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Sheets rocked by Reds isn’t a problem

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Injuries, MLB,

Ben SheetsBen Sheets was hit hard again. In his third Spring Training game with Oakland on Monday, he gave up 10 runs without recording an out against the Reds. Yet he and the Athletics claim that, runs aside, it was a good outing. Sheets is recovering from elbow surgery and is trying to return to the form he showed with the Brewers two years ago. Spring starts are the latest step in his return to the mound, and is still projected to start for Oakland on Opening Day.

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Garciaparra signs with Red Sox; retires

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Nomar GarciaparraNomar Garciaparra ended his MLB career where it began; with the Boston Red Sox. As one of the most beloved Sox in recent history, his desire to return to Boston to finish his career was granted earlier today when he signed a one-day minor league contract with the Red Sox and then announced his retirement from baseball as a member of the team he has always missed. He will transition to the broadcast booth as a member of the EPSN “Baseball Tonight” crew as well as an occasional game analyst.

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Isringhausen’s quest for 300

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Jason IsringhausenJason Isringhausen has 293 career saves. He got his first one in 1999 and has been collecting them like stamps ever since. Isringhausen is now a free agent, and is looking for a club to call home. He’s looking for a team whose bullpen needs some help finishing out games as he continues towards a career milestone 300. These two things are not mutually exclusive, and despite some recent arm injuries, Isringhausen may be exactly what some teams are looking for in 2010.

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AL Rookie of the Year - Andrew Bailey

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

Andrew BaileyAndrew Bailey has just highlighted a personal accomplishment on a team marred by lowlights in 2009. He is the newly honored 2009 American League Rookie of the Year. Representing the Oakland Athletics, Bailey is the third Oakland player to win the award in the last six seasons. With 13 first place votes, six second place and five third place for a total of 88 points, Bailey was hardly challenged by any other American League rookie. The only others close to challenging Bailey for the award was shortstop Elvis Andrus from the Texas Rangers (65 points), and Detroit Tigers right-handed starter Rick Porcello (64 points).

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The Easts dominate the World Series

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Championship, Editorial, MLB, Playoffs,

New York YankeesSince the MLB Players’ Strike of 1994 and the realignment of divisions to include the new wild card format, there have been thirty teams to compete in the World Series. Thirty teams in baseball; thirty teams in the World Series. A perfect world would have welcomed each team to the Fall Classic once, but we all know that’s not the case. Baseball is not that fair. To say that there has been uneven representation of the divisions throughout the years would be a huge understatement, as the level of parity in baseball is about as high as CC Sabathia’s batting average.

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Beane’s baseball tactics starting to fail

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

Billy BeaneThe Oakland Athletics seem to be in a state of slow freefall. In 2006, they finished first in the AL West with a 93-69 record. Since then, they’ve finished third (76-86), third (75-86) and fourth (75-87). A’s general manager Billy Beane has found himself contending with low payrolls and a dwindling talent pool. To deal with it, he has had to find unique and creative ways to evaluate young talent, coming up with a system that is well documented in Michael Lewis’ 2003 book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, where Beane is the primary character. For years his formula worked, but now it might be time to go back to the drawing board.

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Back in the National League for Matt Holliday

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

Matt Holliday

The St. Louis Cardinals added some more pop to their lineup last week, trading with the Oakland Athletics to get Matt Holliday into the fold. The slugging corner outfielder made his impact immediately with his new club and his new fans.

Holliday’s weekend was anything but a vacation. After hearing about the trade to the Cardinals, Matt and his family hopped on a train from New York (where the Athletics were playing against the Yankees) to Philadelphia (where the Cardinals were playing the Phillies), opting to avoid the interstate traffic. Holliday didn’t miss a beat – or a game – as he returned to the National League in grand fashion on July 24. The only thing that was out of place was his equipment. He had to borrow a glove and shoes while his stuff was still being brought in from New York.

Holliday went 7-for-11 in the series, including four doubles and three RBI. Let’s take a look at some of the other numbers. He’s batting .636 and is slugging 1.000. Needless to say, he’s leading his team in both categories. Even without having played in the National League before Friday, he certainly has made himself a contender for NL Player of the Week.

This guy is amazing. Okay, three games is a small sample size, but this is the same guy that a lot of people said would be nothing outside of Colorado. Granted, his time in Oakland this season wasn’t spectacular, but he was still on pace to have a very good season. Now that he’s back in the Senior Circuit, he looks like he’s ready to explode; and who wouldn’t be? Going from worst-place Oakland to first-place St. Louis would certainly put a pop in anyone’s bat, although Holliday’s terrific debut still wasn’t enough to help the Cards from dropping the series and falling a half-game back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central.

But seriously, surrounded by players like Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick, it’s only a matter of time before the Cardinals surge up the wins column and make their way into October. Let’s face it; one Holliday is enough for St. Louis. They won’t need any more until after the World Series.

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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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Langerhans Traded Again

Posted by Milo Taibi Categories: Athletes, MLB, Trades,

Ryan Langerhans
Ryan Langerhans has been traded for the second time this week. The Washington Nationals and the Oakland Athletics have swapped outfielders, sending Chris Snelling to the A’s and Langerhans to the Nats. Two days earlier Langerhans had been traded to the Athletics from the Atlanta Braves for a player to be named later.

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Detroit Tigers On The Move To The World Series

Posted by Dennis Velasco Categories: MLB, News, Playoffs,

Detroit Tigers heading to the World SeriesAfter starting off the regular season strong, the Detroit Tigers lost the wind from their sails in the last couple of months of the season, eventually losing the A.L. Central crown to the Minnesota Twins.  But you know what they say about the postseason - it’s a new season all over again and no one has been better than the Detroit Tigers in this “second” season.  And now, they’re on their way to the biggest series in baseball - The World Series.

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