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12:35 PM ET, October 23, 2009

Ballbug

 Top News: 
NY Daily News:
Harper: Yankee failure starts with A.J.  —  ANAHEIM - A.J. Burnett was at his dazzling best Thursday night as long as he was losing by four runs.  When it really mattered, however, he didn't look at all like the guy the Yankees saw as a big-game pitcher when they gambled $82.5 million on him last winter.
RELATED:
Associated Press:
Botched calls prompt World Series umpire switch … NEW YORK (AP) — Stung by a rash of blown calls in the playoffs, Major League Baseball is breaking tradition and sticking with only experienced umpires for the World Series.  —  Longtime crew chiefs Joe West, Dana DeMuth and Gerry Davis …
Bridget Wentworth / New Jersey Online:
NY Yankees can't afford to give struggling Nick Swisher another at-bat … ANAHEIM, Calif. - The number was illuminated for everyone to see in bright Hollywood lights.  —  There it was, dead center on the scoreboard, and Nick Swisher had to stare at it as he stepped to the plate. .
Discussion: ESPN, Deadspin and It's About The Money
Sam Borden / The LoHud Yankees Blog:
ALCS Game 5: Yankees at Angels  —  YANKEES  —  Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (0-0, 2.19 ERA in postseason)  —  ANGELS  —  Pitching: RHP John Lackey (1-1, 1.38 ERA in postseason)  —  WEATHER: More of the same - clear skies, temps in the 60s and 70s and plenty of sun.  Check out the full forecast here.
George Vecsey / New York Times:
Highest Payroll, but Short a Run
Discussion: ESPN and Yahoo! Sports
Jon Heyman / Sports Illustrated:
Dodgers owner fires wife as team CEO … Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has fired wife Jamie as CEO of the team, the first shot in what promises to be bitter battle over the storied baseball team, SI.com has learned.  —  Jamie McCourt was fired within the last two days, according to several sources.
RELATED:
Bill Shaikin / Los Angeles Times:
Dodgers' owner Frank McCourt fires wife Jamie  —  She had been the club's chief executive.  The couple announced last week that they had separated.  —  Dodgers owner Frank McCourt watches as his estranged wife Jamie enters their field level box for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series last week.
Matthew Leach / MLB.com:
Dodgers' nucleus will be back in 2010  —  Starting rotation likely …
Discussion: ESPN
ESPN:
Chat with Keith Law  —  Welcome to SportsNation!  On Thursday, MLB Insider Keith Law will be here to take your questions on anything baseball related.  —  Law is the senior baseball analyst for Scouts Inc. Before joining ESPN, Law served as special assistant to the general manager …
MLB.com:
2009 Players Choice finalists announced  —  Pujols, Mauer highlight potential award winners  —  The 2009 Players Choice Awards will be announced exclusively next week in five daily segments of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike in the Morning show.  —  Players in both leagues voted in mid-September …
Discussion: FishStripes
David Brown / Yahoo! Sports:
Giddy Halos fan takes a dive into the waterfall at Angel Stadium  —  Why is this guy all wet?  Not because Angel Stadium has a pool.  No, he's dripping with “holy” water because he went for a frolic in the ballpark's rocky waterfall.  —  Because an Angels' four-run lead over the Yankees …
Discussion: Walkoff Walk
Rebecca / This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes:
It's all about the leverage (or why Mariano should have pitched the 7th)  —  Leverage is a funny word.  A loaded word, if you will.  —  For one thing, it's more or less responsible for the financial collapse of America.  —  In baseball parlance, leverage refers to an on-field situation …
Discussion: Bronx Baseball Daily
Billy Witz / New York Times:
For Angels, Thrill of Victory, Then a Rush of Relief  —  ANAHEIM, Calif. — If it was going to end, this was not the way the Los Angeles Angels wanted it to.  Not with Manager Mike Scioscia wondering if he had handled a pitching change like Grady Little.  Not with John Lackey seething about a strike that the plate umpire said was not.
Discussion: Bats and Halos Heaven
Sam Mellinger / Kansas City Star:
This is gonna hurt, but the Royals should at least look at trading Joakim Soria  —  Aside from a barstool, there may be no more emotional position in baseball than closer.  This is certainly true for Jonathan Papelbon and K-Rod, but more, it's true for the people watching.
Steve Pagliuca / WEEI Online Audio and Video Archive:
AUDIO & VIDEO ON DEMAND  —  WEEI » Audio & Video On Demand » Theo Epstein, Red Sox GM  —  THEO EPSTEIN, RED SOX GM  —  PODCAST  —  Get Adobe Flash Player to see this content.  —  Theo joins D&C to talk JD Drew, Jason Bay and the post season
RELATED:
Rob Bradford / Full Count:
Theo speaks on offseason, Drew, and philosophies
David O'Brien / Atlanta Braves with David O'Brien:
Wren's plan for Braves: Get better  —  As we begin typing, the Phillies are two outs from returning to the World Series, this time for a likely Amtrak series against the New York Yankees, who with a win against the Angels on Thursday can wrap up their first AL pennant since 2003 …
Discussion: Bottom9 Baseball
RELATED:
Tim Dierkes / MLB Rumors:   Braves Rumors: Soriano, Gonzalez, Hudson
Buster Olney / ESPN:
Replay for the World Series could work  —  Don Denkinger, an umpire who had one of the most famous blown calls in history, tells Bob Klapisch: It's time to go to replay.  —  Here's the thing: Eventually, expanded use of replay is going to happen.  It's as inevitable as a Democrat or Republican winning the next presidential election.
RELATED:
Bob Klapisch / NorthJersey.com:
Former ump says go to video
Discussion: Circling The Bases
 
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 More News: 
Marksheldon / Mark My Word:
Quiet, for now  —  The postseason has kept the news largely focused …
Discussion: Jorge Says No!
Joe Strauss / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
La Russa nears decision
Ted Berg / TedQuarters.net:
Ken Davidoff, we hardly knew ye
Discussion: Kranepool Society
Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com:
Strasburg takes loss in second AFL start
Amalie Benjamin / Boston Globe:
Wakefield looking for 200 wins
Discussion: NESN.com and Yahoo! Sports
 Earlier Picks: 
Newsday:
Mets now likely to meet with Chapman, agent
Discussion: MLB Rumors
Richard Sandomir / New York Times:
Preserving Stadium's Gate Hits Hurdles
Tim Dierkes / MLB Rumors:
Multiple Teams Eyeing Milton Bradley
T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com:
Howard's end: Slugger NLCS MVP
 

 
From WeSmirch:

TMZ.com:
Ben Affleck's 10-Year-Old Son Takes Wheel of Lamborghini and Hits Car

Iris Goldsztajn / Marie Claire:
Lizzo, Sophie Turner and More Celebrities React to Roe v. Wade Being Overturned

TMZ.com:
Bam Margera Reported Missing Again from Rehab Facility

 
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