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MLB’s 10 Most Amazing & Bizarre No-Hitters Ever

Matt Garza gave the Tampa Bay Rays’ history book its first no-hitter Monday in a 5-0 victory over the Detroit Tigers.

Garza became the fifth pitcher to throw a “no-no” in 2010, and the 268th to throw one all-time.

Although his no-hitter is an amazing feat, Garza’s complete game will not likely go down as one of the most interesting pitching performances ever.

The following is a look at some of the more surprising, perhaps crazier no-hitters and perfect games to have ever been thrown on a Major League mound.

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2010 MLB Trade Rumors: Should The Cardinals Pursue Dan Haren?

The St. Louis Cardinals rallied to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-4 Sunday, completing only their second sweep this year. 

Although the Cards won their last two games using statistically non-threatening starters in Jeff Suppan and Blake Hawksworth, they could still use some reinforcements for their injury-ridden starting rotation. 

Kyle Lohse and Brad Penny will not likely contribute much more (if at all) to the Cards’ 2010 season, and wins still are not guaranteed from aces Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, and rookie sensation Jaime Garcia. 

So to where will the Cards turn for help?

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch, the Cardinals could feasibly add Arizona Diamondbacks’ starter Dan Haren. 

Haren, 29, is having a rough year in Arizona, but has the potential to manufacture a winning season providing he joins a playoff-bound team. The Cards know Haren would be an improvement to their rotation—the right-hander proved he had talent when he pitched for the Redbirds in 2003 and 2004. 

Haren further showed he was a threat on the mound after the Cardinals traded him in 2005—he had a great year with the Oakland Athletics, going 14-12 with 3.73 ERA.

Now the Cardinals are thinking about regaining this lost talent—but the big issues lie in the bank and in the future. Planning the Cards’ budget is a tough task for the front office, especially considering the talent that already exists in St. Louis. 

But regardless of how much Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright and Yadier Molina make after next year, there should be room for another big ticket player. 

But this high-profile player will not come to St. Louis for free, and this sparks the question: Who do the Cardinals trade to get Haren? 

Here are a few options:


Minor League Pitchers —The Diamondbacks need pitching, so losing Haren will require quick, preferably young replacements. The Cardinals have some players that could fit the bill in AAA in P.J. Walters, Evan Maclane and Adam Ottavino.


Rookie Position Players —This option is less feasible. The Cards are going to need their young talent during the next few years—they won’t be able to afford anything else. 

David Freese should be the starting third baseman next year, and Jon Jay should play center or right field. Tyler Greene has shown some serious talent recently, and he should stay with the Cards, too.

The only player who doesn’t need to stay in St. Louis is Joe Mather. But who wants a player who can’t hit above the Mendoza line?


Veteran Position Players —This option could work. Young talent is surfacing right-and-left in St. Louis, and veteran talent is proving to be unpredictable. 

The Cards could stand to lose Ryan Ludwick, the 32-year-old injured right fielder whose paycheck is scheduled to increase within the next few years. 

But who would buy damaged goods right now?

Other options include Aaron Miles and Nick Stavinoha (who’s not exactly a veteran).


Who the Cards give up for reinforcement pitching is a mystery right now, but the 2010 MLB trade deadline is steadily approaching.  

Most likely, the Cardinals will lose young talent—the very thing that happened when the Redbirds traded Haren to the Athletics in ’05 could easily happen again: The Cards will trade young talent for veteran talent, only to find out their young talent was better than they expected.  

Regardless of what happens, the Cards need help if they want to clinch the NL Central again. And pitching will be the key.

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HELP! The Best St. Louis Cardinal Late Season Additions

The St. Louis Cardinals know a mid-season drought should only be temporary—injuries, slumps, and the like are issues every ballclub encounters.

Although they boast a strong lineup on paper, the Cardinals are in trouble at the 2010 season midpoint: Two starting pitchers and an All-Star outfielder are injured, and the Redbirds’ big bats have yet to live up to their potentials.

An obvious cure for injury and lack of performance is to go to the bench, but sometimes the bench simply cannot get the job done. So, franchises make larger adjustments—they make trades.

These mid-to-late-season transactions sometimes turn out to make the difference—the right pitcher can win a World Series game, the right pinch hitter can score a winning run.

The 2010 Cardinals need one of these late-season guys, and they need him soon.

If the Cardinals want to regain the lead on the NL Central, they’re going to need more than luck.

The following is a look at some of the players who have had a huge impact on the Cardinal ballclub during the second half of the season.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Could the St. Louis Cardinals Trade Albert Pujols?

Albert Pujols’ 2011 free agency is quietly tunneling its way into the subconscious of every person in St. Louis, creating an anxiety for Cardinal fans that comes with the idea of losing their most coveted player. 

To many St. Louisans, the term “Albert Pujols trade” would sound like nothing more than a stupid joke or poorly executed April Fools prank. 

But to the Cardinals faithful , trading the nine-time All-Star seems logical.  

After all, the 31-year-old slugger is having a horrible season. 

At the season’s midpoint, Pujols is hitting .308 (tenth in MLB) with 21 home runs (second in MLB) and 64 RBIs (fifth in MLB).  “The Machine” is quite clearly a little rusty—last year, he finished .327.  

Although his 2010 numbers are below average (by his own standards), Pujols’ prestige as one of MLB’s best is by no means fading. 

So, the contract required to satisfy the celebrated first baseman after 2011 must be every bit as spectacular as the back of his baseball card. 

To put simply, Pujols’ contract must fulfill the following:

  1. It must be the highest St. Louis Cardinals salary to date.
  2. It must be more impressive than that of the Philadelphia Phillies’ Ryan Howard.
  3. It must keep Pujols out of trade conversations until after 2011.

Satisfying the above requirements should not be terribly daunting for Cardinal General Manager John Mozeliak—the Cardinals have money, and for now, they have young talent.  

Rookies Jaime Garcia and David Freese have been impressive this year, and sophomore center fielder Colby Rasmus is on track to be a long-term asset to the Cardinals.

Eventually, the Cards will have to pay these rising stars, and the budget will be tight when an overwhelmingly large Pujols contract surfaces after next year.

Regardless of where Pujols’ numbers end up at the end of this year, the Cardinals number one priority will be keeping their slugger. 

Hall of Fame outfielder Stan Musial spent his entire career with the Cardinals—so will Pujols. 

St. Louis Cardinals fans are by no means fair-weather people: they will support Pujols whether he is having a “bad year” or a “Pujols year.” 

Whoever makes up the rest of the Cardinals’ lineup the next ten years is a mystery—to most, it simply does not matter.

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On The Heels Of a Giant: When Albert Pujols Passes Stan Musial

St. Louis has been home to many of MLB’s greatest players, including Bob Gibson, Lou Brock and Ozzie Smith. 

But no player is more revered in St. Louis history than “Stan-the-Man” Musial. 

Stan-the-Man finished his career with a .331 batting average, 475 home runs, 1951 RBIs and 3630 hits.  He went to 24 All-Star games, won three World Series, and earned the NL MVP three times. 

Although he has long been the most storied St. Louis Cardinals baseball player, Musial’s shoes will be filled within the next 10 years, or perhaps even five, by Albert Pujols. 

“The Machine” is currently chipping away at his 10th season as a St. Louis Cardinal, and is already within 100 home runs of Musial, who played 22 seasons. 

To date, Pujols has 385 home runs, 1170 RBIs and a career .333 batting average. 

So will Pujols’ passing of Musial make him the greatest player of the 21st century? 

Not necessarily.

Provided he stays healthy, Pujols will be what people thought Ted Williams could have been had he not missed years of playing time serving in the military, what Ken Griffey Jr. could have been had he not suffered injuries that kept him from putting up freakish career numbers. 

But “provided” and “if” do little to comfort fans. 

Pujols will have to simply play as though records don’t exist, as if every game depends solely on him in order to be crowned greatest ever. 

And what’s more important? 

Winning World Series as a member of a great team, or building a bigger personal trophy case as the years progress?

Pujols already has a World Series ring, something titans like Barry Bonds and Griffey Jr. cannot boast. 

How fans view Pujols in the next ten years will be interesting. It seems as though the Machine has already done everything a player can hope to do in his career: hit a ton of home runs, win awards, win World Series rings. 

Will fans continue to back Pujols when he gets a little older?  What will happen if Pujols only hits 500 home runs, only gets 3000 hits? 

Will fans be satisfied with anything but the greatest player ever?

Only time will tell.  For now, we can all just sit back and say “wow” every time Pujols does what he does best: be himself.


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Who Knew? Five MLB Teams Playing Far Better Than Expected

Preseason predictions rarely mean very much in any sport—rarely do professional sports teams play exactly the way they “should” on paper.

This year, some of Major League Baseball’s most unlikely suspects have emerged from the depths of their divisions to challenge standing powerhouses for spots in the playoffs.

Granted, the MLB season is long—162 games long. Things fluctuate throughout: The Yankees drop to third in the standings, rise back to first; the Cardinals yield first place for a few days, gain it back, lose it, win it again—overall, the entire season is a roller coaster.

Although there is no telling which teams will be at the top of their divisions at the end of the season, there is some validity in scratching your head when you see a few teams currently leading or strongly competing for their divisions.

Here is a brief analysis of those teams.

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Dollars and Sense: The Top MLB Lineups by Salary, Value

Major League Baseball has no salary cap—it’s a no-limits game of dollars and contracts, peppered here and there with surprising and inexpensive talent.

Ballclubs hang on to young talent as long as possible before they have to pay their rising stars the big bucks.

This phenomenon is all-too-familiar to teams like the Toronto Blue Jays, who no longer have Roy Halladay leading their starting rotation.

But highest salary does not always mean most talented.

Some teams, like the Florida Marlins, can still win a World Series on a tight budget.

Value is key–some players simply provide for their teams a true “more-bang-for-your-buck” situation.

The following is an analysis of MLB’s highest paid players, and MLB’s best value players.

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St. Louis Cardinals-Oakland Athletics: Cards Host A’s In Interleague Showdown

After yet another near-sweep of a relatively weak team, the Seattle Mariners this time, the St. Louis Cardinals continue their quest for dominance in interleague play. 

St. Louis looks to recapture first place in the NL Central this weekend against the Oakland Athletics. 

The Cardinals haven’t enjoyed much success on their California trips this year. They went 1-2 against the San Francisco Giants, 1-2 against the San Diego Padres, and 0-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

Now, the Cards look to defend home base as they host manager Tony La Russa’s former team. 

Unlike the Giants and Padres, the A’s have relatively average pitching. 

Ben Sheets, the Athletics’ 10-million-dollar man, is 2-6 with a 4.93 ERA. Rookie right-hander Vin Mazzaro is 2-1 with a 4.81 ERA. Right-hander Trevor Cahill has had the most success as a starter—he’s 6-2 with a 3.23 ERA.

On paper, sweeping the A’s does not seem to be an insurmountable task for the Cardinals. But as the first half of the season indicates, things don’t always go according to plan. 

To get the sweep, the Cardinals have to do more than just pitch well.

An adjusted batting order is a good start—La Russa switched Ryan Ludwick and Matt Holliday in the lineup, a move that proved successful in the team’s 9-3 victory over the Mariners Monday. 

Young fielders Colby Rasmus and David Freese have both been on hot streaks, which also helps. 

The two have hit a combined .462 this week. 

Overall, there are few predictions to be made before this series. The Cardinals are statistically better than the A’s, but the two ball clubs have not faced each other yet this year.

The Cards need to at least win the series against Oakland. The Cincinnati Reds currently hold a half-game lead in the NL Central going into their weekend series with the Mariners. 

Even one loss against the A’s could hurt St. Louis in the division race.

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2010 MLB All-Star Game: Who Should Pitch in the Battle of the Best?

On July 13, MLB’s best players will take a break from their normal schedules to square off at Angel Stadium in the 81st Midsummer Classic.

Fans have been voting for their favorite position players for quite some time: Albert Pujols is the obvious pick for NL first baseman, and Joe Mauer is the overwhelming favorite for AL catcher.

Baseball worshipers hope to see their teams’ leaders hit the long ball every time they enter the batter’s box.

But who will pitch to these super sluggers?

That part of the whole shebang is up to All-Star managers Charlie Manuel and Joe Girardi.

So who will they choose? Will they pick deserving veterans or intriguing young guns?

Odds are they’ll choose both.

Here is a list of whom we should actually expect to see on the mound.

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Barry Bonds Legal Battle: Does HR King Have The Best Lawyers Since OJ?

Home run records holder and alleged steroid user Barry Bonds, earned a major win Friday when a federal appeals court ruled prosecutors could not use drug tests and doping calendars in the former All-Star’s ongoing perjury case. 

Bonds’ case went to the ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after a lower court ruled the government could not directly tie blood and urine samples to the retired slugger. 

In order to legitimize the drug tests from 2000 and 2001, the government has to get Greg Anderson, Bonds’ former trainer, to testify.  Anderson will likely keep quiet; he has already been to jail multiple times for steroid distribution.  

The court decision is frustrating for both the U.S. Government and baseball fans. 

Unlike Mark McGwire, whose admittance to using performance-enhancing drugs has allowed his fans to start a necessary healing process, Bonds is stuck in legal limbo, where his image as a potential Hall of Fame inductee has been severely diminished.

Although the court ruling greatly helps the Bonds case, it does little for Bonds’ future. 

Sports analysts, fans and the like have already begun adding asterisks to Bonds’ 73rd and 762nd home run records in conversation, and most San Francisco Giants enthusiasts have chosen to put Bonds behind them and cling to young (and skinny) pitcher Tim Lincecum.

So where will Bonds be in five years?  Will he be finishing a five-year prison sentence for having pleaded guilty to multiple counts of making false statements under oath?


Bonds has the kind of legal backing that could disprove gravity if it was so inclined.  Plus, steroid litigation is a relatively new and delicate subject to the U.S. court system. 

Although he will probably not spend any time in prison, Bonds will spend many years on the Hall of Fame ballot. 

It’s no question Bonds was already a Hall of Fame caliber player before steroids, but the refusal to give Bonds baseball’s highest honor will not be a fallacy.

Bonds, like Pete Rose, may just have to spend the rest of his life on the chopping block, to serve America’s past time as an example of athletic wrongdoing, instead of athletic greatness.

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