Forde Minutes:

Closing Time: Odds and Ends

Technically this isn't a save situation, I'm just getting an inning of work in to stay fresh.

Look, there was no way I was going to sit home and watch the All-Star Game, but the restaurant where I had dinner (and a few adult beverages) had it on. Alas, the game proved worthy of attention, between buffalo tenders, pasta and shrimp. The exhibition had reached extra innings as I headed home - at that point you start rooting for the extension of the contest, and for Bud Selig to look as silly as possible. In the end, I wasn't disappointed one bit.

A few quick thoughts from the Stadium, and then we'll get back to the fantasy world:

Gotta feel sorry for Dan Uggla - 0-for-4 at the plate with three strikeouts, and in the field he entered The Knoblauch Zone (three errors, every play an adventure). … Not the best night for Philly fans: Brad Lidge takes the loss, former whipping boy J.D. Drew wins MVP, former skipper Terry Francona collects the win. … It sure looked like Derryl Cousins botched the call at the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning - Dioner Navarro was safe, and Cousins had a bad angle on the play (standing behind Russell Martin). … Nine stolen-base attempts, eh? Both sides were all out to win, for whatever that's worth. … Aaron Cook, Houdini has nothing on you (three scoreless innings despite a parade of baserunners).

Enough on the exhibition game, let's shift to news that does matter (umm, for our pretend teams). For one night only, this pretty much *is* an injury blog. Here's a news sweep of the last two days:

Takashi Saito has a sprained ligament in his elbow and will need an estimated six weeks of rehab, according to Ken Gurnick of Joe Torre said on Sunday that Jonathan Broxton was his closer until further notice; it's not clear who slides into Broxton's set-up role but Hong-Chih Kuo is one intriguing possibility.

Hideki Matsui was an ironman for years, but the injury bug has bitten back hard the last few seasons. He's going to suspend his left-knee rehab and he might be headed for season-ending surgery. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman called Matsui's continued issues "discouraging" and said it is now more likely that Matsui may not return this season.

Bobby Jenks (back) started his rehab assignment Monday and worked one messy inning at Single-A (three hits, one run). He'll have another go Wednesday (this time in Double-A), then likely will rejoin the White Sox on Friday.

Dustin McGowan received good news on his MRI - there's no new damage to his shoulder. He's down for at least a month, but surgery won't be needed.

Magglio Ordonez (oblique) started a rehab assignment Monday and feels he'll be ready to go when Detroit returns to action Thursday.

Fausto Carmona (hip) started off his rehab assignment with a strong outing Monday against Single-A batters, working four scoreless innings (1 H, 0 R, 3 K). He might be just one more rehab turn away from returning to the Indians.

Johnny Damon isn't sure if he'll be able to return Sunday, as he originally hoped. He's dealing with a bad shoulder. "It feels a little better today," Damon said Tuesday. "It still feels horrible waking up. I'm still kind of down because I know (Yankees manager Joe) Girardi wants to put me in the lineup on Sunday and I'm not sure we can do that."

Francisco Rodriguez is no longer willing to talk contract extension with the Angels; K-Rod will test the free-agent waters this winter. "I'm going to go out there and explore the market," Rodriguez told the Los Angeles Times. "They had six years. They didn't get anything done with me. If I wait six years, why not wait another 2 1/2 months?"

The agent for Matt Holliday doesn't expect the Rockies to trade the outfielder this season, according to the Denver Post. Holliday's contract doesn't run out until after the 2009 season. If and when Holliday does leave the Rocky Mountains, keep in mind he's got a career 1.086 OPS at home, .790 on the road.

Ryan Zimmerman (shoulder) kicked off his rehab assignment Monday in Single-A, rapping out a couple of hits. He's going to stay in the minors for the balance of this week, but could be back with the Nationals next week.

Hank Blalock (wrist) started a rehab assignment Monday and plans to rejoins the Rangers when they open the second half in Minnesota. The Chris Davis story take a hit if Blalock returns on schedule and gets right back into the lineup, but let's wait until that actually happens.

The Braves say Yunel Escobar's rotator cuff is "inflamed" and they're listing him as day-to-day, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It's not clear if he'll be able to go when Atlanta returns to play Friday.

Tim Linceum wasn't at the All-Star Game due to flu-like symptoms and dehydration; it was serious enough to force a brief hospital visit.

The Braves may or may not be discussing a Mark Teixeira trade with the Red Sox, depending on who you believe. Teixeira is a free agent after this season.

The agent for Barry Bonds admits that it's unlikely the slugger will play this season, but with the Yankees down a few sticks on offense, it makes you wonder . . .

Wily Mo Pena is headed for shoulder surgery and almost certainly won't play again this year. His season has been a complete washout: .205 average, two home runs, 10 RBIs.

The Reds are calling Jerry Hairston's injury a mild right hamstring strain, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. He'll be re-examined on Thursday. Unless you're backed into a corner, I wouldn't start him for the short week.

Rocco Baldelli's rehab work hits Double-A on Wednesday, for the optimists in the crowd.

We're finally let out of Sports Purgatory in about 24 hours when the British Open tees off. If you're playing in a Y! Fantasy Golf league, here are my picks for your consideration: Sergio Garcia (winner), Ernie Els; Stewart Cink, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Sean O'Hair, Nick O'Hern; Lee Westwood, Andres Romero.

Other than that, nobody was really hurt . . . just a few breaks and things. I'll catch you guys on Wednesday with a look at the saves chase in the American League; the NL will follow Thursday.


Editor's note: That's Batting Stance Guy up above, providing an abbreviated reenactment of the All-Star Game. It was basically just like that, except with Joe Buck, and less shrubbery.

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