By Evan Brunell
BASEBALL TODAY: What is the latest with the knee of Mark Teixeira? Is Jered Weaver back on track for the Angels? Lauren Shehadi and C. Trent Rosecrans answer those questions and more. Click the video to play.
BOSOX-YANKS SPICE: While the Red Sox and Yankees remain appointment viewing, there hasn't been much of a rivalry in recent years, especially with Boston winning most of the games in 2010 and so far in 2011. The rivalry got spiced up a bit Monday night when David Ortiz crushed a two-run home run off of Hector Noesi to finish off the scoring in a 6-3 victory. Noesi, a rookie pitcher, had tossed a pitch at Big Papi just before the home run, causing some to wonder if it was an attempted hit-by-pitch to make up for Mark Teixeira's plunking earlier in the game.
Big Papi says no, but that didn't stop him from flipping his bat with a flourish after his home run in the fifth, drawing the ire of manager Joe Girardi of the Yankees, who said he didn't care for it.
"I never had a problem with David," Girardi said. "David has always played the game hard. I’m just protecting my young kid."
For Ortiz's part, he played it off lightly, which should kill any possible controversy.
“That’s Papi style,’’ kidded Ortiz. “It’s not the first time and it’s not my last one. I’m a home run hitter. It’s not like I do it all the time. What can I tell you? Just another homer for Papi.’’ (Boston Globe)MARQUIS UPSET: Nationals pitcher Jason Marquis, who claims he has never thrown at a batter in his 12-year career, is fuming over his five-game suspension for hitting Justin Upton with a pitch Sunday. It was Upton's fourth beanball of the series and came after Jayson Werth's plunking in the game -- his third of the series.
"Never been ejected, never been fined, never been suspended," Marquis said. "I don’t understand why I would start now. I’ve been in games where there have been games getting hit back and forth. It’s a 1-0 game. We’re trying to put something together here. The game is 1-0. You don’t want it to get away from you just because you’re trying to show your manhood. I’m out there trying to win as many games as possible.”
Marquis added that the heat in Arizona is difficult, as the dryness of it doesn't produce enough sweat for the hand to grip the baseball properly. Plus, Marquis claims the pitch was supposed to be outside and moved inside.
“If you actually watch where that pitch started, it started on the outer third and moved three feet,” Marquis said. “I mean, can I control, ‘I’m going to throw a three-foot sinker, and hopefully it hits him?’ Most guys take a four-seamer and usually drill a guy. The catcher set up away. My ball moved three feet if you watch the film.” (Washington Post)
WERTH SCRATCHED: Jayson Werth did not play in Tuesday's game after being scratched from the lineup with a sore ankle. Laynce Nix replaced Werth in right field, and the new Nats star is day-to-day with the injury. (Washington Post)GOOD ADVICE: With the No. 5 pick of the draft, the Royals snagged perhaps the best high-school bat in the draft with Bubba Starling. A local product, Starling needs to decide whether or not to play baseball or football in college and probably won't sign -- if at all -- until the Aug. 15 deadline. But Royals great Frank White has some words of advice for Starling, including signing as soon as possible. (Kansas City Star)
UNCLE JOE: One of Joe Girardi's good friends is Dante Bichette, a teammate way back in 1993 for the expansion Rockies. Now, Girardi has a chance to skipper Bichette's son, as the Yankees took Dante Bichette, Jr., with the No. 51 pick of the draft. The son calls Girardi "Uncle Joe," a practice he admitted he might have to stop. Meanwhile, Girardi marveles at how far Bichette, Jr. has come since Girardi and Bichette were taking Bichette Jr. on car rides as a baby to help him fall asleep. (New York Times)
BRUISED THUMB: There's been a lot of coverage of Anthony Rizzo's bruised thumb in San Diego. The 21-year-old is tearing Triple-A apart and was on the verge of a callup before bruising his left thumb and hand. He's on his way to San Diego to be evaluated by team physicians after a MRI came back negative. If everything checks out, the team could tell Rizzo to stay in San Diego and promote him immediately. (San Diego Union-Tribune)
SHARPEN THE SLIDER: The Cubs' Carlos Marmol has undergone a recent stretch of futility, blowing two games Sunday and last Tuesday. The culprit might be his slider, which has flattened out and removed perhaps his biggest weapon. (Chicago Tribune)
SCHERZER TOO: Max Scherzer is struggling with his slider as well, and skipper Jim Leyland says he'll turn to video along with Scherzer and pitching coach Rick Knapp to figure out the problem. Scherzer won his seventh game on Monday but was displeased with the amount of fastballs he left in the zone. (MLB.com)
RADIATION: Gary Carter underwent his first radiation treatment for his inoperable malignant brain tumors and came away "feeling good," his daughter said. (ESPN New York)
OZZIE'S MAD: Uh-oh. Better stay away from Ozzie Guillen for a week. "Iam in very very bad mood stay away from me the most you can," he tweeted after the White Sox's victory Tuesday night. "A lees for a week better tha way," he added. What's going on? No one quite knows, but he's likely unhappy that son Ozney Guillen has yet to be drafted with 30 rounds gone by. His son was picked in the 22nd round last year by the White Sox but did not sign.
SOCCER IN CITI: There was a soccer match at Citi Field Tuesday, with Ecuador taking Greece on. Check out the nice picture of the event. Seeing how baseball fields can convert and support a soccer game is always fascinating. (ESPN New York)
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