I’m not going to run through all of the acquisitions for the Rox over the last 2-3 weeks, we all know what has happened. Since the end of Rockiesfest the Rockies front office has been more than busy adding pieces to the roster before heading into spring training. The most recent major acquisition being Melvin Mora to a one year deal who will likely back up Ian Stewart at third base. Of course the big news that happened during Rockiefest was the re-signing of Jason Giambi. If you were at Rockiesfest then you know about what turned out to be the “item of the day” in Giambi player t-shirts and jerseys. Both items had already been marked half price because he hadn’t re-signed and it was assumed he wouldn’t return. But the items remained at half price even after it was learned during Rockiesfest that he had re-signed with the Rockies.
I did get some pictures from Rockiesfest 2010, but not a whole lot of anything different than the year before.
If fans weren’t excited about the Rockies before Rockiesfest, then they should be now. And it should get even more exciting as the start of the 2010 season draws near.
It wasn’t until last night that I’d made up my mind about whether or not to go to spring training this year. I had been looking at the schedule off and on since it had been released and trying to figure in time off from work and such and whether or not I would be able to afford to go. So yes I will be going to spring training. I will be there March 10th-14th. If you really into baseball on the collegiate level(as I am not), the University of Arizona will also be home, hosting the University of Northern Colorado the 12th-14th, though the start times seem to interfere with the Rockies.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post has a great article on how the Rox will miss Torrealba. I totally agree that the Rockies will miss Torrealba on many levels. Hopefully both Iannetta and Olivo will both be solid throughout the season and we dont have to wonder “what if”.
The Denver Post reported this afternoon that the Rockies had avoided arbitration with Jorge De La Rosa, Clint Barmes and Taylor Buchholz . De La Rosa reportedly gets a 1 year deal worth just over 5 and a half million. Clint Barmes will get a little over 3.3 million this season, while Buchholz will receive 1.055 million this season after missing the entire 2009 season.
Not that it isn’t possible, but this late in the off season there’s no reason why the remaining players due for arbitration shouldn’t be in Rockies uniforms at the start of spring training. Huston Street, Rafael Betancourt, Ryan Spilborghs, and Jason Hammel are the remaining players up for arbitration.
EXTRA INNINGS – My thoughts on the off season so far. Losing Torrealba will hurt the Rockies some this season, but how quickly Miguel Olivo meshes with the pitching staff and his new teammates, could help the Rockies forget about Torrealba sooner than later. The battle between Olivo and Iannetta in spring training will be something to watch.
As for the loss of Garrett Atkins, losing the 2009 version of Garrett Atkins won’t hurt the Rockies at all. He will be missed in the clubhouse, but nothing he did last season will be.
The Jason Marquis of the first half of last season will be missed a great deal, as he did make the All Star team. What happened in the second half of the season on the mound, not to mention off the mound with the rumors of him wanting to join the Mets will not be missed. If the Rockies are to get to the playoffs this season Jeff Francis has to rebound to win 12-14 games.
- The Rockies 2nd annual Rockiesfest will be held next Saturday January 23rd at Coors Field. This year just like last year will be for season ticket holders only.
- The Denver Post also reported that Rockies TV voice, Drew Goodman won the award for Colorado Sportscaster of the Year. Who really cares? Apparently their criteria isn’t very high at all, kinda like Drew himself.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post last night reported that talks appear to be over with the idea of Torrealba resigning with the Rockies. Story here.
Allocation of contract money seems to be the problem as reported. So the Rox have turned their attention more towards Miguel Olivo, whom they’ve shown an interest in over the last month or so.
No deal has been finalized on either side as of yet and I will go as far to say that it doesn’t mean that something still can’t be worked out with Torrealba, though it seems unlikely at this point, according to Renck’s story.
My best guess is that of course should Olivo sign that he and Iannetta would compete for the starting position, but probably because of the new 3 year, $8 million deal Iannetta signed this off season that he’d most likely be named the starter. I’m still taking the wait and see attitude until we hear of a definite signing, because as we all know the Rockies don’t exactly do things in a normal fashion sometimes.
Inside the Humidor would like to wish everyone out there a safe and happy new year! See ya in 2010!
The Denver Post reports this morning that catcher Yorvit Torrealba wants a 2 year $6 million dollar deal and that currently the Rockies and the Venezuelan catcher are apart by $400,000.
As a fan I say come on Rockies, just “Get ‘er dun!” Torrealba at 2 years, 6 million is a better investment than Iannetta at 3 years 8 million. I say that because though Iannetta brings a somewhat solid bat and a strong arm, that bat had holes in it last season and because of that bat, Iannetta lost his starting role as the season went on and despite Iannetta’s strong arm I dont recall anytime last season where threw out any baserunner from sitting in the dugout. This is not to discredit anything Iannetta has done since he’s been wearing a Rockies uniform, but when we’re talking about the Rockies the subject of pitching always is main topic and this is where Torrealba comes in and is better than Iannetta. When it comes to handling the pitching staff, as we saw last season Torrealba is the better between he and Iannetta. Regardless of how many homeruns the Rockies hit in a game or how many runs they score in a season, if the pitching staff isn’t holding up their end of the bargain, the Rockies will not get very far not just next season, but for seasons to come. Go ahead and give Torrealba the additional $400,000 and know that your pitching staff will be more stable with both Iannetta and Torrealba behind the plate than bringing in a Miguel Olivo, who the pitching staff will have to get used to and used to the way he likes to call games.
The Denver Post also reports that Torrealba is due to travel to New York next week to talk with the Mets.
I hope I’m wrong but if this goes on past Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, then I think it’s safe to say that Torrealba will no longer be in a Rockies uniform. I just dont see this dragging on for too much longer.
The Rockies front office can check something off of their shorter than normal checklist this offseason, the signing of Catcher Chris Iannetta to a long term deal. Iannetta gets a 3 year deal worth in the neighborhood of $8 million.
In my opinion I still think a 2 year deal would have been a better option for the Rockies instead of a 3 year deal, but I do give the Rockies credit for not overpaying for what Iannetta has so far brought to the position. I’m still hoping the Rockies get the deal with Torrealba done soon as there is still no word on any signing.
The Denver Post and also Thomas Harding of MLB.com both report that the Rockies have offered catcher Yorvit Torrealba a 2 year deal. Details here.
So there has been nothing really big to happen yet at the Winter Meetings for the Colorado Rockies. The positive news is that Rafael Betancourt did accept the Rockies arbitration offer, with the possiblity of a long term deal.
Rockies are in talks with Chris Iannetta about a long term deal. Really? I have nothing against Iannetta, other than he graduated from the University of North Carolina. But how long of a deal are we talking about here? After last season’s .228 batting average and yes there were bright spots for Iannetta where he came up big in games, I can’t imagine there being anything more than a 2 year deal at this point. The idea of signing Iannetta is strictly based on his 2008 season numbers and the hope that he can again get back to similar numbers in 2010. At the same time the Rockies are still in talks with Torrealba and there are rumors of the Rockies being interested in free agent catcher Miguel Olivo.
On the opposite side the Rockies released Matt Murton, who went on to sign with the Hashin Tigers of the Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball league. Murton saw limited action in the majors last season with the Rockies, spending most of the season at Triple A Colorado Springs. Murton came over from the Oakland Athletics in a trade for Rockies minor league Corey Wimberly. Murton in 29 games for the Rockies hit .250, 1 homerun and 6 RBIs.
Nippon Professional Baseball website http://www.npb.or.jp/eng/
EXTRA INNINGS – Take a look at our newest additions to our Related Links and you will find MLB Secrets and MLB Secrets Blog. Both sites arejust another way to continue to feed your baseball addiction!
It’s October 1st, the start to Rocktober 2009 can officially begin.
The Rockies pounding of the Brewers last night 10-6 and Atlanta’s loss to the Marlins 5-4 now has the Rockies magic number for the playoffs at 1. The math is simple, win today or an Atlanta loss means the Rox are in the playoffs. Still the Rockies have a slim shot at winning the division only 2 1/2 games back of the slumping Dodgers who have the day off today.
Last night’s win gave the Rockies their 3rd in a row and Jason Hammel his 10th win on the season. Helton, Gonzalez and Tulo all homered for the Rockies and the bullpen was near perfect on the night following Hammel. Torrealba continues to tear the cover off the baseball, going 3 for 4 last night with an RBI, a run scored and a .292 batting average.
Aaron Cook (10-6, 4.32) takes the mound this afternoon against Manny Parra (11-10, 6.16) for the Brewers.
** There’s a good article over at the Hardball Cooperative website by Thom Henninger on whether or not Jim Tracy’s success this season will carry over to the 2010 season. Story here. Is it a little early to be discussing next season already? Probably, but go check out the article, it’s a good read.
The Rockies complete what they couldn’t against the Mets last week by sweeping the D’backs at home with a 13-5 win. Four Rockies had mutiple RBIs yesterday, Stewart (2), Barmes (2), Torrealba (3), and Seth Smith who led with 5 of his own with 2 homeruns. Torrealba continues his hitting streak, now up to 15 games. Jason Giambi made his first start yesterday at first base since becoming a Rockie, going 0 for 3 with 2 walks.
The Rockies outscored the D’backs 22-10 in the series. Yesterday’s 13 runs was the Rockies highest run output since the August 22nd game against the Giants where they scored 14 in the win. The 3 game sweep of the D’backs was also the first series sweep at home since the series against the Washington Nationals at Coors Field, July 6th-8th.
Now with a 2 game lead in the NL Wildcard, the Rockies face the Cincinnati Reds and their old friend and former Rockies centerfielder, Willy Taveras. Don’t be fooled by the Reds 63-73 record, who are currently 17 games back in the NL Central. The Reds are on a 7 game winning streak, having just swept the Pirates at home and more impressively, sweeping the Braves on the road. Ubaldo Jimenez (13-10) takes the hill this afternoon.
Ubaldo Jimenez strikes out 4 through 8 innings for his 13th win of the season. Seth Smith homers. Recent acquisition, Jason Giambi singles in 2 runs to break the tie. Yorvit Torrealba steals a base and has a 12 game hitting streak going while Franklin Morales gets the save. If I left out anything, I apologize, but last night game against the Mets was further proof that the Rockies have gotten some of their mojo back in their quest to make the playoffs.
The Rockies still maintain a one game lead over the Giants in the NL Wildcard race. The Giants shutout the Phillies 4-0 last night and will finish up that series before heading to Milwaukee for 3 games.
The Rockies go for the sweep today of the Mets with Jason Marquis (14-9, 3.60) on the hill facing Pat Misch (0-1, 3.41)
The Rockies banged out 11 hits, but committed 2 errors and were only able to score 2 runs in the 3rd inning to go on and lose the series against the Dodgers, giving them a 4 game lead in the division. Jorge De La Rosa did his part in striking out 7 batters through 7 innings of work. The problem was that the Rockies were 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position. Tulowitzki had asolid day going 3 for 4 as well as Torrealba going 3 for 4. They were the only hitters to manage mutiple hits in the game for the Rockies. Both third basemen, Stewart and Atkins went 0 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. They cannot continue to bat in the low .200s if this team is going to increase their chances of making it into the postseason. The Rox have now lost their second in a row and have to again go into another must win series against the Giants at AT&T Park. Ubaldo Jimenez (12-9, 3.36) and Tim Lincecum (12-4, 2.43) go at it again at 8:15 MT. The Rockies are also likely to face Barry Zito and Matt Cain in this 3 game series.
It’s true that a win is a win and I will certainly take any win the Rockies get along the way. But I dont think the Rockies can continue to play games the way the have like last night and expect to keep winning. Sooner or later their luck is going to run out and the losses will begin to pile up. Overall offensively in last night’ game the Rockies were horrible. If it weren’t for Barmes and Gonzalez homeruns, the Rockies couldn’t have won the game. There were too many pitches being taken as strikes and not enough agressiveness at the plate. There were too many runners being left on base, last night there were 12. 3 of those were in the first inning with bases loaded. The Rockies should’ve blown the game open in the first 2 innings. Jason Marquis at times struggled a bit from the mound, but did manage to get his 14th win on the season. The bullpen held up well with Morales and Betancourt and Huston Street got his 31st save on the season to lead the NL.
I have to expect Yorvit Torrealba to play in Thursday’s game. Chris Iannetta went 0 for 5 last night (0 for 8 in the series) and is batting .221, I have to question why he is still in the lineup. Give Chris a couple of games off and some extra time in the batting cages.
Jason Hammel (7-7, 4.73) faces Garrett Mock (2-4, 5.27) tonight, gametime 7:05(EST), 5:05(MST).
BATTER’S EYE – FSN play by play guy for the Rockies, Drew Goodman was seen at the Newseum yesterday as I was purchasing my admission ticket.
Here are a few pics from Wednesday’s game.
Forty thousand plus saw Cubs manager Lou Piniella get tossed in the 2nd inning over a blown call by the second base umpire Chris Guccione and the Rockies roll on to punish the Cubs to the tone of an 11-5 win. Jason Hammel should consider taking Sunday’s starting lineup out to dinner, whose offense got him the win more than he probably deserved on his own Sunday afternoon. Todd Helton had 2 RBIs and scored 2 runs on a 3 for 4 afternoon. Yorvit Torrealba went 2 for 3 with 3 RBIs. Speedster Dexter Fowler scored 3 runs, while only going 1 for 4 at the plate. Carlos Gonzalez continued his hot hitting Sunday afternoon going 3 for 5 and scoring a run to up his batting average to .283.
I loved the amount of emotion displayed out of the Rockies Sunday afternoon, Hammel, Torrealba and others were not afraid to share their feelings at certain sitautions during the game.
While the Rockies finished off the Cubs on Sunday some eyes were kept on the scoreboard that afternoon and the Rox were able to pick up some ground on the Giants who lost to the lowly Reds 5-1 and are now tied with the Rockies for the NL Wildcard lead. The Dodgers who have now lost 3 in a row, lost by a score of 8-2 to the Braves. The Rockies now sit 5 and a half games behind the Dodgers who have a 3 game series beginning today against the Giants. So the Rockies will need to keep pace by winning the final game of the series with the Cubs and sweeping the upcoming series against the Pirates beginning Tuesday.
The Rockies have increased their lead in the NL Wildcard race by 2 games after winning the series over the San Francisco Giants yesterday with a 4-2 win. Aaron Cook got his 10th win of the season after going 7 innings and only giving up 2 runs. Huston Street got his 25th save of the season out of 26 save opportunities. Despite 4 runs on 10 hits the Rockies still left too many men on base, 10 to be exact and were 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position. It was good to see Yorvit Torrealba go 2 for 3 with an RBI. Torrealba was the only Rockies player with multiple hits yesterday and one of four Rockies to record an RBI. The Rockies now have a 2 game lead over the Giants for the wildcard.
STAT OF THE GAME: 123448 were in attended the Rockies/Giants 3 game series at Coors Field this weekend. An average of 41149 fans.
QUOTE OF THE GAME: “Since Thursday morning [when the Betancourt trade was announced], our bullpen has gotten better,” Tracy said.
Here is a look at where I believe the Rockies players are at the midway point of the season. Feel free to agree or disagree.
Chris Iannetta - (C+) I really had high hopes for Iannetta coming into this season based on the offensive numbers he put up last season. I predicted he would make the all-star team this year, but with a .232 batting average and a short stint on the DL he hasnt yet been able to match last seasons numbers. Maybe sharing more time behind the plate with Torrealba will help. There’s still plenty of time for him to rebound.
Yorvit Torrealba – (Incomplete) Yorvit has only seen action in 22 games as a backup and is batting .225 at the break. The real life drama of his son being kidnapped earlier in the season in Venezuela set him back. Yorvit needs to see more time behind the plate (at least 2 games a week) to be productive since trading him isn’t an option.
Paul Phillips – (B) In the 13 games Phillips played in after being called up from Triple A, he posted a .310 batting average. He managed 13 hits, 6 walks, 1 homerun, 2 doubles, 7 RBIs and scored 5 runs. He more than filled in as the backup during Torrealba’s absence.
Next up: Infielders.
CLASS AAA: COLORADO SPRINGS 3 @ SACRAMENTO 0 – Jeff Baker gets the start at 2nd base and goes 2 for 4, with 2 runs scord and an RBI. Yorvit Torrealba also goes 2 for 4 with an RBI. Matt Murton goes his third straight game without a hit.
CLASS AA: NW ARKANSAS 5 @ TULSA 1 – Daniel Mayora gets the only RBI of the night for the Drillers, going 2 for 4. Chaz Roe takes his first loss on the season with a record of 2-1 and an ERA of 2.55.
CLASS A (ADVANCED): MODESTO 4 @ VISALIA 8 – The Nuts managed 11 hits but also committed 4 errors. Brian Rike leads the way going 2 for 4 with 2 RBIs.
CLASS A: GREENVILLE 4 @ ASHEVILLE 5 – Jordan Pacheco and Joseph Massey provide all of the scoring for the Tourists.
CLASS A (SHORT SEASON): VANCOUVER 5 @ TRI CITY 4 – Vancouve r hands the Dust Devils their first loss of the season so far, and it took 11 innings. Scott Beerer goes 3 for 5 with an RBI.
CLASS A (ROOKIE): CASPER 5 @ IDAHO FALLS 6 – There’s a reason it’s referred to as Rookie ball. 8 errors committed between the two teams. Chad Jacobsen goes 2 for 4 with an RBI.
CLASS AAA: COLORADO SPRINGS 2 @ SACARAMENTO 4 - Matt Murton goes 0 for 3, ending his 29 game hitting streak, but still is batting .404. Yorvit Torrealba see his first action while getting back into playing shape, also going o for 3.
CLASS AA: NW ARKANSAS 1 @ TULSA 13 – Every position player got at least one hit. Michael McKenry and Darin Holcomb both lead the way with 3 hits each. Esmil Rogers goes 8 innings, striking out 7 for his 7th win of the season, with a record of 7-2.
CLASS A (ADVANCED): MODESTO – California League vs Carolina League All-Star game. Cal League wins 2-1 in 10 innings.
CLASS A: ASHEVILLE – North vs South All-Star game played. North beats South 8-7.
CLASS A (SHORT SEASON): VANCOUVER 2 @ TRI CITY 3 – The Dust Devils remain undefeated. Kent Matthes drove in all 3 runs for Tri City on a 2 for 3 night. I’m sorry to report that Scott Beerer went 0 for 4 and is batting a pathetic .611.
CLASS A (ROOKIE): CASPER 1 @ IDAHO FALLS 10 – The Ghosts managed 1 run on 5 hits, while giving up 10 runs on 14 hits to the Chukars. Good thing I decided to not watch this one.
Aaron Cook is now 6-3 on the season after fighting through a 2 run fifth inning on solo homeruns by Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. The Rockies Troy Tulowitzki put up a 3 run shot in the 2nd and Chris Iannetta added a solo homer in the 4th inning. Huston Street gets his 14th save of the season and Manny Corpas in the set up role struck out 2 in the 8th. Ubaldo Jimenez starts this afternoon to try and even his record on the season to 6-6, going against Matt Garza (4-4) for the Rays in the rubber match.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that former Rockies pitcher Shawn Chacon has signed a minor league contract with the Athletics.
Patrick Saunders writes on Yorvit Torrealba who is due to start his minor league rehab assignment after the homestand this Sunday to get back into playing shape.
The Rockies are on an 11 game win streak, tying the streak of 2007 that helped to launch them into the playoffs that year, a year that seems so long ago. The eleventh win yesterday has given the Rockies their 3rd consecutive series sweep (Cardinals, Brewers, Mariners). Jason Hammel recorded the win and even slumping Garrett Atkins got in on the fun with 3 hits.
ESPN’s Buster Olney writes about the diagnostics of the Rockies win streak. Let’s just say whatever it is, just keep doing it!
Taylor Buchholz, who’s been on the DL since the start of the season, will be lost for the season it seems and will have Tommy John surgery within the week as reported in the Denver Post.
Troy Renck of the Denver Post gets the details on Yorvit Torrealba’s ordeal of his son being kidnapped.
Rockies have the day off today and resume interleague play tomorrow against the AL Champion Tampa Bay Rays and a shot at extending their winning streak to 12 games.
It would be a bit of an understatement to say that the Rockies have had a less than stellar week. The Rockies have dropped their 4th straight loss, losing last night 6-4 to the Astros. Yorvit Torrealba leaves the team for personal reasons, while Chris Iannetta is still on the DL, leaving Phillips and Bellorin to handle the catching duties. Troy Tulowitzki has a hand injury and though the x-rays are negative, there is still swelling, so he hasnt been in the lineup. Garrett Atkins may be going down to Triple A. And depending on how you feel about it, the Rockies may be leaving Tucson for a shared spring training facility outside of Scottsdale with the Diamondbacks in 2011.
If Atkins is to go to Triple A, it needs to happen right away if for no other reason than to sooner boost his confidence hitting against lesser pitching. Atkins can’t afford to be afraid of Ian Stewart taking over at third in his absence whether temporary or permanent.
Tulo being out of the lineup is not a bad thing at the moment, though his batting average is better in May than in April, he’s still underperforming at the plate. Defensively Tulo will be missed, but Omar Quintanilla will see more time at either position be it shortstop or second base with Clint Barmes. If results of an MRI show more damage, then expect a brief rehab stint in Triple A for Tulowitzki.
Let’s all wish Yorvit Torrealba a speedy return from Venezuela.
I am a little torn about the Rockies leaving Tucson eventually. The economics of it all makes sense as to why it needs to happen. Though I’m probably one of a few, I like Tucson. I have a big problem with sharing a spring training facility, and an even bigger one sharing one with the Diamondbacks. But that’s not for me to decide, now is it?
Rockies finish up their 4 game series with the Astros tonight. The matchup is Jason Hammel (1-3) against Wandy Rodriguez (5-4).
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The Rockies suffered most of the afternoon partly to an inconsistent strike zone by home plate umpire Chris Guccione. The Padres Chad Gaudin threw for 9 strikeouts through 6 and a third innings and the Rockies were shutout through 6. The Padres Adrian Gonzalez hit his league leading 20th homerun off De La Rosa in the 3rd. The Rockies finally got on the board in the 7th with 2 RBIs from Torrealba and Tulowitzki. Helton and Stewart go 0 for 7 between them and Jorge De La Rosa falls to 0-6 on the season. One has to wonder how much longer will De La Rosa remain in the starting rotation?
Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers out there today!
Games 28 and 29 haven’t gone as expected for the Rockies. The Rockies best chance for a win comes this afternoon as the Rockies hope to take the final game of the 3 game series from the Marlins, with Aaron Cook (1-1) on the mound. Jorge De La Rosa did his part last evening striking out 12 over 8 innings, but the Rockies offense fell short losing 3-1 to the Marlins. The difference in the game was the Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who has become one of my favorite players to watch over the last season. Ramirez went 3 for 4 with 2 stolen bases, and RBI and scoring 2 runs.
Tulo came up with the only run for the Rockies on a RBI in the 8th scoring Dexter Fowler. It’s good to see Tulo improving at the plate, who’s currently batting .223 and going 2-4 last night and 4 for 8 with 3 RBIs in this series with the Marlins. Helton went 0 for 4 last night, grounding out to end the eighth with a runner in scoring position. He wasnt the only Rockies player to go 0-for last night, Atkins 0 for 3 and Ian Stewart 0 for 4, Iannetta and Torrealba o for 4 between them. The Rox have dropped their last 3 games and are 9 1/2 games out of first place.
The Rockies and all of Major League Baseball are honoring mothers today and also bringing awareness to the battle against breast cancer into focus with their annual use of pink bats today. Players will also wear pink wristbands and ribbons. Click here for more info on the Susan G. Komen foundation.
OK so I was wrong about it being a low scoring game. Who knew Randy Johnson would pitch so poorly? Maybe he was a little overconfident in looking for his 20 career victory over the Rockies, I dont know. Run support was more than plenty last night for the Rockies and they got on the scoreboard early and often. Ubaldo was outstanding to say the least. He was very efficient with his pitches and had great command.
What went right? Pitching, hitting, scoring. Rox were 4 for 9 in RISP, that 45% versus the Giants 0 for 5. Murton, Torrealba, and Helton all homered and accounted for 4 of the 11 runs scored. Fowler and Barmes accounted for 4 runs going 3 for 7 between them.
What went wrong? Other than Spilborghs and Atkins going 0 for 8, nothing.
Inside the Humidor game MVP is Ubaldo Jimenez.
Rockies can sweep the series this afternoon with Jason Marquis (4-1) going against Matt Cain (2-1) at 1:10 this afternoon.
THIS JUST IN: According to the Los Angeles Times, Manny Ramirez has been suspended for 50 games for a positive drug test. Story here.