Thursday, July 30, 2009

Big Fraud and Manny? Busted...

Boston Red Sox v Yomiuri Giants - Preseason Friendly

What do David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez share in common with Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa?

They appear on the list of roughly 100 players that tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003, according to Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times.

Ramirez and Ortiz were two key components of Boston's World Series teams (2004 and 2007). Ramirez was named MVP of the 2004 World Series.

In 2003, Major League Baseball performed survey testing, which was supposed to be confidential and not subject to penalties. However, names have been leaked roughly every month or two.

While it would make more sense to release all the names and put this behind us, I can't see the MLB Players Association going for that.

Back in 2003, David "Big Fraud" Ortiz set career highs in home runs (31) and runs batted in (101) and continued to improve on those numbers for four straight years as noted by Schmidt.

Big Fraud's comments earlier in the year make this report that much funnier -- especially as a Yankees fan that's annoyed by the holier-than-thou attitude of Red Sox fans.

"I think you clean up the game by the testing," Ortiz said in February at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers, Fla. "I test you, you test positive, you're going to be out. Period.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Cards acquire Matt Holliday from A's

Phillies vs. Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired Matt Holliday from Oakland Athletics.

In return, the A's receive prospects Brett Wallace, Shane Peterson and Clayton Mortensen from the Cardinals.

Wallace, who was considered the Cardinals' top prospect, was drafted in the first round in 2008.

Before the trade, Holliday was hitting .286 with 11 home runs and 52 RBI in Oakland. However, he was starting the hit the ball really well. In his last 10 games in Oakland, Holliday had five multi-hit games collecting 16 hits during that span.

Now he goes to a lineup where he will bat behind Albert Pujols, the world's greatest hitter.

In his first game with the Cardinals, Holliday had four hits in five at bats in the Cards' 8-1 win over the Phillies.

Holliday provides protection for Pujols and helps boost the Cardinals lineup. The Cardinals are 17th in the majors in runs scored (428 runs) and 23rd in batting average (.254).

However, their pitching has been strong as they are fifth in ERA (3.75). Both Chris Carpenter (8-3, 2.26 ERA) and Adam Wainwright (11-6, 2.95 ERA) have sub-3.00 ERAs.

While only 2 1/2 games separate the top four teams in the N.L. Central, this move means the Cardinals should separate themselves from the pack.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Perfect game for Mark Buehrle

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Chicago White Sox

Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle became the 18th pitcher in Major League history to pitch a perfect game beating the Rays 5-0 at U.S. Cellular Field.

For the first out of the ninth inning, White Sox outfielder Dewayne Wise made a spectacular grab to rob a home run from Gabe Kapler.

It becomes the second perfect game in franchise history. The other was thrown by Charlie Robertson in 1922.

Back in 2007, Buehrle pitched a no-hitter and walked only one batter (Sammy Sosa). In fact, Sosa was picked off two pitches later and Buehrle faced the minimum 27 batters in that game as well.

Buehrle improves his record to 11-3 with an ERA of 3.28 and the White Sox are now tied with the Tigers for first in the A.L. Central. The Tigers lost to the Mariners today.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wakefield to DL, Buchholz to start Wednesday

MLB Florida Marlins vs Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox have placed All-Star Tim Wakefield on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain.

To replace Wakefield on the roster and in the rotation, the Red Sox have recalled Clay Buchholz from Pawtucket

Any day in the big leagues is a better day than in the minor leagues,’’ Buchholz said. “I’m happy to be here. I’ll go after them and see what happens.’’

"He pitched good the other day,’’ Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. “As an organization, I think we’re pretty fortunate that something like this can happen and we can have a guy like Clay ready to pitch.’’

Buchholz, who went 2-9 with an ERA of 6.75 last year, will get the ball tomorrow night against the Texas Rangers and Vicente Padilla.

Wakefield will be eligible to come off the DL on August 2nd, which means Buchholz will get at least two starts.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Tigers place Joel Zumaya on DL

Chicago Cubs at Detroit Tigers.

The Detroit Tigers have placed reliever Joel Zumaya on the 15-day disabled list, per Steve Kornacki of

Zumaya, who gave up the game-winning home run to Mark Teixeira last night, felt pain in his shoulder and is scheduled for an MRI later today.

The Tigers have recalled Ryan Perry, who was their first-round pick in 2008, from Triple-A Toledo to take Zumaya's roster spot.

Perry, who has a 4.28 ERA in 27 1/3 innings, was sent down to improve his control, which he has done. In 13 2/3 innings in Toledo, Perry was 1-0 with an ERA of 2.63, 12 strikeouts and only four walks.

Zumaya, on the other hand, has now blown four save opportunities in his past nine appearances.

The Hot Corner, 7/18 edition

The Braves shut out the Mets 11-0 for the Mets' fourth shutout loss in their past nine games.

Per Adam Rubin of the NY Daily News, Mets pitcher Tim Redding may be released as soon as today.

The Mets deny that Jose Reyes suffered a setback in his rehab.

Luke Grienke, Zack's brother, hopes to make a return in 2010 from the surgery he had last year to repair a torn labrum.

The Yankees will start Sergio Mitre on Tuesday against Baltimore.

Matt Gagne of the NY Daily News wonders about a possible future return to the starting rotation for Phil Hughes.

The Yankees ended a three-game losing streak by beating the Tigers 5-3 yesterday.

Giants pitcher Matt Cain will keep his scheduled start on Sunday.

Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is working on reducing errors.

The Blue Jays are moving Brian Tallet to the bullpen.

Albert Pujols hit a pair of home runs last night as the Cards beat the D'Backs 6-1.

Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello said of stepping onto the field at Yankee Stadium: "It was pretty cool. It was pretty special. It was one of those moments."

Detroit's Carlos Guillen is sore, but he continues to rehab.

Despite three RBI from Josh Hamilton, the Rangers lost 5-3 to the Twins.

Despite a shaky performance by closer Brad Lidge, the Phillies won in 12 innings last night.

Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla had the night off against the Phillies.

Red Sox GM Theo Esptein says of talks with Jason Bay, "... we’re going to table discussions again, which once again is a mutual decision, and pick them up most likely after the season.’’

The Red Sox have cut Julio Lugo.

Baltimore's Adam Jones said of the All-Star game, "Words can't even describe it. My eyes are still in amazement from the things that I've seen."

Houston's Roy Oswalt threw a four-hit complete game against the Dodgers.

No issues with the ring finger that scratched his All-Star game appearance as Evan Longoria homered against the Royals last night.

White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen says in reference to Roy Halladay that he doesn't "think we'll give up half the organization for one guy."

Both Alfonso Soriano and Ted Lilly were scratches last night for the Cubs.

Marlins' ace Josh Johnson is on pace to pitch 229 innings.

The A's might consider using a six-man rotation if Justin Duscherer returns to the active roster this year.

Edwin Encarnacion is hitting .323 in 11 games since coming off the DL. He went 4-for-4 last night and he's 7-for-7 in the series against the Brewers as Bronson Arroyo got his 10th win of the season last night.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Hot Corner, 7/16 edition

A drunk Matt Kemp was an "absolute train wreck" at the ESPY's last night.

The Cubs have signed reliever B.J. Ryan, who had been released by the Blue Jays, to a minor-league contract.

The Dodgers have placed reliever Cory Wade on the DL.

Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard has hit his 200th home run and has done it faster (in 658 games) than any other player in baseball history.

Here's a list of top offensive players in the first half of the 2009 season.

And here's a list of players who might have a better second half than they did in the first half.

The Red Sox will have a tough time trading Julio Lugo even if the eat his salary.

Yankee Damaso Marte threw 12 pitches in a rehab game.

Rangers pitcher Derek Holland will get the start on Sunday against the Twins.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Hot Corner, 7/13 edition

Rays third baseman Evan Longoria may miss the All-Star game with an infection on his right ring finger.

Jason Bulger, teammate of Brian Fuentes, says of playing catch with Fuentes: "I get a nice extra stretch when I'm playing catch with him, little agility workouts from time to time. He has such movement with the delivery he has. . . . I'm just happy I have all of my teeth."

Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay would welcome a trade to the Yankees.

Ichiro praises manager Don Wakamatsu by saying he's "the number-one field commander, our manager. He has been huge. He's very calm, cool headed, and he prevents the players from panicking. He also has the ability to evaluate things, in an outside-looking-in way. That has been huge for us as well."

Cincinnati's Jay Bruce will miss two months with a broken wrist.

K-Rod feels the game isn't as much as it used to be due to the business aspect of it. "The day you don't get the job done, the day you get hurt, the day you, basically, [don't] do what they ask you to do, they're going to throw you away and they're going to get somebody else to do your job. That's how it is."

The Nationals have fired Manny Acta, who compiled a 158-252 record, and replaced him with bench coach Jim Riggleman.

Some other of my posts today on my other sites - Urban Meyer's comments about his (permanent) future at Florida and Derrick Mason calling it quits.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mid-season Awards: A.L. MVP

In what was intended to be a weekend worth of mid-season picks for major MLB awards, my laziness has stretched to three weeks.

That being said, I'm ready to post my selection for the A.L. MVP as the Cubs and Cardinals play us into this year's All-Star break.

For N.L. MVP, there was no uncertainty. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols was the obvious choice. The A.L. MVP isn't nearly as obvious.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays

A.L. MVP: Joe Mauer, Twins - Ernie Lombardi (1942) was the last catcher to win a battle before Joe Mauer. Since Lombardi, Mauer has won two batting titles. Despite having his worst game of the season (0-for-5 with four strikeouts) today, Mauer is hitting .373 heading into the All-Star break and leading the A.L. in batting average.

What's different in 2009 for the career .324 hitter is his increase in power. Mauer has hit 15 home runs at the midway point even though he missed the first month of the season. And before this year, his career high was 13 home runs.

Mauer leads the A.L. in OBS (1.090). He and Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist are the only two A.L. players with an OBS of 1.000 or greater heading into Sunday's games.

His 49 runs scored and 49 RBIs put him on pace to surpass 100 of each.

MLB: MAY 10 Mariners at Twins

Runner-up: Justin Morneau, Twins - Morneau has put up strong numbers across the board and you could easily make the case that Mauer and Morneau should swap positions.

At the break, Morneau is batting .311 with 21 home runs and 70 RBI. He's second in the A.L. in RBI and tied for fourth place in home runs.

Mauer and Morneau have a nearly identical AB:HR ratio. Mauer has hit one home run per 16.07 at bats while Morneau has hit one home run per 15.9 at bats.

Honorable Mention: Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle), Jason Bay (Boston), Mark Teixeira (NY Yankees), Evan Longoria (Tampa Bay), Ben Zobrist (Tampa Bay), Torii Hunter (LA Angels)

See Cy Young picks: American League and National League.

Carlos Pena to replace Dustin Pedroia on All-Star team

MLB: MAY 20 Athletics at Rays

Boston Red Sox second baseman is going to miss this year's All-Star game. A.L. manager Joe Madden named Carlos Pena as his replacement, per Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times.

"I have to believe who ever leads the league in home runs normally belongs in an All-Star game," Maddon said. "And the fact he hadn't been on the team yet bothered me just a little bit, so for whatever reason, it all worked out well."

Pena leads the A.L. in home runs (24) and was one of the five finalists for the final A.L. All-Star spot. Despite the Rays' "Vote 'Los" campaign, Detroit's Brandon Inge won that honor.

Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler finished second to Inge in voting for the final spot. Pena finished fourth.

In addition to leading the A.L. in home runs, Pena is tenth in RBI (58) and is hitting .230.

Pena is one of the eight Home Run Derby contestants. He'll be competing against Nelson Cruz (Texas), Brandon Inge (Detroit), Joe Mauer (Minnesota), Albert Pujols (St. Louis), Adrian Gonzalez (San Diego), Prince Fielder (Milwaukee) and Ryan Howard (Philadelphia).

Other Rays' All-Stars include Evan Longoria, who will start at third base, and reserves Jason Bartlett, Ben Zobrist and Carl Crawford. See the full All-Star roster here.

The Hot Corner, 7/12 edition

Yankees starter Andy Pettitte, who said "I didn't make the adjustments I needed to make," didn't make it out of a seven-run fifth inning for the Angels.

Alex Rodriguez hit two home runs (career #569 and #570) to pass Rafael Palmeiro, who says he's "not on that list," for 10th all-time on the career home run list.

A-Rod, who's not an All-Star for the first time since 1999, will have the opportunity to rest up. But he is tearing it up lately hitting .407 with eight homers and 22 RBI in his last 16 games.

Jeff Francoeur hit a two-run single in his first at bat as a Met.

The Mets have signed 29 of their 39 picks in last month's MLB First-Year Player Draft. The deadline to sign players in August 17th.

Ted Lilly got his 100th career victory as the Cubs beat the Cardinals 5-2. But the guys in the clubhouse tell Lilly, "You have 200 to go.''

Without Ryan Zimmerman in the lineup, the Nats are being creative. In the process, they beat the Houston Astros 13-2 last night.

The A's traded Jack Hannahan to Seattle for Double-A pitcher Justin Souza.

As Mark Zwolinski of the Toronto Star writes, "The Blue Jays are becoming the authorities in the AL East on walk-off losses." Last night, the Jays suffered their third such loss in the past 10 games.

Melvin Mora had the game-winning hit in the 12th inning against the Jays last night.

The Mets will likely start Oliver Perez to begin the second half.

Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado spent yesterday with a dozen Puerto Rican high school seniors.

Mets demoted Nick Evans to Triple-A Buffalo.

Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun writes about change coming to the Orioles.

Juan Uribe on the error that made Jonathan Sanchez's perfect game a no-hitter: "I didn't feel good that I didn't make the play. I wanted to do something, I wanted to make the play, but maybe if I go back (on the ball), maybe it's a base hit. An error is better than a base hit."

Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti said of the no-no: "I waited for a while, let everybody else clear out and had a little cry. It was wonderful."

Tigers rookie pitcher Rick Porcello won't start again until June 22nd.

John Smoltz got his first win as a Red Sox starter.

The 'Stros will start Wandy Rodriguez in their first game after the All-Star break.

Nelson Cruz, the Rangers right fielder, said of the Home Run Derby: "You always dream about being in the Home Run Derby. I think I have a chance. I think I’m going to do well."

The Rangers fell out of first place in the A.L. West after losing to Seattle last night.

I’ll never moan and groan if they want to put me at short,” said Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Justin Upton had a career-high four hits in last night's win over the Marlins.

Jake Fox might catch some as the Cubs second catcher with Geovany Soto on the DL.

Brad Radke is now a member of the Twins Hall of Fame.

White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said the White Sox might be willing to make a trade, per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Growing up, White Sox rookie Gordon Beckham's favorite sport was football. ''As a child, he never dreamed of playing baseball in the major leagues,'' his mother told Carol Slezak of the Chicago Sun-Times. ''It was actually shocking that he chose [to pursue baseball in college].''

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times believes that the Dodgers shouldn't let Roy Halladay get away.

After shutting out the Marlins last night, Dan Haren's N.L.-leading ERA dropped from 2.16 to 2.01.

Rays catcher Dioner Navarro was hospitalized for tests after a foul tip off of the catcher's mask.

Marc Lancaster of The Tampa Tribune writes, "barring a significant injury to a player the Rays can't adequately replace internally, status quo seems the likely outcome."

The Pirates will stick with their rotation (Paul Maholm, Charlie Morton, Zach Duke, Ross Ohlendorf and Virgil Vasquez) after the All-Star break, which gives all pitchers 10 days off.

Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds is on the verge of becoming arbitration-eligible based on his performance, which could be costly to the D'Backs in 2010.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jonathan Sanchez throws first Giants' no-hitter in 33 years

MLB: JUN 11 Giants at Diamondbacks

It hadn't been done in 33 years.

John Montefusco was the last Giants' pitcher to throw a no-hitter (1976 in Atlanta).

Even though no Giants' pitcher has thrown a no-no during his lifetime, reigning N.L. Cy Young Tim Lincecum had a feeling that the Giants might be due to end the drought.

Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Lincecum said yesterday, "Someone might throw a no-hitter and it might not be the ace of the squad. It might be an unsung hero kind of guy. Anybody can do anything."

Jonathan Sanchez, who started in place of the injured Randy Johnson, allowed no runs, no hits and no walks. However, teammate Juan Uribe's error in the eighth inning means Sanchez will have to settle for a no-hitter.

"I think if you looked at the staff, he wouldn't be the one you picked," Bochy said. "He came out throwing 94-96 [mph]. He just had incredible stuff."

Sanchez, who only threw 110 pitches, struck out a career-high 11 batters.

Last night was the first start for Sanchez since June 22nd and his first win since May 25th.

On the season, the Giants have 13 shutouts, which lead the majors.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ryan Braun "ticked off" GM Melvin

Milwaukee Brewers All-Star Ryan Braun was/is frustrated by his team's pitching. In turn, he has frustrated general manager Doug Melvin.

Speaking after the conclusion of the Brewers-Cubs series on Sunday, Braun said that the Cubs pitchers "threw the ball a lot better than our starters did."

Braun also said, "We're at the point right now where it would be important for us to go out there and acquire somebody."

Melvin didn't take too kindly to Braun's comments regardless of whether he's right or wrong.

"It was inappropriate for him to say what he said, and I'm not happy about it," Melvin told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Monday.

"To make the statements he made and also get on his teammates like that, it was irresponsible on his part. It just ticked me off."

I couldn't agree with Melvin more. If you have a problem with someone, anyone, everyone on your team, tell them - not the media.

The Brewers are currently one game behind division-leading St. Louis and one game ahead of the Cubs.

Currently, the Brewers are ranked 24th on majors in team ERA (4.47).

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Hot Corner, 7/4 (PM) edition

The Braves have promoted two top prospects (Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman) to Double-A affiliate Mississippi.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada was back in the lineup and hit the game-winning single in the 12th inning.

The Braves are concerned about center fielder Jordan Schaffer's wrist.

Cubs manager Lou Piniella will move Alfonso Soriano to sixth and Kosuke Fukudome to the leadoff spot.

Cards slugger Albert Pujols says Reds pitcher Homer Bailey has "electric stuff."

Dodger Manny Ramirez hit his first post-suspension home run.

Reds pitcher Micah Owings only allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings while homering in the second inning to help his cause in the Reds' 5-2 win over the Cards.

Despite allowing the 300th career home run for Adam Dunn, Braves pitcher Tommy Hanson pitched well today allowing only three hits in seven innings.

Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer made his 600th career start.

Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is likely to land on the DL as an MRI shows he has a right shoulder strain and bursitis.

Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum extended his scoreless innings streak to 23 innings.

Last, but certainly not least, R.I.P Steve McNair, who was shot and killed today. He was one of the toughest and classiest players ever.

Adam Dunn hits # 300

Washington Nationals slugger Adam Dunn has hit his 300th career home run today.

He hit the home run off rookie phenom Tommy Hanson, who had a scoreless innings streak of 26 before Dunn's homer.

Dunn becomes the fifth fastest player to reach that milestone (4,145 at bats). The only four to reach that milestone quicker are Babe Ruth, Mark McGwire, Ralph Kiner and Harmon Killebrew.

On May 26th, Dunn recorded his 1,000th hit against the Mets.

Mid-season Awards: A.L. Cy Young

There is a lot of baseball left to be played this year - roughly, half the season.

That being said, I made my pick a couple of weeks ago for N.L. Cy Young based on all the games played (pitched) up to that point. While I may or may not change my choice (see who here), I'm back at it to pick his A.L. counterpart.

Later this weekend, I will pick my Mid-Season A.L. MVP as well. (Click here to see my N.L. MVP.)

Drum roll please ...

A.L. Cy Young: Zack Grienke, Royals - Grienke got the season off to a perfect start with 38 scoreless innings to begin the season. Although Grienke has hit a bit of a rough patch (losing three of last five decisions), he still leads the majors in ERA (2.00) and is one of only five 10-game winners in baseball.

He has five complete games, which also leads the majors. He is second in the American League in strikeouts (120).

The Royals recent slide has knocked them 11 games out of first in the A.L. Central and has put them 13 games under .500. In the games Grienke (10-4) doesn't get the decision, the Royals are 23-42.

Runner-up: Roy Halladay, Blue Jays - It doesn't get much better than Halladay. He began the season with 13 straight starts of 7 innings or more. In addition, Halladay has thrown three complete games trailing only Grienke.

He's one of only five pitchers to win 10 games on the season. He's third in the A.L. in ERA (2.56) and has given up the fewest walks (14) of pitchers who have thrown 100+ innings. Grienke is the only other player with fewer than 20 walks (19)and 100 innings pitched.

Honorable Mention: Edwin Jackson, Felix Hernandez, Mark Buehrle, Justin Verlander, Matt Garza, Nick Blackburn (MIN), Jered Weaver, Kevin Millwood, Josh Beckett

Check back later this weekend for my A.L. Mid-Season MVP

Rafael Palmeiro: "I'm not on that list"

In March 2005, Rafael Palmeiro famously testified at the congressional hearing on steroids: "I have never used steroids. Period."

In August 2005, when he was suspended for ten games by MLB for using the banned substance stanozolol, he modified his statement. He said, "... I have never intentionally used steroids. Never. Ever. Period. ... "

Palmeiro, who ranks tenth all-time on the career home run list (569), still says (during an interview with ESPN) that he only took a B-12 (not steroids).

And that he goes on to say that he's "never taken anything" and he hopes that the infamous list of 104 players, which contains A-Rod, Sammy Sosa and 102 others, is released since, as he says, "I'm not on that list."

Since Palmeiro says so, it must be true (roll eyes). Period.

Son of Jim Leyritz: "Mommy, don't come out of your room"

Former Yankees catcher Jim Leyritz is a mess.

Leyritz, who maintains his innocence, faces a September trial for the drunk-driving accident that tragically took the life of Fredia Ann Veitch at the end of 2007.

In May, he checked himself into a psychiatric ward after threatening to kill himself.

Leyritz said, "I'm not crazy, and I'm not suicidal. I've never had a problem with alcohol. Until you've been in my shoes, don't judge."

However, Leyritz isn't helping his defense.

Thursday morning, he was arrested for allegedly hitting his ex-wife, who wrote a check out of his account (against his wishes). She claims it was for back child support.

He claims that she was drunk and hurt herself in order to frame him.

"I got knocked around and I ran out the door," Karrie Leyritz, 41, told the Daily News. "I don't remember every detail."

And, according to an article in this morning's Daily News, Austin Leyritz, their 14-year-old son, called to warn his mother.

"Mommy, don't come out of your room," Austin warned Karrie Leyritz in a phone call as he and his father returned to the house. "Dad is crazy mad."

What are the chances that Jim Leyritz stays out of the news from now until his September trial?

The Hot Corner, 7/4 edition

Fielding and (lack of) hitting - not pitching - led to Rays pitcher Scott Kazmir's first-ever loss in his home state of Texas against the Rangers.

Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki ended an 0-for-16 streak with a double and rolled his ankle. However, he should be o.k.

Shin Soo-Choo hit two home runs and drove in seven runs in a 15-3 win over the A's last night.

Giants ace Tim Lincecum will face Houston's Russ Ortiz today. It was Ortiz (or, more specifically, his ailing elbow) that paved the way for Lincecum to be called up.

Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm says, "I'm perfectly fine to pitch. I just need to make better pitches."

Pirates second baseman Freddy Sanchez was a scratch last night with tightness in his lower back.

In addition to Manny Ramirez, the Dodgers got Claudio Vargas back. Manny was welcomed back, but he went 0-for-3.

Nolan Ryan doesn't expect the Rangers to be sold until after the season.

The return of Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is delayed by at least one day.

A's to give Brett Anderson two days extra rest (again).

Yesterday's 5-0 loss to the White Sox was the Royals sixth time being shut out this season and their fourth consecutive game of scoring two runs or less.

Joe Posnanski sums up Friday's Royals game with one word: "Depressing."

The Tigers won in 16 innings against the Twins. Placido Polanco delivered the game-winning hit.

Adam Dunn's next home run will be his 300th. He hit his 299th last night.

Philadelphia's Raul Ibanez was eligible to come off the DL yesterday. But "he still feels something in there," according to GM Ruben Amaro Jr., per Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Alfonso Soriano will return to the Cubs' lineup after two days of rest, but it won't be in the leadoff spot.

Will Kurt Suzuki be an All-Star? A's broadcaster Ray Fosse thinks he's "deserving" of a spot.

And Josh Beckett thinks teammate Tim Wakefield deserves to be an All-Star.

White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin will play three innings tonight for Triple-A Charlotte.

Phillies pitcher Rodrigo Lopez, who was pitching his first game since 2007, got the win for the Phils.

Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom began throwing yesterday and is upbeat.

Angels pitcher Ervin Santana struggled in his return from the DL.

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsusaka is heading to Fort Myers (FL) on Monday to strengthen shoulder.

Will Baltimore call up Chris Tillman, who threw 7 2/3 shutout innings Friday, soon?

Business as usual for Albert Pujols, who hit a grand slam in the eighth inning last night.

Blue Jays starter Brian Tallet had a fifth inning he'd like to forget.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi says using Phil Hughes and Phil Coke in the eighth inning was to allow Brian Bruney to rest. He insists Bruney is still the set-up guy.

The Mets might start Oliver Perez on Wednesday.

Yankees catcher Jorge Posada missed a second straight game.

Is Mark Teixeira the Yankees' best defensive player since Don Mattingly?