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2:10 PM ET, August 25, 2010

Ballbug

 Top News: 
Dan Shaughnessy / Boston Globe:
He must have his reasons, but what are they?  —  So it's official: He really is an idiot.  —  I say this with no malice and all due respect.  “Idiot,” you must remember, was the title of Johnny Damon's 2005 best-selling autobiography (a work often compared with Tolstoy's “Anna Karenina” and Dostoevsky's “Notes From the Underground").
RELATED:
Sports Illustrated:
Damon's decision says as much about Yankees as Red Sox … The T-shirts read, “Looks like Jesus, acts like Judas, throws like Mary,” and Johnny Damon was supposed to pretend he did not see them.  He was supposed to catch the first flight to Boston, do a few naked pull-ups in the clubhouse …
Chad Jennings / The LoHud Yankees Blog:
Pregame notes: A plan through Sunday
Nick Cafardo / Boston Globe:   Damon staying put
ESPN:
Johnny Damon nixes return to Boston
Discussion: Sliding Into Home
ESPN:   Source: Red Sox want Johnny Damon
Associated Press:
Astros outlast Phillies in 16 innings  —  PHILADELPHIA—The Houston Astros' wild 4-2 win over Philadelphia lasted 16 innings, over 5 hours, and saw Phillies pitcher Roy Oswalt play left field and ground into the final out Tuesday night.  —  Oswalt became the first Phillies pitcher to play …
RELATED:
Todd Zolecki / MLB.com:
Howard's ejection forces Oswalt to field  —  Pitcher makes catch in left; Ibanez moves to first base  —  PHILADELPHIA — Ryan Howard chucked his bat and flipped his helmet.  —  Then he flipped out.  —  Third-base umpire Scott Barry ejected Howard in the bottom of the 14th inning Tuesday night …
Discussion: Baseball Daily Digest
Brian McTaggart / MLB.com:   Astros outlast Phillies, win wild one in 16
Adam McCalvy / MLB.com:
Selig honored with statue at Miller Park  —  MILWAUKEE — Allan H.  “Bud” Selig finally has a permanent place on the plaza outside Miller Park.  One of the other men so honored wonders what took so long.  —  “I honestly believe the first statue that should have gone up outside this stadium is Bud Selig's …
RELATED:
Jordan Schelling / MLB.com:
Barajas in lineup on first day with Dodgers
Discussion: True Blue LA
Scott Merkin / MLB.com:
If Manny is made available, Sox could pounce
Discussion: ESPN and Sox Machine
Tyler Kepner / New York Times:
Marlins Get More for Their Money Than Mets  —  You have to wonder if the Mets, deep down, are more frustrated or inspired by the example of the Florida Marlins.  Year after year, the Marlins stay competitive in the National League East, getting extraordinary value for what they spend.
RELATED:
Joe Capozzi / Fish Tank:
Cameron Maybin may lead off with Hanley Ramirez hitting third …
Discussion: Yahoo! Sports
Tim Marchman / Wall Street Journal:
Few Have Played Shortstop at Jeter's Advanced Age  —  Before this season, it would have in some parts of the city been controversial to suggest that Derek Jeter is but a man, as prone to age and frailty as anyone else.  With three-quarters of the 2010 season in the books and the Captain …
Curt Schilling / ESPN:
Mailbag: Clay Buchholz can improve  —  Editor's note: Curt Schilling answers user questions in an occasional mailbag for ESPNBoston.com.  Click here to ask Curt a question for his next mailbag.  —  Q. Hey Curt, I'm glad you're doing this mailbag and we can always count on your honesty and experience.
Discussion: Over the Monster
Jeff Passan / Yahoo! Sports:
Marlins' profits came at taxpayer expense  —  The swindlers who run the Florida Marlins got exposed Monday.  They are as bad as anyone on Wall Street, scheming, misleading and ultimately sticking taxpayers with a multibillion-dollar tab.  Corporate fraud is alive and well in Major League Baseball.
Discussion: NESN.com
Arash Markazi / ESPN:
Torii Hunter doesn't have the cure  —  After 10-3 loss to Rays, Angels outfielder seems resigned to team's fate this season … ANAHEIM, Calif. — Torii Hunter still isn't comfortable running out to right field.  The 14-year center fielder, who made the move to right field to make room …
Discussion: Halos Heaven
Marksheldon / Mark My Word:
Postgame: New plan for Leake?  —  Reds pitcher Mike Leake was hammered in his second relief appearance during the 16-5 loss to the Giants.  Leake entered in the fifth when it was 7-5 and let the game get away during a six-run inning.  —  Out of eight batters faced, Leake retired one.
Sports Illustrated:
Without big finish, Minaya could be out as Mets GM at year's end … Mets general manager Omar Minaya's job situation isn't nearly secure at season's end, despite what some misinterpreted as an iron-clad endorsement from team owner Fred Wilpon nearly three weeks ago.
Associated Press:
Skydiver gets stuck on Rangers Ballpark flagpole  —  ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Just a bit outside.  —  A U.S. Army skydiver was left dangling on a flagpole at Rangers Ballpark after his parachute got entangled during a pregame jump Tuesday night.  —  The Rangers said the unidentified jumper …
The Emo Pitcher / The Payoff Pitch:
Joe Morgan's Confidence  —  I was watching the Scott Van Pelt Show this morning (yeah, I don't know why I was watching either), and I was, as always, excited that he had Joe Morgan phone in for an interview (as he often does).  —  Scott asked him about Jose Bautista's season-long power outburst.
Adam Rubin / ESPN:
Can the Mets make 2011 interesting?  —  Wait ‘til next year?  Bad contracts, Wilpons’ financial issues pose major hurdles  —  ESPNNewYork.com  —  The Bernie Madoff scandal is one reason the Mets' finances are under the microscope.  —  Man up, New York Mets fans.  —  It doesn't necessarily get better next year.
RELATED:
Steve Popper / NorthJersey.com:
Mets seek balance in youth movement
Discussion: FishStripes and MetsBlog.com
 
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 More News: 
Dejan Kovacevic / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Pirates Notebook: Ohlendorf likely out for year
Brad Lefton / New York Times:
Japan Shifting Views on Managers
Adam Kilgore / Nationals Journal:
The rise of Daniel Rosenbaum
Discussion: The Goessling Game
Joe Posnanski:
The Pain of Pitching  —  News of the day: WASHINGTON (AP) …
Discussion: Nationals Journal
TSN.ca:
White Sox drop Orioles to gain ground in AL West race
Discussion: Camden Chat
 Earlier Picks: 
TSN.ca:
Rockies upend Braves behind De La Rosa
Discussion: Purple Row and Talking Chop
Barry Petchesky / Deadspin:
Rob Dibble Is Trying To Destroy Stephen Strasburg
Maury Brown / The Biz of Baseball:
Leaked Documents Show Rare Look at the Finances of Texas Rangers
Discussion: FanGraphs Baseball and Deadspin
Steve Batterson / St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Ozzie Smith wants to be more involved
Fox Sports:
Brewers may have missed out on Fielder
Discussion: Federal Baseball and MLB Rumors
 

 
From WeSmirch:

Barack Obama:
My Statement on President Biden's Announcement

TMZ.com:
‘ALL MY CHILDREN’ ACTRESS ESTA TERBLANCHE DEAD AT 51

Patrick Gomez / Entertainment Weekly:
Twisters ending explained: The alternate shot you didn't see — and why (exclusive)

 
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