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Posted on: August 20, 2010 8:15 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2010 8:22 pm

Deja vu for Galarraga in Cleveland?

You might want to click on over to the GameTracker and check out the Tigers-Indians game.

Armando Galarraga is pitching against the Indians for the first time since a bad call robbed him of a perfect game on June 3. Through four innings tonight? Perfect.

And just for the record, Jim Joyce is not on the umpiring crew.

UPDATE: Jinxed it. Jayson Nix doubles with two out in the fifth.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 20, 2010 1:37 am
Edited on: August 20, 2010 8:45 am

Team meetings yield quick results

Hideki Matsui
Team meetings are kind of a delicate thing. Go to the well too often, and people stop listening. Call one at the wrong time, and you end up with a divisive argument.

But I've always been surprised at how often a well-intentioned team meeting produces short-term results (emphasis on "short-term"). Can professionals really be prompted to play baseball better with a pep talk or a lecture? There's really no way to quantify it statistically, but based on anecdotal observation, I think it happens. Refocus, clear the air, get back to business.

Two teams landed in the win column Thursday after closed-door meetings. The Angels apparently had a humdinger, led by Torii Hunter.

"I can't tell you everything because it's a secret," Hunter told reporters. "But it was uplifting. We got into it, too. But we figured some things out. The way we were playing, we were down every night. The last five games we were dead, no energy. Guys would strike out and just go sit on the bench. It was sad. I thought it was time to call a meeting.

"It was actually pretty intense. ... Give us your all. Play like it's your last game."

The Angels, who had lost three in a row and were 0-9 against Boston this season, then went out and whipped up on the Red Sox, 7-2.

Indians The last-place Indians are playing for nothing but pride at this point, and manager Manny Acta wanted to remind his team, which had lost nine of 12, that pride is enough.

"I was taking the temperature of the ballclub," Acta said. "I wanted to let the kids know we have a month and a half to play and we're going through a rough stretch right now. "Yes, we're young, but I have the right to tell them I'm not happy with the way we have played over the last 12 games.

"The whole meeting was about making progress. For us that's the challenge. Once the season is over only eight teams go to the playoffs, 22 will go home. If we're going home, we want to go home being better as a team and as individuals."

Hours later, the Indians put up 13 hits in a 7-3 win in Kansas City.

Angels pitcher Ervin Santana joked that maybe the Angels should have a team meeting every day.

"That's right – 4:45," Hunter said. "All of you [the media] have to clear out. Then you can come back in one minute later. Everybody [on the team] is just going to sit down, say, 'Let's go get 'em.' Then the meeting's over."

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: August 17, 2010 1:27 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 1:29 am

Year has not been kind to Angels' bats

Torii Hunter
The Orange County Register points out that Wednesday is the one-year anniversary of a historic feat, and provides a reminder of how much things have changed for the Angels.

After a 5-4 victory over the Indians last August 18, all nine batters in the Angels lineup had a batting average of .300 or better (you can see the box score here ). It was the first time a team had been in that situation since the 1934 Tigers.

A year later, not one of those nine players is batting .300. Here's the lineup, with last year's August 18 average and their current average:

Chone Figgins (now with Seattle) .308/.251
Bobby Abreu .310/.266
Juan Rivera .310/.257
Vladimir Guerrero (now with Texas) .313/.297
Kendry Morales .303/.290
Torii Hunter (pictured) .307/.290
Maicer Izturis .300/.249
Mike Napoli .300/.254
Erick Aybar .313/.271

Explains a lot about how the Angels were 5 1/5 games up in the American League West then and 8 1/2 back now.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 17, 2010 12:00 am
Edited on: August 17, 2010 1:37 am

Signing deadline update

Bryce Harper
As of exactly midnight ET, 11 first-round picks have not been reported as signed (although many of them have been and it just hasn't gotten out yet). Overall No. 1 Bryce Harper (pictured) was expected to sign.

Amazingly, the Dodgers have just signed Zack Lee ($5.25 million), which seemed impossible a few days ago.

Here are the reported first-round deals reported to have closed on Monday:

No. 2 Jameson Taillon, Pirates -- $6.5 million

No. 5 Drew Pomeranz, Indians -- $2.65 million

No. 12 Yasmani Grandal, Reds -- around $3 million

No. 18 Kaleb Cowart, Angels -- $2.3 million

No. 24 Gary Brown, Giants -- $1.3 million

No. 28 Zach Lee, Dodgers -- $5.25 million

More as it becomes available.

UPDATE: In the 15 minutes since the deadline, the following signings have been reported through various outlets:

1. Bryce Harper (Nationals) -- $6.25 million bonus, $9.9 million total value
3. Manny Machado (Orioles) -- $5.25 million
7. Matt Harvey (Mets) -- $2.5 million
11. Deck McGuire (Blue Jays) -- $2 million
23. Christian Yelich (Marlins) – $1.7 million
25. Zack Cox (Cardinals) -- $3.2 million
26. Kyle Parker (Rockies) -- $1.4 million

Also, looks like the Padres did not reach agreement with high school pitcher Karsten Whitson (No. 9), who will play at Florida.

UPDATE: With the confirmation of No. 17 Josh Sale ($1.62 million) reaching agreement, all first-rounders appear to be accounted for. Everybody signed except for No. 6 Barret Loux (Diamondbacks passed on him after the results of a physical), No. 14 Dylan Covey (who decided to go to college after a Brewers physical revealed he has Type 1 diabetes) and Whitson.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 15, 2010 12:40 pm
Edited on: August 15, 2010 4:52 pm

Indians activate, but worry about, Hafner

Travis Hafner Travis Hafner is off the disabled list, but that doesn't mean the Indians have stopped worrying about their designated hitter.

According to Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Terry Pluto, the Indians are concerned about Hafner's right shoulder. Hafner has had issues with the problem each of the last three seasons. Writes Pluto , "The Indians aren't saying much about Travis Hafner's latest trip to the disabled list, but there is real concern. He's having the same problems -- weakness and inflammation in his surgically repaired shoulder. He is working to come back again."

Hafner is signed for $13 million in each of the next two seasons with a club option for the same amount in 2013. This season, Hafner's played in 82 games, hitting .267/.368/.430 with nine home runs and 33 RBI. He hasn't played 100 games since 2007, which is coincidently when he signed his extension through 2012. At 33, he's far from guaranteed to return to his 2006 form, when he hit 42 homers and left the American League with a 1.097 OPS.

To make room for Hafner -- who was placed on the DL on Aug. 3 -- the Indians optioned outfielder Jordan Brown to Triple-A Columbus.

UPDATE: Hafner hit a grand slam in the Indians' 9-1 victory over Seattle.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 9, 2010 6:44 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:02 pm

This week in free stuff: Aug. 9-15

A look at this week in promotional giveaways from around baseball:

Tuesday, Aug. 10
Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) -- Rita Rudner bobblehead. I don't even know what to say about this one. I'm not sure I'd make the effort to get to the ballgame for this one.

Wednesday, Aug. 11
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (International League) -- Hambone mini bobblehead. I'm all for mascot races, especially when they feature pork. Lehigh Valley's features a hot dog, bacon and a side of ham. Everyone's doing them and I don't think it's a bad thing.
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Eastern League) -- Nutzy bobblehead. Mascot bobbleheads always go for more on eBay, and I think Nutzy the Flying Squirrel will be out of my price range, sadly.
Lancaster JetHawks (California League) -- Hawkette bobblehead. Another mascot, but not one I'll be searching for on eBay.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League) -- Lou Merloni bobblehead. The Spinners are honoring a local legend.

Thursday, Aug. 12
Erie SeaWolves (Eastern Leagie) -- Al E. Gator bobblehead. It must be the week of the
Vancouver Canadians (Northwest League) -- wearable blanket

Friday, Aug. 13
Tampa Bay Rays -- t-shirt. Come for the T-shirt, stay for the Village People postage concert.
Atlanta Braves --  t-shirt
New York Mets -- Johan Santana koozie
Washington Nationals -- beer and pItcher cup set. Nats try to one-up their NL East foes by going all classy with an actual cup for beer drinking.
Trenton Thunder (Eastern League) -- travel mugs.
Springfield Cardinals (Texas League) -- floppy cap.
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (California League) -- Torii Hunter bobblehead. That bobblehead may accidentally bobble and hit the umpire and get a bobble suspension.
Lynchburg Hillcats (Carolina League) -- Phil Vassar bobblehead. I had to Google him. He's apparently a country music artist. Go figure.
Boise Hawks (Northwest League) -- playground ball. No pegging.

Saturday, Aug. 14
Cincinnati Reds -- garden gnome. Let's just say my wife has been bugging me about this one for a while. She loves garden gnomes. I don't get it either. That said, I've seen one and it's pretty cool.
Chicago White Sox -- Miller Lite Beer vendor bobblehead. Now that's an MVP.
Kansas City Royals  -- 1980 A.L. Champion coaster set. I was hoping for a U.L. Washington toothpick holder.
Minnesota Twins -- mini Target Field
New York Mets -- green cap. You know, because Aug. 14 is St. Declan's Day. He was St. Patrick's younger brother.
San Francisco Giants -- Bruce Bochy bobblehead. The rare bobblehead that is in its proper proportion.
Fresno Grizzlies (Pacific Coast League) -- Parker bobblehead. Another mascot.
Oklahoma City RedHawks (Pacific Coast League) -- RedHawks skateboard. This is one of the cooler promo items of the year, several teams have done them. However, I worried about some people when the Reds had a skateboard deck giveaway and someone dropped one from the upper deck. Luckily it didn't hit anybody.
Jacksonville Suns (Southern League) -- Logan Morrison bobblehead.
Arkansas Travelers (Texas) -- pillow cases. Somehow, I don't think my wife would let me use these.
Wilmington Blue Rocks (Carolina League) -- Judy Johnson book, "Judy Johnson Delaware's Invisible Hero." Really cool to educate fans about a former Negro Leaguer.
Lake County Captains (Midwest League) -- fleece blanket
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- superhero cape. A really cool giveaway for kids.
Boise Hawks (Northwest League) -- Tyler Colvin bobblehead. The Hawks apparently knew Colvin would have a good rookie season.

Sunday, Aug. 15
New York Mets -- metal lunchbox
Tampa Bay Rays -- Matt Garza bobblehead
Cleveland Indians -- Mustard (hot dog) plush doll
Cincinnati Reds -- kids chest protector backpack
Washington Nationals -- back-to-school supply kit
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Eastern League) -- metal lunchbox. Again, I gotta give the Flying Suqirrels the nod. The Mets have Jose Reyes, the Flying Suqirrels have Nutzy. Advantage Nutzy.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 5, 2010 6:09 pm

Santana's rookie season is done

Carlos Santana Turns out two seasons ended at Fenway Park on Monday -- the Red Sox's Kevin Youkilis and the Indians' Carlos Santana.

Santana will undergo surgery on his left knee on Friday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer 's Paul Hoynes reports . He will miss four to six months.

"Carlos is expected to make  full recovery by the beginning of the 2011 championship season," Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff told Hoynes.

Santana was injured on a play at the plate with Boston's Ryan Kalish, but despite the long timeline, it's actually one of the better outcomes for the Indians' rookie. Santana will not have reconstructive surgery, where another ligament is transplanted into his knee. It is a strained lateral collateral ligament on the left knee, not torn.

"Every indication is that the injury to Carlos' knee is outside the knee," Soloff said. "In the case of an ACL or PCL surgery, those reconstructions are on the inside of the knee."

Santana hit .260/.401/.467 with six homers and 22 RBI in 46 games (150 at-bats).

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: August 5, 2010 5:46 pm
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