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GM's Office: Joe Maddon is players' choice

It's no secret that Joe Maddon has a winning touch as a manager. What fuels his success in the dugout? We asked. The Cubs' skipper answered.

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12hDavid Schoenfield

Thursday's power rankings

Among Thursday's highlights: Jose Fernandez wins in his first start 13 months after Tommy John surgery, and Scott Kazmir stifles Seattle.

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SweetSpot TV: The Non-Star team (3:13)
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Nationals getting what they wanted from Scherzer (1:04)

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Tim Hudson to DL in series of moves

The Giants will be without the veteran righty for 15 days with a right shoulder strain. Among San Francisco's other moves today:

  • RHP Jake Peavy reinstated from DL
  • 1B Travis Ishikawa DFA'd
  • OF Ryan Lollis called up from Triple-A

Full day of MLB on ESPN

Get a jump on your holiday weekend with a full slate of games today:

  • 2:10 p.m. ET: Marlins at Cubs (ESPN2)
  • 6 p.m. ET: Giants at Nationals (ESPN)
  • 10 p.m. ET: Mets at Dodgers (ESPN)

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Mets' flight makes unscheduled landing

New York's charter flight landed in Detroit on Thursday night because a media member traveling with the team had a health issue, sources told ESPN. The media member stayed behind for medical attention while the team resumed its trip west to L.A.

Central picks for DFS lineups

Building around ace Clayton Kershaw, who faces the light-hitting Mets, is a no-brainer. But did you know O's OF Nolan Reimold has owned lefties this season? He gets an ideal matchup vs. southpaw John Danks. Today's building blocks

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

SportsCenter's Not Top Plays

Not a great week for catching pop flies in MLB ... but not sure anyone can top Shaq trying to drive the ball off the tee.

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Who is MLB's best manager?

We surveyed 50 scouts, front-office executives, coaches and media analysts to find the answer. At the top? The man who has three World Series rings in five seasons in San Francisco. Survey says

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Look Ma, one hand!

Carolina Mudcats SS Reed Harper didn't even need a glove for this over-the-shoulder catch.

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A-Rod to get ball from 3,000th hit today

Zack Hample, the fan who caught Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit June 19, will present the ball to A-Rod today at 5:30 ET. In exchange, the Yankees will donate $150K to a charity that Hample has supported since 2009. Along with the donation, the Yanks will give Hample memorabilia, tickets and other perks.

Corey Sipkin/NY Daily News/Getty Images

Pedro Gomez: 'No surprise' on A-Rod ball

"[Zack Hample] is known as somebody who is a collector of baseballs. ... He's somebody that has put himself out there in the news and what a way to raise money for charity."

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Olney: Jeez Mets, do something!

Over the past 17 days, the Mets have scored 23 runs. In their past 14 games, they've scored more than two runs just twice, and have fallen to .500 (40-40). Buster Olney says the Wilpons and GM Sandy Alderson don't have to pull a Troy Tulowitzki-level blockbuster. But they have to do something. Some ideas (Insider)

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OTD: Cloninger hits two grand slams

On this date 49 years ago, pitcher Tony Cloninger of the Atlanta Braves hit two grand slams in a win against the Giants. He is the only pitcher to accomplish the feat.

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The kids are all right

Baseball is going through one of its biggest youth movements ever. Plus, FiveThirthyEight found that players aged 33 and up have produced only 24 Wins Above Replacement so far this year, on pace for the second-lowest total of the past quarter century. Future is now

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Dodgers pick up pitching help

The Dodgers have signed Trevor Cahill to a minor league contract, according to MLB's website. He had a 7.52 ERA in 15 appearances for the Braves this season.

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How the Cubs landed Addison Russell

This weekend last year, the Cubs got the prospect from the A's. Said Theo Epstein: "[Billy] Beane and I re-connected sometime in mid-June and he said he wouldn't do Russell for just [Jeff] Samardzija. He asked if there was a way to get Samardzija without Russell? We said no." Then what?

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Mets' season is crumbling

Buster Olney is astounded that "the Mets' decision-makers are idly standing by, like firemen watching a burning building with the hoses and axes stowed away on the truck" as its pitching staff continues to get no support. Help needed (Insider)

A-Rod: 'I'll walk to Cincinnati'

Alex Rodriguez badly wants All-Star appearance No. 15, telling ESPN's Wallace Matthews: "I would walk there, like the guy who walked to Yankee Stadium. I would walk to Cincinnati," adding "It's every player's dream to make the All-Star Game. I'm not an exception to that." He's currently in 5th place among DHs. Vote for ESPYS Best Comeback athlete

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Yankees won't get Ellsbury back yet

Jacoby Ellsbury, out for six weeks with a knee sprain, won't come off the DL today after missing another rehab game Thursday. Said GM Brian Cashman: "He's going through a spring training-like progression. With all the sprints and work, he is going through, he is slowly getting his legs back."

Scherzer worth every penny to the Nats

Pedro Gomez says that Max Scherzer's value to the Nationals goes beyond his ridiculous numbers because he's single-handedly keeping the bullpen fresh.

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Max Scherzer's incredible run

The Nats RHP threw his third complete game in his last four starts Thursday. Prior to that, he had one complete game in 210 career starts. During those four starts, he has allowed a total of 11 hits and four runs while striking out 42 and walking one.

AP Photo/John Bazemore