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Category:MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 12:18 pm
 

Pressure building on Teixeira

Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira is getting defensive about his lousy season, turning to "the back of my baseball card says it all" as an argument when speaking with reporters at the conclusion of a weekend series that saw him go 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts.

Sure, the back of Teixeira's baseball card looks great, because it doesn't include this year's stats. For a while it was easy to write off his struggles as a slow start to the season, but the season is more than a third over and a guy who started last year's All-Star Game is batting .211.

Apparently the pressure is getting to Teixeira.

"I don't know how many times I have to tell you guys, I had a great May," Teixeira told the New York Daily News in what was described as "an exasperated, defensive tone."

Well, kind of. He actually had a great couple of weeks at the start of May, batting .339 with five homers and 20 RBIs in the first 15 games of the month. Throw out those 15 games and his season numbers would be truly ugly: a .162 average with three homers and 14 RBI.

At this point, the hot streak is looking like the anomaly. An "anti-slump" in a bad season. If Teixeira is going to turn it around, he'd better hurry, because the pressure in New York is only going to increase.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 11:20 am
 

Four Boras clients in top seven picks

In case you're curious about the signability of your team's top pick, Sports Agent Blog has a list of representatives for the 50 players taken on the first day of the draft.

Scott Boras represents four of the top seven picks: Top pick Bryce Harper (C/OF, Nationals), No. 3 Manny Machado (SS, Orioles), No. 4 Christian Colon (SS, Royals) and No. 7 Matt Harvey (RHP, Mets). Boras is expected to seek a signing bonus for Harper in excess of the record $15.1 million he got top pick Stephen Strasburg minutes before last year's deadline.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 11:09 am
 

Draft just getting started


Last night was the big splash for baseball's First-Year Player Draft, with the first 50 picks -- the first round and the sandwich picks -- made on national television. Today the work gets tougher and faster in draft rooms around the country.

Rounds 2-30 take place today, beginning at noon EDT, with rounds 31-50 happening Wednesday. Teams have only a minute to make a pick once they're on the clock. The Nationals have today's first pick.

There's still plenty of heralded talent left on the board, with 15 of Baseball America's pre-draft Top 50 still available. They include University of Texas ace Brandon Workman , who most expected to be gone by now, and Ohio high school pitcher Stetson Allie , who is reported to have hit 100 mph.

Follow the action as it happens with the CBSSports.com Draft Tracker .

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Posted on: June 8, 2010 10:03 am
 

Happy Strasburg Day!


The day phenom David Clyde made his major league debut for the Rangers, Tom Vandergriff, the mayor of Arlington, said, "From now on, time here shall be marked from June 27, 1973."

Now that's pressure. Clyde, just 19 days out of high school, held his own in the most hyperbolically promoted debut in major league history, and went on to an undistinguished career. The Washington Nationals, like the 1973 Rangers a transplant franchise struggling to put fans in the seats, are hoping to get a more lasting impact from Stephen Strasburg, who, in case you hadn't heard, makes his major league debut tonight against the Pirates.

More than 200 media members are expected to be on hand at Nationals Park, which is lucky on most nights to get that many fans (exaggeration alert!). The Nationals are selling standing-room tickets, and even those are being sold at a premium online.

"He needs to take a step back, take a deep breath and kind of soak in the moment because you only debut once in your career. It's a special day for him, also," general manager Mike Rizzo told The Associated Press .

Strasburg is certainly ready. He went 7-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 55 1/3 innings in Double-A and Triple-A. In fact, you might wonder what took the Nationals so long to call up the right-hander. Murray Chass got Washington president Stan Kasten to acknowledge that "one of the factors" in the timing was controlling Strasburg's service time.

By delaying a player's debut six weeks or so, a team keeps the player from being credited with a full year of major league service time in his first season. Down the line, it delays the player's eligibility for salary arbitration and free agency. The Nationals can now control Strasburg for seven seasons, rather than six, before risking losing him to free agency.

It's a common practice and doesn't violate labor laws. That doesn't mean the players' union is happy about it.

"We are paying attention to that and I would expect arbitration eligibility will be an issue in collective bargaining," union head Michael Weiner told Chass. "It has become so obvious."

The game, which starts at 7:05 EDT, will be shown on MLB Network with Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and John Smoltz in the booth.

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com

Category: MLB
Posted on: June 8, 2010 9:14 am
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:23 am
 

Obama: Selig right in not overturning call


Commissioner Bud Selig has taken a lot of heat in the past week, but perhaps he can take comfort in having the support of the leader of the free world.

President Obama said in an interview today that Selig did the right thing when he decided not to overturn the call that cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Obama said baseball should look at instant replay.

The president also commended the display of sportsmanship by umpire Jim Joyce, who admitted and apologized for his mistake.

"I thought that showed something about sportsmanship that you don't see enough of in America today," Obama told Matt Lauer on "The Today Show".

Details and clip here .

-- David Andriesen, CBSSports.com


Category: MLB
Posted on: June 7, 2010 11:07 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:30 am
 

Cueto victimized by bullpen

If not for his bullpen, the Reds' Johnny Cueto could be the second 10-game winner of the season. Instead, Cueto has five victories and the victim of five blown saves.

Accoding to Elias Sports Bureau, the five "blown wins" are the most of any starter in the big leagues.

Cueto, 5-1 with a 4.25 ERA, didn't have one of his better outings on Monday, allowing 10 hits and four runs in six innings and actually left the gmae down 4-3, but was lifted for pinch-hitter Miguel Cairo, whose two-out RBI single put him in line for the win.

The Giants, though, answered with two runs off of lefty Daniel Ray Herrera to take back the lead.

Cueto had notched victories in his last four outings.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted on: June 7, 2010 10:31 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 11:19 am
 

Toronto leaning right

The Toronto Blue Jays had a total of four first-round picks, including three in the compensation picks, and all four were used on right-handed pitchers.

The Blue Jays' first pick was Geogia Tech's Deck McGuire at 11, followed by California high schooler Aaron Sanchez (34), Texas high schooler Noah Syndergaard (38) and Asher Wojciechowski (41) from The Citadel.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

Posted on: June 7, 2010 9:53 pm
Edited on: October 19, 2010 12:00 pm
 

Short night for Cards pick

Arkansas third baseman Zack Cox, the No. 25 overall pick by the St. Louis Cardinals, left Monday's regional final against Washington State after three innings.

Cox has been hampered by a strained back muscle that caused him to miss the Southeastern Conference tournament and much of the Razorbacks' last two weeks of the season. He did, however, start at third base for Arkansas against the Cougars in an elimination game in the NCAA Tournament.

Cox went 2-for-3 with a double and run scored before being taken out of the game, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette . Arkansas led Washington State 6-1 at the time.

The Deomcrat-Gazette's Brandon Marcello wrote he didn't know if Cox knew, but had a strong feeling after "relief pitcher Jason Fuqua turned around in the dugout a few feet to the left of Cox and signaled to someone in the crowd “2-5″ with his fingers."

-- C. Trent Rosecrans


Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com