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 MLB Roll Call starts on Florida's Gulf Coast, where the best li'l team in the American League had a slight misstep against the big, bad Yankees, who were again trying to ignore mouthy ownership ...

Game of the Day: Yankees 2, Rays 1

As in "the crank": Standing up to the Rays, who had won six straight, the Yanks got a well-pitched game from Mike Mussina and a 4-for-4 from Robinson Cano. They also tried to ignore the repeatedly annoying comments of Hank Steinbrenner, whose critiques provide as much value as an "I'm not touching you — does this bug you?" session.

Hankerin': George Steinbrenner, while neurotic and eventually harmful, was at least entertaining in his heyday with Billy Martin, Reggie Jackson and George Costanza. Hank, the NextGen, well, he just ruins it. Not only for the Yanks, but for Hanks everywhere, all of whom have given us so much.

The 10 Greatest Hanks in History

10. Hank Greenberg — A noted leaflet, "Famous Jewish Sports Legends" is mostly written about him and Koufax.

9. Hank the Angry, Drunken Dwarf — This anti-Roloff was the real talent behind Howard Stern.

8. Hank Williams Jr. — He was ready for some football when Peyton Manning still was in short pants. No idea what color his eyes are. Always wearing sunglasses.

7. Hank Haney — Taught Tiger Woods everything he didn't already know.

6. Hank Azaria — First he was "Kid Gorgeous," then he was "Kid Presentable," then "Kid Gruesome" and finally "Kid Moe."

5. Hardware Hank — You've got a lot more going for you with Hank. ... Hardware Hank.

4. Tom Hanks — Former hot dog vendor at Oakland Alameda County Coliseum.

3. Henry VIII — Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on Showtime.

2. Hank Aaron — He hit some home runs.

1. Hank Hill — Let's say I want a hammer. Do you know what a hammer is? And where in the hell would I go?

***

NL Game of the Day: Reds 6, Marlins 5 (10 inn.)

Icing: A guy walks into a bakery. Orders a Janish. Rather than a tasty pasty, he really would be calling for a Reds player named Paul Janish, who helped them recover from blowing a six-run, ninth-inning lead with a game-ending hit.

Then comes Bronson: Arroyo really good in two consecutive performances, but he'll be whittling down that ERA until his next haircut.

***

Feelin' Rundown (other NL Games)

Braves 8, Phillies 6 — Following Tom Glavine, reliever Blaine Boyer sneaks in under the checkered flag for the save. Brett Myers can't work himself into the necessary frenzy and gets teed up like a range ball bucket.

Nationals 5, Mets 3 — Hank Steinbrenner owes the other New Yorkers a phone call.

Cubs 8, Padres 5 — One home run or overhead catch at Wrigley for the Cubbies, and the same people who called his mama all of those names for all of those seasons will be sending Mrs. Edmonds roses.

Dodgers 6, Brewers 4 — Yost can't go to Gagne in the ninth because, on Monday, he pitched him two innings (for reasons unknown), followed by another inning Tuesday in his arc du triumphant return to closer. So Guillermo Mota gets pummeled and the Crue lose another they should have won.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1Todd Wellemeyer and Rick Ankiel team to prevent the Bucs from reaching .500, to which manager John Russell says, "You pick .500 as a goal, where do you go from there? I don't think that's anything we're going to pop a champagne bottle over." That's great, but you're the Pirates. Just shoot for .500 for the moment, OK, Mr. Mediocrity-Is-For-Wimps?

D'backs 4, Rockies 3Micah Owings robbed of an infield single. Curses! His BA drops 47 points. It's Black Wednesday in Phoenix. Well, the DB's did win, with Owings tossing six shutout innings. The Rockies are 10 games out. Keep some perspective; it's May 15. OK. Brandon Webb goes today for AZ. He is 8-0. Sheesh.

Astros 6, Giants 3Miguel Tejada putting behind him the 434 things that have gone wrong in the past few seasons. Lance Berkman goes 1-for-4, but it's a home run. He's still a maniac.

***

Photo of the Day: Rick Anderson, professional imparter of knowledge

Anderson: "Now go do your best. Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid. Goethe said that. It's not too late for you to become a person of substance, Boof. Please get my son home safely. You know, I'm glad we spoke."

Boof Bonser: "I just got lit up and you're quoting a Cameron Crowe movie?" 

***

Feelin' Rundown (Other AL games)

Mariners 4, Rangers 3 (12 inn.) — Washburn with the save. Putz with the win. Ichiro managed. Beltre turned Japanese. Starbucks dripped from the Gatorade jug. Dogs slept with cats. Mass hysteria. Definitely through the looking glass, people.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 3 — Let's see you try to slap hands with the fans sitting atop the wall in Boston, Manny.

Indians 2, Athletics 0 — Carsten Charles Sabathia is how he will sign the $150 million contract.

Royals 2, Tigers 0 — Detroit is 4-14 against the AL Central, and it's not like the division is all that good.

Blue Jays 6, Twins 5 — Boof Bonser, disappointed to not qualify for the Hank Aaron 755, got smacked around by Matt Stairs and - poof! - his ERA is 5.37.

White Sox 6, Angels 1Carlos Quentin has been the only consistently strong stick for the Sox. Great trade by Ken Williams. Their pitching has been solid, too, and Contreras should be cut some slack after being just horrendous the past season-plus.

***

Fantasy Freaks

Carlos Quentin (White Sox) 2-5, HR, 5 RBI

Paul Konerko (White Sox) 1-3, SB!

Jose Contreras (White Sox) 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 3 BB, 3 K, Win

John Lackey (Angels) 7 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 4 K

Jay Payton (Orioles) 1-5, HR, 5 RBI

Chipper Jones (Braves) 2-4, HR, .418 BA

Chris Coste (Phillies) 4-4, 2 R

C.C. Sabathia (Indians) 9 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 11 K, Win

Robinson Cano (Yankees) 4-4, RBI

Juan Pierre (Dodgers) 3-5, 3 RBI, SB

Matt Stairs (Blue Jays) 1-4, HR, 4 RBI

Luke Hochevar (Royals) 6 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 5 K, Win

Todd Wellemeyer (Reds) 7 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K, Win

Micah Owings (D-backs) 6 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K, Win

***

Fantasy Flakes

Brett Myers (Phillies) 4 1/3 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3 HR, Loss

Evan Longoria (Rays) 0-3, R, .216 BA. (at least Tony's there)

Jake Peavy (Padres) 4 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, Loss

***

Big Talker

"It was scripted until the ninth inning. Like Yogi (Berra) said, `It ain't over until it's over,' and he ain't lying." — Reds manager Dusty Baker, on the sudden change happening in his ballgame.

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