- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports22 hrs ago
NEW YORK – By now you know the Texas Rangers have endured an excessive number of injuries and, partly as a result, aren't very good. Two nights ago, they lost to the New York Yankees. Last night, they lost to an obstinate tarpaulin. By Thursday morning, an emboldened toolshed (T-shirt inspiration: "We rake.") wanted its shot.
This is the team that won 91 games last year, 93 the year before that, 96 the year before that. The team with nine players on the 60-day disabled list. The team whose regular lineup, at a glance, suggests its league-worst record nevertheless qualifies as a lesser miracle.
"Seems our feng shui is a little off kilter," one team official observed.
In Arlington, Qi is the new WAR.Fri, Jul 255:05 PM PDTOakland at TexasPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
NEW YORK – Vulnerable in the late innings, the Detroit Tigers agreed to acquire veteran reliever Joakim Soria from the Texas Rangers in exchange for two young pitchers.
After the Rangers’ rain-shortened game at Yankee Stadium, Soria smiled broadly and said, “I haven’t been told it is official yet.”
Rangers manager Ron Washington declined comment.
The agreed-upon trade would send right-handers Jake Thompson and Corey Knebel to the Rangers. Thompson, 20, is a second-round pick from 2012. He has a 3.13 ERA in 17 Class A and Double-A starts. The 22-year-old Knebel, drafted in the first round last year, has made eight relief appearances for the Tigers this season and has a 6.23 ERA.
The Tigers signed Joe Nathan this winter to a two-year, $20-million contract. Thirty-nine appearances in, he has a 5.89 ERA and has blown five of 25 save opportunities.
Soria has 17 saves in 19 opportunities, has a 2.70 ERA and 42 strikeouts to four walks. He is due the remainder of $5.5 million this season and the Tigers will hold a $7-million option for 2015.Fri, Jul 257:05 PM PDTDetroit at LA AngelsPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports2 days ago
NEW YORK – Chase Headley has come to New York, which, if you left off a couple years back with Headley an MVP candidate and in negotiations for what a San Diego Padres executive boasted would be the largest contract in club history, doesn't sound so bad.
It's not that Chase Headley.
This Chase Headley, the one the Yankees acquired Tuesday for two ballplayers and a promise to pay most of Headley's salary, hasn't played like that for a while and, therefore, isn't worth that anymore. In fact, though Headley remains a good defender, the numbers say the Yankees just downgraded offensively at third base, where they've been just average over nearly four months.
So, why did the Yankees, did Brian Cashman, even bother?
They had to try, that's why.
And in the 14th inning of his first day as a Yankee, some 4½ hours after he'd introduced himself to his teammates in the dugout – "Chase Headley, nice to meet you" – he pushed a single into left-center field and Brian Roberts scored from third base. The Yankees had won 2-1, and Headley was swarmed by his new best friends, and he emerged from the mob with Mark Teixeira hanging from his neck.Fri, Jul 254:05 PM PDTToronto at NY YankeesPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports3 days ago
NEW YORK – About five minutes before Shane Greene threw his first pitch in the Bronx on Monday night, Cliff Lee threw his first pitch in Philly. These would be unrelated events were we not in the final days of July, were the New York Yankees and the AL East not so mediocre, and were the Philadelphia Phillies not hard at another season of irrelevance.
As it was, however, the Yankees would have to decide if they would proceed with a rotation held together with Plan B's and reasonable intentions, and choose to believe the division was really that vulnerable, and then schedule the rookie Greene in front of the rookie Chase Whitley, then follow Whitley with David Phelps and Brandon McCarthy, and then assume this is the rotation (along with Hiroki Kuroda) that would make them great – or minimally postseason worthy – again.
It might be a lot to assume.
Brewers leadoff man Carlos Gomez defies conventional baseball wisdom with aggressive hitting approachTim Brown at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
WASHINGTON – Three pitches into Sunday afternoon's ballgame, Carlos Gomez, professional leadoff hitter for the Milwaukee Brewers, had a three-ball count. You know what Carlos Gomez did next. You know what 29 other leadoff hitters wouldn't do next. And you still know exactly what Carlos Gomez did next.
He got a fastball, because of course he'd get a fastball from Gio Gonzalez on a 3-0 count, and he swung, because Carlos Gomez hunts fastballs, is a professional fastball hunter and hitter, and there's a finite number of sure-thing fastballs in one man's lifetime. It's best not to let them pass, particularly if you are Carlos Gomez.
That's why we watch him.
Live a little, man. Get after it. There's no book. Is it a sound baseball play? Maybe not. A good Carlos Gomez play? It works for him.Fri, Jul 255:10 PM PDTNY Mets at MilwaukeePreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports5 days ago
WASHINGTON – The sweat is sneaky here this time of year. It feints. It leans to coy. It hides in places so intimate Anthony Weiner would not put it in a selfie.
So, basically, the sweat is there but it's not, least not until the air conditioning hits it, or the evening breeze, at which point comes the realization, "Damn, I seem to be sweaty."
Which is not what this is about, necessarily.
Except here are the Washington Nationals, the most interesting team in the game if not yet the best, and as one scout put it Saturday night, "I keep waiting for them to win more. Like they're missing something."
That's been the conversation, though the Nationals are not yet to 100 games, are tied for first place in the NL East, are fully healthy for the first time since opening day, and are endeavoring to play to the World Series expectations – not ours, but theirs. It's just, well, maybe they should be winning more, as if it were that simple, as if the Nationals themselves hadn't thought of that.Fri, Jul 254:10 PM PDTWashington at CincinnatiPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
The Los Angeles Angels continued their bullpen makeover Friday night when they reached an agreement to acquire veteran reliever Huston Street from the San Diego Padres in a six-player trade, baseball sources told Yahoo Sports.
As the deal was constructed, the Angels would send four minor leaguers – second baseman Taylor Lindsey, right-handed pitcher R.J. Alvarez, infielder Jose Rondon and another prospect – to the Padres in exchange for Street and minor-league right-hander Trevor Gott, a sixth-round selection from 2013. Lindsey and Alvarez are top-10 prospects for the Angels.
Leading to the July 31 trading deadline, the Angels have sought to rebuild their bullpen, with Street, the veteran closer who has converted 24-of-25 save opportunities for the Padres this season, the most critical addition.
Already, Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto had acquired right-hander Jason Grilli from the Pittsburgh Pirates and left-hander Joe Thatcher from the Arizona Diamondbacks over eight days in late June and early July.Fri, Jul 254:35 PM PDTSan Diego at AtlantaPreview Game
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
WASHINGTON – Jean Segura buried his son in the Dominican Republic this week, a boy named Janniel who was a few months short of his first birthday.
Segura sat Friday, four days later, at his locker here under the number 9. There'd be a game soon. Segura had returned from home to play in it. A teammate wrapped him in a hug from behind. "Gura," he said. And Segura held the man's wrists that were crossed over his heart. He smiled and blinked his thanks.
Segura is but 24, an age in which almost nothing can't be done. Or undone. Almost nothing.
He'd grown up in San Juan de la Maguana under a tin roof, fallen in love with baseball there, turned pastures into diamonds and trash into gloves and balls and bases. His story isn't so unlike those of the other boys who come out of the Dominican countryside, except that it is his, which alone makes it unique. That was his home and his family and his school he'd left at 16, and this was his journey to America and the big leagues and the Milwaukee Brewers, which alone makes it special. The story would always be about what could be done given the desire, what could be undone given the opportunity.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports8 days ago
On the A’s as underachievers, the Giants’ next trade target and occasional well-intentioned pipe shots:
The rankings (records through Wednesday):
1. Oakland Athletics (59-36; Previous: 1) – A’s were overachievers until we discovered they had seven All-Stars. Now we want to know why they don’t win more.
2. Los Angeles Angels (57-37; Previous: 4) – Trout skips Home Run Derby because winning it would have just seemed gluttonous.
3. Detroit Tigers (53-38; Previous: 3) – If Tigers knew Prince looked like that all oiled up, they might’ve kept him around longer.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers (54-43; Previous: 6) – Rangers’ Geovany Soto pulled over for speeding, arrested for marijuana possession, claims Chris Perez’s dog was driving.
5. Washington Nationals (51-42; Previous: 9) – If nothing else, Matt Williams wants to stay on Sarah Palin’s good side.
6. Baltimore Orioles (52-42; Previous: 12) – Orioles roll into first place. Just wish Chris Davis was around to enjoy it with them.
7. Atlanta Braves (52-43; Previous: 7) – Uggla explains he was stuck in traffic and is tired of not playing ever.
- Tim Brown at Yahoo Sports9 days ago
MINNEAPOLIS – Now to the first hitter Adam Wainwright was trying to get out: Mike Trout. He tripled.
It'll be years before any pipe shots come Trout's way. A man earns those over time, in October, through championships, like a statue or a plaque or a bobblehead.
Yet, in spite of three consecutive at-bats one might consider competitive, and three outcomes one might reasonably assume were genuine, Trout bore up under the challenge and managed two hits and one fly ball to the left-field warning track. For this hardship, he was honored as the Most Valuable Player of the 85th All-Star Game, won, 5-3, by Trout's American Leaguers.
As a reward, they gave him his choice of cars and Trout opted for the two-seater with the silvery paint job and red interior, the 'Vette parked at shortstop, and he took the keys and got behind the wheel. The journey, the ride, has just begun.
He's not yet 23, and the momentum builds, and he's too young and it's too soon for all this to be happening, and then he gets better, and he stands on a baseball field with the best in the game and drives off in the coolest car.