Raiders tab rookie Derek Carr as starting QB (Yahoo Sports) - Oakland rookie Derek Carr will start the season opener against the New York Jets. Coach Dennis Allen announced Monday that Carr got the nod ahead of Matt Schaub, who struggled in the preseason and has been hampered by a sore elbow. Carr will be the first rookie to start the season opener at quarterback in Raiders history. Carr was a second-round pick out of Fresno State in May. He will become the 18th starting quarterback for the Raiders since the start of the 2003 season. Dizzy in heat, Bouchard out of upset-heavy US Open (Yahoo Sports) - Bothered by the heat and stifling humidity, Eugenie Bouchard felt dizzy and her vision was blurry. Bouchard tried to carry on, but it was hardly an ideal time to try to win a tennis match. The No. 7-seeded Bouchard became the latest top woman to bow out at this surprise-filled U.S. Open, beaten 7-6 (2), 6-4 Monday by 17th-seeded Ekaterina Makarova of Russia in the fourth round. Phil McNulty’s transfer window verdict - Man Utd sign Falcao on loan for £6m - Manchester United sign Colombia international striker Radamel Falcao on loan from Ligue 1 side Monaco. Arsenal sign Welbeck for £16m - Dunn homers in 1st at-bat as A's top Mariners (Yahoo Sports) - Adam Dunn is in a pennant race at last, and what an impression he made on his new team as the September stretch run began. Dunn provided instant pop for the struggling Athletics, hitting a towering, two-run homer in his debut at-bat for Oakland to highlight a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday in a matchup of playoff contenders. ''We're going to take full advantage.'' Acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, the 6-foot-6, 285-pound Dunn immediately became an imposing presence in the middle of Oakland's order. His drive was a welcome sight for a team that just got swept in a four-game series by the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels and was shut out for 29 straight innings. Dunn homers in 1st at-bat for A's, tops White Sox (Yahoo Sports) - Adam Dunn provided instant pop for the struggling Athletics, hitting a towering, two-run homer in his first at-bat for Oakland to highlight a 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday in a matchup of playoff contenders. Acquired a day earlier in a trade with the Chicago White Sox, Dunn became the 12th player in Oakland history to homer in his first at-bat with the team. His drive was a welcome sight for a team that just got swept in a four-game series by the AL West-leading Los Angeles Angels and was shut out for 29 straight innings. He provided a nice lift for an Oakland offense that has struggled since dealing Yoenis Cespedes to Boston for Jon Lester on July 31. Kirk rallies to win the Deutsche Bank (Yahoo Sports) - NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- Chris Kirk picked up the biggest victory of his career Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Negredo joins Valencia on loan - Manchester City striker Alvaro Negredo joins Valencia on a season-long loan deal. Holliday, Wong lead Cardinals past Pirates, 5-4 (Yahoo Sports) - ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Matt Holliday had the go-ahead RBI single in the seventh inning after Kolten Wong's pinch-hit homer tied the score, leading the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday.

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Adam Dunn homers in first A's at-bat [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 10:08 pm]
  Before he retires, slugger Adam Dunn says he wants to win a World Series ring, and the Oakland Athletics "probably" will be his last chance to make it happen — unless someone unexpectedly talks him out of retiring at the end of the 2014 season. Conversely the A's, who have mortgaged a lot to win now, need help in order to pull themselves out of a late-season tailspin and get right for the playoffs. Dunn and the A's started working together Monday afternoon and good first impressions were made. Dunn hit a two-run homer in his first plate appearance and Oakland took a 6-1 lead into the late innings against the Seattle Mariners. Batting cleanup and wearing No. 10, Dunn connected against right-hander Chris Young on a 1-1 count in the bottom of the first, hitting a towering fly just out of the reach of Seattle's Endy Chavez, who leaped at the fence. After he circled the bases, A's players greeted Dunn with a collective celebratory "knighting" in the dugout. The A's came in having been swept against the first-place Los Angeles Angels, posting a 19-22 record in the second half after owning the best record in the majors for much of the season. Dunn came in with a .220/.340/.433 batting line with 20 home runs — and 460 for his career, 36th all time. He's also the active leader in most games played without a postseason appearance, 1,977, covering 14 seasons. Alex Rios (1,582 games), Brian Roberts (1,418), Nick Markakis (1,345) and Jose Bautista (1,225) are next on the list. The A's traded minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn for Dunn, who turns 35 years old in November. More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:      - - - - - - - David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com and follow him on Twitter! Follow @AnswerDave 

Cole Hamels and three Phillies relievers combine to no-hit Braves [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 8:48 pm]
Your browser does not support iframes. At least the tough season for the Philadelphia Phillies now has a historic highlight — Cole Hamels and three Phillies relief pitchers combined to no-hit the Atlanta Braves in a 7-0 win Monday, the first combined no hitter since the Seattle Mariners threw one in 2012. It's the first combined no-hitter in Phillies history, their 12th overall and their first no-hitter since 2010, when Roy Halladay threw two. This makes four no-hitters this season in MLB. Josh Beckett, Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum tossed the others. Cole Hamels started things off for the Phillies on Labor Day, and his start was a bit laborsome despite not giving up any hits to the Braves' batters. He struck out seven, but walked five and threw 108 pitches. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg turned the game over to his bullpen when Hamels' spot in the batting order came up in the seventh inning. The Phillies had just a 2-0 lead at that point. Pinch hitter Grady Sizemore drew a walk, then Ben Revere followed with a three-run triple. That part of Sandberg's plan worked, but the no-hitter? That would take three more pitchers. Jake Diekman pitched a hitless seventh, striking out two. The rookie Ken Giles struck out the side of Braves in the eighth, including Jason Heyward and Freddie Freeman. Phillies pitchers struck out 12 batters total. In the ninth, now holding a 7-0 lead, the Phillies gave the ball to closer Jonathan Papelbon, who isn't a stranger to meltdowns. Papelbon, however, made quick work of the Braves, getting three outs on nine pitches. Jimmy Rollins assisted with a nice place on a grounder up the middle for out No. 26, then first baseman Darin Ruf snared a liner off the bat of Phil Gosselin to end the game. The Philly Four. pic.twitter.com/HHwfygVTJE — MLB (@MLB) September 1, 2014 Controversy and disappointment have surrounded the Phillies this season, even with Hamels, their ace. He and Sandberg had tension last week. Hamels was upset after being p

Cubs wear Jackie Robinson West-themed batting practice jerseys as Little Leaguers visit Wrigley Field [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 5:40 pm]
Welcome to the clubhouse, fellas. #JRW #LLWS #Cubs pic.twitter.com/dg0ffbutiq— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 1, 2014   It's not often a champion graces the home clubhouse at Wrigley Field. The Jackie Robinson West Little League team visited the Chicago Cubs on Monday and the major league team honored its guests by wearing batting practice jerseys themed after JRW's own uniforms. Anthony Rizzo and Edwin Jackson showed the U.S. champion around the clubhouse, dugout and field. The kids also will throw a ceremonial first pitch (which should be massive) and sing "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" during the Seventh Inning Stretch. Here are more scenes from JRW's visit to Wrigley: #Cubs Valbuena meets Jackie Robinson West kids pic.twitter.com/w4VLpU9C1R— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) September 1, 2014   A couple more shots of the #Cubs' #JRW warmups. They'll be auctioned to benefit Jackie Robinson West Little League. pic.twitter.com/s5GdFs2sWL— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 1, 2014   Pretty cool for the boys of #JRW to see @ARizzo44 wearing their jersey and hear he's a fan of theirs. pic.twitter.com/0SeHlhR8IH— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) September 1, 2014 Jackie Robinson West fell to South Korea in the international championship eight days ago, but they had captured the interest of many Chicagoans (and many others beyond city boundaries) long before that. Cubs pitcher Wesley Wright, who is African American like the Jackie Robinson West kids, explained via the Chicago Tribune what their team's run to Williamsport has meant: "In this day and age, so much negativity is put out there. They hear it and they see it a lot. Just for them, and for other young people to see that doing positive things, working hard and staying disciplined can be rewarded, is important. You can become known for doing good things, as well." More MLB coverage at Yahoo Sports:      - - - - - - - David Brown is an editor for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo

Houston Astros fire manager Bo Porter [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 4:41 pm]
So, there must have been friction in the Houston Astros organization between upper management and field management after all. The Astros announced Monday morning that manager Bo Porter has been fired. Coach Dave Trembley also has been canned, and coach Tom Lawless has been assigned the interim manager tag. Reporter Even Drellich of the Houston Chronicle beat the beat to the punch in announcing the move, adding this statement via Twitter by Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow:    Luhnow in statement: "I made this decision because I believe we need a new direction in our clubhouse."— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) September 1, 2014 Porter, 42 years old, is the first manager fired in MLB this season. He posted a 110-190 record over 2013 and five months of the 2014 season. The Astros definitely improved in '14, going 59-79 with Porter at the heml. This past week, Luhnow downplayed a report by Fox's Ken Rosenthal that dysfunction existed within the Astros organization, particularly as it related to management's trust in Porter as skipper. Communication issues on Luhnow's side — most recently concerning a rehab visit by prospect Mark Appel to Minute Maid Park — appeared to be a problem. The Astros have had a rough season overall with information leaks, trouble signing draft picks and contract issues with their own players. All of it has made the organization look disorganized. Porter has had some strange moments as manager, including the time he stayed silent for 17 seconds before answering a question about how poorly his team was playing in April. Not a fireable offense, of course, but possibly an example of how the Astros might not want to push the message to players and fans. Porter has been at odds with his own players on other occasions, too — like when they dissed Roger Clemens — though Porter cewrtainly seemed to be in the right on that. Porter also has, on occasion, gotten into arguments with players on other teams, which you probably shouldn't do eve

Umpire Gerry Davis reportedly reprimanded for making 'cry baby face' at Athletics [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 3:10 pm]
What exactly is a "cry baby face"? We can only guess after the Oakland Athletics charged umpire Gerry Davis with making one at them in the midst of their most frustrating point of the 2014 season. A's pitcher Scott Kazmir says Davis was reprimanded by Major League Baseball for being unprofessional during Oakland's loss Saturday night to the Los Angeles Angels, the third leg of a four-game series sweep. More damning than making faces, Kazmir questioned whether Davis being called out by his superiors affected how he called balls and strikes Sunday afternoon. Via the San Francisco Chronicle: Kazmir walked four men in the second inning, two with the bases loaded.  Kazmir questioned home-plate umpire Gerry Davis’ professionalism after the game; and he and other A’s players said that Davis, the crew chief, had made “cry-baby faces” at Oakland’s dugout the night before and had been reprimanded for doing so. “It’s important to rise above any personal issue and call a fair game,” Kazmir said. “And what I saw on the video, I saw 10-plus pitches that were right there. I don’t know if it’s something to do with last night and how he got reprimanded, but the professionalism is something I have an issue with." Melvin was ejected when he took Kazmir out and stopped to dispute the strike zone with Davis. Not damning but curious was Davis's strike zone against right-handed batters. It makes him seem... distracted: Gerry Davis’s RHH zone was a hot mess today. #Athletics pic.twitter.com/iWTYIIcRNn— Jeremy F. Koo (@jfkooAN) August 31, 2014   Red is for strikes, green is for balls. Triangles are for A's pitches, squares are for Angels. A's manager Bob Melvin offered no comment on Davis, and the Associated Press reports that MLB won't comment on the issue — which doesn't mean definitively that they punished Davis. It only looks like they did. Gerry Davis has been a major league umpire full-time since 1984. Kazmir's charges should be taken seriously.

The Grand Slam: Mariners survive two Bryce Harper home runs [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 1:51 pm]
      Dustin Ackley's figurative hand — one home run and four RBIs — beat Bryce Harper's two solo home runs — and led the Seattle Mariners to a 5-3 victory against the Washington Nationals on Sunday. The Mariners avoided a three-game sweep at Safeco as a result, and also brought themselves within a half-game of the American League's second wild card spot. Ackley struggled mightily for two seasons after being the second overall pick in 2009 and breaking into the majors with a strong rookie campaign in 2011. He's batting .260 with a .721 on-base plus slugging in 2014, a step up over his recent past.   Your browser does not support iframes. ''He was the best college hitter in the (2009) draft,'' Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said of Ackley. ''Sometimes it just takes time.'' The Mariners had lost three in a row. They also had been 0-11 against the Nationals since the franchise moved from Montreal to Washington for the 2005 season. And the M's overcame an exceptional performance by Harper, who has been searching, like Ackley. Harper's first blast against Hisashi Iwakuma went an estimated 418 feet, and nearly hit the "Hit It Here Cafe" bullseye in right field. Presumably since he didn't quite hit it "here," Harper just missed a free lunch.  Harper's second home run wasn't near any landmarks in particular, but instead to dead-center field, which is a great sign for his swing. Harper has has an injury plagued, disappointing third season. But he hasn't turned 22 years old yet. Chances are, he's still going to be great. [ Check every result from Sunday at Yahoo Sports' MLB scoreboard ] SUSPENDED GAME AT KAUFFMAN STADIUM TO BE FINISHED AT CLEVELAND: A pennant race, travel itinerary and baseball schedule made for strange bedfellows. The Cleveland Indians and Kansas City Royals will complete their series finale at a different ballpark after inclement weather at Kauffman Stadium caused a suspension during the bottom of the 10th inning. We'll know the resul

Bob Melvin calls Athletics 'pathetic' after Angels sweep four-game set [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 4:28 am]
Your browser does not support iframes.   Manager Bob Melvin verbally unloaded on his team Sunday — at least for Bob Melvin, it was unloading — after the Oakland Athletics were swept in a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. The Athletics fell 8-1 in the series finale, putting them five games back of the Angels in the American League West. Oakland didn't score in 29 straight innings over the course of four games, from the sixth inning Thursday until the eighth inning Sunday, writes Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Other than that, skipper, how did you enjoy Angel Stadium? "What can you say? It was embarrassing. Pathetic. We don't play like that. The last three games here are the worst I’ve seen this team play in... I can't remember how long. I feel bad for our fans to have to watch that.” Melvin conducted a closed-door team meeting after the game, giving the players a more emotional version of what he told the media. Usually mild mannered, Melvin also was ejected in the second inning by umpire Gerry Davis. The A's already had been at odds with Davis, who earlier in the series reportedly made a "crying baby gesture" to the A's when they complained about another call or calls. The A's are 19-22 in the second half after reaching as many as 28 games over .500 on Aug. 9. They're also 8-8 against the Angels with three games to go at home Sept. 22-24. Melvin acknowledged that the A's have been playing poorly for a while, but something about his perspective changed after getting ejected. "I got to watch it on TV," Melvin said. "It's different. ... It was just frustrating. We can't play like that. We're not going to be able to play like that. The reason I'm upset is because that's not who we are. That's not who we've been for three years. And for the last... I don't know how long, it's mounted. It's been frustrating. But that last three games for us is just not who we are. At all. And it's embarrassing. They all should be embarrassed.

Girardi knocks Rogers Centre visitor's weight room after sending Tanaka home [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: September 1, 2014, 12:47 am]
Masahiro Tanaka says he needs to do more cardio work in order to get into pitching shape. Manager Joe Girardi says that wasn't going to happen in Toronto, where the workout facilities for visitors at Rogers Centre aren't up to New York Yankees standards. No, it's not that all of the weights identify in metric amounts. The Yankees have played at Toronto enough to know they need to carry calculators with them at all times. Without trying to start an international incident or anything, Girardi told reporters in Canada on Sunday that the ballpark's new weight room for away teams is too small and doesn't have "the modalities" Tanaka needs to rehab the partially torn elbow ligament that has kept him out of action since July 8. The facilities were so inadequate, the Yankees felt they had to send Tanaka back to New York to continue his rehab. John Chidley-Hill of the Canadian Press writes: Girardi was clearly frustrated when asked by media about the move before Sunday's game. "The facilities are better there and that's why we sent him back," said Girardi. "I know you get upset but, I mean, I told you why we did it. We're not hiding anything." When a reporter insisted that they weren't upset, but that they thought it was an unusual move, Girardi became more animated. "Has anyone seen the weight room? It's about as big as this area we're in right now, this little room," said Girardi, gesturing to the crowded visitors' dugout. "It doesn't have a SwimEx. It doesn't have all the modalities. I mean, I told you, I'm concerned about him. I am concerned about him. "We just felt it was more productive for him to be there." The best part is how Girardi doesn't want to upset his hosts in Canada, like if he's saying "We know CANADA has proper gym equipment SOMEWHERE — just not in the visitor's clubhouse. Don't get mad!" Girardi's unhappy mood might be explained by the Yankees' flickering hopes for the postseason, which are related to Tanaka's injury. It's a frustrating time

Brandon Crawford momentarily saved Jake Peavy's no-hit bid with diving play [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 8:30 pm]
On Saturday night at AT&T Park, Jake Peavy came up five outs short of pitching his first career no-hitter. Had he been able to cross the finish line with that historic milestone, he definitely would have owed a big thank you (and perhaps a dinner, or two) to Brandon Crawford, who made two incredible defensive plays that at the moment preserved his bid. In the fifth inning, Crawford ranged deep into the hole at shortstop to rob and retire Aramis Ramirez with a slick backhand and an Andrelton Simmons like throw across the diamond. That simply means strong and accurate from an angle that isn't conducive to either. He made it look remarkably easy, too, which added to its beauty.  Ahd that wasn't even his best play.  In the seventh, Crawford made one of the best defensive plays of the entire season, diving towards the middle of the diamond to grab Scooter Gennett's sizzling grounder. Crawford quickly collected himself and then flipped with his glove to Joe Panik to start a ridiculous 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. At that point, Peavy's no-hitter was safely through seven, Six more outs, and Crawford's effort is one we'd see replayed over and over again for the next several months. As it is, it might deserve that treatment anyway. Unfortunately for Peavy, his no-hit bid would end in the eighth on Mark Reynolds' soft single to shallow right field. Prior to that at-bat, Reynolds had been 3 for 23 with 12 strikeouts in his career against Peavy. The close call was Peavy's second in six starts with San Francisco. On Aug. 2 at Citi Field, he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Mets in what to that point was a duel no-hitter with Jacob deGrom. However, once Daniel Murphy spoiled it with a double, the wheels fell off and Peavy allowed four earned runs. That wouldn't be the case on Saturday. After Peavy retired one more batter, he was removed from the game at 113 pitches, and the Giants would go on to win 3-1.   More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

Brandon Crawford momentarily saved Jake Peavy's no-hitter with diving play [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 8:27 pm]
On Saturday night at AT&T Park, Jake Peavy came up five outs short of pitching his first career no-hitter. Had he been able to cross the finish line with that historic milestone, he definitely would have owed a big thank you (and perhaps a dinner, or two) to Brandon Crawford, who made two incredible defensive plays that at the moment preserved his bid. In the fifth inning, Crawford ranged deep into the hole at shortstop to rob and retire Aramis Ramirez with a slick backhand and an Andrelton Simmons like throw across the diamond. That simply means strong and accurate from an angle that isn't conducive to either. He made it look remarkably easy, too, which added to its beauty.  Ahd that wasn't even his best play.  In the seventh, Crawford made one of the best defensive plays of the entire season, diving towards the middle of the diamond to grab Scooter Gennett's sizzling grounder. Crawford quickly collected himself and then flipped with his glove to Joe Panik to start a ridiculous 6-4-3 inning-ending double play. At that point, Peavy's no-hitter was safely through seven, Six more outs, and Crawford's effort is one we'd see replayed over and over again for the next several months. As it is, it might deserve that treatment anyway. Unfortunately for Peavy, his no-hit bid would end in the eighth on Mark Reynolds' soft single to shallow right field. Prior to that at-bat, Reynolds had been 3 for 23 with 12 strikeouts in his career against Peavy. The close call was Peavy's second in six starts with San Francisco. On Aug. 2 at Citi Field, he carried a perfect game into the seventh inning against the Mets in what to that point was a duel no-hitter with Jacob deGrom. However, once Daniel Murphy spoiled it with a double, the wheels fell off and Peavy allowed four earned runs. That wouldn't be the case on Saturday. After Peavy retired one more batter, he was removed from the game at 113 pitches, and the Giants would go on to win 3-1.   More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:

Brewers land Jonathan Broxton in deal with Reds [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 6:40 pm]
The past 24 hours are starting to feel like July 31 all over again. With the deadline for postseason roster eligibility looming on Sunday, a handful of teams have made last minute deals to bolster their roster for the stretch run and a potential postseason appearance. The latest to join that group are the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers, who according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal made a significant upgrade to their bullpen on Sunday by acquiring Jonathan Broxton from the division rival Cincinnati Reds.  Broxton, who at one time was a dominant closer for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kansas City Royals, is having a career season in a set up role for Cincinnati. Over 48 1/3 innings, the 30-year-old right-hander owns a 1.86 ERA and 1.01. Though it should be noted he's struggled a bit in August, posting a 5.23 ERA over 11 appearances. That his overall ERA remains sparkling speaks to how dominant he was over the first four months.  Here's another taste.  Jonathan Broxton has held opponents scoreless in 43 of his 51 appearances.— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 31, 2014 Broxton also temporarily filled the closer's position in April and May when Aroldis Chapman was coming back from his spring training injury. He successfully converted 5 of 6 save attempts.  In Milwaukee, Broxton is expected to remain in a set up role ahead of closer Francisco Rodriguez.  The man known as K-Rod is currently second in MLB with 39 saves. In he falters or simply needs a day of rest, manager Ron Roenicke now has another experienced option he can turn to in the ninth inning. Being able to keep Broxton in the seventh and eighth would be a nice luxury.  The Brewers will also take on a large financial commitment. Broxton is due around $1.19 million in 2014, and will be owed another $9 million in 2015. He also has a $9 million club option for 2016, so it's possible, if not likely, Milwaukee views him as a solution behind this season. Keep in mind, Rodriguez will be a free agent at season'

Japanese high school game spans four days and 50 innings [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 5:33 pm]
In a pitching duel to end all pitching duels, Chukyo High School and Sotoku High School were held scoreless for days — literally — during a semifinal matchup at the 59th National High School Rubber Baseball Tournament in Japan. It wasn't until the 50th inning — which took place on Sunday morning, four days after the game had started — that Chukyo finally broke through for three runs. Fortunately for them, and pretty much everyone involved, that would hold up, allowing them to advance to the finals later on Sunday. Amazingly and ridiculously, both starting pitchers went the distance during the marathon. Chukyo starting pitcher Taiga Matsui threw 709 pitches and allowed 26 hits over his 50 innings.  “This game was the physically hardest ever for me," Matsui said after the semifinal game. "But I showed my (fighting) spirit. As my teammates scored three runs (in the 50th inning), I was able to throw in a relaxed manner in the bottom of the inning. Ishioka was a good rival for me.” His counterpart, Jukiya Ishioka of Sotoku, totaled 689 pitches and allowed 22 hits. Ishioka said, “Though I was beaten in the end, it was a good experience for me to pitch until the last. I had fatigue not only today (Aug. 31) but also yesterday and the day before yesterday. But I asked our coach to use me as a starter today.” We appreciate the competitive spirit, but we'll politely disagree that throwing nearly 700 pitches over four days is a good experience. It's excessive and irresponsible for coaches to sign off on such usage, even though Ishioka admits volunteering to continue on. And really, it's questionable that the game was allowed to continue on as it did, although at least it was broken up into 15 innings per day. The Asahi Shimbum reports that had the game remained tied after 54 innings, the winner would have been decided in a drawing, with the reward being to play in the championship game just hours later. Why 54 innings is anybody's guess, but that's a lot o

A's add offensive thump by acquiring Adam Dunn from White Sox [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 4:10 pm]
After being shut out in consecutive games by the arch-rival Los Angeles Angels, the Oakland A's are adding some offensive thump ahead of the postseason eligibility deadline. On Sunday morning, the team announced they've acquired designated hitter Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox in exchange for a minor league pitcher. #Athletics acquire Adam Dunn and cash considerations from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn.— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) August 31, 2014 Oakland was reportedly on Dunn’s no-trade list, but he's decided to waive his veto power to play for a contender. He's never appeared in the postseason during his 14-year major league career. Despite the A's falling to four games back in the AL West on Saturday night, they still own a four-game cushion in the AL wild-card race. Dunn, 34, won't provide much by way of batting average. Through 435 plate appearances this season, he's hitting .220/.340/.433. He can still dial up the long ball though, with 20 homers over the first five months. .  Whatever numbers he puts up during the stretch run will likely be compared to Yoenis Cespedes, whom the A's traded to the Boston Red Sox in the Jon Lester deal. It's the opinion of some that Oakland never should have moved Cespedes' power bat, but the opportunity to add an ace is rare, so general manager Billy Beane jumped at the chance. There's no doubt Oakland's offense has struggled in the weeks following the deal. In August, they've scored three runs or less in 18 of 28 games. They'll now hope Dunn can help alleviate some pressure that has been placed on other guys to produce.  Dunn is in the final year of a four-year, $56 million deal. The A's will only owe him the remaining $2.5 million, so it's not a costly deal by any means. He's also hinted at retirement following the 2014 season. A postseason appearance may clinch that.  Sanburn was a second-round pick in 2012. He currently owns a 2.92 ERA in 120 minor league innings. More MLB cov

Chicago business offers to pay one year's rent for family of Jaheim Benton [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 7:37 am]
The story of Jaheim Benton and his return from the Little League World Series without a place to truly call home has opened some eyes and certainly tugged on a few heartstrings. So much so, there are already reports of people reaching out to his family to help cover their expenses so they reunite under one roof. According to ABC 7, one Chicago business owner has gone as far as to offer paying one full year of rent for Benton's family as they attempt to get back on their feet. Spencer Leak, Jr., from Leak and Sons Funeral Home in Chatham, was moved by Jaheim's story. The Leak family made a generous gift on Friday: a year's worth of rent for the Little Leaguer's family. "I would hope that this rent turns into a mortgage that turns into home ownership for them," said Leak Jr. "We want our little superstar to have a roof over his head because that's what he is. He's a superstar." Leak, a father of two, told the Huffington Post that he felt bad about the Benton family's situation and thought about how fortunate he's been to support his own family. Given his position and the Benton's story, he felt an obligation to step up.  “God has blessed us, so we have to give back. Whether it be help for a funeral or housing or giving food, we have to step up to do that.” Big League Stew's David Brown detailed the Benton family's plight after it was reported in the Chicago Sun Times on Friday. The family has been incredibly strong throughout, even though they've been mostly forced to live apart. Jaheim's Little League journey provided a welcomed distraction for them on a personal level, but on a larger scale it created awareness and put a face on the reality that times are tough for many families, and there's a real struggle for them to make ends meet. "Mrs. Benton is such a strong woman," Leak told HuffPost. "She does not want the focus to be on her -- she wants the focus to be on the team. Even though she’s going through trials, she’s still more concerned about [Jac

The Grand Slam: Tigers pull even in AL Central after doubleheader split [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 5:41 am]
The Kansas City Royals are cooling off this weekend and the Detroit Tigers have taken advantage so far, taking two of their first three games against the Chicago White Sox. On Saturday, Detroit split a day-night doubleheader with Chicago, losing the opener 6-3 after striking out 13 times against Chris Sale, before rebounding to win the nightcap 8-4. Making his major league debut, 23-year-old right-hander Kyle Ryan tossed six scoreless innings for Detroit. Meanwhile, his offense jumped on debuting White Sox hurler Chris Bassitt for five runs in the first four innings. Ian Kinsler did most of the damage, singling home one run in the third and two more in the fourth. He finished with three hits. With the second game in the books, Detroit's status rested on the results of Kansas City's game against the Cleveland Indians. Thanks to RBI singles from Michael Brantley and Carlos Santana in the 11th inning, Cleveland emerged with a 3-2 win, meaning Detroit and Kansas City are now even at 74-61. The Indians are still hanging around at 3 1/2 back. The only real downside for Detroit is the uncertainty surrounded two-time MVP Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera left the game in the fourth inning with a sore right ankle and could end up missing a few days, although manager Brad Ausmus says they won't know his short term status until Sunday. ''It flares up from time to time with different movements and different actions,'' Ausmus said. ''I told him I could give him a day tomorrow, and he said, 'No, don't decide now because I might be good in the morning.' ANGELS USE EIGHT PITCHERS TO SHUT OUT A'S: As one division tightens, another continues to slip away from the Oakland A's. The Los Angeles Angels extended their division lead to four games with a 2-0 win on Saturday night. Amazingly, they did so despite not having a true starting pitcher availble to make the start. With Garrett Richards done for the season, Mike Scioscia mixed and matched for nine innings using eight different relievers, i

Orioles acquire outfielder Alejandro De Aza in deal with White Sox [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 31, 2014, 2:19 am]
With the deadline for postseason eligibility coming up on Sunday, the Baltimore Orioles have announced the 11th-hour acquisition of outfielder Alejandro De Aza from the Chicago White Sox to help fill out their bench for the September stretch and their potential postseason run.  To explain the significance of adding De Aza before that deadline, all 30 MLB teams have a deadline of August 31 to have an added player be playoff-eligible. On September 1, roster’s can expand from 25 player’s to 40, but any player added to the roster after August 31 isn’t eligible for the postseason roster. It's one of those baseball rules that tends to fly under-the-radar, but it creates a sense of urgency for general managers who might need to fill a hole that opens up post non-waiver trade deadline. De Aza, 30, is hitting only .246/.312/.358 across the board in 435 plate appearances this season. He's also collected five home runs to go along with 31 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. In other words, he's not a difference-making hitter, but that's not a need for the Orioles anyway. De Aza's value comes from his better-than-average speed, and his ability to play all three outfield positions, which is something just about every team could use. He's an ideal backup for a contender, and with Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Nelson Cruz around in Baltimore's outfield, that's exactly what he'll be. In return for De Aza, the White Sox will receive minor league pitchers Miguel Chalas and Mark Blackmar. Neither are considered impact prospects, so they'll simply serve as organizational depth for Chicago. It's obviously not the most exciting trade, but the Orioles will hope their minor deal in August pays big dividends in October.  Update: The Orioles weren't done dealing on Saturday.  #Orioles announce another trade: IF Ivan DeJesus Jr. and IF/OF Jemile Weeks to #RedSox for IF Kelly Johnson and 3B Michael Almanzar. — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) August 31, 2014 Another relatively minor deal, but

Young White Sox fan breaks out his variation of several dance moves [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 30, 2014, 10:54 pm]
We take a break from your regularly scheduled baseball blogging to bring you the happiest and most exuberant Chicago White Sox fan on Planet Earth. We don't know who he is or where he's from, but we do know he's happy to be at U.S. Cellular Field on a Saturday afternoon. Also, dancing seems to be pretty high on his list of favorite things in life, and with moves like his, who can blame him? Check out his dance exhibition as the Comcast SportsNet Chicago camera spotted him just prior to the seventh inning. He certainly caught the attention of broadcasters Hawk Harrelson and Steve Stone with what appears to be his variation of 'The Robot.'  There are a few other moves mixed in there that are a little more difficult to identify. Perhaps he's into disco as well? Or maybe they are his own creation.  Either way, we applaud the performance, but we'd still give the edge to the young Dodgers fan, who earlier this month broke it down at Dodger Stadium and received a little play-by-play from Vin Scully.  Your browser does not support iframes. When Scully calls your moves, you've officially arrived. As for the White Sox fan, if nothing else, he showed confidence and stage presence well beyond his years. We're also happy he witnessed a White Sox win. Behind Chris Sale's 13 strikeouts, they knocked off the Tigers 6-3 in Game One of their day-night doubleheader. We're guessing he danced all the way to the car, and then napped on the ride home.  BLS H/N: Cut 4 More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports: - - - - - - - Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Townie813

Braves reliever Jonny Venters will undergo third Tommy John surgery [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 30, 2014, 8:38 pm]
Atlanta Braves left-hander Jonny Venters was 15 months removed from his second Tommy John surgery when he felt like his rehab was hitting a wall last week. Unable to elevate his pitches beyond 80 mph, Venters visited Dr. James Andrews for a recheck on Thursday, and the news had to feel like a punch to the gut. The results of an MRI revealed that Venters had suffered a third tear of ulnar collateral ligament, meaning the 29-year-old reliever will require a third Tommy John surgery in order to continue his career. "I think [Dr. Andrews] was surprised that it failed so early," Venters said. "It wasn't like I was throwing in games or anything like that. I think it was one of those things that it was going to fail no matter what. I think we did everything right with the training staff and my therapy and throwing program. I think we did everything for it to succeed. I just think it was one of those things where it was going to fail no matter what." It's disheartening news. For many pitchers, it would signify the end of the road. But not for Venters. He still has plenty of fight and want-to left in him, and he fully intends to make another comeback attempt, which likely wouldn't be realized until the 2016 season at the earliest. "It never really crossed my mind to retire, to give up and quit," Venters said. "If I was 38, it might be a little different. I'm only 29. So hopefully, I have my age working for me. We'll see. I'm going to give it a shot." According to MLB.com, Venters plans on talking to former major leaguer Jason Isringhausen, who is one of the few pitchers to return to the major leagues following a third Tommy John surgery. Isringhausen's third procedure happened in 2009 when he was 36. He returned as a reliever with the New York Mets in 2011 and appeared in 103 games over the next two seasons before retiring in 2012. That should give a younger Venters reason for optimism, but obviously with each Tommy John surgery, the road gets a little bit longer and a l

Coco Crisp nearly robs homer, suffers strained neck in collision with wall [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 30, 2014, 6:32 pm]
Oakland A's center fielder Coco Crisp has never been afraid to sell out or risk bodily harm in order to make a difference making play in the field. With that in mind, and with the stakes undeniably higher this weekend during their series against the Los Angeles Angels, it should come as no surprise that Crisp was willing to crash and burn in hopes of bringing back a home run ball off the bat of Chris Iannetta. The incredible effort nearly paid off, too. Crisp actually had the ball in his glove momentarily. However, the jolt from crashing into the wall knocked the ball loose, allowing it to harmlessly fall over the fence for a two-run homer that opened the scoring in the Angels eventual 4-0 win.   Crisp, on the other hand, took a hard impact on his right shoulder, and then crashed anything but harmlessly to the ground, landing directly on his back. Crisp stayed down for several minutes while the A's athletic trainer, manager Bob Melvin and several of his teammates surrounded him. Eventually, he was able to walk off the field under his own power to a respectful applause from Angels fans, but obviously wasn't feeling well.  After the game, the A's announced Crisp suffered a strained neck, which has been a reoccurring issue for him this season thanks to efforts like this one. "Hopefully it's not too long," said Jon Lester, who gave up the home run. "He hit the wall hard and he hit the ground hard. We all know that he's struggled in the past with some neck stuff, so hopefully he didn't aggravate that too bad and, best-case scenario, it's only a couple days or a day, I don't know. But we can't afford to lose a guy like that for too long." At this point Crisp is considered day-to-day. Ideally, the A's would like to give him as many days as he needs to heal up and approach one-hundred percent, but there might be a little more urgency now that they're trailing the Angels by three games in the AL West. Either way, the A's would probably like to see Crisp tone down his

Coco Crisp nearly robs homer, suffers strain neck in collision with wall [Yahoo! Sports: Blogs: August 30, 2014, 6:32 pm]
Oakland A's center fielder Coco Crisp has never been afraid to sell out or risk bodily harm in order to make a difference making play in the field. With that in mind, and with the stakes undeniably higher this weekend during their series against the Los Angeles Angels, it should come as no surprise that Crisp was willing to crash and burn in hopes of bringing back a home run ball off the bat of Chris Iannetta. The incredible effort nearly paid off, too. Crisp actually had the ball in his glove momentarily. However, the jolt from crashing into the wall knocked the ball loose, allowing it to harmlessly fall over the fence for a two-run homer that opened the scoring in the Angels eventual 4-0 win.   Crisp, on the other hand, took a hard impact on his right shoulder, and then crashed anything but harmlessly to the ground, landing directly on his back. Crisp stayed down for several minutes while the A's athletic trainer, manager Bob Melvin and several of his teammates surrounded him. Eventually, he was able to walk off the field under his own power to a respectful applause from Angels fans, but obviously wasn't feeling well.  After the game, the A's announced Crisp suffered a strained neck, which has been a reoccurring issue for him this season thanks to efforts like this one. "Hopefully it's not too long," said Jon Lester, who gave up the home run. "He hit the wall hard and he hit the ground hard. We all know that he's struggled in the past with some neck stuff, so hopefully he didn't aggravate that too bad and, best-case scenario, it's only a couple days or a day, I don't know. But we can't afford to lose a guy like that for too long." At this point Crisp is considered day-to-day. Ideally, the A's would like to give him as many days as he needs to heal up and approach one-hundred percent, but there might be a little more urgency now that they're trailing the Angels by three games in the AL West. Either way, the A's would probably like to see Crisp tone down his





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