- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports12 hrs ago
LOS ANGELES – The day before, Jonathan Papelbon had set the bar for honesty by a closer who may or may not wish to be traded.
Papelbon seemed to be all for it.
A "no-brainer" is what he said.
Definitely all for it.
"Some guys want to stay on a losing team?" he asked, presumably hypothetically.
Yeah, somebody call a cab.
"I read that," Huston Street said.
"I think it's hard to argue with anybody who says they want to win," he said.
See, Papelbon and Street aren't in such different places. Papelbon's Phillies are in last place. Street's Padres might as well be. Papelbon has 22 saves and a 1.24 ERA. Street, 23 saves and a 1.13 ERA. Papelbon is enjoying a nice bounce-back season. Street believes he's never pitched better. The separator: Papelbon will make $13 million per season through, if a final-year option vests, 2016. Street, three years younger, is paid $7 million this season and, with a club option, could be had for another $7 million in 2015.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
LOS ANGELES – It had been almost a month, after all, so Clayton Kershaw watched this tracer shot in the sixth inning Thursday night with some curiosity.
Off Chase Headley's bat barrel, a one-ball, two-strike slider turned around with reasonable authority, the seventh pitch in the at-bat, the 550th pitch since something like this had happened, the baseball climbed and backspun and carried over the left center-field fence at Dodger Stadium.
From more than 50,000, there was silence. There followed an ovation for the 41 innings that preceded this one, for the 127 outs that had come and gone without incident. It hadn't been Hershiser or Drysdale, this streak, not even all that close, but it had been cool nonetheless, yet another Kershaw thing in a season of them. The no-hitter. The major league-leading 1.78 ERA. The strikeouts-per-walk approaching 10. The wins piling up, now eight in eight starts since the dawn of June, an 0.74 ERA in them. In a season that began a hemisphere away and stalled out early with five weeks on the disabled list, Kershaw, the two-time Cy Young Award winner, had returned better than ever.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
Masahiro Tanaka, after just 18 starts among the game’s elite pitchers, on Wednesday left the New York Yankees in Cleveland for an MRI tube in New York. The New York Post reported the news and a moment later a National League general manager tapped his thoughts into a text message: “Always something. Every day.”
By mid-afternoon, the information on Tanaka remained vague, though the Yankees announced he had elbow inflammation and placed him on the disabled list. He’d suffered his worst start as a Yankee the night before against the Indians, allowing 10 hits, two of them home runs, and five runs in 6 2/3 innings. His previous start, five days before in Minnesota, was only marginally better. Manager Joe Girardi told reporters Tanaka did not complain of discomfort in the elbow area until late Tuesday night, after his start.Sat, Jul 121:05 PM PDTNY Yankees at BaltimorePreview Game
Borrowing a few of Albert Pujols' bats – free of charge – has helped Angels' Erick Aybar stand out among AL shortstopsTim Brown at Yahoo Sports3 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.
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."
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
Kim Ng should be the next general manager of the San Diego Padres not because the game has never had a woman general manager, and not because the glass in the game's ceiling is so old it's held in place by lead, and not because it's time, whatever that means. It's not even because Kim Ng deserves a shot, true as that might be.
Kim Ng should be the next GM of the Padres because San Diego deserves a better baseball team.
Owner Ron Fowler and president Mike Dee seek a new direction, as they up and fired the old one mid-season. The former GM's penance for the Padres not being able to hit or win enough ballgames is to spend less time watching the Padres not hit and not win while continuing to pay his utility bills with Padres money, which, ask me, is both a hit and a win.Sat, Jul 127:10 PM PDTSan Diego at LA DodgersPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
On Porcello going green, where Braves’ bats had been, and the Boss’ reaction to this Yankees team:
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. Oakland Athletics (51-33; Previous: 1) – News item: A’s sentenced to 10-year lease extension at Coliseum. Sorry, that should read “agree to.”
2. Milwaukee Brewers (51-35; Previous: 2) – Brewers get $1 for Brad Mills. Coincidentally matches what they got for ruining Randolph and Mortimer Duke.
3. Detroit Tigers (47-34; Previous: 9) – Rick Porcello throws shutout, walks none, strikes out none, leaves no carbon footprint.
4. Los Angeles Angels (47-36; Previous: 5) – Albert Pujols limited by golf ball-sized lymph node in his groin. In other news, holy crap Albert Pujols has a golf ball-sized lymph node in his groin!
5. Seattle Mariners (47-38; Previous: 11) – King Felix always keeps a few good magazines near the Iron Throne.
6. Los Angeles Dodgers (48-39; Previous: 8) – Dodgers wondering if it’ll be OK with everybody when they jump into McCovey Cove.Sat, Jul 121:10 PM PDTSt. Louis at MilwaukeePreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
LOS ANGELES – Funny all the places Michael Brantley has been for the Cleveland Indians. So often on the periphery ‐ the guy behind the guy, the guy next to the guy, the guy you sort of know but don't.
He was the player to be named (three months) later when the Indians sold off CC Sabathia, the prospect who came up when Grady Sizemore was hurt and again when Shin-Soo Choo was, and the regular center fielder until Michael Bourn came available.
He'd become a good player, too. They'd taken to calling him Dr. Smooth, a nickname born in the press box and given wings on the ball field, because he was capable, and he was batting fifth for a team that won 92 games, and he looked good doing it.Sat, Jul 1212:05 PM PDTChi White Sox at ClevelandPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
LOS ANGELES – Just another June morning in the Dodger Stadium basement, where Yasiel Puig is howling loud enough to cause tiny coffee tremors inside the nearby Starbucks cups, and Juan Uribe is getting slapped around by Hyun-Jin Ryu, who is getting towel-snapped by Adrian Gonzalez, all daily rituals, like the Dodgers gaining a game on the San Francisco Giants.
Considered quite possibly overpaid, over-entitled and overestimated underachievers, they had for a few weeks been delivered the two most necessary elements for an abrupt return to relevance: they'd pitched and the Giants had lost. A lot.
On June 8, the Dodgers were 32-31. The Colorado Rockies had walked them off the previous night. A few days before, the manager had put a word to what everyone else was seeing. Don Mattingly called them, "Sh----." They were 9½ games behind the Giants.
The same day, the Giants were 41-21. They'd walked off the New York Mets the night before. The manager would have many words about his ballclub, how it had pitched and hit itself to a staggering early lead in the West. None would be unsuitable for print. They were 9½ games ahead of the Dodgers.Sat, Jul 121:05 PM PDTArizona at San FranciscoPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports16 days ago
ANAHEIM, Calif. – Matt Shoemaker, 21 years old, college graduate, right-handed pitcher, closed his laptop computer and looked up at his father.
"But I don't understand," he said.
David Shoemaker thought back over the scouts, the handshakes and the phone calls. The assurances. The father and his only son had watched the computer, followed two days of a draft that called 60 teams worth of players not so different from Matt Shoemaker, RHP, Eastern Michigan University. Fifteen-hundred-and-four of them to be precise. David Shoemaker did not understand either, beyond how the finality of No. 1,504 played in a living room in Trenton, Mich., and then in his inability to fix it.
"I'm very sorry," he said.
It happens, the story of the overlooked and undrafted player, of the one in a thousand who wouldn't be talked out of trying, of the one in who-knows-how-many who fooled them all and became something more, maybe something way more. The story is different when it's your living room, and your boy, and your heart too.