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30 years ago today, in Canada, a day that lives in infamy known as:

 

Blue Monday.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTwdPny0QGoWe_QQ5LBF5RKZELZaorIKpCQKrZRqrH5lPJpurp0iQ

 

Rick Monday homers off Steve Rogers and the Dodgers go to the World Series.

 

30 years ago today.

 

I still hate Rick Monday.

 

But Fanning never should have put Rogers in to pitch.

 

Great post-season so far this year. The last day of the season was amazing, and now I'm switching on the games in the 7th or 8th inning and it's working out perfectly.

 

Hoping the Rangers win.

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The Cards have opened up a 3 run lead in the bottom of the 5th. The Rangers bullpen has gone wild, 2 runs scored by the Cardinals in this inning without a hit. 3 walks and 2 hit by pitch.

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Cards win it 6-2. One sided game tonight after the first inning, the Rangers couldn't get going with the bat, and gave up far too many free bases with some questionable pitching. 6 walks and 2 hit batters, you really don't deserve to win.

 

Congrats to the Cardinals who have been the comeback kings this season, with some real clutch hitting, no more so than in game 6.

 

Roll on April....

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i just finished watching the repeat on ESPN.

 

ha ha ha, fuck you Texas!!!! negative, intentional walk giving, previously owned by Tom Hicks CUNTS

 

after Thursdays simply amazing comeback, St Louis deserved the title. Outstanding perfrmances by them, well done St Louis!!

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World Series is minutes away. Should be fun.

 

Superbly enjoyable that. August 25th and the Braves was 10.5 games clear in the wildcard race. From then to now was just unreal.

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Great news! The Braves have traded Derek Lowe! The good folk in Cleveland will now have the pleasure of watching him give up hit after hit after hit...

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Baseball rocked as Seattle star Halman is stabbed to death and his brother arrested in Holland

By SPORTSMAIL REPORTER

Last updated at 3:34 PM on 21st November 2011

 

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Loss: Greg Halman of the Seattle Mariners has been killed

Seattle Mariners outfielder Greg Halman was stabbed to death in Rotterdam on Monday and his brother has been arrested in connection with the incident.

A statement from Rotterdam police read: "Just after half past five, police received a report of a stabbing at a house in Jan Sonjestraat.

"Once there police found a badly injured victim. They worked with paramedics to try to resuscitate the victim but they could not manage it.

"A suspect was arrested immediately at the house.

"The police have started an investigation to clarify exactly what took place. They will talk with witnesses and a forensic crime scene investigation will be conducted in the home.

"The identity of the victim and suspect in the fatal stabbing are known.

"The victim was a 24-year-old man from Rotterdam. His brother, a 22-year-old from Rotterdam, was arrested and detained for questioning."

Halman, 24, was signed as a free agent by Seattle in 2004 and after a long spell in the minor leagues he was called up to the MLB team last year, having helped Holland win the 2007 European Baseball Championship.** *

The outfield player is one of the country's most successful baseball exports. He was born in Haarlem in 1987 and went on to play in the Dutch Hoofdklasse.

He moved to the USA in 2004 and rose steadily through the ranks before hitting the big time in 2010. He has appeared in 44 MLB games for Seattle.

Halman had helped boost baseball in Europe by holding coaching clinics with youngsters when not playing for the Mariners.

He is the son of former player Eddy Halman, while his sister Naomi is a professional basketball player in Europe.

 

Tragedy: Halman poses during photo day for the Mariners

Halman had previously admitted it was a struggle leaving his 'supportive' family behind to live in the United States.

'It was hard coming from a big family with love around you,' he said in an interview with Tacoma Weekly last year. 'But playing baseball was always my goal, so when I was feeling homesick I would tell myself this is what I always wanted to do. It was tough.'

The 6-foot-4, 200Ib player was seen as a power-hitting prospect, especially after hitting 33 home runs in 2010 at the team's Triple A team in Tacoma.

Last season, he hit .230 with two home runs and six RBIs in 35 games with the Mariners last season.

 

Talent: Halman was a rising star in the United States

But Halman was never content with being branded a 'power hitter'.

'I don’t want to see myself as a power hitter,' he told the Tacoma Weekly last year. 'But I do hit the ball out of the park. I want to become the best player I can be, not known just to hit the ball out of park.

'I want to hit good, run the bases good, be the best at stealing bases, and also be the best team-mate.

'If I want to become a complete player at the major league level I can’t just do one, I have to be the complete package.'

 

 

Read more: Greg Halman dead: Seattle Mariners star stabbed to death and brother arrested in Holland | Mail Online

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If it's Bobby Valentine I'll shit a lung.

 

Valentine 'humbled' to be Sox's new manager

 

BOSTON -- Within the first few seconds of his opening news conference as manager of the Red Sox, Bobby Valentine half-kiddingly looked for a teleprompter before he started talking.

But as much as he enjoyed the work he did for ESPN the last two baseball seasons, Valentine was all too happy to trade in his microphone for a Red Sox uniform that has No. 25 on the back of it.

For a man who has been absorbed with baseball for virtually his entire life, it was notable just how visibly exuberant Valentine was to accept his new post, which includes a two-year contract with options for 2014 and '15.

 

Valentine led the Mets to the World Series in 2000; He even won the Japan Series for the Chiba Lotte Marines in '05.

 

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But he's never won a World Series in the Major Leagues, and he realizes this is probably the best opportunity he's ever had.

At 61 years old, Valentine -- the 45th manager in Red Sox history -- sounded downright youthful while embarking on the next chapter of his career.

 

"I am honored, I'm humbled and I'm pretty damn excited," Valentine said during a packed introductory news conference at Fenway Park, where the scoreboard welcomed him as manager in bright red letters (all caps).

"This day is a special day, and it's more than a special day. It's the beginning of a life that I think is going to extend beyond anything else that I thought of doing. The talent level and the players that we have in this organization, I think, is a gift to anyone. And I'm the receiver of that gift."

Just like Valentine didn't need another reclamation project at this stage of his career, the Red Sox felt it would have been a bad fit to hire a first-time manager.

So they went with someone who is known throughout the game for his intellect, his energy and, yes, his strong opinions.

For the Red Sox, a thorough search for Terry Francona's successor revealed that Valentine best fit what they were looking for in their next dugout leader.

 

"That's the way I would put it, that he's the right man for the job," Red Sox principal owner John Henry said. "[Valentine is] the right man at the right time for this particular team. We're set to win, we should've won last year. We're built to win. We thought, in the end, that Bobby was the person most capable of taking us to where we want to go in 2012 and 2013. We're not at a point right now where we're building for the future. We are trying to win now. We always try to do both, but we felt he was the right person at the right time for this team."

 

General manager Ben Cherington's process to find a manager, which started even before he was promoted to GM on Oct. 25, was exhaustive. But ultimately, he thinks it landed him the right man for the job.

 

"In the end, I'm very confident that we found the right person in Bobby Valentine," Cherington said. "When I started this process, I said we were looking for someone who cared about players, who had a strong voice, who was willing to have difficult conversations with players, who could collaborate with the front office and ownership ... someone who has a passion for the game, someone who's open-minded and someone who wants to win. Based on those criteria, I believe we found the right person in Bobby Valentine."

This is the third stop on Valentine's Major League managerial tour, which has been spread out over a near 30-year span. He managed the Texas Rangers from 1985-92 and the Mets from 1996-02. Valentine served two stints in Japan with the Chiba Lotte Marines (1995, 2003-09).

 

But now Valentine is in Boston, where the passion for baseball is representative of his own.

"I understand the rich tradition of baseball in the city, of sports in this community. I understand the great rivalries that this team has, and I understand the great talent that has been assembled here," Valentine said.

 

While Valentine's opinionated nature has often landed him in controversy, particularly during his stint with the Mets, he takes exception to the notion he is a "polarizing" figure.

"Polarizing is a tough one. I've had a lot of adjectives about me. I can't describe them all, and I won't defend them all," Valentine said. "It's about reputation vs. character. People who know me, take the time to get to know me, understand I have some qualities to my character that are OK. I am not the genius that I've heard people refer to me as. I am not the polarizing guy the people refer to me as.

 

"I'm not the monster that breathes fire that some people have referred to me as. I'm a regular human being with regular feelings and regular attributes that make me what I am. Some of them, as I've been told by people who know me, are OK. I don't know if I'm polarizing or any of those other things. It's just what I am."

Initially, the Red Sox were looking at a pool of candidates (Pete Mackanin, Dale Sveum, Sandy Alomar Jr. and Torey Lovullo) who didn't have much experience. Sveum was considered the favorite of that bunch, but that became academic when he was hired by the Cubs.

 

In Valentine, the Red Sox get one of the smarter baseball minds around, someone who loves to teach the game and is known as being a solid tactician.

Considered a top World Series contender most of the season, the Red Sox became the first team in baseball history to have a nine-game lead in the standings during the month of September and not make it to the postseason.

In the aftermath of the collapse, there was a lot of talk about the deterioration in culture, which impacted the club's conduct and work habits.

There were stories of starting pitchers drinking beer and eating fried chicken in the clubhouse during games in which they weren't pitching. There were questions about certain players not being in the best possible shape, which led to an overhaul of the team's medical and training staffs.

 

Valentine wasted no time addressing the situation head-on.

"Something happened in September that I wasn't involved in, and I didn't see it firsthand," Valentine said. "I think that reputation is something that other people think about you, and right now, maybe this group of guys has a reputation that's not warranted. Because everything I've heard about the players that were in uniform last year and the coaching staff says nothing but that they have great character. There might have been a couple characters, there might have been a couple situations that got spinning too fast -- I don't know, because I wasn't there. But I'm looking forward to working with this group and establishing a reputation of excellence."

 

Back in a dugout for the first time since 2002, Valentine would much rather look forward than in his rearview mirror.

 

"To take all this time, which is very valuable time, and delve into the past, is not productive," Valentine said. "What I would have done hopefully is learn from the mistakes. ... I think probably the one thing that we all know is that things get spinning quickly. When they get spinning quickly, sometimes they get out of control. I think that's basically what happened."

Red Sox Nation always looks forward to playing the Yankees 18 times a year, and their new skipper -- a native and lifetime resident of Stamford, Conn. -- is right there with them.

 

"I'm really excited," Valentine said. "Six times during a season is a little different than 18 times during a season. I know the Yankees always have a team where you always have to put your best foot forward against them."

Although the Red Sox identified several candidates publicly, Valentine wasn't one of them.

 

"I think we felt that because of the position he was in at ESPN and the public forum he had and knowing a little bit about my own style, it was probably going to take a little longer than we hoped it would when I first started," Cherington said. "Including him in a public way at that point might be difficult for everyone involved."

Although he's been out of Major League Baseball for almost a decade, Valentine is ready to dive back in.

 

So enticed was Valentine by the opportunity to manage the Red Sox that he tried not to think about it, for fear of disappointment.

"I'm trying to wrap my head around it, to tell you the truth. ... I tried to not engage myself in this day, because I didn't want to be heartbroken," Valentine said. "I wanted this from the first time I heard the job was opening, and I was sitting next to Karl Ravech [at ESPN], and he said, 'Maybe you can be the manager.' And I said, 'Uh, I don't know.'

 

"I would wake up at night thinking there's a chance, then say, 'Don't go there. You're going to get your heart broken.'"

Instead, while Valentine was on a charitable trip to Japan earlier this week, Cherington offered him the job. So excited was Valentine he probably felt he could have flown back from the Far East without an airplane.

 

"Did I dream about this situation? Absolutely," Valentine said. "Did I wake up and put water on that face whenever I had that dream and say, 'Hey, come on, get back to thinking about a new fire chief [for Stamford]?' Yes I did. I'm a realist. I saw the game as it was changing and I saw it obviously getting younger and different. I didn't know that I could ever fit in. But maybe I'm going to fit in."

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Bravos start against the Tigers and Prince Fielder tomorrow.

 

Been a long time coming since the collapse in September… I'm actually excited about the Braves' chances this season, despite the lack of incomings over the winter.

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Less than 48 hours off the new season.

 

Any thoughts/predictions etc from those more involved in it them meself?

 

Can't look beyond the usual suspects, so here are my early predictions for each division, and the Wild Card places.

 

AL East: Yankees

AL Central: Tigers

AL West: Rangers

AL Wild Card: Angels

 

NL East: Phillies

NL Central: Reds

NL West: D-Backs

NL Wild Card: Brewers

 

EDIT: The new season is less than 10 hours away, as the Mariners take on the A's in Tokyo.

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Guest ShoePiss

Dodgers finally getting new owners

 

Magic Johnson Wins Auction for Los Angeles Dodgers - WSJ.com

 

Basketball legend Magic Johnson led a group that won an auction for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team Tuesday night, marking the final chapter in a soap-opera-style saga for the legendary franchise.

 

With a bid of $2.15 billion, including the surrounding land, Mr. Johnson, controlling partner Mark Walter and partners Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly beat out a group of some of the wealthiest businessmen in the country to land a team that is one of Major League Baseball's flagship franchises. The sales figure shatters the previous record sales price for a U.S. sports franchise, Steve Ross's purchase of the Miami Dolphins for $1.1 billion three years ago.

 

But buying the Dodgers now comes with a unique opportunity to launch a potentially lucrative regional sports network in the country's second-largest market, or sign a new local broadcast deal with the current broadcaster, News Corp.'s Fox unit, which has already offered the team a 17-year extension valued at nearly $3 billion. (News Corp. also owns The Wall Street Journal).

 

The sales process was led by Blackstone LP, the New York-based investment advisory firm, which held the auction Tuesday evening, just hours after Major League Baseball approved three finalists in the bidding, allowing current owner Frank McCourt to accept the highest and best offer.

 

Mr. McCourt filed the team for bankruptcy protection in June amid a deepening cash crisis and an ongoing feud with Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig.

 

The deal allows Mr. McCourt to enter into a joint venture with the new owners on the land surrounding the stadium.

 

In a statement, the Los Angeles Dodgers stated, "This transaction underscores the Debtors' objective to maximize the value of their estate and to emerge from Chapter 11 under a successful Plan of Reorganization, under which all creditors are paid in full."

 

Mr. McCourt said the agreement "reflects both the strength and future potential of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and assures that the Dodgers will have new ownership with deep local roots, which bodes well for the Dodgers, its fans and the Los Angeles community."

 

In a statement, Earvin Magic Johnson said, "I am thrilled to be part of the historic Dodger franchise and intend to build on the fantastic foundation laid by Frank McCourt as we drive the Dodgers back to the front page of the sports section in our wonderful community of Los Angeles."

 

The other bidders who survived until the final round were a partnership that included hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and Los Angeles biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong. A spokesman for Mr. Cohen declined to comment.

 

The other bidder was Stan Kroenke, the billionaire developer and husband of a Walton family heir. Mr. Kroenke already owns the NFL's St. Louis Rams, the NBA's Denver Nuggets, the NHL's Colorado Avalanche, the Colorado Rapids of MLS and English soccer club Arsenal.

 

According to a person involved with the process, the auction had been expected to take place Wednesday. Blackstone had asked the parties to submit sale contracts last week and deliver their initial offers by Tuesday morning, since approval of the bidders from Major League Baseball was expected to come easily on Tuesday afternoon. When the offers arrived, the bid from the Johnson-Walter group was so much higher than the competing offers, it essentially took the franchise off the block almost instantly.

 

The person said the other offers, which were perceived as opening bids, were in the range of $1.5 billion, some 25% less than the Johnson-Walter bid. As a result, the other bidders were never given a chance to match, and the deal was wrapped up by Tuesday evening.

 

The bid was described as a "100% cash offer." Mr. Walter is making a significant personal contribution to the purchase price, with Guggenheim Partners, of which he is chief executive, playing a substantial role in financial contribution.

 

The deal is preliminary and still has to go through a complicated closing process and receive approval from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware. However, Mr. McCourt is under pressure to complete the deal by April 30, one day before he owes his ex-wife a $131 million payment as part of their divorce settlement.

 

If the sale goes through it will bring to a close the McCourts' stormy eight-year stewardship of what had been one of MLB's model franchises.

 

A developer and owner of parking lots, Mr. McCourt bought the team in 2004 from News Corp. in a highly leveraged deal valued at about $420 million. A native of Boston, Mr. McCourt and his former wife quickly inserted themselves into the Los Angeles social scene and were a constant presence at Dodgers games in marked contrast to the team's previous owners and the O'Malleys, the low-key family that moved the Dodgers from Brooklyn after the 1957 season and built the team into a Southern California institution during the next 41 years.

 

However, during the divorce proceedings, it was revealed that the McCourts had used more than $100 million from the team to finance their lavish lifestyle, including the purchase of several luxury homes. As the team's performance declined, fans soured on the McCourts, as did Mr. Selig.

 

The previous record sale for a baseball team was $845 million for the Chicago Cubs in 2009 by the Ricketts family, founders of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

 

In an interview earlier this month, former owner Peter O'Malley said watching the team become an object of ridicule had been painful.

 

"It's been tough," said Mr. O'Malley, who explored a bid to reacquire the team before dropping out. "But I am prepared to help the new owner in whatever he needs. I'm not looking for a job."

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