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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Pickoff Moves

Slumping Into The Playoffs: Rangers 8, Angels 4

Just an embarrassing game for the Halos, who gave away their second straight on a weak outing by one of their top two pitchers, Ervin Santana, who surrendered a season-high eight runs. Once again, Mike Scioscia started sending out the AAA taxi squad, so that by the end of the game the lineup was all but unrecognizeable, the only starter remaining in the ninth being Juan Rivera. At least Juan went 2-for-4; Jeff Mathis and Erick Aybar also finished the day with two hits each before being yanked, but it's games like this one that make me think about giving away today's tickets. The Chisox, Twins, Mets, and Brewers games all look like they've got something to win or lose — and the Angels don't.

Yahoo boxAngels recap

Maddux Pitches A Gem, Passes Clemens On The All-Time Wins List With 355: Dodgers 2, Giants 1

What I missed while I was watching the Angels pretend they were interested in winning: Greg Maddux tossed six innings on an incredibly economical — even by his high standards — 47 pitches. Want to know how many times he's done that before? Zero, that's how many. If this is his swan song, then it was one hell of a game to pass Roger Clemens on the all-time wins leaderboard, with 355. Congratulations, Greg!

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

Bullety Stuff

Postseason Schedule Gets Clearer

With all but one of the postseason attendees locked up in each league, the postseason schedule is finally looking clearer:

Date     Matchup
10/1  BOS @ LAA
10/2  MIN/CWS @ TB
10/3  MIN/CWS @ TB
10/3  BOS @ LAA
10/5  LAA @ BOS
10/5  TB @ MIN/CWS
10/6  LAA @ BOS*
10/6  TB @ MIN/CWS*
10/8  BOS @ LAA*
10/8  MIN/CWS @ TB*

* If necessary

Other Races

If Bill Plaschke Thinks Re-Signing Manny Is A Bad Idea, Maybe There's Some Merit To It

He's yet to be right about most everything else, but the arguments are unfortunately sound:
Acquiring Ramirez for prospects is already one of the best trades in Dodgers history.

But if the Dodgers allow these two months to sucker them into signing him to the rich long-term deal he will demand, the trade will be one of their worst.

For the long-term future of the organization, Manny Ramirez is not Mr. Right, he is only Mr. Right Now.

He is a brilliant, Hall of Fame hitter. He is also a 36-year-old man with aching knees who will want the Dodgers to pay him until he is beyond 40.

He has feasted on National League pitching, loved National League ballparks. But because of his fielding problems, he will soon be needing the comfort of an American League designated-hitter role.

He has generated enough ticket and merchandise sales in two months to earn the Dodgers more than $10 million. But he is going to be asking for at least twice that much per season.

Bill Shaikin and Ross Newhan add up the numbers and figure that if the Dodgers had to pay his actual salary as footed by Boston, he would have just barely paid for himself. Fortunately, there are signs that Manny's translation to the west coast might be very happy for both sides, as in this T.J. Simers interview:
"The first time I stepped foot in Boston, I said to myself, 'Whoa.' I told Pedro Martinez, 'Damn, man, I just want to get traded and get out of here; this place is not me.' I was unhappy for eight years in Boston but still put up great numbers."

He signed a contract with Boston for $160 million, a deal with options that could've swelled to $200 million. And he was unhappy -- so unhappy he walked away from $40 million over the next two years.

"Baseball in Boston is like a Sunday football game, but played every day," he says. "We lose in L.A., I go to breakfast and people say, 'Well, you'll get them tomorrow.' In Boston, it's 'Hey, what's going on, the Yankees are coming.'

"It's just a different atmosphere. The fans in Boston got your back no matter what, but I'm talking about the people who write all this bull because it means so much to them. If your happiness depends on Boston winning or losing, you have to get a life."

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