Tim Brown

  • Borrowing a few of Albert Pujols' bats – free of charge – has helped Angels' Erick Aybar stand out among AL shortstops

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports2 days ago

    ANAHEIM, Calif. – Maybe it's the bats, probably not, but it's not a bad place to start.

    Every few weeks, Erick Aybar will mention to the guy in the next locker that he could use another half-dozen or so, of the black ones, "Handcrafted for Albert Pujols" right there on the barrel, custom cut, 34 inches and 32 ounces, like they were made to be put into his hands, and Albert Pujols himself will nod and place the order.

    Ask who buys and Pujols side-eyes Aybar and the questioner, which brings a wicked grin from Aybar.

    "They're like two dollars, man," Aybar protests.

    Pujols grunts.

    They'd known each other some before Pujols became an Angel 2½ years ago. They'd nodded their hellos, both sharing Dominican blood and familiarity and all, but nothing like now.

    "Like my father," Aybar said about Pujols. "Like Vladdy [Guerrero] was."

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  • MLB Power Rankings: A's back on top

    Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports21 days ago

    On what arouses Carlos Gomez, the Blue Jays’ real challenge and the ninth-inning committee for Tampa Bay:

    The rankings (records through Wednesday):

    1. Oakland Athletics (44-28; Previous: 2) – A’s honor Jeter in ceremony at home plate, toss him gifts from a few feet up first-base line.

    2. Milwaukee Brewers (43-30; Previous: 4) – Gomez says batting cleanup gives him a “sexy feeling,” though admits there’s nothing quite like a good game of pepper.

    3. San Francisco Giants (43-29; Previous: 1) – Lincecum turns 30. Figured the whole facial hair thing would’ve gone better by now.

    4. Toronto Blue Jays (41-32; Previous: 3) – The challenge in Toronto is to play just well enough to make playoffs, but not so well as to attract Rob Ford’s attention.

    5. Los Angeles Angels (38-32; Previous: 6) – If he had known everybody was going to so freak out over a slump, Trout would’ve keep hitting.

    6. Kansas City Royals (39-32; Previous: 21) – Royals surge into first place. More important, they’re way ahead of Nelson Cruz in critical home run count.

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