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News & Notes: Nelson Cruz cleaning up for Texas, true believers

Big League Stew

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A few items to peruse while not wiped out by this poolroom life you're living ...

• Who doesn't like a good workplace wager? When we were all out in Santa Monica last February, fantasy guru Brad Evans bet intrepid reporter Jeff Passan something — I think it was a case of '86 Topps — that Texas' Nelson Cruz(notes) would have a breakout season and hit more than 25 home runs for the Rangers.

Well, Cruz has already hit 17 homers in '09 while doing his best impersonation of Josh Hamilton(notes) — he was only a single short of the cycle on Sunday — and there's a shot he could send Evans home a winner by the All-Star Game, which he'll almost certainly attend as a participant next month.

I suggested to Passan last night that Cruz hitting 25 homers by the break would require him to pay Evans double — say, maybe throw in a '89 Fleer set — but he didn't quite agree.

At the very least, Passy needs a good bet for the rest of the season to go double or nothing on Mr. Evans. Anyone have any suggestions for possible wagers? [MLB.com]

• The behind-the-scenes story of how Ian Kinsler(notes) became a Ranger. [D Magazine]

Stew News! Against our better judgment, we'll be holding a Big League Stew live blog for MLB's draft Tuesday night, starting at 6 p.m. ET. Be there with your custom-lettered Stephen Strasburg jersey or be square. [FanGraphs]

• Rob Dibble and Rob Neyer are engaged in an Internetz flame war over Randy's 300th. Who you got? [Federal Baseball]

• MLB.com has thrown in the towel on all the hand-wringing over the homer barrage at Yankee Stadium, installing a Yankee Stadium homer tracker on its site. [UmpBump]

Day Baseball! Tigers at White Sox, 2:05 ET So can a five-game series in June ever be described as a "must win?" I don't think so, but this one is definitely a "can't be swept" for the Pale Hose, who sit 4.5 games behind El Tigres and welcome their visitors with a day-night doubleheader today at The Cell.

• No, that wasn't Tina Fey sitting in the expensive seats with Rudy Giuliani during Sunday's Yankees game. [NYDN]

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Mike MacDougal(notes) is your latest "closer" for the Washington Nationals. Fun fact: Only one of the Nats' closers this season was with the team on Photo Day. [Mr. Irrelevant]

• What the hell happened to Delmon Young(notes)? Part One. [Twins Geek]

Brad Lidge(notes) and Courtney Lee do not agree with this sentiment. [Sons of Steve Garvey]

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VIDEO: Ryan Howard(notes) talks healthy eating with the White House chef. [The Fightins]

Day Baseball! Rockies at Cardinals, 2:15 Home sweet home hasn't rung true for St. Louis lately ... the Redbirds are 2-5 over this homestand and are facing the stark possibility of being swept by Colorado in four games for the first time ever.

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Draft time:
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