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Edinson Volquez made an incredible no-look grab to snag ground ball (Video)

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. That’s the best way to describe the play made by Edinson Volquez’s during the first inning of Tuesday’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Detroit Tigers.

edinson-volquez-no-look-grabWith runners on first and third, Victor Martinez hit a shot back up the middle that looked destined to get past Volquez. That is, until the Pirates pitcher waved his left arm behind him. Not only did the ball find its way into Volquez’s glove, he had the presence of mind to get Ian Kinsler caught between third base and home plate.

Despite appearing to experience discomfort afterward, Edinson Volquez remained in the game to toss six innings and pick up his tenth victory of the season. He also probably guaranteed himself a spot in SportsCenter’s Top 10.

Buck Showalter wants to give Derek Jeter Jeffrey Maier photo as retirement gift

Buck Showalter has the best idea of all when it comes to retirement gifts for Derek Jeter.

Much like what happened with Mariano Rivera last year, Jeter has been receiving retirement gifts from teams upon visiting them for the last time in his career.

Showalter, who was Jeter’s first manager with the Yankees and is the current manager of the Baltimore Orioles, suggested commemorating one of the most controversial moments of the shortstop’s career.

Jeffrey Maier play

“I would give him a big picture of the home run,” Showalter told reporters Monday before the Orioles beat the Yankees, via the Washington Post. “Well, it wasn’t a home run. We know that. That’s what I’d give him. A big picture and have the whole Baltimore Orioles team sign it. That’s a good idea. That’s cheap, too, right? Make it in bronze or something. Not that we remember that at all.”

It sounds like Showalter was just joking, but that’s pretty funny and wouldn’t be a bad idea as a gag gift.

Showalter also downplayed the greatness of Jeter’s “flip play” in the playoffs against the Oakland A’s.

“Everyone’s saying it’s a great play, but that’s where he’s supposed to be,” Showalter said. “But at the time, I remember (former first-base coach Brian Butterfield) and I talked about it, and Butter said, ‘He’s actually two steps tardy.’”

Showalter still praised Jeter for having excellent vision and instincts despite being critical of the flip play. He probably needs to have a conversation with Bobby Valentine, who once said Jeter was out of position on the play. Hmm, Bobby Valentine or Buck Showalter, whom should we believe ….?

Cubs fan makes great catch on homer, switches it and throws another ball back (Video)

Cubs-fan-catchAn elderly fan that was sitting in the Wrigley Field bleachers during the Chicago Cubs-Milwaukee Brewers game on Monday went from being just another spectator to owning the night in a matter of seconds. It all started with a great catch on a Mark Reynolds home run.

If you are going to wear a glove to the ballpark, you might as well turn in a Web Gem. This white-haired gentleman did just that to keep the ball in the stadium, but it was what he did after his awesome catch that impressed me the most.

Not wanting to give off the impression that he was excited to have a home run ball that came off the bat of the enemy, the guy quickly switched the ball for a dummy ball and threw the dummy ball back. You could tell it wasn’t the ball Reynolds hit because it was so filthy, but I’m sure most people didn’t notice. That was an all-time boss move.

Justin Verlander had ‘worst stuff’ of his career before shoulder injury

Justin VerlanderJustin Verlander pitched just one inning for the Detroit Tigers against the Pittsburgh Pirates Monday night before being removed with shoulder discomfort. Manager Brad Ausmus said Verlander wanted to stay in the game but there was no sense risking injury when his “delivery looked different.” His pitches looked pretty bad, too.

Despite not wanting to exit after giving up four earned runs in one inning, Verlander admitted he had no command over his pitches.

“Warming up, it didn’t feel great,” he said, via Tom Gage of The Detroit News. “Then it started loosening up. When I got on the mound, there were no sharp pains but the ball wasn’t coming out of my hand good at all.

“I was throwing 88 or 90, the worst stuff of my career. I told Brad I wanted to go back out there and would let him know if it got worse. But he said that was the end of my night. It’s been lingering for a little while, but I didn’t think I’d be risking anything more by going back out there.”

The Tigers lost 11-6 and fell into second place after the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland A’s. Detroit has been in first since June 19, but there are still a lot of games remaining in the regular season. Had this been a postseason game, Ausmus probably would have let Verlander stay in.

“After watching him, I didn’t want to risk him getting seriously injured,” Ausmus explained. “His delivery looked different. My gut told me something was bothering him. I was immediately worried from the start of the game.”

Verlander has not been right all season. He is 10-11 with a 4.76 ERA coming off offseason sports hernia surgery. Miguel Cabrera, who had the same procedure done as Verlander, said last month that both have been struggling to regain their form. Cabrera seems to be having an easier time with it than Verlander.

With David Price now in the mix, the Tigers could have the best postseason rotation in baseball if healthy. Verlander seems to be struggling with the health thing at the moment.

Giancarlo Stanton hits another 470-foot home run (Video)

Giancarlo-Stanton-home-runGiancarlo Stanton has hit five home runs in his last five games. The 24-year-old phenom is on a tear at the plate, and many of his 31 homers this year could have probably left the ballpark twice if possible. His second of two long balls on Monday night traveled an estimated 470 feet.

Stanton, who homered in the first and third innings, has now hit seven home runs of 450 feet or more this season. That is more than any other team combined, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

When Jay Bruce robbed Stanton of a homer on Sunday, I joked that Stanton will have to hit it further over the wall next time if he wants it to count. I didn’t think he’d shut me up the very next day.

Oh, and Stanton can get it done with the glove, too. After belting his two homers, Stanton made a great play to rob Kolten Wong of extra bases in the fifth inning.

Is there anything this guy can’t do?

Jay Bruce robs Giancarlo Stanton of home run (Video)

Jay-Bruce-robs-home-runMiami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton hit his 29th home run of the season in the 1st inning against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. He should have followed it up by blasting his 30th homer of the year in the 8th, but Jay Bruce had other plans.

Stanton hit a high fly ball to the opposite field that looked like it was going to clear the wall, but Bruce timed his jump perfectly to make the catch. The ball hung up in the air for so long that it would have been understandable if Bruce lost track of it.

See what happens when you don’t launch it 100 feet over the fence, Giancarlo? Better to be safe and hit the ball a mile next time.

Bryce Harper purposely messes up Braves logo behind plate (Video)

Bryce Harper showed some disrespect to the Atlanta Braves by scuffing up the team’s logo behind home plate as he went to bat each plate appearance in Saturday’s 4-1 win in extra innings.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution’s Chris Vivlamore says Harper did it each time he went to the plate during his 2-for-4 game. Vivlamore says Harper has been booed by the fans each time he has come to the plate, which could be the reason why he scuffed up the logo.

Harper played dumb when asked about it after the game.

“That’s the last thing on my mind when I’m coming to the plate. I have no idea,” Harper said after the game via the Washington Post’s James Wagner.

GIF: Bryce Harper scuffs Braves "A" behind home pla... on Twitpic

Yeah, sorry, not buying it, Bryce. Tell me that toe drag isn’t intentional:

Bryce Harper Braves logo

GIF via @cjzero