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The Closer: Brave New World

Notes from a day in baseball:

1. Don't Cry For Me, 'Cause I'm Already Dead. The Tomahawk Chop passed away peacefully at 5:31 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, as the Red Sox left Turner Field with a 10-7 victory (and first place in the AL East) over the Braves. That's seven straight losses for the Hotlantians, their longest futility skein (flipping pages of old calendars) since 1990. Yes, we know that Boston represents life in this equation, but we are obsessed with death. And so we tell you that the Braves have lost 17 of their past 20, are in last place in the NL East (30-40) and will most likely see their streak of 14 straight division titles come to a grisly end.

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2. Happy Father's Day. With his father in the stands, rookie Ryan Zimmerman delievered a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Nationals a 3-2 win over the Yankees, dropping New York from first place in the AL East. Hard to be too cynical about baseball with scenes such as this playing out.

3. Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner. Tom Glavine, who made his major league debut the same year that Dirty Dancing hit theaters, reminds us that he can still do the Forbidden Salsa, becoming the NL's first 10-game winner in a 9-4 win over the Orioles. David Wright had a grand slam as the Mets maintained their 9½-game lead in the NL East.

4. Bicentennial Celebration. Kenny Rogers was going for his 200th career win, so the Tigers decided to celebrate with gifts; presenting him with eight home runs. That was a bit of overkill, actually, in a 12-3 win over the hapless Cubs. Rogers (10-3) went eight innings, allowing two runs and four hits. It was the return of Cubs' pitcher Mark Prior from the DL, and he lasted only 3 2/3, allowing eight runs.

5. We Don't Need No Stinkin' DL. The last time a White Sox pitcher hit a home run, Willie Mays was still playing. Jon Garland got the homer, and the win in Chicago's 8-1 triumph over the Reds. Garland's two-run homer in the eighth was the first since Steve Kealey on Sept. 6, 1971, against Minnesota; two years before the designated hitter debuted.

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