Kelly Shoppach out four to six weeks after knee surgery

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Shoppach Rays.jpgMarc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that catcher Kelly Shoppach will miss at least four to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Monday.

Shoppach suffered the injury while trying to block Curtis Granderson from home plate during last Saturday’s game against the Yankees. He was placed on the disabled list last week with what was described as a “sprained right knee,” however a report by Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune this weekend indicated that pain and swelling had yet to subside and that surgery was a possibility.

Dioner Navarro should get the bulk of starts in Shoppach’s absence and that’s not a good thing. He was a non-tender candidate this past winter after batting just .218/.261/.322 in ’09 and after taking yet another 0-fer against the Red Sox on Monday, he is batting .162 with two RBI over his first 37 at-bats last season.

With results like this, it wouldn’t hurt for Joe Maddon to roll the dice by giving 26-year-old rookie John Jaso some regular at-bats against right-handers.
 

If there is an ALCS Game 7, Ric Flair will call out “Play Ball!”

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I don’t really care who wins the ALCS, but part of me wants to see it go seven games now. Why? Because if the Astros win tonight and force a Game 7, the series will be visited by a Rolex-wearin,’ kiss-stealin,’ wheelin-dealin,’ limousine ridin,’ jet flyin,’ son of a gun, jack! From the Chronicle:

The Astros-Yankees American League Championship Series gets to a Game 7, the Astros will have pro wrestling superstar Ric Flair call out “Play Ball!” before the game in a video message. Astros right fielder Josh Reddick is a huge wrestling fan and uses Flair’s entrance music every time he steps to the plate at Minute Maid Park. Fans also have adopted the wrestler’s “Woo!” yell throughout the season.

That’s pretty cool. It’d be even cooler if it ended with a Dusty Finish.