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4:25 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
Discussion: Over the Monster and Yahoo! Sports
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
Discussion: Baseball Daily Digest
Brian McTaggart / MLB.com:   Astros outlast Phillies, win wild one in 16
Wallace Matthews / ESPN:
New York Yankees not targeting Hiroki Kuroda, GM says  —  TORONTO — General manager Brian Cashman said Wednesday that even though the pitching-depleted New York Yankees are engaged in a bitter division battle with the Tampa Bay Rays, he does not anticipate going outside the organization for help before the Aug. 31 waiver deadline.
Jon Paul Morosi / Fox Sports:
Source: Dodgers place Manny on waivers  —  The Dodgers placed Manny Ramirez on trade waivers today, one major-league source told FOXSports.com, raising the possibility that he will change teams in the next week.  —  The waiver period ends Friday.  If Ramirez is claimed …
Discussion: MLB Rumors
RELATED:
Scott Merkin / MLB.com:
If Manny is made available, Sox could pounce
Discussion: ESPN and Sox Machine
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 …
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
Troy Renck / All Things Rockies:
Rockies' bullpen short; Pads could be fit for Hawpe  —  The road in the bullpen is bumpy today, with the bridge (Rafael Betancourt) and the Street (closer Huston Street) likely both unavailable.  —  Betancourt played catch but won't pitch again in a game until Friday at the earliest …
Discussion: MLB Rumors
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
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
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.
Aaron Gleeman / HardballTalk:
Last year a blogger named Jerod Morris made headlines for writing an article suggesting that Raul Ibanez's career-best production at age 37 “raised questions” about whether he was using steroids.  —  Not only did Ibanez respond very angrily and publicly to the article, ESPN had Morris as a guest …
 
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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
The Emo Pitcher / The Payoff Pitch:
Joe Morgan's Confidence
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
Associated Press:
Skydiver gets stuck on Rangers Ballpark flagpole
Maury Brown / The Biz of Baseball:
Leaked Documents Show Rare Look at the Finances of Texas Rangers
Discussion: FanGraphs Baseball and Deadspin
Adam Rubin / ESPN:
Can the Mets make 2011 interesting?  —  Wait 'til next year?
 

 
From WeSmirch:

People:
Christina Hendricks Marries George Bianchini in ‘Sexy’ Wedding Ceremony in New Orleans (Exclusive)

Miranda Siwak / Us Weekly:
Dominic West Says He and Wife Catherine Now Joke About ‘Deeply Stressful’ Lily James PDA Scandal

James Desborough / Telegraph:
Michael Douglas says it is ‘joyous’ to have kids late in life but teachers thought he was a granddad

 
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