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Yankees win in Derek Jeters final Home Opener


 1396895535000 4 7 jeter8 Yankees win in Derek Jeters final Home Opener

Derek Jeter took a few loping steps out of the batter’s box, seeming to allow himself a little extra time to take in his final home opener at Yankee Stadium. Why not? The sweet crack of barrel meeting ball had provided the captain with that luxury.

The New York Yankees are again a favorite to win the AL East and the 2014 World Series. Learn more about placing baseball bets online at BetOnIt.org.

Jeter wasn’t counting on the gusting Bronx winds having a little fun with him. Instead of reaching the palms of an eager fan, the ball pounded into the left-field wall, and Jeter had to turn it on. He just barely wrapped his left hand around second base before a tag was slapped down.

That brought howls from the Yankees’ dugout, and Jeter heard about it after touching home plate on a Jacoby Ellsbury single. It might not have been a Jeter highlight-reel moment, but it was part of the winning cause as the Yankees posted a 4-2 victory over the Orioles on Monday.

“When I hit it, I thought it was a home run, then I thought it was going to go foul,” Jeter said. “Next thing you know, it ricocheted right to the left fielder, so I had to pick up the pace a little bit. There were some guys laughing — until a couple of them hit some balls and the wind got them, too.”

Runs were at a premium on a cold, chilly afternoon, and the Yankees squeezed 6 1/3 solid innings of two-run ball from starter Hiroki Kuroda, who scattered eight hits and struck out four without issuing a walk to pick up his first victory of the year.

Receiving the loudest cheers during pregame introductions, Jeter joined former teammates Andy Pettitte, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera for a first-pitch ceremony that reunited the “Core Four” from New York’s most recent championship clubs.

Manager Joe Girardi said that the pomp and circumstance created a celebratory atmosphere, but after nearly 20 seasons of watching Jeter lead by example on the basepaths, Girardi and the Yankees weren’t about to miss a chance to rib Jeter about that premature trot.




Game 6 of the NLCS is upon us: Can the Dodgers stay alive?


de795492e6e96722400f6a7067009047 Game 6 of the NLCS is upon us: Can the Dodgers stay alive?

It took the Dodgers five games to hit a home run in the NL Championship Series. Once Adrian Gonzalez powered up for the first one, their dormant offense broke loose. Follow the best MLB betting guide throughout the MLB postseason.

Gonzalez homered twice and Zack Greinke came through with the clutch performance Los Angeles needed in a 6-4 victory over the Cardinals on Wednesday that trimmed St. Louis’ lead to 3-2 in the best-of-7 playoff.

“Guys weren’t ready to lose today,” said Carl Crawford, who also went deep to help the Dodgers save their season.

The series shifts back to St. Louis for Game 6 on Friday night, with ace Clayton Kershaw scheduled to start for Los Angeles against rookie Michael Wacha. Also be sure to check out SportsBettingPal.com for betting advice.

When those two squared off in Game 2, the Cardinals won 1-0 on an unearned run.

“We’ve kind of become America’s team because everyone wants to see a seventh game,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Probably even the fans in St. Louis would like to see a seventh game, so I figure that everybody’s for us to win on Friday night.”

The Cardinals also led last year’s NLCS 3-1 before losing three straight games to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

“We’re looking to do the same thing,” Gonzalez said.

Desperate to avoid elimination, the Dodgers brought in some Hollywood star power for pregame introductions. Will Ferrell announced their lineup and lent a comic spin to each player’s name, capping it by introducing Greinke as “today’s winning pitcher.”

Ferrell knew what he was talking about.

Greinke got into a bases-loaded jam with none out in the first inning but escaped with no damage. From there, he pitched seven strong innings and even delivered an RBI single.

“That was big. I was real nervous out there with that situation,” Greinke said.

A.J. Ellis also homered at Dodger Stadium, where it is tougher to clear the fences in the heavy night air.

Helped by playing in 82-degree heat on a sunny afternoon, the Dodgers rediscovered their power stroke just in time to extend the series. They held on in the ninth inning, when St. Louis scored twice off closer Kenley Jansen before he struck out pinch-hitter Adron Chambers with two on to end it.

“It was just one of those days that we were a little better, got some runs, good feeling,” Mattingly said.


Posted on: MLB


Did Ryan Dempster Poke The Bear?


Baseball2 Did Ryan Dempster Poke The Bear?

Two weeks ago, the New York Yankees were essentially done. Completely out of the race for the AL East and approaching double-digits back in the Wild Card race – with CC Sabathia struggling, the lineup looking useless, and limitless A-Rod drama looming – it looked as if the Yankee players would be better off booking October vacations on TripAdvisor than preparing for the postseason. There just looked like no way the Yankees could climb back into the race, and no one to spark a run even if it were possible.

Now, before we get too carried away, the Yankees still have a long way to go before they’re in the postseason conversation. If you were to sign up for Betfair’s no deposit bonus for sports betting, you’d find the Yankees matched up with 43/1 odds for winning the World Series. That said, however, there’s been reason for increasing optimism in the Bronx in the last couple of weeks.

The clearest development is that recently re-acquired Alfonso Soriano went on an absolute tear through mid-August, tying the all time MLB record for RBIs in a 4-game span with 18. Additionally, Alex Rodriguez has somehow managed to hit about .300 since his return despite undergoing as much media scrutiny as any athlete in recent memory; Curtis Granderson started hitting; Robinson Cano remained rock-steady; and Ivan Nova and Huroki Kuroda turned in strings of dominant pitching performances. Things were beginning to look up for the Yankees heading into this past weekend’s monster series at Fenway Park.

Then, on Sunday night, the Yankees had their moment – the time when optimism turned into legitimate hope, and the whole MLB had to stop and acknowledge that despite all the controversy and injuries, they might pull this off. On Sunday night, Boston’s Ryan Dempster poked the sleeping bear.

In A-Rod’s first at-bat, while the boos rained, Dempster threw at him, so far inside that the ball went behind A-Rod’s legs. The 2nd and 3rd pitches, too, were dangerously far inside, and with the 4th pitch Dempster finally hit his target. This was immediately the hottest moment in baseball’s biggest rivalry in a couple of years – seldom do you see a pitcher take 4 tries to hit a batter to make his point. Yankee manager Joe Girardi rocketed out of the dugout and was ultimately thrown out of the game – meanwhile, A-Rod ended up scoring from first.

Two at-bats later, A-Rod crushed a homer off of Dempster to straight center to start a 3 run rally that ultimately won the game for the Yankees. It may have been A-Rod – the cheater, the fraud, etc. – and the Yankees may have work left to do. But anyone watching will testify that this felt like one of those big nights in baseball. If the Yankees spend the next month continuing to storm back into the race, we’ll look back at Sunday, August 18th as the night that Ryan Dempster turned Yankee optimism into a legitimate run.




Alex Rodriguez gets 211 game suspension for being a moron!


1375483572000 arod trenton 1308021847 4 3 Alex Rodriguez gets 211 game suspension for being a moron!

Defiant till the end, Alex Rodriguez is intent on evading baseball’s most sweeping punishment since the Black Sox scandal.

Rodriguez was suspended through 2014 and All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta and Everth Cabrera were banned 50 games apiece Monday when Major League Baseball disciplined 13 players for their relationship to Biogenesis of America, a Florida anti-aging clinic accused of distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs.

The harshest penalty was reserved for Rodriguez, the New York Yankees slugger, a three-time Most Valuable Player and baseball’s highest-paid star. He said he will appeal his suspension, which covers 211 games, by Thursday’s deadline. And since arbitrator Fredric Horowitz isn’t expected to rule until November or December at the earliest, Rodriguez was free to make his season debut Monday night and play the rest of this year.

Sidelined since hip surgery in January, Rodriguez rejoined the Yankees five hours after the suspension in a series opener at the Chicago White Sox, scheduled to play third base and bat fourth.

“The last seven months has been a nightmare, has been probably the worst time of my life for sure,” Rodriguez said.

The other 12 players agreed to their 50-game penalties before they were announced, giving them a chance to return for the playoffs.

Ryan Braun’s 65-game suspension last month and previous penalties bring to 18 the total number of players sanctioned for their connection with Biogenesis.

At the center of it all was Rodriguez, once the greatest player of his time, reduced Monday night to saying that he was humbled, at 38, just to “have the opportunity to put on this uniform again” and adding if he didn’t fight for his career, no one else would.

A-Rod’s drug penalty was for “his use and possession of numerous forms of prohibited performance-enhancing substances, including testosterone and human growth hormone over the course of multiple years,” MLB said.

His punishment under the labor contract was “for attempting to cover up his violations of the program by engaging in a course of conduct intended to obstruct and frustrate the office of the commissioner’s investigation.”

In Chicago, Rodriguez wouldn’t deny using PEDs, saying “when the time is right, there will be an opportunity to do all of that. I don’t think that time is right now.”

He added: “It’s been the toughest fight of my life. By any means, am I out of the woods? This is probably just phase two just starting. It’s not going to get easier. It’s probably going to get harder.”

Rodriguez admitted four years ago that he used PEDs while with Texas from 2001-03 but has repeatedly denied using them since.

“I am disappointed with the penalty and intend to appeal and fight this through the process. I am eager to get back on the field and be with my teammates in Chicago tonight,” Rodriguez said in a statement.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi, minutes after losing captain Derek Jeter for the third time this year, was ready to welcome A-Rod back. “I’m not here to judge people. It’s not my job,” Girardi said. “He’s a player as long as he’s in our clubhouse.”

Girardi called the suspensions “another black eye for us, but we’re trying to clean this game up.”




Big Papi going HAM on the dugout phone!


papinuts Big Papi going HAM on the dugout phone!

On a night when Stephen Drew used his bat to hit two homers and drive in five runs, David Ortiz took his best swings at a couple of dugout phones.

Drew revived the quiet Boston offense with a stellar performance, and the Red Sox beat theBaltimore Orioles 7-3 Saturday night in a game that featured a memorable and destructive tirade by Ortiz.

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Starting for the sixth time since coming off the disabled list with a strained hamstring, Drew hit a three-run shot in the fourth inning and connected with a man on in the sixth. It was his second career two-homer game, and the five RBIs tied a career high. He came in batting .223 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 71 games.

“The past couple of games, I’ve felt good at the plate but had no luck,” Drew said. “It’s just good to turn around and have a good outcome. It was also a good win. That’s what we really needed.”

Boston had lost six of its previous nine to fall out of first place in the AL East for the first time in 60 days.

After Shane Victorino homered in the seventh to make it 7-2, Ortiz took three balls from Jairo Acencio before umpire Tim Timmons called a strike on a high fastball. Ortiz was furious, and he fully vented that frustration after taking another strike and then striking out with a futile swing.

He yelled at Timmons and was ejected. Ortiz then destroyed the covers of two dugout phones with his bat before charging onto the field, where he was restrained by manager John Farrell and bench coach Torey Lovullo.

Ortiz finally relented, but as a final gesture he threw an elbow pad in Timmons’ direction. Teammate Dustin Pedroia, who covered up to avoid being hit by the spray of shattered plastic, finally got the enraged Ortiz under control.

“I got 17 years in the league and I don’t think I deserve to be disrespected like that,” Ortiz said. “You want to get respect from the players, you respect the players. That was horrible. Both of the pitches, not one.

“The funny thing is he wanted to act like it was the right call. I don’t play that. I hit. You’re not going to take my at-bats away.”

The antics of “Big Papi” didn’t detract from a much-needed victory against a strong division rival.

“We swung the bats great,” Pedroia said. “It’s a good win. We have to build on that. Guys get frustrated. It’s part of the game. I just wanted to make sure David didn’t get too bad where he gets suspended or any of that. … He’s the biggest part of our lineup. We can’t afford to lose David for even one game.”

Ryan Dempster (6-8) gave up two runs in 5 1/3 innings to earn his first win in five starts since June 30. His previous four starts were no-decisions.

Both of Drew’s homers came off Scott Feldman (2-2), making his fifth appearance since coming to the Orioles in a trade with the Chicago Cubs. Feldman allowed four runs and six hits in five innings.

Baltimore’s Chris Davis went 1-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts, the 21st consecutive game in which the major league home run leader has struck out. He has fanned eight times in his last three games and hasn’t homered since hitting No. 37 on July 14.

Boston went up 1-0 in the third when Drew singled and came home on a single by Jacoby Ellsbury. That provided a note of optimism for a slumping team that had produced only one run in its previous two games and came in with a 42-9 record when scoring first.

Feldman got two outs in the fourth before Mike Carp and Jarrod Saltalamacchia singled. Drew followed with his first home run since June 4.

“It really just came down to that fourth inning,” Feldman said. “Gave up a couple two-out knocks and then made a bad pitch to Drew and he hit it over the fence.”

Baltimore closed to 4-1 in the fifth on an RBI single by Brian Roberts, but another homer by Drew provided the Red Sox with a five-run cushion in the sixth. The drive hit the top of the wall in right field, and although umpires initially ruled the ball in play, they adjourned for a replay and ultimately called it a home run.

After the Orioles got a sixth-inning run on a grounder by Matt Wieters, Victorino homered on Asencio’s first pitch of the night to make it 7-2 in the seventh.

J.J. Hardy singled in a run in the eighth for Baltimore.




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