Morning glory: Early wakeup for fans in Oakland

Associated Press Modified: October 6, 2012 at 9:16 pm •  Published: October 6, 2012
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"It could be the Windy City Cup if you're in Chicago, it could be the Golden Gate Cup if you're out here (in San Francisco)," said pitcher Bronson Arroyo, the Reds' Game 2 starter. "We toss some ideas around and somebody sticks with one."

Cincinnati rode the cup to 29 series victories during the regular season. If the Reds can have similar success in the playoffs, they could end up with two more trophies.

For now, they're content sticking with the one they have.

"Baseball is such a long game, it's much easier to focus on the task at hand if you can take it in small snapshots of three games," Arroyo said. "We hope it doesn't die a first-rounder."

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MOTOWN MEMORIES: Melvin began his career with the Tigers, playing 41 games for them in 1985. That was his only season with Detroit, but the former catcher still has vivid memories of his first home game.

"There was a buzz at Tiger Stadium that was unlike no other and putting on the white uniform with the English D and walking into Tiger Stadium with the people right on top of you," Melvin said. "I remember Kirk Gibson got hit in the mouth by a pitch ... was bleeding all over the place. Stitched him up right there."

Melvin would end up playing with seven major league teams, including San Francisco, Baltimore, Kansas City, Boston, the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox.

This is his second postseason trip as a manager. He took Arizona to the NL championship series in 2007.

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DID IT RATE?: Major League Baseball's first wild-card, winner-take-all playoff games averaged a 3.7 overnight rating on TBS.

The St. Louis Cardinals' 6-3 win at Atlanta on Friday averaged a 3.3 overnight rating from the 56 metered markets and the Baltimore Orioles' 5-1 victory at Texas in the late game averaged a 4.1 overnight.

Last year, TBS and TNT averaged a 3.3 overnight rating and a 2.7 national rating for 19 division series games.

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PUMA CAGED: Lance Berkman looked out of place, wearing street clothes in the Cardinals clubhouse while uniformed teammates milled about on the eve of the NL division series opener.

It's something the player known as Big Puma has had to get used to this season after playing a key role on the World Series title team last year. The 36-year-old Berkman has been slowed by knee problems and is unlikely to see action no matter how far this year's team goes — partly because of rust and partly because of Allen Craig's play at first base.

Berkman isn't ready to retire. The six-time All-Star hit .301 with 32 homers and 94 RBIs in 2011 but just .259 with two homers and seven RBIs in 81 at-bats this year.

"We'll see," Berkman said. "The knee will get back to 100 percent, it's just a matter of whether I want to keep going or not. That's a decision that's still in the future."

Factoring into the decision will be Berkman's desire to spend more time with his four daughters, the oldest of which is 11.

He's a career .296 hitter with six 100-RBI seasons and 360 home runs in 14 seasons, three of the last four shortened by injuries. He won't play just to improve his stats for Hall of Fame voters.

"If they want to see longevity, then no," Berkman said. "If they want to see a guy hang around till he's 40 just to pile up 400-some homers, then no. I project with anybody that's in our building, and in my mind I feel good about that. As far as what other people think, that's up to them."



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