MLB notes: Larkin is named to manage Brazil

September 20, 2012 

Hall of Fame shortstop Barry Larkin will manage Brazil during the Nov. 15-19 qualifying round for next year's World Baseball Classic.

Larkin visited the country earlier this year during Major League Baseball's "Elite Camp in Brazil," when he helped instruct young players from across South America.

Larkin, currently an MLB analyst for ESPN, spent his 19-year major league career with his hometown Cincinnati Reds and was inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer.

Brazil will be participating in a WBC qualifying round for the first time. Its qualifying pool also includes Colombia and Nicaragua, and its first game will be against host Panama.

"To have the right to participate in a qualifier for the World Baseball Classic already represented a great advance for Brazil," the local federation said. "And with the announcement of our new manager, Brazil certainly will be extra motivated."

Cabrera could still win batting title

MLB appears unlikely to interfere if Melky Cabrera wins the NL batting title while serving his 50-game suspension for a positive drug test.

The Giants outfielder began Wednesday with a league-leading .346 average, seven points ahead of Pittsburgh's Andrew McCutchen.

Cabrera has 501 plate appearances, one fewer than the required amount if the Giants play 162 games. Under official rules, he would win the batting title if an extra hitless at-bat is added to his average and it remains higher than that of any other qualifying player.

"We generally don't interfere in that process," Commissioner Bud Selig said Wednesday. "We'll take a look at it at the end of the year."

Orioles' win streak in extras at 14

The Orioles won in 18 innings Tuesday in Seattle to extend to 14 straight their extra-inning win streak. It's the longest extra-inning streak since the 1949 Cleveland Indians won 19 straight. Overall, the Orioles are 14-2 in extra-inning games this season, going 9-0 in them on the road.

O's prospect to the rescue

In the wake of the 18-inning game Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, the Orioles have made a special call for additional pitching depth. Top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy is headed for Seattle and could be there in time for the series finale. The O's needed seven relievers to pitch 122⁄3 scoreless innings after Wei-Yin Chen left the game in the sixth and have used nine different relievers in the first two games against the M's.

Dickey to miss 'Knuckleball'

R.A. Dickey's face lit up when he saw Phil Niekro and Tim Wakefield, and the Mets' ace greeted both with a big hug in front of the dugout. Dickey says the mini-fraternity of major-league knuckleballers have an instant bond, since they know how hard it is to master the pitch. All three pitchers are featured in a documentary film called Knuckleball, which premieres in New York City on Thursday night. Dickey had planned to attend, but he won't be able to because the Mets have a makeup game.

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