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Balls & Strikes

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THE NUMBERS GAME

13-0 The Los Angeles Dodgers' record at home this year, eclipsing the Major League record set by the 1911 Detroit Tigers.

31-7 The Dodgers' home record since acquiring outfielder Manny Ramirez late last season.

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50 The number of games Ramirez is now suspended after a doping violation.

3 Number of outs recorded on one play, by the Arizona Diamondbacks against the Dodgers Monday night. It was the second triple-play this season but the first at Dodgers Stadium in 11 years.

1907 Cracker Jack is first sold at a Major League ball game.

1908 Jack Norworth writes Take Me Out to the Ball Game and gives the manufacturer of Cracker Jack a gift that keeps on giving today.

 

FOUL BALL

All the talk about the new unauthorized biography of Alex Rodriguez concerns author Selena Roberts' revelations about Rodriguez's use of steroids.

But perhaps even more interesting -- because it has received much less media attention -- is Roberts' allegation that Rodriguez tipped off opposing batters to what his pitcher was going to throw them when Rodriguez was playing for the Texas Rangers.

Major League Baseball officials have launched an investigation into the allegation that Rodriguez, in the late innings of blowout games, would tip off opposing batters what pitch was coming on the understanding they'd also tip him off -- a scheme that seemed designed to pad batting statistics.

Roberts alleges that Rodriguez, from his perch at shortstop, had different signals for a fastball, breaking ball and change-up and would signal batters during his pitcher's windup.

There have been rumblings for years among Rangers insiders about the practice, but no one has ever publicly made the allegation before. Roberts alleges only a few Rangers players were aware of the practice and they were mad about it. Former Ranger player Shane Spencer told Roberts he'd heard the same rumour.

 

THE WIRE

Former Blue Jays star Roberto Alomar settles lawsuit with former girlfriend; woman had alleged Alomar had unprotected sex with her even though he had AIDS; Alomar has said that he is in "very good health."

Mother of Yankees hurler Joba Chamberlain arrested for allegedly selling methamphetamine to narc; Asked about it this week, Chamberlain responds: "You've only got one mom, man, and you've got to be thankful for her... I still love her."

Yankees lose fifth game in a row to the Red Sox this season; first time they've opened 0-5 against the Sox since 1985; "We know why," says Yanks outfielder Johnny Damon. "They outplayed us, they out-pitched us... At this point in the season, they're a better team than we are."

Super-agent Scott Boras wants the World Series expanded to a best-of-nine, with the first two games to be played at a neutral site as part of a weekend baseball gala; "I want the World Series in Pittsburgh, Texas, Seattle. Teams in those markets would sell more season tickets."

Goldeyes announce all 48 home games this season will be televised live at ibnsports.com; 23 home games will also be televised on Shaw TV.

 

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