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Royals in 1st; playoffs next?

Do not adjust your Internet settings. The Kansas City Royals really are in first place on Aug. 11, after beating the Oakland A's for their eighth straight win -- their 16th win in the past 19 games -- while the Detroit Tigers lost their third in a row. The Royals, in first at the latest point in a season since 2003, once again are aiming to end their nearly three-decades-long playoff drought. The Tigers, meanwhile, were eight games ahead of the Royals less than a month ago and saw their onetime ace leave after just one inning Monday. What will happen?

Will the Royals (64-53, 1/2 game up on Tigers in AL Central) make the playoffs?

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    33%
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    48%
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    19%

Discuss (Total votes: 165,047)

  • How worried should Tigers fans be about their team's recent struggles?

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      55%
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      41%
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      4%

    Discuss (Total votes: 18,975)

  • Is Justin Verlander done as an elite pitcher?

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      57%
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      43%

    Discuss (Total votes: 26,461)

  • Which is more surprising?

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      51%
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      49%

    Discuss (Total votes: 17,849)

  • Which would be better for baseball?

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      78%
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      22%

    Discuss (Total votes: 39,525)

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It started with a couple of kids giving Hunter Pence a good-natured, sign-based ribbing when his San Francisco Giants visited the New York Mets:




Then, it became an all-out "thing," as other fans followed suit and the hashtag #HunterPenceSigns was born.




How did the former All-Star respond? By turning them into memes:




Oh, and his girlfriend, Alexis Cozombolidis, did, too:



Hunter Pence


wins the Internet.

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Ninja Turtles fans everywhere might have a new favorite team in the Fresno Grizzlies. The Giants' Triple-A affiliate left no shell unturned in its TMNT-themed night Saturday.

The uniforms were phenomenal (the team store sold out):

The mascot dressed as Splinter (with turtles before they found the ooze) ...

... And handed out pizza!

TMNT PizzaFresno Grizzlies

Lastly, what better way to ask someone to spend the rest of their life with you than covered in green paint dressed as ninja turtles at a minor league baseball game? Ah, romance.

video

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They might be on the outer fringes of the playoff race.

They might have just traded their top pitcher.

But a Joe Maddon team isn't not going to keep it fun. So, as they have been doing all season, the Tampa Bay Rays embarked on another dress-up road trip.

The theme: formal wear. Or, as the manager Maddon put it, "James Bond." Of course, give a bunch of 20- and 30-something guys freedom to maneuver, and they might interpret things in a very unusual way.

Like, say, going with "Dumb & Dumber"-themed outfits, as Jake McGee and Brad Boxberger -- awesomely nicknamed "Jake & The Box" -- did. (Don't they know it's too late to audition for "Dumb and Dumber To"?)



The duo wasn't alone in its silly choice. Director of travel and clubhouse operations Chris Westmoreland, bench coach Dave Martinez and third base coach Tom Foley chose to go with, uh, "camoformal."



Pitcher Alex Cobb got closer to normal, going with a tuxedo style shirt and, of course, a Solowheel. (Question: Were you aware of the Solowheel's existence?)



It wasn't all jokey, though. Some folks just had style:






Who needs David Price?


H/T For the Win

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Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

Tigers get David Price from Rays

Oh, you thought Jon Lester-for-Yoenis Cespedes was the only major trade of deadline day? Not so fast. The Detroit Tigers have landed David Price from the Tampa Bay Rays as part of a three-team deal that keeps Motown's team firmly in the chase for that elusive next World Series. The Seattle Mariners, meanwhile, get Austin Jackson, while the Rays have picked up Drew Smyly and Nick Franklin. What do you make of it?

More: Your take on the Jon Lester trade?

  • Which trade will have a bigger impact in 2014?

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      40%
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      60%

    Discuss (Total votes: 292,446)

  • Is David Price still an elite pitcher?

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      91%
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      9%

    Discuss (Total votes: 23,553)

  • Who is the Tigers' best pitcher?

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      2%
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      28%
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      3%
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      40%
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      27%

    Discuss (Total votes: 54,568)

  • How will the Tigers fare this season?

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      10%
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      35%
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      15%
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      35%

    Discuss (Total votes: 21,436)

  • Will the Mariners make the playoffs?

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      32%
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      68%

    Discuss (Total votes: 20,076)

  • What do you make of the Rays' part in the David Price trade?

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      19%
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      81%

    Discuss (Total votes: 19,976)

  • Which team will win the American League?

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      46%
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      36%
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      18%

    Discuss (Total votes: 62,010)

  • Which team will win the World Series?

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      6%
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      36%
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      17%
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      15%
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      26%

    Discuss (Total votes: 127,018)

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