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Jose Bautista and Mark Teixeira heating up in the home run race

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Jose BautistaThe home run race has been tight all season long, and right now, the Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista clings to a one-homer lead over Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees. Bautista is the reigning home run king, and he and Teixeira have a comfortable lead over the rest of the pack in baseball. Bautista has had trouble getting the ball out of the park lately, while Teixeira has been hitting them with ease, so it’s not unrealistic to think we may soon have a new leader soon. If Teixeira can hold the lead for longer than a day, he’ll be the first person to do that to Bautista in over a year.

 

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Scott Boras to represent Rafael Soriano

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Rafael SorianoScott Boras has signed another one. He inked Rays closer Rafael Soriano to a deal and will represent him as his contract with Tampa Bay comes to a close and he begins to search for a new; and significantly higher-paying deal. As one of the top closers in baseball this year, holding his own with the likes of Mariano Rivera, Jonathan Papelbon and Heath Bell, Soriano will demand top dollars from whatever team he winds up with.

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LaRoche leading first basemen in free agency

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, Front Office, MLB,

Adam LaRocheFirst base is one of the toughest positions to fill offensively, but one of the easiest defensively. The notion that first base is a “power hitter’s position” makes it difficult for the teams to find a right fit. If a first baseman isn’t hitting 30+ home runs, fans call for the GM’s head. With only two “Type B” free agent first basemen in this year’s free agent crop in Nick Johnson and Adam LaRoche – eight and 25 home runs respectively – it’s slim pickings for teams looking to upgrade.

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The top of the AL crop

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, MLB, Rumors,

Joe MauerWith the recent announcement that Tim Lincecum was the National League Cy Young Award winner, it leaves only two more 2009 Major League Baseball award winners to be announced, which will be done this coming Monday. One of those is the American League Most Valuable Player, and, like the NL Cy Young, the AL MVP race couldn’t be closer. With Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera, and Joe Mauer in the hunt, the award could go to anybody.

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AL Silver Sluggers announced with few surprises

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Editorial, Kudos, MLB,

DescriptionThe American League Silver Slugger Award winners were announced recently, and six of the nine selections came out of the East, which further goes to show just how powerful – literally – this division is. The New York Yankees had repeat winners in Mark Teixeira at first-base and Derek Jeter at short. The Boston Red Sox’s Jason Bay was honored with his first, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Evan Longoria at third, and the Toronto Blue Jays each had first-timers with Aaron Hill at second and Adam Lind as the designated hitter. The rest of the league squeaked in Joe Mauer, catcher for the Minnesota Twins with his third, and Ichiro Suzuki from the Seattle Mariners and Torii Hunter from the Los Angeles Angels in outfield, with their third and first, respectively.

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Yanks’ Great Eight Streak Ends

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: MLB, News, Scoreboard,

Alex Rodriguez

The New York Yankees have been burning up the wins column since the All-Star break, but may have hit a wall yesterday, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Oakland Athletics in a game that pleased all kinds of fans, including those who love a good pitchers duel and those who enjoy a good slugfest. 

In a game of first versus worst, the Bombers tried to extend their 8-game winning streak against the lowly A’s. With veteran Andy Pettitte (8-6) on the hill against rookie Gio Gonzalez (2-2), it looked like it might be another easy victory, but Gonzalez held his own against the powerhouse Yanks as he didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning.  In the sixth, after a walk to Derek Jeter with one out, Gonzalez threw an 0-1 fastball to Brett Gardner, who tripled to drive in the first run of the game. Gonzalez quickly recovered, inducing ground balls from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez to end the inning.

In the top of the seventh, the A’s exploded for six runs with four coming off of Pettitte, who to that point had allowed just two singles. The Athletics sent 10 men to the plate in the inning, highlighted by a pair of two-run hits by Landon Powell and Orlando Cabrera.  The Yankees attempted a comeback in their half of the eighth, scoring three times, highlighted by Teixeira’s league-leading 25th home run, but it was too little, too late for New York as they suffered their first loss since July 12.

The Yankees are now 2-3 against the Athletics in 2009, and will be sending RHP Sergio Mitre (1-0) up against LHP Dallas Braden (7-8) as they try to start a new winning streak on Sunday. With the loss, New York lost a game in the AL East to the rival Boston Red Sox, who defeated the Baltimore Orioles 7-2. At 59-38, the Yankees still hold the best record in the American League, but now sit just 1.5 games ahead of the Sox.

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