after they tabled negotiations for the season. He went on to talk about becoming a free agent: "I'm going to look into it. I'm going to look into every scenario," said Posada, who belted his eighth homer of the season in last night's win over Arizona. "It's the first time and maybe the only time I'm going to be a free agent. Don't get me wrong, I totally want to be here, this is the only place I know, but I'm not assuming anything right now. If that doesn't happen, I will look at every option. " Posada is batting .354 with 8 HR and 41 RBI. He is a career .274 hitter with 206 HR and 812 RBI. Now I am sure the Yankees will be looking at all available catchers now, including Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca, who is set to be a free agent after this season. They will probably also look at Ivan Rodriguez, if he becomes a free agent, Michael Barrett, and if all us fails, maybe Brad Ausmus.

To see a complete list of Free Agents, click here.

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Interview with Mike Maroth

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Last week, Cardinals pitcher Mike Maroth joined me on the MLB Rumors Talk Show to talk some baseball. I had a lot of questions for him, and he answered them all very thoroughly. Mike currently has his own website, www.marothbaseball.com, and he will starts blogging on it very soon. I want to thank Mike for donating his time to me and MLB Rumors. I also want to thank Matt Kramer at Career Sports & Entertainment for setting up my third interview. If it wasn't for him, I would not have been able to do any of these, so I really appreciate it.

ELI: Are you guys in Texas now?

MIKE: We are. We are getting ready to start a three game series.

ELI: There we go. Did you hear that Vicente Padilla isn't starting tonight?

MIKE: No, I did not hear that.

ELI: John Rheinecker is pitching. Just called him up.

MIKE: Oh really.

ELI: How do you think the team will have to prepare differently? Watch some extra tape before they go out?

MIKE: Well usually we do not go over hitters until we start the series. After our batting practice or even before batting practice. We haven't even gone over Texas yet. We'll do that at the ballpark. By then, obviously-you know I do not think we will have anything on him. If we do, we'll kind of go over it, but if we don't, there is nothing we can really do about it.

ELI: You guys have this three game series versus the Rangers and then you take your next thirteen games against the National League. Is there an extra importance on winning these games before taking it to the All-Star Break against the National League?

MIKE: I am a big fan of the interleague play so I enjoy facing the National League and experience more of the National League game. Seeing different parks-so it is a nice change in the middle of the season. You know it doesn't really matter who you are facing as far as winning. We've been struggling in our past two games versus Cleveland so we are looking to take that momentum into this series and up against the National League teams.

ELI: What was it like being on a team that struggled for so many years to finally make it to the World Series?

MIKE: It was amazing. I wish I could have been apart of it as far as getting to play but I was there to experience it and watch guys that I had been playing with for several years go out there and play on the big spotlight in the World Series. You know it was awesome just to see where we were a couple years ago to making it to the ultimate goal, playing in the World Series.

ELI:
What kind of progression are you seeing from some of the young pitchers, Zach Minor specifically?

MIKE: He came in last year- he was actually the guy that took over for me after I had to have surgery. He came in and did a tremendous job.

ELI: Have you seen a lot of changes now that it is his second year?

MIKE: You know, not really. I think I saw a lot from last year and I think by him coming in to a rotation that was doing exceptionally well, had been pitching well. So for him to come in when he did last year and be able to fit right in-I think he spent a lot of time with the guys, so he was able to build off them. He just took the whole confidence that the pitching staff was giving him and really kind of fit right in. So you know he did a great job-and out of spring training he didn't make the team but got a chance a few weeks ago to come up and he has done a good job for us since then.

ELI: You've been the topic of some new trade rumors, do they bother you?

MIKE: I try not to worry about them. Nothing new, every year. Every year since I've been in the big leagues there has always been some kind of talk. nothings happened-so I try not to worry about it. I'll just wait until it actually happens, but until it does, I won't think about it.

ELI:
Many players react differently when they are under contract and when they are not, some take it as an audition every game, some look at it as a way to showcase themselves, do you think about it?

MIKE: I don't even think about that. The biggest thing I am trying to think about is just getting back. You know get back in the swing of things after missing so much time last year. Just trying to get back to where I was before the surgery last year. Get into a nice rhythm and I really think my mechanics have come along way from spring training and into the beginning of the year. They are getting to where I feel they need to be and now it is just about going out there and getting the job done.

ELI:
The way you talk about your contract negotiations and how the most important thing is fairness, it seems you take a lot of pride in playing baseball, but more playing in Detroit with the Tigers. Where and when did you love for baseball begin?

MIKE: I started playing when I was five and a couple years later I got the opportunity to pitch when I was seven. I can remember playing catch with my dad and he would be my catcher. And I remember going out there for the first time after convincing my coach that I wanted to pitch and I threw strikes and did well and from that point on I think I fell in love with pitching. I've been able to succeed at each level and have made adjustments when I needed to and had a lot of fun doing it.

ELI: Now I head you are starting a blog yourself, can you tell me about that?



MIKE: Yes. I am working on setting up a website that will be marothbaseball.com and will be going live in the next day or so and I will be starting a blog just trying to connect with fans as much as I can. The fans are the reason we play the game and I can remember growing up and I remember being a fan when I was younger and I think it is a great way for fans to really connect with the players.

ELI: Who was your favorite team growing up?

MIKE: It was the Braves. I was a big Dale Murphy fan. Growing up in Florida that was the team we got to see the most of. So I got to watch pretty much all the games-

ELI: What is it like seeing these guys like Tom Glavine, Smoltz, and Maddux still playing in the league today?

MIKE: Just shows how good they were. You heard so much about them in the early nineties and even today but that is what they were built around-that pitching staff. Obviously those guys are still around today, pitching and finishing off their careers, some unbelievable careers.

ELI: I always hear 'the number one starter, the number two starter.' Are there any advantage to where the pitcher is in the rotation?

MIKE: Not at all. You start the year going number one starter all the way down to number five and that is just the way they get the year going. You just stay in that rotation so everyone pitches every fifth day, and quite frankly, with rain outs and off days, the number one starter won't go up against the number one starter of another team. Usually they lineup different ways. You know I've pitched a few times against Santana. Yeah so it doesn't line up any certain way when the season starts . The numbers don't line up you just pitch when it is your turn.

ELI: Last year after surgery, you had a long road back to the majors, what were the first steps in your rehab following surgery?

MIKE: Well the first thing is to get the swelling down, give it some time to heal. Three weeks after the surgery I was able to start playing catch and that is when I was able to start the road back, baseball wise, and progress from there. Several months later, I was in a rehab game with our Triple-A Affiliate Toldeo and made four outs there. You know everything progressed well all the way to the very end. But I had some setbacks and it didn't work out like I thought it was going to work out. But I was able to make it back and was able to throw a couple of innings out of the bullpen at the end of the year last year.

ELI:
I’ve heard about some pretty funny guys around the league, Tim Hudson, Ryan Dempster to name a few. Who would you say is the funniest guy in the clubhouse?

MIKE: We got a few of them. As far as being a joker, probably Vance Wilson or Brandon Inge. Those two hang out together and kind of come up with jokes and stuff. I think everyone has there own jokes. Todd Jones is a pretty funny guy. He isn't so much of a joker, he just keeps things light.

ELI: You've been on the Tigers for awhile, what is the best prank you've seen or been apart of?

MIKE: Best prank. There is a few that I probably couldn't say on the air. [Laughs] Probably X-rated. [laughs] Something you probably wouldn't want to share with people.

ELI: I'll take your word for it.
It seemed in Jim Leyland’s first year with the team he had the immediate respect of the team. Other than being a manager with a lot of experience, what did he do to earn the teams respect before you guys even came into spring training?

MIKE: He instantly earned our respect just because what he has been able to accomplish on his own as a manager. But he was able to show quickly what he wanted and what he expected out of his players. All he wanted from us was to play hard and play nine innings and it wasn't about winning or losing. It was about just playing the game right and hard. We learned pretty quick that that was what he expected out of us and he wasn't going to take anything less. And as the year progressed last year and he showed how much he cared about us, in turn, it made us care for him and it really makes you want to play for a guy that cares about you.

ELI: How were you feeling in your last game versus Cleveland?

MIKE: I felt great. I had good stuff for awhile and all of a sudden I got to the sixth inning with two outs and an 0-2 count on Jhonny Peralta, and from that point on I went on two give up two two run homeruns after that. So I just need to find a way to better execute my pitches and eliminate the damage like that. Like I said, I had great stuff in that start and feel the performance should have been a little better.

ELI:
Roger Clemens is attempting to make another comeback with the Yankees in yet another partial season. I mentioned on my site that this could start a ripple effect on older players who can’t handle a full season anymore, what’s your opinion on the whole thing?

MIKE: Well I think the reason your seeing a lot of 40+ pitchers is just because of pitch counts because I think managers and teams take pride in taking care of their pitchers and that is why I think you are seeing the longevity of their careers. But they are still able to get it done if you see the guys that are 40+, they are still effective.

ELI: And it is amazing because the guys that are 40+, Maddux, Smoltz, Moyer, their wind ups are so basic. And they get so much power on the way down.

MIKE: Yeah. Well that is where it all starts. And they have to know how to take care of themselves. I am sure there work ethic is very high. But they can pitch and there is a point in your career when your body can't take it anymore and that is when people make the decision to retire. And it is different for everybody.

ELI: Do you think that player loyalty to their team is being overshadowed by the increasing amount of money being thrown around in free agency these days?

MIKE: No. I think that a player takes pride in the team and the uniform he wears, even if it changes. You know you got a job to do. Whatever team or jersey he puts on, that comes first.

ELI:
What do you like to do before you pitch? Listen to music, review game notes?

MIKE: Everyone has got their own routine, it is all about routines. I have the same routine each time I start as far as what I eat and what time. I usually have a Peanut butter and jelly sandwich about two hours before the game and start stretching about an hour and twenty minutes before the game. It's funny, whenever I start I always find myself looking at the clock to see when it is time to start my next routine.

ELI:
It was obvious that the Tigers goal coming into Spring Training was to make it back to the Series, is that something the team talks about often?

MIKE: Not really. That is our goal, it is every year so we try not to dwell on it. Like I said, it is early in the year you just try to take it one game at a time. I know it is cliche but that is really how you have to focus on it because each day is different. You try and win as many games as you can. Like I said, as you get closer to the end of the year you kind of get to see where you are at and what you need to do and at that point that is when you start thinking about that stuff. But right now, there is not too much talk about it but in the backs of our mind that is our goal and that is all we are shooting for.

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Michael Barrett Hurting Cubs

Despite being a huge fan of Michael Barrett and hope that the Cubs resign him before they let their best catcher go since the 1960's, his defense has been hurting the Cubs as of late and is effecting the team. Not only that, but his hot head has effected the team the past three years. In 2004 after a Aramis Ramirez homerun, Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt hit Barrett with the first pitch sending Barrett to the mound. The benches emptied and no punches were thrown, but the following week, Barrett instigated another benches clearing fight. Following the first ejection, Barrett agreed with the umpire on ejecting Kerry Wood, who hit Jeff Kent on a 1-2 pitch. The following day, his comment was posted on his locker. Following that series, the Astros roared back into the division race to take the wild card away from the Phillies and Mets, and shut down the Cubs the rest of the season. In 2006 during Interleague play, a base hit to left field brought A.J. Pierzynski to the plate. The ball was late but that didn't stop Pierzynski from bull dozing Barrett and then slamming on the plate. As Pierzynski walked back to the dugout, Barrett grabbed him and hit him in the mouth, instigating another benches clearing brawl resulting in several punches being thrown. Following that game, the Cubs only won three more games out of ten and put them 13.5 games out of first. This year, Barrett started off slow and is batting .249 with 9 HR and 28 RBI, and has had several defensive problems. Not only has he made five errors this year, which ties his error total last year in 102 games, but he has blown two games on his own, and caused a scuffle to ensue in the dugout between him and Carlos Zambrano after a five run third inning and an error to let runners advance. Now he is not catching Carlos Zambrano, and is on the wrong side of both Ryan Dempster and Will Ohman. And just a couple nights ago after a RBI single from Jarrod Washburn, Barrett and Rich Hill were seen having a animated argument forcing Larry Rothschild to step in. So what can the Cubs do? Personally, I think they should hold on to him. A rough start with fiery manager Lou Piniella can change and I think what he needs to do more than anything else is just relax and focus on baseball. The Cubs could trade him, but then they have Koyie Hill and Henry Blanco behind the plate, and their offensive numbers do not combine to equal Barrett's, and there is no one in the minors that could step up into a starting role anytime soon. The Mets are already known to be interested, and I'm sure many other teams would be interested, including the Yankees.

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Street Out For Year?

A's pitcher Huston Street faced another setback in his return to the majors, forcing him to get a second opinion on his irritated nerve in his elbow, not ruling out surgery. Good news coming from the examination is that there is no structural damage, but surgery is still an option. Street said he felt tightness after throwing Friday that did not go away. "If Huston continues to have pain, other options might have to be considered," Forst said when asked about the possibility of surgery. "But it's been just over a month (that Street has been out), we can wait awhile. Huston has more than this season to contribute." For now, we can rule out Street returning at the All-Star break. You can probably expect him to return if he can avoid surgery by the trade deadline or early August. Street, who has been replaced for the time being by Alan Embree, is 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 9 SV.

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Elijah Dukes In More Trouble

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Devil Rays top prospect Elijah Dukes is being accused of getting a 17-year-old foster girl living with a relative of Elijah Dukes pregnant. She told the police that she is due in November and that when she confront Dukes, he became angry and threw a Gatorade at her. She went on to say that it was consensual. Dukes has already been linked to four other women who have his children, and has recently been accused of threatening to kill his girlfriend. This is just another reason that the Devil Rays should trade Dukes before he really starts to effect the clubhouse. This is really a sad story because he is such a good ballplayer with so much potential but could be forced to leave baseball if these allegations continue. I do not know what else can be done right now except for a good talk from his manager or a couple guys on the team. I know tons of teams would love him, but it just seems unlikely that a team in the heat of a race would take on a big distraction.

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Hamels Dominant, Wins 9th

Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels was unstoppable again, pitching eight innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out eight. Chase Utley was 3 for 3 with a homerun and four RBIs while Greg Dobbs contributed two hits and two RBIs. While Cole Hamels was fooling anyone when he said he plans to win twenty games this year. He has come out and done his job better than anyone could have asked to and hasn't shown any signs of slowing down. It was obvious in his first year when he had nine wins that he could maintain a job in the majors and do a solid job. The Phillies are 3.5 games behind the Mets and will look to sweep the White Sox tomorrow sending rookie Kyle Kendrick to the mound against John Danks. Hamels will look to get ten wins against the Indians in Cleveland probably against Fausto Carmona, who has been doing a great job for the Indians this year with seven wins.

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Justin Verlander Tosses No-No

Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander squared up against veteran Jeff Suppan and the Brewers just trying to get the Tigers back in the division hunt. Verlander struck out twelve and walked four, while Inge, Granderson, and Polanco all contributed RBIs. Verlander struck out the first two batters in the ninth, and then forced a fly out from JJ Hardy to complete the sixth no-hitter in Tiger history, the first since 1984. He threw 112 pitches and improved to 7-2 with a 2.79 ERA. This just goes to show that his rookie year was not a fluke, and that he can dominate just about any team he plays. He will be the backbone of that rotation for the next several years to come and will help young prospect Andrew Miller become a very good and dominant pitcher. Tigers pitcher Mike Maroth will take Chris Capuano as they try to take the division from the Indians.

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Dunn On The Block

The Reds have begun shopping outfielder Adam Dunn, who will be a free agent after this year. GM Wayne Krivsky refused to comment on it only feeding fire a little bit more. Dunn, who is hitting .250 with 15 home runs and 38 RBI, would help a lot of teams searching for a bat. Teams like the Padres, Dodgers, Giants, and Mets who are all trying to run away with their division could definitely use him, and for the Mets and Dodgers, they certainly have enough prospects to trade to the Reds. Dunn is set to make at least 40-50 million this off season, maybe more if the market goes up again, so now more than ever is the time to start talking about a trade.

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Cubs' Ramirez On DL

Monday, June 11, 2007

The Cubs will place third baseman Aramis Ramirez on the DL with a sore knee. The Cubs will activate Cliff Floyd off the bereavement list and play DeRosa at third base and Mike Fontenot and Ryan Theriot at second base. This is a blow to the Cubs offense with Derrek Lee struggling and Carlos Zambrano batting better than Jacque Jones. First, just to get it out of the way, should release Wade Miller, who is barely reaching 80 on his fastball. Then they should set a lineup that will change rarely so the players have some stability and confidence while their lineup is weak for the next couple of weeks.

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Joe Crede Out For Year

White Sox third baseman Joe Crede will undergo back surgery ending his season. Crede was complaining of back problems the whole season and it showed in his stats. He was batting .216 with 4 HR and 22 RBI. He was nearly traded to Anaheim for Chone Figgins this past off season. The White Sox expect him to be ready for spring training with no problems, witch is a realistic assessment.

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Broadcast Tomorrow!

Tomorrow at 3:00 P.M. CT Padres prospect Kyle Blanks will be in the studio to talk with me. Please call in, the number is 1.646.478.5102.

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Jacque Jones Back To Minnesota?

While many fans and reporters called out for offense help, it is time to do something when their manager calls out for it too. Ron Gardenhire mentioned in his radio show that Twins need help: "You'd like to have one big bat, another big bat, either in the DH spot, or maybe put him at third base and put [Nick] Punto in the middle of the infield," Gardenhire told KSTP AM-1500. "Yeah, there's options. There's things that we can do here to probably improve it and give us even more depth all the way down through the lineup." The Twins have looked at Devil Rays infielder Ty Wigginton, who is batting .263 with 11 home runs and 33 RBI. Wiggington is in their price range and with the Twins' plethora of pitching, there is a match. But the Cubs also need pitching and bringing back a former Twin who had success there would probably benefit the team too. Jones struggled in his last two years with the team, but has learned a lot from playing in a high pressure environment and would benefit from a trade to the AL. But he is scheduled to make 9 million total over the next two years so the Cubs would have to give a lot of money to make it happen. Jones is batting .230 with 2 HR and 19 RBI this season.

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Reds Lose Milton

The Reds will shutdown pitcher Eric Milton for the year as he will be recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery. Milton was 0-4 with a 5.17 ERA in six starts this season, but has been on the DL since May 9th. This is the second year he has been hit with elbow problems. So the Reds will probably hold onto Homer Bailey for a little while longer and maybe call up Bobby Livingston as well. I do not think it will hurt their rotation too much. Just because both those young pitchers are strong players.

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Nationals To Acquire Dukes?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Washington Nationals are actively pursuing troubled Devil Rays prospect Elijah Dukes. Dukes has been the topic of many trades because he would bring back something in return, and his off the field scuffles are upsetting the team and the Front Office. Dukes would fit nice in Washington. He would be able to step into a leading role with the team and benefit from Manny Acta's style of play. Furthermore, Jim Bowden is known for giving troubled stars another shot. He signed Dmitri Young and Ronnie Belliard, both who had trouble in the off season or the season before. Dmitri Young was released by the Tigers because he was struggling and had some attitude problems while Belliard had some off the field problems. Bringing in Dukes would help the team and could revitalized his slow season, and his troubled start in Tampa. He is batting .196 with 10 HR and 21 RBI. It would also clear his off the field image and a change of scenery, although it is not to a contender, would allow him to start fresh and grow into the ball player he is capable of becoming in a low media environment.

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Dye Heading West?

The struggling White Sox are loaded with soon to be free agents, and although GM Kenny Williams said he is not interested in trading, this White Sox team cannot holdup in the strong AL Central with the team they have. The NL West division race is so close already each team is looking for a way to pull ahead. And right now, each team is calling the White Sox about All Star outfielder Jermaine Dye. Dye has revitalized his career in Chicago and will look for a lot of money in the market. So trading him to a team that is desperate for help could bring back a lot of prospects. Right now, the Giants, Padres, and Dodgers have all engaged in talks, but nothing is serious yet. But all three teams have enough prospects to trade to make the White Sox happy. The Padres have a game and a half lead and would have to make room to play Dye regularly, but so would the Giants and Dodgers. Any trade that will happen is far away, and probably wouldn't happen until the deadline.

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Clemens Strong In Debut

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Roger Clemens was strong in his major league debut, but didn't have to do much to beat the struggling Pirates. After the Pirates got one run in the first inning, the Yankees came right back to score three to give him a comfortable lead. Then Clemens was able to fine tune is pitches to shut down the Pirates through six innings, giving up three runs and striking out seven. He through 69 of 108 pitches for strikes. Although the Pirates tied it in the fourth, the Yankees answered right back in the fifth to regain the lead and then score five more times to win 9-3, their fifth straight win. Good news coming from the game is Roger Clemens felt no discomfort with his groin after the game and Bobby Abreu is hitting again, contributing two hits and an RBI today. He is now batting .260. The Yankees will look to make it six straight wins tomorrow sending rookie Tyler Clippard against former Yankee Shawn Chacon.

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Drew, Beckett Dominate Dbacks

The Red Sox sent their best pitcher to the mound tonight hoping that he would walk all over the Diamondbacks. But Beckett really didn't have to do much. With help from J.D. Drew, who had seven RBIs of the teams 10, he was able to out hit the first eight guys in the Diamondbacks lineup. Beckett went eight strong innings, striking out eight and improving to 9-0 on the year. Doug Davis has turned out to be a bust for the Diamondbacks, struggling through four innings. He is now 4-7 with a 3.48 ERA. And the bullpen wasn't great either. Edgar Gonzalez went four innings giving up five earned runs. The Red Sox are on a two game winning streak and will send Julian Tavarez to the mound tomorrow with a comfortable 10.5 game lead in the division.

Bailey Strong In Debut: The Reds top pitching prospect Homer Bailey made his major league debut tonight, going five innings, striking out three and giving up two earned runs. However, his control was a little problem walking four. But it is still early and I am sure this will all be addressed before his next start.

Soriano Dominates Braves: Cubs left fielder Alfonso Soriano homered off Lance Cormier three times, his first coming on the first pitch of the game. Not only did Soriano dominate the Braves, but his roommate, top prospect Felix Pie did as well. Pie was 2 for 4 with three RBIs. Besides Sean Marshall, who pitched six strong innings striking out four, each position player had at least one hit.

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