December 26, a date to remember

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ruth.JPGAs MLB.com’s Mark Newman points out, today — Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009 — marks the 90th anniversary of the Red Sox selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees. 

The infamous deal lost some of its luster once the Red Sox snapped the supposed “curse” it brought upon the franchise with their sweep of the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series, but it’s an important day in baseball history nonetheless.  In fact, as Newman points out, it’s an important day in world history:

The Ruth sale happened on Dec. 26, 1919.

The FM radio was patented on Dec. 26, 1933.

The United Soviet Socialist Republic was formally
dissolved on Dec. 26, 1991.

Two disasters have occurred on Dec. 26: the Indian Ocean
tsunami in 2004 and a Taiwan earthquake in 2006.

Mao Zedong was born on Dec. 26, 1893.

The Pilgrims landed at what became New Plymouth on Dec. 26, 1690,

And on Dec. 26, 1776, the British lost the Battle of Trenton after General George Washington led his troops across the Delaware River.

Cursed or not, it’s a day of much importance.  And to us baseball fans, it doesn’t get much more important than the Big Bambino.  The “Sultan of Swat” had a .342/.474/.690 career batting line over 22 professional seasons.  He hit 714 home runs and tallied 2217 runs batted in.  We celebrate a lot this time of year — the holidays, a new year, good food — and yet it always seems relevant to celebrate the game’s ultimate icon.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.