Notes from a day in baseball:
• 1. Our Long National Nightmare Is Over. We are bursting with delight this morning. Baseball is back, Albert Pujols hit another game-winning home run in extra innings for the Cards and our TiVo has finally stopped recording The View. Could life get any better? Ah, don't ask that question of Odalis Perez, apparently. The Dodgers' pitcher served up the walk-off dinger to APu in the 14th inning Thursday, and afterwards did a little ventiing.
• 2. You Can't Spell Texas Without Teixeira. Remember last season, when Mark Teixeira had 43 homers and 144 RBI? He tried to recreate those numbers in one game on Thursday for the Rangers. Teixeira had a freakishly good day, with three homers and seven RBI as Texas blasted Baltimore 15-1.
• 3. HR Huff-N-Stuff. Aubrey Huff evidently likes his new team. Huff, acquired by the Astros on Wednesday from the Devil Rays, had a three-run homer in a 5-1 win over the Marlins on Thursday.
• 4. Reality Bites. Francisco, my man. What happened to you over the All-Star break? Here's what happened on Thursday: The Twins' Francisco Liriano (10-2) gave up three homers as his league-leading ERA rose from 1.83 to 2.12, in Cleveland's 6-4 win.
• 5. Right Through The Wickets And Into Our Hearts. Mark Loretta, who made only three errors in the first half of the season, began the second half on a 75-error clip. Boston's second baseman butchered Bobby Kielty's routine grounder to send the game to extras, which the Athletics won in 11, 5-4.