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   UPDATE, 3:40pm PDT -- Game 6 of the ALCS has been postponed and rescheduled for Sunday at 5:20pm PDT. This could potentially offset some of the advantage the Yankees gained by using a 3-man rotation against the Angels' 4-man rotation. John Lackey could now get the call (on 3-days rest) if there's a Game 7 on Monday, and Jered Weaver could potentially be used again in Game 6 or Game 7 as a key reliever.

* Reports that the Cubs are looking to move Milton Bradley (who has a standing account with U-Haul) and a recent heavy dose of "Manny being Manny, except without the great hitting" bring a spotlight to ongoing question, "How much negative influence does a 'clubhouse cancer' have?"

We rarely have to worry about clubhouse cancers with low batting averages or sky high ERAs, because those guys don't tend to stick around for years. It's that combination of Padilla's stuff and Padilla's personality that creates the dilemma.

What I what to point out -- because I don't see it mentioned in the conversations -- is that it takes time for these guys to wear out their welcome. Brad Penny has a reputation of not helping out young pitchers and generally being a poor role model, but he was still a great acquisition for the Giants because over a couple months he was likely to pitch well during a honeymoon stage where he was very unlikely to disrupt anything. Same with Padilla and the Dodgers. I might not sign these guys to 3-year deals, but I'd gladly add them for 2 months when I needed help in the rotation.

Everywhere Milton Bradley has gone, first you hear teammates say, "Yeah we heard some bad stuff about him, but really he's been great." Then you don't hear that anymore. Then you hear bad stuff. Then Milton's gone and it's everyone else's fault. We saw it in Oakland, and now they're experiencing the magic in Chicago. These guys are bad players to invest in long term and great players to add at the trading deadline.

* I'm pleased to announce that Bobby Crosby is stepping up with a new program called "Waving At The Troops." Every time Bobby Crosby waves at a slider, Ed Crosby will complain about something. It's unclear, at the moment, how this will benefit our troops. I was going to report on Brian Fuentes' new "Meatballs For The Orange County Food Bank" project, but details are still being worked out.

* Memo to major league managers: Stop doling out intentional walks as eagerly as pedophiles hand out skittles. You issue an IBB because there's a glaring disparity in the abilities of the guy at bat and the guy on deck, or out of desperation because you need a DP worse than a team should really need a DP but here we are.

If you don't trust your closer to give up "anything but a HR" to someone, consider getting a new closer rather than escorting the tying run around the bases. Here's a quick rule of thumb: In pitching, a good goal is generally to keep hitters from reaching base. IBBs do a pretty lousy job of furthering that goal.

* Tim McClellan is regarded around baseball as one of MLB's best umps --  he usually gets the highest marks for ball/strike calling (as voted by the players, not by broadcasters who wonder why it's so much to ask that McClellan move his right hand 12" to the right to let the rest of us in on the secret).

But talk about having a bad series. I'm trying to get a sense of McClellan's exact range of vision. Apparently McClellan can see Nick Swisher's foot when he's staring at Juan Rivera in LF. At the same time, however, when staring at a fielder applying a tag directly in front of him, McClellan is unable to see an 8' patch of infield dirt between Robinson Cano and third base.

My current theory is that McClellan is part owl, and that we're learning how hiring umpires with eyes only at the side of their head can be problematic at crucial times in a short series.

But while I know I'm the rebel, I love me some bad calls by humans. Not that I would ever want bad calls to become an intentional part of the game. I want the best people with the best training doing the best they can -- and then to be able to ask, for years, "How do you call that foul when it's right in front of you???" and "Tagged while not on the base -- that's called out!!!!"

The fact is, blown calls -- especially the ones where you can't even figure out how they missed it -- are some of the moments we most remember, have the most to say about, and will talk about for years. I wish the umps would get a few more of these calls right, but this year's plethora of oddly blown calls -- they haven't been ordinary or dull, fo' shizzle.