Obama to pitch to Pujols

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President Obama is going to throw out the first pitch of the All-Star
Game tomorrow night, and unlike every fifth pitch in Major League
Baseball these days, it won’t be caught by a Molina:

Albert Pujols of the Cardinals will slide behind the plate for one
memorable play when he catches the ceremonial first pitch from
President Barack Obama before Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Busch
Stadium.

I suppose Obama’s approval ratings are still doing fairly well all
things considered, but he had better be careful. Missouri is a swing
state, and if he buries his pitch in the dirt and Pujols strains his
back reaching for it, he’ll have no hope of carrying it in 2012.

Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young dies at 51

Bill Hickey /Allsport
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Former Mets pitcher Anthony Young died on Tuesday at the age of 51, the team said. Young was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor in February.

Young, 51, pitched parts of six seasons in the majors from 1991-96. He began his big league career with the Mets in 1991 and stayed with the team through ’93. He famously failed to win a game between April 24, 1992 and July 24, 1993. During that span of time, he went 0-27. It was a great example, even back then, of the uselessness of won-lost records. Young posted a respectable 4.17 ERA in ’92 and 3.77 in ’93.

Former pitcher Turk Wendell, who was Young’s teammate with the Cubs in 1994-95, called Young “a true gentleman.”

Blue Jays designate Jason Grilli for assignment

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The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that the club designated reliever Jason Grilli for assignment as part of a handful of roster moves. Outfielder Dwight Smith was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera was activated from the 10-day disabled list, and pitcher Chris Smith was recalled from Buffalo as well.

Grilli, 40, struggled to a 6.97 ERA with a 23/9 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings of work this season in Toronto. The right-hander similarly struggled in the first half last year with the Braves before being acquired by the Jays but Grilli’s role had diminished and most of the rest of the bullpen has been pulling its weight.

Grilli should draw some interest — perhaps from the Nationals — as his peripheral stats suggest he’s not nearly as bad as his ERA suggests.