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2:55 PM ET, October 19, 2009

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Larry Larue / Mariners Insider:
Kenji Johjima opts out of final two years  —  One of the thorniest issues the Seattle Mariners faced - what to do with catcher Kenji Johjima - has been resolved: The 33-year-old catcher has decided to return to Japan with two years left on his contract.  —  “After lots of very deep thought …
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Seattle Mariners' Kenji Johjima opts out of last 2 years of contract  —  SEATTLE — Catcher Kenji Johjima has opted out of the final two years of his contract with the Seattle Mariners with the intent of continuing his playing career in Japan.  —  Johjima  —  The team had signed …
Tim Dierkes / MLB Rumors:
Kenji Johjima Opts Out Of Contract
Discussion: Jorge Says No!
Todd Zolecki / MLB.com:
Phillies back Lee's gem in Game 3 rout  —  Given big lead, lefty fans 10 over eight; Phils take NLCS lead  —  PHILADELPHIA — It seemed everybody but the Phillies wondered how they might recover from Friday's eighth-inning letdown in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers.
RELATED:
Rob Maaddi / Associated Press:
Phillies feast on LA pitching in Game 3
Discussion: Hardball Times
ESPN:
Dodgers 0, Phillies 8
Discussion: MLB and BBTF's Baseball Primer …
Sports Illustrated:
Phillies whip Dodgers in NLCS Game 3
Discussion: Phillies Nation
Bryan Hoch / MLB.com:
In CC they trust: Sabathia to start Game 4  —  Big left-hander will take the hill on three days' rest  —  ANAHEIM — CC Sabathia was breaking a sweat at Angel Stadium on Sunday, getting re-acclimated to the West Coast after flying across the country.  He had an assignment to prepare for …
RELATED:
NY Daily News:   Joe gives CC OK for Game 4 start
MLB.com:
Saturday's AFL roundup  —  Simmons, Snyder lead Dogs to fourth straight win  —  Desert Dogs 11, Rafters 2  —  Athletics prospect James Simmons tossed three scoreless innings and Phoenix used a pair of five-run outbursts to post its fourth straight win.  The former first-round pick yielded …
Discussion: Baseball America
RELATED:
Joe Capozzi / Florida Marlins news, analysis …:
Florida Marlins lefty Andrew Miller pitching in Arizona Fall League  —  The Arizona Fall League is a place where prospects go to fine-tune their skills.  Marlins lefty Andrew Miller is no longer a prospect but he's one of the few major league players participating in the AFL …
Discussion: FishStripes
Bob Klapisch / NorthJersey.com:
Are these Yanks as good as '98 team?  —  ANAHEIM, Calif. — The date was Oct. 10, 1998, noted by Yankee historians as the sea-change moment in what we now recognize as a historic season.  At that point, a great team was gasping for air, down 2-1 against the Indians in the AL Championship Series.
Paul Hoynes / Plain Dealer:
Veteran manager Bobby Valentine a finalist for Cleveland Indians' vacancy  —  CLEVELAND, Ohio — Bobby Valentine, whose New York Mets reached the World Series in 2000, is one of the finalists for the vacant Indians manager's job.  —  Valentine, 59, it has been learned, will come to Cleveland this week for a second interview.
Tracy Ringolsby / Inside the Colorado Rockies:
Hawpe Not On Market  —  Brad Hawpe found himself watching more than playing in the post-season for the Rockies.  He, however, rmeans a key part in the Rockies long-range planning.  —  Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd has been surprised by media reports that the Rockies wll look to trade Hawpe …
RELATED:
Patrick Saunders / Denver Post:
Rockies' offseason has numerous numbers challenges
Discussion: Purple Row
Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times:
In the clutch, why does Jeter rise and Guerrero fall in the postseason?  —  Yankees slugger excels time and again in October; admirers say it's because he has ability to relax in pressure-filled situations.  Guerrero leads Angels in postseason hits but has taken ugly swings.
Discussion: New Jersey Online
RELATED:
Steve Bisheff / Angels Unplugged:
Why Mike Scioscia won't switch
David Waldstein / New York Times:
The Biggest Secret of Baseball's Unwritten Rules: They Don't Exist  —  Say this about Erick Aybar's feet: they were a lot closer to second base than the Angels have been to playing crisp baseball.  —  Yes, his feet were in the so-called neighborhood of the bag in the 10th inning of Game 2 …
James Kannengieser / Amazin' Avenue:
Non-Tender Candidate: Jeff Francoeur  —  When Jeff Francoeur was traded to the Mets, I figured he would play out the season and be non-tendered.  A massive disappointment for his hometown Braves, this is a player who was one of the top 5 least valuable players in all of baseball in 2008.
Discussion: Hot Foot and MetsBlog.com
Toronto Sun:
Anthopoulos keeping tabs on Scutaro and Barajas  —  ANAHEIM — Whither goest free agents Marco Scutaro and Rod Barajas?  —  Well, nowhere yet.  Not until 15 days after the final pitch of the World Series.  —  “We like both players,” said Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos.
NY Daily News:
Lupica: Best fans in the world  —  I am on a Metro-North train the other night, on my way to the new station and new platform right next to the old Yankee Stadium.  But it could just as easily have been the 4 train coming up and out of the city and taking you to the Yankees …
RELATED:
New York Times:   Yankee Stadium Will Be Open to Fans for Game 3
 
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 More News: 
Juan C. Rodriguez / Florida Marlins:
Florida Marlins: Bryan Price out, Randy St. Claire in?
Discussion: MLB Rumors
NY Daily News:
Harper: It's all about A-Rod
Chris Haft / MLB.com:
Winn's future with Giants uncertain
Discussion: MLB Rumors
 Earlier Picks: 
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Humbled Leyritz back in Bronx, making a buck where he can
Dan Shaughnessy / Boston Globe:
When the '89 Series left us all a little shaken
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Rebecca English / Daily Mail:
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Rebecca Rubin / Variety:
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Jen Juneau / People:
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