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4:35 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:
Jim Caple / ESPN:
Yankees miss chance to close out series  —  A two-run lead with nine outs to go wasn't enough as Angels rally to force a Game 6 … ANAHEIM, Calif. — Stacks of unopened champagne bottles and a growling media waited for the Yankees outside their clubhouse following Game 5.
Discussion: New York Times
Dave Cameron / FanGraphs Baseball:
ALCS Coverage: Girardi Is Nuts  —  There are a lot of reasons the Yankees lost last night, and most of them have to do with bad pitching.  A.J. Burnett threw a lot of bad pitches.  Phil Hughes threw some bad pitches.  It happens.  The Angels are a good team, and they pounced on some mistakes.
Discussion: Fack Youk and River Avenue Blues
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: Halos Heaven and Bats
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 …
Matthew Pouliot / Circling The Bases:
Bumbling Scioscia can't blow Game 5  —  The ALCS victory was theirs for the taking even after an awful first inning, but the Yankees couldn't reach out and grab it.  Instead, the series will head back to New York for a Game 6 on Saturday.  The end result came in spite of the efforts of one Mike Scioscia …
Sam Borden / The LoHud Yankees Blog:
ALCS Game 5: Yankees at Angels
George Vecsey / New York Times:
Highest Payroll, but Short a Run
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports and ESPN
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.
RELATED:
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 …
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 …
Chico Harlan / Nationals Journal:
Strasburg hit hard in second AFL start  —  Stephen Strasburg, making his second professional experience, dealt for the first time in years with the experience of getting rocked.  In Thursday's Arizona Fall League game between Strasburg's Phoenix Desert Dogs and Phoenix Javelinas …
RELATED:
Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com:
Strasburg takes loss in second AFL start
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
Dan Rosenheck / Bats:
Scioscia Will Need a Quick Hook in Game 6  —  After rallying for three runs in the seventh inning against the apparently mortal Phil Hughes and holding on by a thread in the ninth, the Angels will head back to New York for Game 6.  The Yankees will start Andy Pettitte, a reliable veteran …
Jose De Jesus Ortiz / Houston Chronicle:
Astros close to making decision on manager  —  As owner Drayton McLane heads into the weekend, Phil Garner, Manny Acta and Brad Mills remain the lone finalists to replace Cecil Cooper, and the Astros' owner expects to have a decision by early next week.  —  “We're just trying to think through this,” McLane said.
Discussion: Boston Globe and MLB Rumors
 
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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
 Earlier Picks: 
Amalie Benjamin / Boston Globe:
Wakefield looking for 200 wins
Newsday:
Mets now likely to meet with Chapman, agent
Discussion: MLB Rumors
 

 
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