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8:25 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! and Lookout Landing
Danny Knobler / Columns:
Dodgers can only imagine where they would be with Lee  —  PHILADELPHIA — Pennants can turn on big home runs, big errors, big calls by umpires and managers (Hiroki Kuroda?  Really?), and any number of other things that so fascinate us in the cool of October.  —  But pennants also turn on what fascinates us in the heat of July.
Discussion: Circling The Bases
RELATED:
Rob Maaddi / Associated Press:
Phillies feast on LA pitching in Game 3
ESPN:
Dodgers 0, Phillies 8
Sports Illustrated:
Phillies whip Dodgers in NLCS Game 3
Discussion: Phillies Nation
Sam Borden / The LoHud Yankees Blog:
ALCS Game 3: Yankees at Angels  —  YANKEES  —  Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (1-0, 1.42 ERA)  —  ANGELS  —  WEATHER: Take a wild guess - it's Southern California!  Temps in the 70s, clear skies.  It should be a beautiful day for baseball.  The full forecast is here.
RELATED:
NY Daily News:
Harper: It's all about A-Rod
Mike DiGiovanna / Los Angeles Times:
‘Up and away’ left Angels down and out in ALCS
Discussion: Angels blog and New Jersey Online
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
Discussion: FishStripes
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
NY Daily News:
Joe gives CC OK for Game 4 start  —  ANAHEIM - The worst-kept secret of the ALCS is out.  —  CC Sabathia played catch in the outfield at Angel Stadium Sunday in lieu of a bullpen session, saving his bullets for tomorrow, when he will start Game 4 against the Angels on three days' rest.
RELATED:
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.
Chris Haft / MLB.com:
Inbox: Could Giants improve from within?  —  Beat reporter Chris Haft answers questions from fans  —  Do you think the Giants could improve their offense with internal choices?  Would having Freddy Sanchez for an entire year, a healthy Edgar Renteria and a much-improved Eugenio Velez be enough to get this team into the playoffs?
Jon Heyman / Sports Illustrated:
Cubs close to agreement with vaunted hitting coach Jaramillo … Highly respected hitting guru Rudy Jaramillo is in serious talks with the Chicago Cubs about becoming their new hitting coach, and it appears likely that the sides will reach an agreement for Jaramillo to join the Cubs soon, SI.com has learned.
Ian Browne / MLB.com:
Inbox: Papelbon trade a possibility?  —  Beat reporter Ian Browne answers Red Sox fans' questions … I heard a recap of the Red Sox season, and they said that Jonathan Papelbon could be traded.  Could this be a possibility with Daniel Bard becoming closer?
Discussion: MLB Rumors
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 …
Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times:
Agent Scott Boras compares Matt Holliday to Yankees Mark Teixeira  —  ‘These guys are blue-collar superstars,’ he says of his two clients.  The Cardinals outfielder is expected to be among the top free agents available this winter.  —  Scott Boras threw out the ceremonial first pitch in free agency today …
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.
RELATED:
Steve Bisheff / Angels Unplugged:
Why Mike Scioscia won't switch
 
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 More News: 
Amy K. Nelson / ESPN:
Wolf still has loyal fans in Philly
Discussion: Sons of Steve Garvey
Joe Sheehan / Baseball Prospectus:
Absent Without Leave
 Earlier Picks: 
Juan C. Rodriguez / Florida Marlins:
Florida Marlins: Bryan Price out, Randy St. Claire in?
Discussion: MLB Rumors
James Kannengieser / Amazin' Avenue:
Non-Tender Candidate: Jeff Francoeur
Discussion: Hot Foot and MetsBlog.com
Chris Haft / MLB.com:
Winn's future with Giants uncertain
Discussion: MLB Rumors
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Rebecca English / Daily Mail:
Get well, Kate! Palace is flooded with ‘tens of thousands’ of get-well-soon cards and gifts for the Princess of Wales as she continues cancer battle

Kasey Moore / What's on Netflix:
Cailee Spaeny and Josh O'Connor To Star In ‘Wake Up Dead Man: A Knives Out Mystery’

British GQ:
Everybody wants some Glen Powell

 
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