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9:10 AM ET, September 9, 2008

Ballbug

 Top News: 
John Romano / St. Petersburg Times:
Rays have lost fighting spirit  —  BOSTON — Understand, there is no shame in being caught from behind by the Red Sox.  —  Boston has the bigger payroll and the greater pedigree, and most of the world has probably assumed the defending World Series champions would eventually end up on top of the American League East.
RELATED:
Steve Buckley / Boston Herald:
Club calls up catcher George Kottaras for 1st big league stint  —  A little more than two years ago, the Red Sox [team stats] effectively announced they were conceding the 2006 season when they traded veteran left-hander David Wells to the San Diego Padres.  —  But now, as the 2008 Red Sox close …
Discussion: Associated Press
Bill Chastain / MLB.com:
Rays see lead in AL East dwindle  —  Offense shut down at Fenway against dominant pitching  —  BOSTON — Monday night's game had a familiar theme when the Rays took yet another loss at Fenway Park.  —  The Red Sox took the game, 3-0, in front of a sellout crowd of 37,662 …
Ian Browne / MLB.com:
Lester dominant as Red Sox close in
Discussion: Boston Herald and Red Sox Monster
Marty Noble / MLB.com:
Wagner to have Tommy John surgery  —  Mets closer has tear in MCL, expected to miss one year  —  NEW YORK — The pitcher the Mets put in charge of happy endings 2 1/2 years ago has come to an unhappy and premature ending for this season — perhaps for his career.
RELATED:
Anthony McCarron / NY Daily News:
Wagner out for season with elbow injury, could miss '09
Discussion: MLB FanHouse and Baseball Musings
Ted Berg / SNY.tv:   Wagner's Mets career in jeopardy
Bryan Hoch / MLB.com:
Girardi will return in '09  —  Steinbrenner: Manager will be back for second season  —  ANAHEIM — The Yankees appear likely to miss the postseason for the first time in more than a decade, but the club plans to retain Joe Girardi as manager for the 2009 season.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Yankees: Girardi ‘will be back’ as manager in '09  —  TAMPA, Fla. — The New York Yankees plan to retain Joe Girardi as manager next year.  —  “Joe will be back,” co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner said Monday at the club's spring training complex.  “He's done everything he could.  That's the bottom line.”
Kat O'Brien / Newsday:
Pudge, Hunter fight in Yankees loss to Angels  —  ANAHEIM, Calif. - One veteran Yankee wondered aloud before Monday's game against the Angels if players had given up on the season.  —  But at least one player showed some fight - literally - in the Yankees' lopsided 12-1 loss to the Angels at Angel Stadium in Anaheim last night.
RELATED:
Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times:
Angels keep champagne under wraps
Discussion: Angelblog
NY Daily News:
New home run apple at core of Mets' new ballpark  —  It looks like it will be a fresh apple rising after the Mets belt home runs at Citi Field.  —  The Mets had hoped to keep their intentions quiet for now about whether they would transfer the apple from Shea to their new stadium or commission a new one.
Discussion: The 'Ropolitans
RELATED:
Anthony DiComo / MLB.com:   Registration for Mets playoff tix opens
Stefanie Cohen / New York Post:
LAWSUIT CALLS FOUL ON METS' SEAT SWITCH
Discussion: MLB FanHouse
Kevin Horan / MLB.com:
Phils prevail, trim Mets' NL East lead  —  Offense gives Blanton needed lift; Philly 1 1/2 games back  —  PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies' bats bailed out pitcher Joe Blanton after a rocky start, lifting Philadelphia to an 8-6 win over the Marlins on Monday night.
RELATED:
Rob Maaddi / Associated Press:
Phils roll on Werth's HR, Rollins' SBs
Associated Press:
Giants' Lincecum pitches another gem to sink struggling D'backs  —  SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Tim Lincecum struck out nine, Bengie Molina hit a three-run homer and San Francisco sent the slumping Arizona Diamondbacks to their fourth straight defeat with a 6-2 victory Monday night.
Discussion: Baseball Musings and AZ Snakepit
Matthew Leach / MLB.com:
Pujols leaning toward elbow surgery  —  Slugger dealing with ligament tear since 2003  —  ST. LOUIS — Slugger Albert Pujols told a local television station on Monday that he may be leaning toward undergoing Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow after the season ends.
Maury Brown / The Biz of Baseball:
At Current Pace, MLB Will Not Have Fifth Consecutive Attendance Record  —  Major League Baseball has enjoyed four straight seasons of record paid attendance, but at the current pace, the league will be coming in just below last year's record figure.  —  As of Saturday, Sept. 6 …
Discussion: Baseball Musings and ShysterBall
Adam McCalvy / MLB.com:
Torres has rough ninth in loss to Reds  —  Kendall, Hardy go deep; Bush solid in eight innings  —  MILWAUKEE — If Brewers manager Ned Yost did not feel comfortable with his team's hold of the National League Wild Card going into Monday's game, imagine how he felt afterward.
Associated Press:
Rain postpones Blue-Jays-White Sox  —  CHICAGO (AP) — Rain forced the postponement of Monday night's Toronto Blue Jays at Chicago White Sox's game.  It will be made up as part of a split doubleheader beginning at 1:05 Tuesday.  —  The four-game series that was to have started at U.S. Cellular …
RELATED:
Kat O'Brien / Newsday:
A-Rod's slip of tongue indicts fading Yankees
Discussion: SPORTSbyBROOKS and MLB FanHouse
Larry Stone / Mariners Blog:
Making A-Rod look bad
Discussion: Walkoff Walk
Jason Beck / MLB.com:
Sheffield hits Majors' 250,000th homer  —  Milestone dinger a grand slam against Athletics' Gonzalez  —  DETROIT — Gary Sheffield still needs a few home runs to get to his career milestone.  In getting closer on Monday, however, his two-homer game reached a Major League mark that has been 133 years in the making.
 
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 More News: 
Joel Sherman / Hardball:
3 UP: Yank Prospects, Valentine and Pedro
Kelsie Smith / TwinCities.com:
It's same old, same fold for tired Minnesota Twins, who lose to Detroit Tigers
Discussion: AaronGleeman.com
Joe Sheehan / Unfiltered:
Lee vs. Halladay
Discussion: Drunk Jays Fans
Jeff Birnbaum / MLB.com:
Oswalt, Ethier share NL's weekly honors
Mark Gonzales / Chicago Tribune:
White Sox face rotation problems after rainout Quentin starts rehab
Discussion: South Side Sox
Jason / Faith and Fear in Flushing:
Whew!  —  That sudden blast of hot wind you may have felt …
 Earlier Picks: 
On the Yankees beat:
Gameday Live 144: Yankees at Angels
David Pinto / Baseball Musings:
250,000 Watch  —  I'll be watching the MLB Extra Innings Mix Channel …
Discussion: River Ave. Blues
Krisztina Holly / Business Week:
Manny Ramirez: Baseball's Most Innovative Player
Associated Press:
Former player, manager Gutteridge dies at age 96
Gordon Wittenmyer / Chicago Sun Times:
Cubs not panicking — yet