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MLB General

Full Count for Wed May 10 2006: 50 game suspension for Young

1. 50 is enough: Delmon Young, now possibly the most famous minor league player ever after throwing his bat at an umpire (video), finally received his suspension for the incident. 50 games without pay — which seems like enough for this incident. The guy is losing $145,000 because of this, and he also needs to do 50 hours of community service. Though Young didn’t join Ron Artest and earn a season-long suspension, this incident will certainly go down as one of the worst in baseball history.

2. 3 runs and 3 errors: That is what the Yankees’ stat line looked like after Tuesday’s humiliating 14-3 loss to rival Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Josh Beckett completely outpitched Randy Johnson, but Johnson didn’t get much help from his defense. Though Johnson allowed a horrific total of 7 runs, only two of them were earned as the Yanks committed 3 errors (two by A-Rod). The bullpen didn’t do much better, allowing a total of seven runs to the prolific Red Sox offense. Manny Ramirez hit his 6th homerun, and even Alex Gonzalez went yard for Boston. Beckett pitched well, allowing three in 7 innings, two of the runs on a homerun by Jason Giambi (11). This gave the Red Sox a game lead in the divisional race, though the Yankees could easily make that up sometime during the three-game set.

3. The Other Rivalry: Though the Yankees-Red Sox will get all of the attention, the Mets and the Phillies should be an excellent matchup this year. The Braves have struggled against both teams (though they crushed the Marlins last night 10-2), making this the rivalry that could decide the NL East. On Tuesday, the Phillies won the first game of the season series. Brett Myers outdueled Pedro Martinez, but this game came down to the ninth inning. Though the Phillies came into the 9th with a 4-2 lead, Carlos Delgado helped to erase that with his 2-run blast. But the Phillies scored on a crucial error, winning the game 5-4. Now they are only 3 games back of New York for the division lead.

4. ALCS Rematch? No contest: Coming into this year, you might have thought that the three series between the White Sox and the Angels would be the most competitive games in the AL. Scratch that–the searing White Sox have defeated the Angels four times already on the year after last night’s 9-1 domination. LA scored in the first inning but never again, as Freddy Garcia (5-1) pitched a gem, allowing only that one run through 8 innings. Jim Thome did the damage offensively for Chicago, hitting his 14th homerun and driving in 4. The win pushed the White Sox to a major-league best 23-9, as they are the only team with single digits in the loss column. The Angels, a perennial playoff contender, are in last place.

5. The Badminton League: Jason Kendall seems pretty upset that he is being suspended four games for charging the mound on May 2. Actually, VERY upset. After multiple sources said Kendall wouldn’t get his suspension reduced, he dropped his appeal and ripped the MLB. Kendall said the MLB has `turned into a badminton league’ and it is `embarrassing’ that you `can’t defend yourself.’ Kendall’s actions likely deserved the suspension, as he charged the mound and wrestled pitcher John Lackey to the ground. His point, though, was that Lackey should have been further punished because he verbally provoked Kendall into charging the mound. Whatever really happened, we can’t wait for the next time these two face each other in a game.

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MLB General

Full Count for Fri Apr 28 2006: Eight is Great

1. Lucky number 8: When a team’s offense is as loaded as the Cleveland Indians’ is, every once in a while it will explode in an outburst of runs. That is what happened on Thursday night when Cleveland smashed Josh Beckett and the Red Sox in a 15-3 rout. Beckett had one of his worst career outings, allowing 8 runs in 3.2 innings pitched. On the other hand, Ben Broussard had a career-best game. He went 4-5 with 2 homeruns and a MLB season high 8 RBIs. Broussard’s grand slam in the first inning opened up the scoring for the Indians, and his solo homerun later in the game reached the upper deck. Victor Martinez also homered for Cleveland, his 5th of the year. The Indians have now regained their major league lead in most runs scored, with 142 on the year. Beckett’s loss was his first of the year, and his ERA shot up from 2.54 to 4.50.

2. Santana returns to form: Johan Santana has been way off his 2004 form so far this year. Before last night, he had yet to win a game or throw 10 strikeouts in a game. On Thursday, he accomplished both in a 7-3 Twins win over the pitiful Royals. He pitched a season-high 8 innings and allowed 3 runs. Many Royals said his pitching was particularly baffling. Manager Buddy Bell said, “We weren’t able to do anything mainly because he was pitching so well.” Unfortunately for Royals fans, that is true for almost every pitcher they face. They have the lowest runs and homeruns totals in the majors.

3. Prolific Ponson?: It seems like every pitcher in a Cardinals uniform pitches better than they would elsewhere. This is true for Sidney Ponson, who, after two awful seasons, is 3-0 with St. Louis. His win last night against the Nationals sent his ERA down to 3.13, about half of last season’s total. Ponson got some help from the Cardinals offense in the 6-2 win. Jim Edmonds, who has been silent so far this year, hit a 3-run homerun in the first. That was all the support Ponson needed, as the Cards rolled to a 15-7 record.

4. Not that this implies anything…: Barry Bonds is in a lot of trouble right now, thanks to the fact that about 99.9% of America believes “Game of Shadows” instead of him. However, he about to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time homerun list, something that will require a celebration from the MLB, right? Wrong. Selig said that the MLB “will not celebrate” Bonds breaking Ruth’s mark, saying that “we don’t celebrate anybody the second or third time in.” Or maybe this has to do with the fact that Bonds is detested by about everyone besides himself. Anyway, Barry will have to pass Aaron to get any kind of celebration from the MLB.

5. Maybe he and Ron Artest will get along: Everyone knows by now about Devil Rays minor leaguer Delmon Young throwing the bat at the umpire after striking out. We said yesterday that Young “deserves to be punished for his actions.” Well, we got our wish, as AAA suspended Young indefinitely. The length of the suspension was not revealed, but it will likely be in the territory of Ron Artest’s season-long suspension after the infamous Pacers-Pistons brawl. Unfortunately for Young, he doesn’t have a rap album to promote while he is serving his suspension.