The tater trots for May, Presidential Edition. Hanley Ramirez, Emilio Bonifacio, and Mark Teixeira also star.
Sunday afternoon was a normal day of springtime baseball, with 28 teams playing in the beautiful sunshine. For the Sunday Night Baseball game, the Mets and Phillies played a tight game in Citizens Bank Ballpark until some big news broke, changing the tenor of the day and, specifically, the game in a way no one saw coming.
Defense from a Ray makes a difference for the AL as a whole, continuing the circuit's dominance of the NL.
St. LOUIS-There are many great things about Jonathan Papelbon, first and foremost that he is an outstanding relief pitcher. However, the Red Sox closer is also a lot of fun to watch and listen to. He pitches with emotion and speaks his mind in an era when seemingly every player presented a buttoned-down corporate image and appears to be reading off cue cards.
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Hard life in the big city, Judge Sonia saves the day, Bud can't believe he forced the whole thing, plus news and notes from around the game.
The most important question facing anyone hired as manager of the Yankees or Mets is if they can handle New York, and Jerry Manuel is doing just fine in his first full season as the Mets' manager after being promoted from bench coach last June to replace Willie Randolph. Manuel has won over the New York media with his easygoing demeanor, friendly nature, and quirky comments. The experience of having managed the White Sox in a large market for six season from 1998-2003 has certainly helped.
The Braves, Rays, and Phillies deal with assorted problems, the Orioles' get the first splash from their wave of young pitching on the way up, plus more news from around the game.
The Braves have gone three straight seasons without reaching the postseason, their unprecedented run of 11 consecutive National League East titles having ended in 2006. "It still seems funny when October comes and we're sitting home," said Braves manager Bobby Cox. "When you become so accustomed to playing the postseason, it's a letdown when you don't make it."
The latest PED-related scandals, politicking in the Windy City and with the WBC, plus other news from around the majors.
You don't need to know exactly what 's available over the counter at the corner Walgreen's in the Dominican Republic to understand that performance-enhancing drugs have been used in Major League Baseball. The past two weeks of non-stop coverage of Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez's admitted steroid use has reminded us hourly of that, and the media, the fans, and even many people inside the game now routinely refer to the period from the mid-1990s until MLB began enacting penalties for PED use in 2004 as baseball's "Steroids Era."
The Angels intend to hold the line in Anaheim, the Obamas wear White Sox, and much more from around the major leagues.
The Angels led the major leagues with 100 regular-season victories last year, but there aren't many indicators pointing to that happening again in 2009. The Angels were 15th in the major leagues in runs scored last season with 4.7 per game, and ninth in runs allowed (4.3 per game), and they exceeded their Pythagorean record of 88-74 by a stunning 12 wins. One of the basic tenets of sabermetrics holds that those teams that outplay their projected record will regress to the mean the following season, and the Angels, having lost both first baseman Mark Teixeira and closer Francisco Rodriguez to free agency this winter, will be hard-pressed to slow the expected downturn.
The contracts being offered, the teams in the mix, the players and their demands, and news and notes from around the major leagues.
On Friday the market for free agents officially opens when teams can begin making offers to players other than those who finished the season with other clubs. The Brewers and Dodgers got the ball rolling at this past week's general managers meetings in Dana Point, California, with the Brewers offering left-hander CC Sabathia five years and $100 million to stay in Milwaukee, and the Dodgers offering two years and $50 million in an effort to keep left fielder Manny Ramirez in Los Angeles.
The Tribe moundsman discusses politics and pitching as one pastime's season wound down and another ramped up.
From Curt Schilling to Nate Silver, a growing number of baseball notables have offered their opinions and analysis, and not only on the pennant races, but also on the political races. Cleveland Indians left-hander Jeremy Sowers has a degree in political science from Vanderbilt University, and you can now add his name to the list. Sowers talked about his two favorite subjects, pitching and politics, when the Indians visited Fenway Park in the last week of the regular season.