Big League Stew - MLB

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, oh, Canada, where a relieved J.P. Ricciardi put to rest the whole "Adam Dunn 'doesn't like baseball' and I 'don't want Dunn' on the Blue Jays" controversy by announcing that he apologized personally when Dunn called him on Saturday. Dunn then took the hatchet supposedly buried by Toronto's GM and planted it in Ricciardi's back by saying he never called Ricciardi, who must be telling "a lie." As Hall-of-Famer Hal McCoy put it in his blog: hoo-boy. The same could be said for the outing by Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo. Hoo-boy.

Game of the Day: Blue Jays 14, Reds 1

Murphy's Law: In Cito Gaston's first game back managing in Toronto, the Jays pounded out 22 hits, half of them against Arroyo, who became the sixth starter in major league history to allow at least 10 earned runs and pitch no more than one inning, so says Elias. Dunn went 1-for-3 with a walk, but who cares about that just this second?

Dunn's done: "No, it didn't happen and I hope this is the last time I have to talk about it," Dunn said of a call with J.P. "I'm sick and tired of it."

"I'm looking for Amanda Huggenkiss": Upon being told of Dunn's "I did what?" revelation, Ricciardi said, "I got a call from someone who identified himself as Adam Dunn. It's extremely disappointing if that's not an accurate phone call. I apologized to the person on the phone." Ricciardi added that he wasn't sure how the faker got his mobile number, and that he deleted the dastardly digits from his own phone's memory, which makes his story harder to prove and, some might say, believe. Some might say Ricciardi's pants are on fire.

What Ricciardi didn't tell reporters: The Dunn-like caller also reminded him that he'd "better catch" his refrigerator because it's running, and to "let out" Prince Albert, who was trapped in a can of pipe tobacco.

The Evil that Men Do: This is vaguely reminiscent of former Blue Jays manager Tim Johnson, who 10 years ago got fired for padding his bio with tales of Vietnam that never happened how he said they did.

Once Upon a Time in Ontario: What is Bronson's worst film? "Death Wish 4" or "5" are good first stabs, but are too easy. "Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects." Oof, not so good, but there's worse. I was going to say "Assassination" featuring Charles Dennis Buchinsky as Secret Service and his real-life wife, Jill Ireland, as the First Lady. Then I saw these horrific moving pictures from last night's ballgame. Definitely the biggest turkey of Bronson's career so far. Viewer discretion advised unless you're a Jays fan.

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Feelin' Rundown (Tuesday's other games):

Mariners 11, Mets 0 — They sometimes called him "Gandhi" in Chicago because of his peaceful nature but Jerry Manuel turned into the angriest of hornets after umpire Brian Runge appeared to bump him, thus escalating an argument that included Manuel's ejection. Carlos Beltran, who appeared to have been baited by the umpire, stood up for his manager and got booted, too. Those were the highlights for the Mets, who are so not going to turn it around. Boy, that was a dumb prediction. Good grief, Dave, what were you thinking? Also, if you can believe it, Keith Hernandez asked Jerry Seinfeld to help him move and Jerry said yes. Jeez, what was he thinking?

Brewers 4, Braves 3 — Picking up where Ben Sheets left off, Dave Bush retired the first nine Braves — making for 25 consecutive over two games — and the Crew was Crewzin' until the ninth when closer Salomon Torres, channeling Gagne, started to melt a little. Dave Bush is a mystery wrapped in a riddle inside an enigma. Who pulls whose chains? Who knows? The shooters don't even know why this guy hasn't been better. He throws strikes, gets a decent amount of strikeouts, doesn't put too many guys on base, doesn't give up a ton of home runs. Yet, he often stinks like Limburger that's been out too long. It does make sense that the Braves struggle to score; Chipper's not starting right now, and the ATL is 2-10 without him in the lineup. Seriously, if you reach Turner Field and see Chipper's not starting, turn the minivan around and head back to Stone Mountain. Or stay, and enjoy the Tomahawk-Chopping Cow.

Giants 3, Indians 2Omar Vizquel night in Cleveland, so of course the guy drives in a run with a suicide squeeze and makes a typically great Omar play on defense to help preserve the win. Should be heading to the Hall, but played in an era when the shortstops started hitting 30 homers a year, so it's not a slam dunk. The Tribe's still waiting to avenge the '54 World Series (the one where Willie Mays did this), in which the Indians were swept after winning 111 games in the regular season.

Cardinals 8, Tigers 4 — Theory: Albert Pujols is an alien shell (or a friendly robot) operated, from the inside, by a half-dozen smaller creatures. Like the crew of a ship. Like this Eddie Murphy movie that looks horrible. Moreover, the little creatures are, in actuality, Skip Schumaker, Brian Barton, Adam Kennedy, Aaron Miles, Brendan Ryan and a miniature version of Pujols. Mini Pujols is sick right now, which has kept Albert on the DL. Plausible? As for D-Troit, Mickey Lolich tosses out the ceremonial first pitch to Bill Freehan, but then the current Tigers mess up the feel-good moment celebrating the '68 champs by playing. Worth noting: No Tigers pitchers committed a goofy throwing error during the commission of this ballgame. Lucky for everyone, this series happens at a time when Denny McLain is not in the joint. Come July, who knows?

Pirates 12, Yankees 5 — It probably will happen again, the Pirates winning a World Series, even if it also seems as though they are the least likely team to do it. I hope they do; if they hadn't won in '60, would we have been treated to those Bill Mazeroski magazines? Doubt it. That thing always was my preseason baseball Bible. What if there's a future publisher on the team now? What if Ryan Doumit is supposed to be a baseball magazine guru in 25 years? Is anyone going to give him the time of day if the best he can do is 74-88? Doubt it. For our grandkids' sakes, please, let there be a Bucs revival. Yeargh!

Red Sox 5, D-backs 4 — 'Zona is going to regret losing games such as this — one they should have won — later in the season when the Dodgers have their act together and win some games. The rest of the NL West is gawd-awful, but L.A. is mediocre enough to make this a race if the Deebz keep this up. Boston's talking about being in first place, making references to the Rays hanging close, so it ain't too early to worry about it. The Drew Boys: a combined 0-for-16 so far. Your sister could do that, guys, c'mon.

Rays 6, Marlins 4 — An ugly game (not an Uggla game, though he was there, too), but we'll take it with the Medal of Bobby Witt on the line for the state of Florida. Longoria played a pretty game with a two-run double and a solid play on defense to help Troy "Walkies!" Percival squirm out of a ninth-inning jam.

Angels 8, Nationals 3 — The Nats are nasty — nothing new there. But they also might be dying. Shawn Hill has been pitching with undiagnosed pain in his forearm/elbow and will head to the Mayo Clinic for further tests. Paul Lo Duca went to the hospital because of lightheadedness. Nick Johnson already was there, having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his wrist. There was this bad movie in the '70s called "The Cassandra Crossing" in which train passengers were exposed to a deadly disease. Nobody across Europe would let them off the train (heaven forbid we lose Liechtenstein!) and, eventually, "the plan" authorities devise is to crash the train into a ravine. Well, Richard Harris has other plans! Anyway, I'm not suggesting the Nationals be quarantined on a train and sent flying off a cliff ... Just the outfield.

Astros 4, Rangers 3 — Not even Chuck Norris could rescue the Rangers, seeing as Josh Hamilton's knee pain took him out of the lineup mid-game, and Milton Bradley's already less than 100 percent, still unable to play defense. Did you know that Chuck has counted to infinity — twice?

Orioles 7, Cubs 5George Sherrill helped the Cubs load the bases with nobody out in the ninth, but The Brim Reaper then struck out the next three batters to put down the Wrigleys, who had won 14 in a row at home. "It makes it a little more stressful, but I don't get nervous out there," Sherrill said. "I get nervous when it's someone else, not me." George. You sounded like Dirty Harry just then.

Royals 7, Rockies 3 — Greinke moves closer to an All-Star bid with 10 strikeouts and MLB moves closer to taking away maple bats after, coincidentally, umpire Brian O'Nora is cut on the head by Miguel Olivo's killer splinter. Jose Guillen holding a towel to O'Nora's bleeding melon was kind of him. Small hip bump for that, if 'Duk says it's OK. The Royals are not quite on fire, but something smells like it's burning, maybe.

Twins 3, Padres 1Brendan Harris and Brian Buscher (are they killer "B's" or are they piranhas?) each take Trevor Hoffman deep in the ninth to break a tie. PETCO fans boo Hoffman, which Jake Peavy thinks is a first and, he hopes, a last time. "That was as disheartening as disheartening gets," Peavy said. "What Trevor means to this organization, the city and the club, to see him get booed after a tough outing, I felt that was uncalled for. I certainly don't understand it. I hope that's never the case again."

Athletics 5, Phillies 2Joe Blanton puts the brakes on his dogged pursuit of 20 losses, thanks partly to Emil Brown's three-run homer in the seventh against Jamie Moyer. Moyer had nine strikeouts for the first time in nearly four years. "That's not me," Moyer said. Great. We've got another imposter!

White Sox 6, Dodgers 1 — One of the Sox's better games of the season follows a wonderful (sarcasm) weekend at Wrigley. Some unreal defensive plays, including a great double play started by Alexei Ramirez (dubbed "The Cuban Missile").

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Photo of the Day: "I bought this on Maui, I'll have you know."

Former Tigers infielder Dick Tracewski (left) laments coming in third place in the Hawaiian shirt contest the team held Tuesday night as part of the anniversary celebration of the 1968 World Series champions. Official judge Placido Polanco awarded first prize to Mickey Stanley (right) in a slight upset over Dick McAuliffe — who played Polanco's position, second base, 40 years ago. 

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Fantasy Freaks

Chad Tracy (D-backs) 2-3, HR, 4 RBI

Jonathan Sanchez (Giants) 7 2/3 IP, 5 H, ER, 2 BB, 8 K, Win

Alex Rios (Jays) 4-6, 3 R, HR

Scott Rolen (Jays) 2-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI

A.J. Burnett (Jays) 8 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 BB, 7 K, Win

Chipper (Braves) 1-1, .395 BA

Bush (Brewers) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 5 K, Win

R.A. Dickey (Mariners) 7 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 5 K, Win

Blanton (A's) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 4 BB, 5 K, Win

Kevin Slowey (Twins) 6 IP, 4 H, 7 K

Buehrle (White Sox) 8 IP, 6 H, ER, 2 K, Win

J.P. Howell (Rays) 2 IP, H, BB, 4 K, Win (6-0)

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Fantasy Flakes

Darrell Rasner (Yankees) 5 IP, 10 H, 7 ER, 4 K, Loss

Bronson (Reds) IP, 11 H, 10 ER, BB, K, Loss, 6.52 ERA, "Messenger of Death"

Hill (Nats) 3 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, BB, 2 K, Loss

Trevor (Pads) IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 HR, 2 K, Loss

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Words of Mouth

"I probably could have told them what was coming and fared better." — Arroyo

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