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The latest news from MLB-world ...
- The NL Wild Card race has tightened back up, but perhaps not with the teams we expected a month ago. The top two spots are currently held by the Atlanta Braves (with a healthy six game lead over the next team) and the St. Louis Cardinals. Those Cardinals have a 2.5 game lead over the ... Dodgers? ... Pirates? ... nope. The Brewers! A couple months after selling off at the Trade Deadline, the Brewers have been on fire, and are now five games over .500. That comes after the Brewers swept the Pirates, who actually led the Cardinals a few weeks ago, and now find themselves a game under .500 on the season. That is notable because, not only will the Pirates now almost certainly miss the playoffs, but they could also finish with their 20th straight losing season - something that seemed impossible last month. The Brewers, for their part, might not have an easy path to come back on the Cardinals: they play their next seven against the mighty Nationals and Reds, who may or may not put their best foot forward, having each essentially already clinched their division (though the two are still battling for best record).
- It was fair to assume that significant change was coming to the Marlins after an offseason spending spree resulted in a still-terrible team, and a report says long-time VP of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest, as well as GM Michael Hill, will be fired. Manager Ozzie Guillen is tentatively expected to survive the initial turnover.
- On the flip side, the White Sox are expected to do some promoting - with current GM Kenny Williams becoming president, and Assistant GM Rick Hahn being promoted to GM. It's a move that has been discussed for a few years now, particularly as Hahn's name came up in GM discussions across baseball. The White Sox don't want to lose him.
- MLB has locked in about $1.5 billion in national TV deals annually for its teams, meaning that each will have about an extra $50 million a year coming into its coffers over the next eight to ten years. Remember that when you see a team with a payroll near or under $50 million. They've all got local TV deals, too.
- FanGraphs has done the research, and 2012's most unhittable pitch by a starting pitcher is ... Stephen Strasburg's changeup. Good luck dealing with that, playoff teams! ... oh.
- The trailer for "42," a film about Jackie Robinson is now available for your viewing pleasure.
- The Colorado Rockies, presently the coldest team in baseball, had a bit of a public relations oopsie when they refused to let a local radio station interview Roberto Clemente Award nominee Michael Cuddyer. Apparently it isn't their first oopsie.