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Morning Juice: Cubs coincidentally trade for Rich Harden

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This and every weekday a.m., let's rise and shine together with the most recent and decent major league happenings. Today's roll call starts in the Interview Dungeon at Wrigley Field, which is being prepared for the arrival of new Cubs right-hander Rich Harden, who is NOT an answer to the Brewers announcing the addition of CC Sabathia the day before, general manager Jim Hendry says, so don't go thinking that, because it ain't true it's just a coincidence see, told ya'.

Game of the Day: Cubs 7, Reds 3

Tat, meet titfor: Hendry says the Cubs have been working on adding Harden for weeks, and that Milwaukee's landing of Sabathia (or, as Hendry pronounced it at least once, "Suh-BAY-thee-uh") has "nothing to do with it." OK, OK, Jim. We believe you.

Oh, that's Rich: He used to reach 100 on the gun, and he's been about 95 most of this season but he also complained of a "dead arm" earlier this month. It must be noted that Harden started 32 games... from '05-'07 (sigh) and has been on the DL already this year. That's a Priorsworth of missed starts. It also must be noted, as Hendry did, that he's never had surgery ... unless he had his tonsils out as a kid.

Canadian Club: Ryan Dempster improves to 10-0 on the heels of the Rich Harden news. With the newbie, that's now two Canucks ... wow. "Awesome. We're taking over," Dempster said. "From my neck of the woods. Finally somebody who speaks my language."

A's for civics: Here's a grownup answer from Mark Ellis about where this leaves the A's, who still are in the thick of the playoff race: "That's a fair question, but we can't think like that as players. We've got to be out there and play every day like we're making a run to the playoffs. I don't think it sends a message to us. I think it's something they felt like they had to do. We've just got to hope the guys they're bringing in can help us out."

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Feelin' Rundown (Tuesday's other action):

Athletics 2, Mariners 0 — It apparently was over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor, like it appears to be for the A's this season. The Regal Arch-Duke of Duchscherer is going to miss Harden and Chad Gaudin. The Mariners are going to be stuck with "Dumbass Answer" Bedard for a while.

Cardinals 2, Phillies 0 — Colbert Michael Hamels, son of Gary and Amanda, must have been a bad guy in a previous life. First, his NL brethren deny him a righteous spot on the All-Star Team, then his Philly Phriends score zip, zilch, zero against a guy, a fella, a man, Joel Pineiro, who had allowed a combined 11 runs and 21 hits the past two starts.

Well, I entered Cole's birthday at the Past Life Analysis Web site, and here's what I got: You were female in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere in the territory of modern West Russia around the year 1500. Your profession was that of a designer, engineer or craftsman. Yeah, I don't think Ivan the Terrible is going to let a female Hamels go walkin' around St. Petersburg a-designin', engineerin' and a-craftin'. A 16th-century Coletta Hamels would be lucky to see old age, which then was the late 20s.

Brewers 7, Rockies 3 — The best debut for a CC in Milwaukee since C.C. DeVille and Poison rocked the MECCA in advance of DLR on the '88 "Skyscraper" Tour. Get me a bottle of anything and a glazed donut... to go.

D-backs 2, Nationals 0 — Finally, some honesty in player-umpire relations. Gnats lefty Odalis Perez, after blue Angel Hernandez called two balks and kicked him out in the third: "He's just stupid. He's stupid and (an) idiot. This is the third or fourth time he called a balk on me. I lost the game twice. It's like he has something personal against me. ... I hate that. I know I'm going to get fined, but I don't care. I want to protect myself and protect my teammates, too. He called it. I don't like that. I hate that. I lost the game, and I hate that so bad because he's bad. He's awful. He's the worst."

Yankees 5, Rays 0Scott Kazmir will turn into a pumpkin if Francona tries to put him into the All-Star Game any later than the fifth inning.

Tigers 9, Indians 2 — It will cost a lot less for the Tribe to mail it in now that CC and his 290-plus pounds are gone Rhinelander way.

Red Sox 6, Twins 5 — Who would be Manny if Manny could not be Manny? I think Ronnie Belliard could be Mini-Manny.

Mets 7, Giants 0 — Surprising, given the Mets general lack of football experience. What? Oh, THOSE Giants. White Sox and SF conspiring to get former mates Rowand and Dye on the respective All-Star teams. Apparently Houston and Carlos Lee don't want in on the deal. Kenesaw M. Landis stirs.

Pirates 4, Astros 3 — Three hours, seven minutes of rain delays. Joe Buck probably doesn't even go to Pittsburgh for baseball, but if he did, he would have eaten his Primanti Bros. & left well before the start of The Bachelorette..

White Sox 8, Royals 7 (13 inn) — The kind of game that drives a man to open a book.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 6Freddie Bynum made an error in the ninth allowing the Jays to complete a comeback and win. When reporters approached him afterward, Bynum snapped, "If you watched the game you know what happened, so what do you want to talk about?" My response, in all earnestness, would be: "Freddie, what are you doing in the major leagues?"

Braves 9, Dodgers 3 — Chipper slips under .380 after going 0-4 with three Ks. He needs to turn this thing around. Maybe he should be drilling more off-shore.

Rangers 3, Angels 2 — A major league career (Matt Harrison) is born, and an Earth career (the pending child of Joe Saunders and wife, Chanel) is coming any second. C'mon, honey, I got to go to New York.

Padres 10, Marlins 1 — The Padres have 11 guys on their roster who played at Triple-A Portland at some point. Back in the day, the Pads' AAA team was in Honolulu, which I thought was the coolest ever minor-league city. It was almost like, "No, you can call up Jimmy over there. I'll stay in Hawaii."

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Photo of the Day: Return of Franchester!

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"You'd let me know if there's a Cubs fan comin' up behind me, right, Bob? ... Is someone there? There is, isn't there? Brenly, you ass, you're going to make me turn around? Man, it's hot today. Isn't it hot? Someone's standing right there, aren't they? Man, it's a scorcher. ... (Whips around) GOTCHA! Oh, my back. There wasn't anyone there. Brenly, you ass!"

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Fantasy Freaks

Miguel Cabrera (Togas) 4-4, 2 HR, 3 RB

Andy Pettitte (Yankees) 8 IP, 4 H, 5 K, Win

Mike Pelfrey (Mets) 7 IP, 3 H, 5 K, Win

Justin Duchscherer (A's) 9 IP, 2 H, 4 K, Win

Brian McCann (Braves) 2-4, 2 HR, 2 RBI

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Fantasy Flakes

Aaron Harang (Reds) 4 1/3 IP, 5 H, 6 ER, 7 BB, 6 K, Loss

Scott Linebrink (White Sox) IP, 3 H, 2 ER, Blown save

J. Bruce (Reds) 0-4, 4 K, .265 BA

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Words of Mouth

"People make a big deal, obviously, because it's Tampa." Derek Jeter
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