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 on late-night TV, once the land of pay-per-minute phone babes and, maybe, this season's hottest, raunchiest baseball trades. It's the place Indians general manager Mark Shapiro (right) — who's going to be on the phone anyway — should be pulling out all of the stops to break up his underachieving ball club. The Indians last night wasted a gem by Cliff Lee and another late lead against the streaking White Sox. Whatever it takes to contend in '09, even if it means pretending to be a sultry siren to make any potential trading partners as happy as possible.
Game of the Day: White Sox 3, Indians 2 (10 inn.)
1-900-555-DEAL: "Hey there, it's Mark —I mean — "Kimberlynn." Why don't you call me anymore? It used to be that we'd talk about anything — and I mean anything. I hear you're looking for some pitching; a nice, strong, muscular arm that can whip balls through the zone. You know — high and tight? We've got exactly what you're looking for. Sure, C.C. is available. Everyone's available. But all the boys call for C.C. Why do you want to be like the other guys? Why not deal for someone with experience? Paul Byrd's been to the playoffs three times and he's sworn off porn. And you know what that means. He'd be all yours — mind and body."
$2 first min./$20 million each addi. yr.: "Sure, we'd like a couple of your stud prospects. That sounds hot. And I love that one of them swings both ways, too. You know what I think of switch hitters, Jim Hendry — I mean — 'Lex.' You think you can keep up with C.C. and his agent? They're pretty pricey. We might just let him go for a couple of draft picks if we can't come together with someone on a deal. So, about Byrd. ... What? Oh, I'm wearing a red Chief Wahoo golf shirt and khakis."
WHIP: "OK, Jim Hendry — I mean — Lex. Need some attention in the back end ... of your bullpen? I've got a guy for you. He saved me 45 times last year and his last name is long and hard. He's... Yeah, it's Joe Borowski [click]. Hello? Hello ... Lex?"
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Feelin Rundown (Tuesday's other games):
Rays 3, Red Sox 1 — Better luck next year, Boston. Use oven mitts to handle Matt Garza. Hard to believe: This Longoria link leads not to a dripping wet babe, but to a funktacular defensive gem. This link, on the other hand...
Rangers 3, Yankees 2 — Three steals and the go-ahead run for Ian Kinsler, whose name sounds like that a British guy who writes suspense novels. Here's an excerpt: Billionaire body artist/surfing champion Jules-Jeff Jeffers works hard and he plays hard, but when his own brother turns up dead near the outskirts of Macao, "3J" puts away his needles and his board, instead stocking his '37 Woodie with an arsenal that only a SWAT team could love. You will never forget the unforgettably memorable "Tic-Tat-Bro," the riveting sequel to "Dye, Baby, Die" by novelist Ian Kinsler, who also brought you the thrilling "The Velveteen Gambit" and the unhinged "Hair of Samson."
Angels 5, Athletics 3 — Garret Anderson continues to go about himself in a Harold Bainesian sort of way. Not that he's as good as Harold was. Strike me down for implying it, in fact. But he's quiet, humble and left-handed. That's Harold. ... Says in the A.P. story that Francisco Rodriguez has 33 saves, one away from John Smoltz's record for most saves at the All-Star break. What? There's no such thing as a record for having the most anything at an All-Star break.
Brewers 8, D-backs 6 — It seems to me The Big Unit is living his life like a candle in the wind. Upon exiting another bad outing, he flipped his glove, his mustache and his mullet to a young lad in the second row.
Orioles 7, Royals 5 — After a couple of late meltdowns, the O's couldn't lose with 10,000 orange George Sherrills rooting them on at Camden Yards. The Greeks might have won the Battle of Thermopylae if they wore No. 52 orange Ts.
Twins 6, Tigers 4 — Craig Monroe's three-run deep was the key hit. He's one of those guys who'll always be a Tiger, no matter where he plays. First Michael Jordan starts hitting jumpers against the Bulls, and now this.
Mariners 7, Blue Jays 6 — They celebrated "Canada Day" at Safeco which means they should have let the best curling team decide who won. Instead, they played baseball and Willie Bloomquist hit a game-winning single. He's usually the worst player on the field at a given moment, but he's got one of the 10 best names in baseball.
Nationals 9, Marlins 6 — Collin Balester said he was awed by his surroundings on his first day in the big leagues. Winning your major league debut in Dolphin Stadium must be like being born in a men's room. Yeah, it's great to be alive, but yiiick.
Dodgers 7, Astros 6 (11 inn.) — Dogs blew a five-run lead but pulled it out to stay hot on the D-backs tracks. Nothin' was rhyming for Wandy. Conversely, Clayton Kershaw will win 250 games if he keeps this attitude: "I was just glad I pitched good," Kershaw said. "Statistically it won't look good. But I pitched better, I pitched kind of the way I want to and we got the win."
Mets 7, Cardinals 4 — Wellemeyer — not so good. The Cards are running low on pitching options, even for them. What about a program where Duncan and La Russa round up the homeless and work one or two into the Cards' rotation? They also said the airplane would never fly.
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Photo of the Day: I love charades!
Baltimore's Adam Jones uses a scoring opportunity to impersonate Tom Cruise from his favorite movie, "Mission Impossible."
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Brandon Phillips (Reds) 3-5, HR, 4 RBI
Matt Garza (Rays) 7 IP, 5 H, 3 K, Win
Shane Victorino (Phillies) 2-5, HR, 4 RBI
Ronnie Belliard (Nats) 2-4, 2 R, HR, 4 RBI
Hanley (Marlins) 2-4, HR, 5 RBI
Carlos Lee (Astros) 4-5, 2 RBI
Lee (Tribe) 8 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 3 K
John Danks (White Sox) 8 IP, 4 H, ER, BB, 8 K
Wellemeyer (Cards) 5 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
Cook (Rockies) 9 IP, 5 H, 4 K, Win
Cain (Giants) 8 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 10 K, Win
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Mark Hendrickson (NBA) 6 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 3 K, Loss
Nate Robertson (Tigers) 4 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, Loss
Unit (D-backs) 3 2/3 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 3 HR, Loss
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Words of the Day
"He has a lot of heart. I was going to say something else, but that might not make it to print." — Dmitri Young, on his first impression of Balester.