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Dodgers make a blockbuster deal

The Los Angeles Dodgers are stacked after acquiring Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford from the Red Sox yesterday in a huge deal. I canít believe how quickly this got done and how they kept it so quiet. It turned out to be a nine-player deal where James Loney went to the Red Sox along with some minor leaguers. In a Hollywood story, Gonzalez hit a three-run homerun last night in his first plate appearance for the Dodgers.

Don Mattingly
Charles LeClaire-US Presswire
The new ownership in Los Angeles has had no issue in spending money. Theyíve acquired the three stars mentioned earlier along with Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino and Joe Blanton since the trade deadline. They also still feature Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw. This team is going to be a load for a long time going forward as their core is really young.

By the way the Mets finally won a game yesterday against the Astros. The only reason they won is because R.A. Dickey pitched. He notched his 16th win of the year and also drove in a run. He should win the NL CY Young award as itís unreal how he has so many wins on such an awful team.

The Jets are in action tonight against the Carolina Panthers in preseason action. Letís hope the offense decides to show up.
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Huge trade being discussed

The Mets lost again tonight to the worst team in Major League Baseball. The Houston Astros defeated the Mets by a score of 3-1. Jon Niese only gave up three runs but this team is absolutely unable to score more than one run in a game. If the Marlins win tonight the Mets will drop to last place in the NL East.

Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett
Getty Images/US Presswire
The Los Angeles Dodgers in the meantime are trying to acquire Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford from the Boston Red Sox tonight in a blockbuster deal. The Red Sox are trying to break up their entire team after rumors have persisted all season that the team is not getting along with manager Bobby Valentine.

The new ownership in Los Angeles has not been shy in making deals. The team traded for Hanley Ramirez and Joe Blanton last month and also had put in a claim for Cliff Lee.
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Mets look to bounce back

The Mets dropped their third straight came losing to the Cubs 6-1 last night. I missed most of the game but saw they had three errors in the seventh inning which is never a good thing. Johan Santana only gave up two runs but the Mets offense couldnít get going.

They will look to bounce back tonight in the second game of the three-game series. Dillon Gee pitches for the Mets tonight against Randy Wells. Here are the lineups from metsblog.com:

New York Mets
1) Kirk Nieuwenhuis CF
2) Ruben Tejada SS
3) David Wright 3B
4) Lucas Duda RF
5) Ike Davis 1B
6) Scott Hairston LF
7) Daniel Murphy 2B
8) Josh Thole C
9) Dillon Gee RHP

Chicago Cubs
1) David DeJesus CF
2) Starlin Castro SS
3) Anthony Rizzo 1B
4) Alfonso Soriano LF
5) Brian LaHair RF
6) Luis Valbuena 3B
7) Darwin Barney 2B
8) Steve Clevinger C
9) Randy Wells RHP

The biggest news coming out of this game is the debut of rookie first baseman Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs. Rizzo was a sixth round draft choice by the Red Sox in 2007 but was traded to the Padres in 2010 in the Adrian Gonzalez deal.

He played sparingly for the Padres in 2011 hitting .141 in 128 plate appearances. He was traded to the Cubs this past winter. He has been tearing up AAA, hitting .345. He should get plenty of playing time in Chicago for the foreseeable future.
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MLB Top 5 4/27/11

Another week brings another top 5. This week's list looks very similar to the one posted last week; the only change coming at the 5th and final spot. As the weather's been warming, so have some teams.

The talk of the week surrounds the Boston Red Sox. They have turned up their level of play and are sitting right at the .500 mark. Though they do not quite make my list this week, there is no denying their talent and the fact that they will be frequenting these posts in the near future


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Hot Sox

The big story of this early season has been the slow start of the Boston Red Sox. After losing their first 6 games, the Red Sox astonished many by compiling a record of 2-10 over their first 12 contests. The stat geeks spoke, no team that started a season 0-6 has gone on to make the playoffs. Fans panicked, analysts dissected the issues and asked the question, could this bunch really not manage to make the postseason? After their performance this past week, the Red Sox are quickly showing that they are not your usual 0-6 start team, but they are certainly one to be feared in 2011.

Due to their recent hot streak, the Red Sox are poised to return to the .500 mark and are steadily rising in the AL East standings. The Sox have won 5 straight games and 8 of their last 9. The team is playing great baseball and has beaten reputable teams in the Blue Jays, Athletics and Angels. Their offense has been solid, contributing 5.1 runs a game over their previous 9. Struggling star Carl Crawford has picked his play up a bit in the last week, hitting at a .259 clip with 3 extra base hits including a homerun. Boston is hoping his contribution continues and he begins hitting as he did in a Rays uniform


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Performance Pitching

Monday brought its share of dominant pitching performances. Yesterday alone, seven pitchers went at least 7 innings and gave up no more than 1 earned run. This stat isn't even including the Pirate's Kevin Correia who threw a complete game against the Reds, only surrendering 2 earned runs.

Daisuke Matsuzaka
Red Sox find hope in Monday's outing

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AL Studs and Duds 4/16/11

It's time to once again find out MLB's studs and duds. This week provided plenty of prime time players as well as some stats that will make grown men cringe. I'll kick it off with the AL and then you can check back later today for the NL rundown.

dustin pedroia
Boston's mini monster put up big numbers this week

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The Best of Beckett

The Red Sox came into this weekend's series with the Yankees at a sorry 0-6. They were able to claim their first victory of the early season Friday afternoon, but lost the battle of the bullpens in the second game Saturday. Standing in the way of the Red Sox first series win of the year was a formidable New York lineup and Yankee's ace CC Sabathia. To counter the Red Sox called on their one time stopper, Josh Beckett.

Beckett started off the year with a less than stellar start against the Cleveland Indians. The main concern was not as much the runs Beckett allowed but the number of pitches and walks he threw, only allowing himself to go 5 innings. Going into the game against the patient Yankees you had to wonder how long Beckett would last and how much damage would be done


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Cooperstown Bound?

If athletes could map out their careers they would include things such as Rookie of the Year Awards, MVP's and of course plenty of championship rings. Many would plan a storybook ending, perhaps a tearful sendoff by a stadium full of their devoted fans. No one, if given the choice, would choose Manny Ramirez's exit.

Manny Ramirez
Manny carried the Dodgers in 08

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Manny Done Being Manny?

It has just been announced that Manny Ramirez will end his illustrious and always entertaining career. Only a week into the new baseball season, the Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter is calling it quits. It appears that Manny was dealing with the league on an issue regarding MLB's Joint Drug Prevention Treatment Program. I'm certain that more information will be coming out of this situation, but I for one am certainly surprised.

Though he has seen his numbers tail off in recent years, Manny ended last season with a combined .298 batting average playing for the Chicago White Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. It is certain that he did not have the start that he wanted this year


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Any Ray of Hope in Tampa?

A few days ago I took a look at a team with high expectations coming into this season who stumbled out of the gates. While the Red Sox have not yet found the win column, I think that they are in much better shape than the Tampa Bay Rays. I usually do not like putting too much stock in early starts, but the Rays are in trouble.

The Rays have been a team that has thrived off of its home grown talent and shrewd trades. The team rose suddenly to prominence during the 2008 season and has been a contender in the tough AL East ever since. The team has played well under manager Joe Maddon, relying mainly on strong team defense and pitching


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Intriguing Matchups

While many will be tuned into the Master's this weekend, baseball has a few games that pit division rivals against each other. The Phillies travel to Atlanta for a matchup of two teams likely to play into October. Also this weekend the rivalry of all baseball rivalries will see the Yankees roll into Boston. Both of these series should be entertaining and include this weekend's most intriguing pitching matchups.

Friday April 8th
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Lester's Performance Not Enough

The Red Sox came into today's game against the Indians looking for some momentum to take into their weekend series against the Yankees. Jon Lester did all he could to get the Sox their first win in this afternoon's start, holding the Indians scoreless over 7 innings while striking out 9. His strong performance was not enough thanks to Fausto Carmona.


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Trouble in Beantown?

The MLB offseason certainly took some interesting turns. Several of the larger name free agents wound up in destinations that many did not predict. A few of these moves left us entering the season with fairly clear favorites to represent each league come October.

The big fish this offseason was undoubtedly Cliff Lee, coming off a strong performance last year especially in the playoffs. He shocked the baseball world by passing on the Yankee's higher paycheck to join a filthy rotation in Philadelphia


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