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Original Issue

Three Strikes

SI's senior baseball writer takes you further inside the game. This is just a taste of what you'll get online.

1 Rays outfielder B.J. Upton wasn't happy that teammate Evan Longoria called him out in the dugout for his lack of hustle in centerfield last week. However, there's a bigger problem looming for Tampa than Upton's occasional sluggishness: Upton (below) is not a very good hitter right now, especially against righthanded power pitchers. At week's end he was hitting .203 against righties and .161 with 26 strikeouts in 62 at bats against power pitchers.

2 The grind of the season is catching up to some young arms. For example, the Yankees gave Phil Hughes nine days off as part of their plan to cap his innings this year. Hughes then gave up a career-high 10 hits and a season-high seven runs to the Mariners, who have the worst offense in the league.

3 Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria fired manager Fredi Gonzalez from Europe by way of a statement, replete with a misspelling, then capped a six-day "search" to hire his interim manager, Edwin Rodriguez, in the dugout five minutes before a game in San Juan. Strange? It has become the Marlin Way.