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All of the talk about dropping Alex Rodriguez in the Yankees' batting order resulted in an unexpected outcome Wednesday night, as Joe Girardi's decision to pinch hit for A-Rod with Raul Ibanez paid off in grand fashion. Rodriguez is a sure-fire Hall of Famer and one of the greatest players of all time, but at this point in his career, he's not quite the player he once was. Should he expect to be replaced at critical junctures from now on, at least for the remainder of this postseason?


Which team wins?

The Orioles have come back from worse deficits than this in the regular season, but they can't be feeling good about their chances after Game 3.

SportsNation

Which team will win Game 4 of the Yankees-Orioles AL Division Series? (Yankees lead 2-1)

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    47%
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    53%

Discuss (Total votes: 56,508)

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Sid Bream, Aaron Boone and Dave Roberts will attest that it's not always the biggest names who make the plays that get teams to the World Series. But it doesn't hurt to have the big guns on your side. The bad news is SportsNation's picks for the NL MVP (Albert Pujols), AL MVP (Joe Mauer), NL Cy Young (Tim Lincecum) and AL CY Young (Zack Greinke) are all home watching on television. At least we've still got one of the Molina brothers.

Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle are looking for your rankings on the best remaining players for Thursday's "SportsNation" (ESPN2. 4 p.m. and midnight ET), but voters have already made it known who they would least want to face with the game on the line.

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Sometimes we all need a little extra space to vent. ESPN profiles give fans space to post their own blog entries and go toe-to-toe with commenters.

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Manny Ramirez isn't interested in providing answers about his past, and Raul Ibanez isn't happy a blogger offered one potential answer for his strong start.

At the same time Ramirez made his first public comments since being suspended for 50 games following a positive test for a banned substance, and refused to address the circumstances of the result, Ibanez found himself unwilling collateral damage. Without specifically accusing him, a post on the Midwest Sports Fan blog brought up performance enhancers as one explanation for the outfielder's home run prowess.

Is Ibanez justified in his anger at the speculation? Does baseball's recent history make any player fair game? Could both be true? Join the conversation about Ibanez.

YNWAReds

I have followed Raul's career since he was a utility player in Seattle, then a starter in KC and Back to Seattle as a starter. This guy is pure baseball. He is everything you would want in a ball player, humble, team player, locker room leader, and he does all of the fundamentals. He is a fastball hitter and it's well documented that you see more fastballs in the NL. Especially when you are surrounded by dangerous hitters like the Phillies have.

-- YNWAReds
kwelch1962

I didn't say his anger was an indictment. I said that we have seen guys act outraged before who were guilty. So his outrage is meaningless to me. Maybe he's clean, maybe he isn't. None of you know any more than that blogger did.

-- kwelch1962
Brooks (Texas)

How should Ibanez have responded to the bloggers saying he may have used steroids? Seems to me it's a damned if you do, damned if you don't type situation.

Mike Golic
Mike Golic

Baseball is in an era where all big numbers will be questioned. As hard as it is to ignore it, that's what he has to do. It's much easier said than done, though. This is a guilty until proven innocent era of baseball that many people just want to get past.

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