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Detroit Tigers vs. San Francisco Giants: Team Grades from World Series Game 3

Three games into the 2012 World Series, it looks like barring a complete miracle, the Series is already over. The San Francisco Giants are one game away from winning it all after beating the Detroit Tigers, 2-0.

The game ended up being a pitcher’s duel, with Ryan Vogelsong and Anibal Sanchez controlling things. The Giants were able to get just enough successive hits to allow them to win.

The grades for each team’s hitting, pitching and fielding make the two teams seem somewhat evenly matched this game, even though that was not the case. All that mattered in the end was the win, which the Giants have.

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Grading All Key MLB Trade Deadline Deals 1 Month In

Baseball is a game of risks late in the season. When a team makes a big-time deadline deal, it could either go extremely well or terribly. Those that merely play average baseball tend not to be the major deadline deals anyway.

A week after the deadline I took a look at the traded players and came away unimpressed. That is, of course, a small sample size. How do they fare when that sample size is widened to a month?

Some have done well after getting used to their surroundings, but others have mightily struggled.

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MLB: Up-and-Coming Managers Who Could Lead Their Clubs to the Playoffs

It seems like every year at least one manager brings his team to the playoffs out of nowhere. Buck Showalter in particular looks to do that this year, though in his case he’s been around and knows how to get it done.

For new managers, it’s far more surprising if they are able to work with a team so well so quickly. Who saw Kirk Gibson and the Arizona Diamondbacks making a run last year?

It will happen again this year, and it can happen over the next couple years as well. Here are a few relatively new, up-and-coming managers who can get it done.

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MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Recap and Grades for Every Deal

After months of MLB trade rumors and speculation, the trade deadline is now over. Players who were expected to move stayed on their own teams, and players who completely slipped by all the trade rumors were shipped out.

As a result, as is the case every year, the landscape of baseball looks different. Which teams made great moves to push themselves to the playoffs and which teams stocked up on solid prospects?

For that matter, which teams completely whiffed at the deadline? Each deal will be graded on both sides to figure this out. Trades from July 30 and 31 will be evaluated.

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Ubaldo Jimenez Traded to Indians: 5 Reasons They Gave Up Way Too Much

The Cleveland Indians have surprisingly made the biggest splash of this year’s MLB trade deadline. It was tough to say whether they were going to pull off a trade or stick with what they have, but clearly they have shown that they would rather win now by trading for Ubaldo Jimenez.

The Indians acquire Jimenez in exchange for pitchers Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Joseph Gardner and first baseman Matt McBride. As an Indians fan, I’m not used to being on this side of the trade market, but it was exciting to see the trade go down.

Having said that though, this was not the trade the Indians should have made if they’re that focused on winning. It’s a mistake that could cause trouble, and here’s why.

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Roy Oswalt Video: Phillies Pitcher Gets Hit in Head by Manny Ramirez Line Drive

When you go through Spring Training, you don’t expect to have to see players go down due to injury. Nonetheless, it does happen, and when it’s a line drive right back to the pitcher, it’s always a very concerning moment, since you worry if the pitcher’s going to be alright.

Such a situation happened today in an exhibition game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Tampa Bay Rays. Roy Oswalt was facing Manny Ramirez in the bottom of the fourth inning. Ramirez hit the ball right back to Oswalt, and he went down.

While the video looked like he was hit in the upper back, the slowed down replay showed he was instead hit behind the ear, on the neck. He was able to get up on his own power, and didn’t look to have any serious aftereffects from the shot.

He was taken to a hospital, and X-rays done were negative. Oswalt also noted that he did not suffer from any dizziness or concussion symptoms, though he did end up with a neck bruise.

The big story here is, of course, that a crisis was averted. Shots like that can go badly so easily, and he could have ended up with a concussion or even a broken neck had it hit slightly over.

There are probably some people out there that want to blame Manny Ramirez for the shot, but that would just be foolish. One can’t magically dictate exactly where a ball is going to go when they hit it, so I would hope no one really believe that was meant to happen.

It’s too early to tell if Oswalt will miss any time as a result of this, though I would imagine his preseason is over just to be on the safe side. After all, we know he’s going to be one of the stars in the rotation, so he might as well look forward to that.

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Fantasy Baseball: Is Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera Worth the Risk?

Should Miguel Cabrera Be a Fantasy Baseball First-Round Pick Despite Off-the-field Issues?

The Detroit Tigers had a big issue to deal with in the offseason after Miguel Cabrera’s arrest. Now that seems done, as Cabrera has quietly been productive during this year’s Spring Training. Does this mean that he should be taken in the first round without question?

Unless, you’re drafting first and taking Pujols, absolutely. Yes, Cabrera had his personal demons in the offseason, but at least he manages to keep those issues in the offsesaon. Besides, if you look at his stats then there’s no reason not to pick him up.

Every year, he either gets near .300 or passes it without a problem, he’s never went under 24 HR or 100 RBI in a full season, or 30 doubles for that matter. His plate discipline is getting batter as well, as evident by 86 walks and 95 strikeouts last year, the closest those two numbers have been.

Because of all the issues, there’s a possibility that he could slide down the rankings, possibly even out of the top five or first round if you’re in a small league. Yes, if he is mandated to miss games it could be a problem, but if we’re going by talent then he should be taken second overall.

He’s being touted as a high-risk, high-reward guy, but I still find the first part hard to believe. When the fantasy draft starts, if he’s available, pick him up. It’s no more complicated than that.

Fantasy Baseball: Is Boston’s Carl Crawford a Top Five Pick?

Fantasy Baseball Projections Have Carl Crawford in Top Five, But is This Right?

The Boston Red Sox made a huge move in Carl Crawford, and fantasy owners know entirely why they wanted to pick up a player like this. He is easily ranked as one of the top outfielders due to a nice enough home run and RBI count, as well as great marks in stolen bases and batting average.

Is he, however, a no-brainer in the top five? since many leagues use the roto format, having a guy that can rack up the triples and stolen bases is in fact very valuable, especially since the players who knock a good number of home runs will still be available in later rounds.

On top of that, Crawford had a career year for Tampa Bay last year, finishing the year with a career high .OPS. While I would expect that to sink a bit, since he won’t hit as many home runs in Fenway, but his triples should remain high.

ESPN’s Fantasy Projections have him ranked third: “You know what you’re getting with him, and you know it will be business as usual. His legs are as good as ever, and he’s as safe a bet as speedsters come.”

The key with Crawford is that even if his other stats take a dip, Boston’s lineup is so powerful that he’ll still have a great RBI total to do along with whatever he’s putting up, so having him as your selection is you’re picking around fifth really is not a bad move.

Barry Bonds, Adrian Gonzalez, Fantasy Baseball and Wednesday’s Top MLB News

There are now only eight days and change until MLB‘s Opening Day, and at this time, the Opening Day starters are being decided on, lineups are being finalized and 2010 award winners from last year are starting to get hot.

Of course, the big story related to MLB is the Barry Bonds trial, and we will see what has happened now that his trainer has refused to testify. Also, Adrian Gonzalez’s agent is scheduled to meet with Red Sox management in hopes of ironing out a contract extension. Will they get close to one?

What else is happening in the world of baseball as Opening Day nears? Will Giants closer Brian Wilson be ready to go? Is Jake Peavy’s recovery on the right track? Why is Derek Jeter being considered for the leadoff spot?

All of today’s MLB news can be found right here as it comes in.

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Albert Pujols, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Nyjer Morgan and Monday’s MLB Trade Rumors

With only a couple weeks until opening day, teams are concentrating on finalizing their lineups and rotations. While that usually means that teams are deciding between a few players for a couple positions, it can also mean that players will be traded even though the season is to start soon.

The usual suspects seem to be making the rounds in current MLB trade rumors. Albert Pujols’ name has been popping up since the Adam Wainwright injury, and will probably continue to do so until the trade deadline; is there any chance at all he goes anywhere?

Beyond that, others such as Nyjer Morgan have likely been shopped around, yet remain with their own teams. Will they still be there on opening day, or could they be traded right before the season is set to start?

All the latest MLB Trade Rumors will be touched on today as they come in through the wire.

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