Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Games Are Meaningless, but the News Isn't

- The Astros fired Cecil Cooper with only 13 games remaining in the season. Not a surprise I guess. Cooper seems like a good guy, and owner Drayton McLain is very loyal, but the change was made regardless. GM Ed Wade has to know that his head will be the next to roll if the team does not improve significantly.

- The Cubs sent Milton Bradley home for the remainder of the 2009 season. The good news is that he's still got two years and $21 million owed to him by the Cubs. Which begs the question... who didn't see that one coming? Bradley's spectacular flameout in Chicago underscores even further what a great fit Raul Ibanez, the other 30-something outfielder on the free agent market last off-season, has been for the Phillies.

- The Twins ratcheted up the pressure on Detroit just a smidge more with a 7-0 win over the White Sox on Monday night. Minnesota sits only 2.5 games behind the Tigers now, with a huge four-game set still remaining between the two teams starting next Monday.

- Joe Saunders and the Angels kept the Yankees from wrapping up a playoff spot for at least another day, as Saunders pitched into the ninth in the Halos' 5-2 win over the Bronx Bombers on Monday night. Clinching playoff spots is a mere formality for both of these teams, however, and it's a matchup I'd be far more interested in three weeks from now instead of right now.

- Kevin Millwood hit statistical markers in his contract that will trigger a $12 million deal tying him to the Rangers for 2010. Too bad for the Rangers. Millwood has always had conditioning issues, and seemingly has a reputation bigger than his actual performance. Since leaving Atlanta after 2002, Millwood has been a bit of a baseball vagabond, shuffling from one non-playoff team to another.

- Joe Posnanski agrees with my summation of the MLB pennant races with only a week and a half left in the regular season.

-Scott Lauber of the Wilmington (DE) News Journal reports via Twitter that Scott Eyre is ready to pitch in games, which gives the Phillies one legitimate lefthanded reliever. The Phils still await the return of J.C. Romero from a forearm strain.

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