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Milwaukee Brewers

Bob Uecker’s low point in life is no longer being choked by Andre the Giant


Bob Uecker’s yacht was docked juuuuust a bit outside of where it should have been in a Milwaukee harbor and the sucker got smashed by a 550-foot freighter on Tuesday. Mr. Belvedere’s arch nemesis was unharmed in the mêlée, but the yacht was badly damaged, leaving Uecker in a bit of a pickle.

The freighter crashed into the yacht while it was docked near Milwaukee, causing thousands of dollars in damage, WISC-TV reported. No injuries were reproted.

Uecker was supposed to use the boat in his charity fishing tournament for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. A local boat dealer loaned him another boat for the event.

Renee Kirnberger, who represents the foundation, said that Uecker wasn’t thrilled by what happened but he’s more concerned about the tournament.

Yea, after raising that little brat Wesley (except for that one time he wasn’t lying) for six seasons, Uecker built up quite a tolerance for bad news.

Links:

[Awful Announcing]: Bob Uecker’s Yacht Wrecked By Freighter
[Channel3000.com]: Freighter Crashes Into Uecker’s Yacht Near Milwaukee

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MLB General

The Full Count: Yankees clinch

A-rod looking as douchey as possible

1. Lucky Number 13: The Yankees continued the longest playoff streak in all of baseball by clinching a spot in October for the 13th consecutive year. They did so in style, beating the Devil Rays 12-4 as Cano and Jeter homered and Chien-Ming Wang won his 19th game of the season. Now the American League playoff teams are set, with Cleveland, Los Angeles, Boston, and the Yanks competing for the pennant. Unless there is a bizarre change in the standings in the last few days this season, New York will take on the Indians and the Angels will battle the Red Sox in the opening matchups. The Yankees’ run at the playoffs of course was expected before the season, but by the end of May many thought their season was over. That’s because they were one of the worst teams in the AL exactly four months ago, only a few games ahead of Tampa Bay. Since then, however, they’ve had the best record in the league, and with 15 wins in their last 20 games they will head to the postseason with momentum on their side.

2. Still Undecided: The National League playoff situation remains the exact opposite of the American League. While all four teams have clinched in the AL, no team has clinched a playoff berth in the NL. Many contenders seem to be slipping at the wrong time, particularly the Mets. They’ve had the NL East lead the majority of the season, but after losing 9 of their last 13 games, the Phillies are only one game back. The Phillies virtually eliminated the Braves by beating them 5-2; Atlanta would now need a complete miracle to make the playoffs. The situation in the NL Central remains uncertain, as it has been for about a month. The Cubs’ loss gave the Brewers an opportunity to get within a single game, but Milwaukee lost to the Cardinals and remains two back. The hottest team in the NL right now is the Rockies, who have won a franchise-record 10 consecutive games. They are now one game back of the Padres, and tied with Philadelphia.

3. Bye Bye, Barry: Barry Bonds has been extremely quiet ever since breaking the major league homerun record, as the sale of the 756 ball has received more attention than the man who hit it. Bonds has started to play less and less; in fact, until last night he hadn’t appeared since September 15. Now Barry deserves at least some recognition, as he appeared in his last game in a Giants uniform on Wednesday. Bonds, who will likely play next year as a DH for an American League team, has officially ended his tenure with the Giants. He won 5 MVP awards with the club, and hit over 500 homers with them alone. In his last game with the club, Bonds went 0-3 as the Giants lost 11-3 to the Padres. Jake Peavy picked up his 19th win for San Diego.

Player of the Day: Mike Lowell, Red Sox: 3-5, 5 RBIs in an 11-6 win over the A’s. Lowell, who leads the team in RBIs with 116, also set the club’s single-season RBI record for third basemen.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Padres come up big


1. (Re)taking the Lead: The Padres’ tie with the Phillies atop the wild card standings didn’t last very long. As the Phillies lost to the Braves, San Diego beat San Francisco 6-4 with a huge rally in the ninth. Brian Giles hit a game-winning three run homer to cap off a four-run ninth. The 86-71 Padres are theoretically in the division race too, at two games back, but it is the wild card that gives them a better shot at making the playoffs. They will play their last division game of the year Wednesday at San Francisco before heading off to Milwaukee for their last series.

2. The New Contenders: The Atlanta Braves and Colorado Rockies are two late-season additions to the wild card race. They are the two hottest teams in the majors, and both won on Tuesday as well. The Rockies have won nine in a row, while the Braves have won eight of their last nine games, including a key 10-6 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday. The win, powered by Mark Teixeira and Chipper Jones homers, put the Braves at three games back in the wild card. The Rockies are even closer, at just one game back of the Padres. They beat Los Angeles, who is officially out of the race, by a score of 9-7. Troy Tulowitzki hit his 23rd homer of the year and Todd Helton added three hits for Colorado. The Rockies, who have scored the fifth-most runs in the majors, will play the Dodgers once more and then face the Diamondbacks for a season-ending three game set.

3. Power Play: The Brewers are edging closer to the playoffs, just two games back of the Cubs after a 9-1 win over St. Louis. They wouldn’t even be near contention without the contributions of MVP candidate Prince Fielder, who added two homers to his league-leading total. Fielder now has 50 home runs, the youngest player ever to reach that mark. Additionally, he and his father Cecil are the only father-son tandem in big league history to each have 50-home run seasons. Prince is having a truly unbelievable season for a second-year player, almost matching what Ryan Howard did last year. He has almost doubled his rookie homerun total (28) while also improving every other category known to man. He isn’t the leading MVP candidate, but he will pick up plenty of votes, especially because he reached the big 5-0.

Player of the Day: Victor Martinez, Indians: 2-4, HR (25), 3 RBIs in a 4-3 win over Seattle. Why isn’t Martinez one of the MVP candidates? He has been by far the Indians’ best hitter this season, with a .301 average and 110 RBIs, both leading the team.

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MLB General

The Full Count: The real magic number is 1.5


1. One and a Half Games: Half of the MLB division leaders have a slim 1.5 games lead right now. The Cubs, Mets, and Red Sox are all holding on by this narrow margin. The Yankees and Red Sox didn’t play Thursday, but some of the other teams did. The Brewers lost a half-game to the Cubs as they fell 3-1 to Atlanta. Braves starter Jeff Bennett won in his first major league appearance since 2004. The Braves are virtually out of the playoff race, though with five straight wins they are ending their season on a good note. The NL East is between the Mets and Phillies. The Mets lost again, in a 10-inning contest with the Marlins. They had a three-run lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but Jorge Sosa blew the save. The Marlins piled up 21 hits, and 8 players in their lineup had at least two hits. The Phillies pulled out another victory, this one coming 7-6 over the Nationals. Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth both homered for Philadelphia, who is 10-3 since September 8. These division races, which all seemed over at one point this year, are providing for an exciting end to the season.

2. Watch Out in `08: The Rockies, an underappreciated surprise story this season, will be a dark horse contender next year if they can get some pitching. They are 81-72 and in third place after sweeping the Dodgers in a four game series, knocking LA out of the playoff picture. Their offense has been second in the NL only to the Phillies, with nearly 800 runs. Matt Holliday is showing he can be a franchise player with a .339 average, 36 homers, and 131 RBIs. He has been unstoppable in the month of September, with 12 homers and 26 RBIs. 11 of those homers have come in the last 12 games, with the Rockies winning 8 of them. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki would be an easy choice for Rookie of the Year if Ryan Braun wasn’t playing so well. Tulowitzki has 22 homers and 90 RBIs, and has hit around .290. That dynamic duo along with Brad Hawpe (101 RBIs), Garrett Atkins (23-103), and Todd Helton provide for an incredibly deep offense that will be a force for years to come.

3. The New Best Team: It’s official: the Red Sox no longer have the league’s best record. That honor now goes to the Angels, who have quietly been crushing every team in their path this month. The 91-62 Angels have gone 17-8 since August 26, and will become the first team to clinch their division with one more win. They beat the second-place Mariners 9-5 on Thursday as superstar Vlad Guerrero hit his 26th homerun of the season. Guerrero also has a .326 average and 122 RBIs, good enough to place him third in the AL MVP voting behind A-Rod and Magglio Ordonez. The Angels, who are rolling into the postseason with momentum, will be a force to be reckoned with in the playoffs.

Player of the Day: JR Towles, Astros: 4-4, 3 runs, HR (1st career), 8 RBI in an 18-1 win over the Cardinals. Playing in only his sixth career game, Towles set a Houston record for single-game RBIs.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Mets and Red Sox are trying to give it away


1. The Shrinking Lead, Part 1: On September 10, the Phillies were six games back in the division and just focused on the wild card. Now, they have closed the gap to only 1.5 games thanks to a six game winning streak along with the Mets’ five game losing streak. Now the Phillies have a realistic shot of winning the division. They beat the Cardinals in 14 innings on Tuesday. In a game that saw 19 combined pitchers but only 19 combined hits, the Phillies won 7-4. They scored three 14th-inning runs off Mike Maroth, who has an 11.25 ERA since joining the Cardinals. The Mets lost 9-8 to Washington, their second straight loss against the pitiful Nationals. Because their schedule for the rest of the year includes only Washington and Florida, the Mets still are the likely division champs. However, it would no longer be surprising if the Phillies overtook New York and won the division.

2. The Shrinking Lead, Part 2: Everyone thought the Red Sox had the division wrapped up months ago. But the Yankees, who were down 5.5 games only four days ago, have cut that gap to 2.5. They have won three in a row while the Red Sox have dropped their last three. The Yankees dominated the Orioles 12-0 on Tuesday, with Mike Mussina going for seven shutout innings. Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano had three hits each in the rout, while Doug Mientkiewicz drove in four runs. The Red Sox, meanwhile, were topped for the second straight day by the Blue Jays, this time by a score of 4-3. AJ Burnett pitched brilliantly, going 8.2 innings with three runs and 11 strikeouts. Eric Gagne blew a save in eighth inning, ruining Jon Lester’s solid start. The Yankees have the schedule advantage compared with the Red Sox, as they face Tampa and Baltimore their last two series as opposed to Minnesota and Oakland. If New York wins the division, it will be either one of the greatest comebacks or collapses in league history, depending on your perspective. It really wouldn’t make a difference when it comes to playoff seeding, though, as the Red Sox would still likely win the wild card.

3. The Nonexistent Lead: Once again, the Brewers and Cubs find themselves tied for the NL Central lead. Milwaukee has won four straight to regain their share of the lead. The two teams together are the only division leader in baseball with less than 83 wins, with only 78 and 79, respectively. That still doesn’t make their race any less heated, as it has been back and forth for the last few weeks. The Brewers flattened the Astros 9-1, though ace Ben Sheets is out for an uncertain amount of time with a leg injury. the powerful Brewers had four homeruns. The Cubs lost 5-2, as ace Carlos Zambrano had his sixth loss in his last eight starts. Chicago does have the edge in the race as they only play terrible teams the remainder of the season, while the Brewers play Atlanta and San Diego.

Player of the Day: John Lackey, Angels: 8 innings, 1 run, 10 K’s in a 2-1 win over Tampa. Lackey is yet another AL Cy Young candidate, with a 17-9 record and 3.13 ERA.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Not so wild


1. Masters of the Wild: Usually the wild card races are extremely crowded even at this point in the season, but this year things are different. The Yankees and Padres both have a relatively big lead on the rest of the field, with leads of 4 and 2.5 games respectively. Both teams won on Tuesday. The Yankees won their sixth consecutive game 9-2 over the Blue Jays as Jason Giambi hit a grand slam and Jorge Posada also homered. Phil Hughes gave his second straight quality start after three poor starts in a row. The Padres beat the Dodgers 9-4 as Jake Peavy won his 17th game. Barring a late-season collapse, Peavy will win the NL Cy Young in addition to the pitching triple crown. He leads the league by a huge margin in every major category, giving the National League version of Johan Santana’s 2006. The Padres gained a game on the division-leading Diamondbacks with the win, and are now 2.5 back of them.

2. Low Tide: The Mariners, who were leading the wild card race three weeks ago, have suffered a huge string of defeats since then. They have lost 15 of their last 18 games, dropping them to 9.5 games back in their division and 6.5 back in the wild card. Their offense has cooled down since their early-August excellency, and their pitching staff has the second-worst ERA in the majors this month. The Mariners lost 7-4 to the A’s on Tuesday, as Jarrod Washburn was shelled for six runs and the offense failed to capitalize on 11 hits. The Mariners have played themselves out of the playoff race, though they could be a sleeper team for 2008.

3. Lead Retaken: After being tied with the Cubs as division leaders for a day, the Brewers pulled ahead with a 6-1 win combined with a Chicago loss. They beat the Pirates thanks to great pitching by Yovani Gallardo, who didn’t allow a run for his second straight start. Gallardo has allowed 2 runs in his last 20 innings pitched, and has become one of Milwaukee’s better starters. Prince Fielder hit his league-leading 44th homer in the win, and Ryan Braun had three more RBIs. The Cubs were beat 5-4 by Houston in 11 innings, dropping them to one game back. The Cardinals, now at four back after five consecutive losses, are becoming less and less of a threat.

Player of the Day: Hanley Ramirez, Marlins: 4-5, 2 HRs (28), 3 runs in a 13-8 win over the Nationals. Ramirez is having the best season of any player for a last-place team, with a .332 average, 28 homer, 46 steals, and a whopping .575 slugging percentage.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Can the Phillies overcome (being the Phillies)?


1. Wild Card Warriors: The Phillies are playing extremely well and have nearly caught up with the Padres for the wild card lead. After three straight wins, they are only 1.5 games back. They beat the Rockies 6-5 in a comeback victory. Down 5-2 in the seventh after a Matt Holliday homer, the Phillies tied the score off of Pat Burrell’s three-run shot. They won in the 10th inning thanks to Ryan Howard’s RBI double. Howard also hit his 38th homer earlier in the game. The Phillies haven’t gotten any closer to the Mets, who have four straight wins and lead the division by six games. However, they are the hottest team among the wild card contenders, with a 10-5 record their last fifteen games. That gives them a decent shot at making a playoff run.

2. Back to a Draw: The Brewers-Cubs division battle has been back-and-forth recently. After the Brewers took the lead on Sunday, their loss and the Cubs’ win on Monday has tied up the division again. The Cubs routed St. Louis 12-3, giving the Cardinals their fourth loss in a row. Ted Lilly, who is having an excellent season at 15-7 with a 3.85 ERA, picked up the win with a solid start. Chicago’s offense gave him plenty of help, as Aramis Ramirez went 4-5 with two homers and Derrek Lee had three hits and a homer. Meanwhile, the Brewers were crushed 9-0 by the pitiful Pirates. All five Brewers pitchers who appeared allowed a run, while the offense only mustered four hits. This division race, by far the closest in baseball, will be decided by which team can do better against poor opposition. Both teams have a remarkably easy schedule down the stretch.

3. Good News and Bad News: The Tigers had an up-and-down day on Monday. They beat the Blue Jays 5-4 with a four-run rally in the ninth inning. Magglio Ordonez went 4-5 and had the game-winning hit, and Curtis Granderson had two RBIs. On the other hand, they lost Jeremy Bonderman for the season. Bonderman, who had lost 7 of his last 8 decisions, has an elbow injury. It won’t require surgery, but it is severe enough to shut him down the rest of the year. The injury gives a reason for Bonderman’s struggles, as he had an 8.23 ERA his last ten starts after going 10-1 with a 3.53 ERA previously.

Player of the Day: Scott Kazmir, Devil Rays: 7 innings, 5 hits, no runs, 10 strikeouts in a 1-0 win over Boston.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Hey, don’t forget about baseball


1. The Amazing A-Rod: Alex Rodriguez is having the best month of his incredible season so far in September. He has 8 homers and 15 RBIs in just eight games this month, including a home run in five straight games. Rodriguez now has 52 long balls this year, setting a new MLB record for a third baseman. He is the first Yankee to hit fifty homers in a season since 1961, and is only the fourth MLB player ever to record at least three fifty-homer seasons (Ruth, Sosa, and McGwire). If he remains hot he could record a 60-160 season, which only Ruth and Sosa have ever accomplished. Rodriguez helped the Yanks to a 6-3 win over the Royals, with Chien-Ming Wang picking up his 18th win. Wang remains tied with Josh Beckett for the major league wins lead. The Yankees swept the Royals for the second straight series, and they took 9 out of 10 games against KC this season. Barring a complete collapse they should win the wild card, as they have a four game lead over the inconsistent Tigers.

2. The Crazy Central: The NL Central lead changed hands once again, as the hot Brewers passed the slumping Cubs. Milwaukee has won 4 out of its last 5 games to retake their lead, which they have held the majority of the season. They beat the Reds 10-5 on Sunday thanks to six homers. Ryan Braun and Rickie Weeks each went deep twice, with Braun recording his 30th homer in only 94 games. Ben Sheets improved to 12-4 despite allowing five runs, but he fared much better than Reds starter Phil Dumatrait. Dumatrait failed to record an out, giving up homers to Weeks, JJ Hardy, and Braun to lead off the game. He is 0-4 with a 15.00 ERA in six starts this year, making him perhaps the worst pitcher in baseball. Dumatrait has more runs allowed than innings pitched in all but one of his starts this season. The Brewers should be able to hold on to the division lead for a while, as they will face the three worst teams in their division (Pirates, Reds, Astros) in consecutive series.

3. D-Back Domination: Arizona is beginning to pull away in the NL West division, with five straight wins. They swept the Cardinals over the weekend, extending their lead to three games over the Padres. All three games were close, and the Diamondbacks relied on stellar bullpen play to win. On Sunday they won 6-5 thanks to a four-run rally in the seventh. Bob Wickman, who was acquired off waivers, pitched a scoreless inning in his debut for Arizona. The Diamondbacks continue to win despite a pitiful .248 team batting average and a mediocre bottom of the rotation. This is due mainly to their bullpen, which features four relievers who have below a 3.00 ERA. Arizona, who is tied for the NL wins lead at 81, is certainly the surprise story of the majors this season.

Player of the Day: Johan Santana, Twins: 7 innings, five hits, one run, 10 strikeouts in a 5-2 win over the White Sox. Santana ended a personal slump as well as a six-game losing streak for Minnesota.

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MLB General

The Full Count: Ray of hope


1. Coming out of Nowhere: Possibly the most underreported story of the year has been the random emergence of Devil Rays first baseman Carlos Pena. Despite playing on the league’s worst team, Pena has 37 homers (2nd in the league), 105 RBIs (4th), and a 1.014 OPS (3rd). All of those numbers rank higher than David Ortiz, Justin Morneau, and a host of other All Stars. Pena led the charge for the D-Rays on Wednesday with 2 homers and 7 RBIs in a 17-2 rout of the Orioles. Eight of Tampa’s nine starters had a multi-hit game, and they had 22 hits and 5 homers in all. The real story is Pena, who has 9 homers and 22 RBIs in his last 11 games. The D-Rays have won 8 of those 11 games, but are still the worst team in baseball. Pena’s play would warrant MVP consideration if he played on almost any other team in the majors.

2. The Terrific Tribe: After finishing in a disappointing fourth place last season, the Indians are rolling in first and have already passed their 2006 win total. They completed their second consecutive sweep of the Twins on Wednesday in a 6-2 win. Overall they finished 14-4 against the Twins this year, with four sweeps in six series. Fausto Carmona, who improved to 15-8 with the victory, has been a surprise standout for the Indians. Though his numbers rival CC Sabathia in most major categories (3.27 ERA vs. 3.24), he hasn’t generated nearly as much Cy Young talk. On offense, Travis Hafner has regained his swing with 13 RBIs his last 11 games. Victor Martinez knocked in his 100th RBI of the season and 400th for his career. Over all, the Indians are a whopping seven games ahead of the still-struggling Tigers, who led the division the majority of the season.

3. The Brewers are Back: The Brewers, who were awful in August and fell to third place, now have a chance to capture the division lead. They are only a half game back after winning 4 out of 5, and their upcoming schedule is as easy as it gets. They have multiple series against the worst teams in their division, playing Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Houston over the next two weeks. The Cubs’ schedule is just as easy, as they will not play a winning team the rest of the season. The Brewers just finished up a series with the Astros, which they won 2-1. On Wednesday, they hit five homers in a 14-2 victory. Prince Fielder went deep for the 41st time, which is second in the majors. Rookie of the Year lock Ryan Braun hit his 28th homer. Braun has 78 RBIs and a .334 average in 91 games this year. For Milwaukee, the victory was the 45th at home this year, the most in the NL and third-most in the majors. On the other hand, their road record is awful at 26-42.

Player of the Day: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees: 2-3, 2 HR (48), 3 RBIs (134) in a 10-2 win over Seattle. A-Rod continues to pad his numbers and remains the clear MVP favorite. The Yankees now lead the Mariners by three games in the wild card race.

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MLB General

The Full Count: So much for the Brew Crew


1. From Leaders to Losers: The Milwaukee Brewers were the talk of the league in June, when they pulled out to a huge lead in the NL Central division. However, with a 19-34 record the last two months, the Brewers have fallen to third place. They have lost five straight, including a 5-3 loss to the division-leading Cubs on Tuesday. Milwaukee got a solid start from Jeff Suppan, but Scott Linebrink allowed three runs to blow the game and the offense was ineffective. Lack of offense has been a reoccurring problem for the Brewers, who rank 15th in the NL in runs this month. They fell below .500 with the loss, and were passed by the red-hot Cardinals.

2. Philly draws closer: The Phillies have won three in a row, pulling themselves closer to both the division and wild card leaders. They are four games back of the Mets and threeback of the Padres after a 4-2 extra-inning win over New York. The Phillies won off Ryan Howard’s 10th inning walk-off homer. It was the 35th blast of the year for Howard, who leads the NL with 108 RBIs. The Mets’ only score was on Carlos Delgado’s two-run shot in the second. The Mets, who have dropped five of their last seven, are still the NL’s best team. However, the Phillies can catch up easily, especially if they take the last two games from the Mets in this series. Philly should still be more concerned with the wild card race at this point.

3. Halo Power: The Angels got awful starting pitching on Tuesday, but it didn’t matter as their offense carried them to a win over the Mariners. Ervin Santana recorded only one out and allowed five runs, and with a 6.38 ERA is in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation. However, the Angels still won 10-6, thanks to Vlad Guerrero’s 4-5, 3 RBI night. Guerrero is now batting .509 against the Mariners this season. The Angels lead the season series over the Mariners 10-4, including two wins in this series so far. They lead by four games in the division, thanks to Seattle’s four straight losses. The Mariners still lead the wild card race by one game over the Yankees.

Player of the Day: Johnny Damon, Yankees: 2-4, HR, 2 RBIs in a 5-3 win over the Red Sox. Damon’s two-run shot in the seventh gave the Yankees a lead they would not give up in this one.