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Albert Pujols out for the season

Albert Pujols will miss the remainder of the season as a result of an injury to his left foot. Pujols had already been out since July 26, but even before his stint on the DL, he was having a down year. Pujols' decline has been gradual, but this year was his first with fewer than 30 home runs and a sub-.800 OPS. Will he come back strong in 2014, or will the Angels be stuck with many more years of declining production?

  • How many more seasons does Albert Pujols have left as an elite player?

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      50%
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      16%
    •  
      21%
    •  
      13%

    Discuss (Total votes: 163,871)

  • Will the Angels ever be World Series contenders with Albert Pujols?

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      35%
    •  
      65%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,653)

  • Was the Albert Pujols signing a mistake for the Angels?

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      88%
    •  
      12%

    Discuss (Total votes: 5,359)

  • How many home runs will Albert Pujols (492) hit in his career?

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      48%
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      38%
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      11%
    •  
      3%

    Discuss (Total votes: 28,372)

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Angels' Mike Trout hits for cycle

At 21 years, 288 days old, Mike Trout became the youngest player in AL history to hit for the cycle on Tuesday, nearly making it a natural cycle, by going single, triple, double, home run. After winning the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year and finishing second in the AL MVP voting, Trout is proving in 2013 that he is no one-year wonder.

  • The record for cycles in a career is three. Mike Trout hit his first Tuesday night at age 21. Will he hit more than three in his career?

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      63%
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      37%

    Discuss (Total votes: 44,844)

  • How many MVP awards will Mike Trout win in his career?

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      6%
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      21%
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      47%
    •  
      26%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,540)

  • Mike Trout is projected to finish the season batting .293, with 32 HR, 122 RBI, 112 R, 32 SB. How will his final stats compare?

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      35%
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      49%
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      16%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,233)

  • Which player has a better chance to win AL MVP this year?

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      77%
    •  
      23%

    Discuss (Total votes: 13,451)

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As fans of the comedy series "Portlandia'' know, the secret to merchandising is to slap a bird on it. And apparently, the same holds true for baseball uniforms.

After four rounds of voting, tigers, fish, elephants, snakes, astronauts, seafarers, gun-toting officers of the law, buccaneers, heavenly bodies, Native Americans, pinstriped Northeners and even two pairs of colored socks are all gone. Our Battle of the Uniforms will finish with the Battle of the Birds.

#UniBattle

The No. 1-seeded Cardinals, who have as iconic a St. Louis design as the Gateway Arch or a bottle of Bud, beat their longtime rival, the Chicago Cubs, in the final round of the National League voting, 54 percent to 46 percent.

Meanwhile, the Cinderella team of the American League bracket upset yet another higher-seeded team in the AL championship. By a margin of 3,103 votes, fans declared they prefer the orange and black Baltimore Orioles over the traditional uniform worn by everyone from Babe Ruth to Derek Jeter. Or perhaps fans just hate the Yankees' pinstripes.

Whatever the reason, it's the Cardinals versus the Orioles for the title of baseball's best uniform. Bird watchers should get their binoculars out for this ornithological fight, though Toronto fans are probably wondering why their colorful Jay was found wanting.

This is serious business, so to make sure that everyone gets a chance to take a long, careful look at these two uniforms and judge the colors, logos, caps and overall style of both home and road uniforms, our polls will be open throughout the weekend. You can cast your vote up until noon ET Monday, when we will declare the winner.

So good luck Cardinals and Orioles. May the better uniform win. And remember voters, this isn't about who actually wears the uniforms but the uniforms themselves.

--Jim Caple

Note: Championship-round poll closes at noon ET Monday.

Mobile users: To vote, click here.

Battle of the Uniforms: Championship


(1) Cardinals vs. (13) Orioles

Audubon would have loved this championship.

SportsNation

Which set of uniforms is best?

  •  
    41%
  •  
    59%

Discuss (Total votes: 147,418)

Battle of the Uniforms seedings

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We've now reached the final four. Or, if you prefer, we've reached the league championship series.

#UniBattle

Either way, the Battle of the Uniforms is now in the home stretch (or as a malapropism-prone boss of mine once liked to say, "the home run stretch"). In the American League, the Orioles are facing the Yankees, and the National League crown has come down to the Cubs and the Cards.

The seedings, done by Jim Caple and myself, have largely proven accurate. Three of the final four teams were seeded either No. 1 or No. 2 in their respective leagues, which means our uni assessments are largely in line with yours. The lone outlier is Baltimore, which was seeded 13th but upset the top-seeded Tigers.

I'll admit it: I was kind of hoping for a rogue uniform design to make it to the semifinals, just to make things interesting. The Diamondbacks, say, or the Marlins. And I was seriously rooting for the A's to upset the Yanks (they came thisclose). In the end, though, the classic designs have won. And that makes sense: The classics are classic for a reason.

The cool thing about the Battle of the Unis is that several on-field rivalries have been echoed at the ballot box. Wednesday we had the Yankees just eking out a victory of the Red Sox (whose fans were no doubt chanting "Yankees suck!" as they clicked on the Sox icon), and now we have a classic National League matchup, as Chicago and St. Louis face off for Senior Circuit supremacy.

So who's going to advance to the uniform World Series? You folks get to decide that. But I'll say this: I'm voting for the teams with the feathers.

--Paul Lukas

LCS-round polls close at 9 a.m. ET Friday, and the championship round begins shortly thereafter.

Mobile users: To vote, click here.

Jim Caple bracket: American League


(2) Yankees vs. (13) Orioles

The Birds have upset three teams so far, but can they knock off the Pinstripers for the AL title?

SportsNation

Which set of uniforms is best?

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    41%
  •  
    59%

Discuss (Total votes: 36,353)

Paul Lukas bracket: National League


(1) Cardinals vs. (2) Cubs

These two teams have always had an on-field rivalry. Good to see that's extending to their uniforms.

SportsNation

Which set of uniforms is best?

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    54%
  •  
    46%

Discuss (Total votes: 36,237)

Battle of the Uniforms seedings

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Whew! That was a close one.

The New York Yankees -- wearers of pinstripes, owners of the most identifiable uniform in American sports, and so wealthy their sleeves should come with gold cuff links -- nearly went down to defeat at the hands of the budget-conscious Athletics, who gave baseball yellow and green uniforms.

#UniBattle

Yes, it's true. The Yankees' famous NY logo was nearly beaten by the Athletics' elephant patch in a second-round matchup so close that Nate Silver could not have been able to call it. After a nip-and-tuck battle, the Yankees finally escaped with a slender 51-49 percent victory to advance to Wednesday's quarterfinals.

It was a tough day for Bay Area fans, who lost another squeaker when the Giants lost 51-49 to the Pirates. It seems the Bay Area needs to expand its population base just a bit.

The rest of the battles were won by fairly wide margins, including the battle of the Soxes (Boston beat Chicago). That sets up an interesting matchup with another battle in the never-ending Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. Good luck, guys, and remember: Bloody socks matter only if the voters can see them.

That isn't the only matchup of teams with old-school classic looks, though. The No. 1-seeded Tigers, who still are dressed roughly the way they were when Al Kaline was in right field, take on the Cinderellas of the bracket, the No. 13-seeded Orioles, who handily beat the Royals.

Over in the National League, the No. 1-seeded Cardinals will take on the Pirates, with the Dodgers and Cubs going head to head. This has not been a great season for either Los Angeles or Chicago, but at least one of those teams will win this round.

Who will advance to the Final Four? That's up to you. Polls are open until 9 a.m. ET Thursday morning.

--Jim Caple

Mobile users: To vote, click here.

Jim Caple bracket: American League


(1) Tigers vs. (13) Orioles

Will the Tigers eat the birds? Or will the Orioles fly away to victory?

SportsNation

Which set of uniforms is best?

  •  
    47%
  •  
    53%

Discuss (Total votes: 62,088)


(2) Yankees vs. (6) Red Sox

So we have yet another battle between these bitter rivals. The winner of this battle may be the uniform with the fewest blood stains.

SportsNation

Which set of uniforms is best?

  •  
    51%
  •  
    49%

Discuss (Total votes: 62,474)

Paul Lukas bracket: National League


(1) Cardinals vs. (4) Pirates

Fun fact: Cardinals team president Bill DeWitt III is heavily involved in the team's uniform decision-making. Gotta love that level of passion!

SportsNation

Which set of uniforms is best?

  •  
    56%
  •  
    44%

Discuss (Total votes: 60,629)


(2) Cubs vs. (6) Dodgers

The Cubbies may finally have a championship within their grasp, even if it's only in the uniform bracket.

SportsNation

Which set of uniforms is best?

  •  
    51%
  •  
    49%

Discuss (Total votes: 60,467)

Battle of the Uniforms seedings

Comment »