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Baseball notebook: Ripken rip-off ends

Cal Ripken’s No. 8 monument went missing Tuesday.  (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Cal Ripken’s No. 8 monument went missing Tuesday. (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Associated Press

As if things weren’t bad enough for the Orioles, who just clinched their 12th consecutive losing season: On Wednesday, a temporary fence and police tape surrounded the spot that had been occupied by a monument to one of the team’s all-time greats, Cal Ripken.

The large aluminum No. 8 outside the Camden Yards ballpark was stolen Tuesday night by four young men who were arrested about two hours later, Baltimore police said. The monument was recovered.

Surveillance cameras captured video of the men removing the 4-foot monument and placing it in the bed of a pickup truck, police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Phils skipper Manuel hedges on Lidge

A day after pulling closer Brad Lidge in the ninth inning, Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel wouldn’t commit to keeping him in that role.

“He might be right in there tonight,” Manuel said before Wednesday’s game against Washington. “I’m not saying he’s going to be, 100 percent. He might be and he might not.”

Lidge converted all 48 of his save chances last year for the Phillies.

As it happened, Manuel went with Ryan Madson, who pitched a perfect ninth during a 6-5 win. Lidge has struggled this whole season, blowing 10 of 38 save chances. He is 0-7 with a 7.11 ERA for the N.L. East leaders.

Clearing the bases

The Giants aren’t going to rush Tim Lincecum back into the lineup even though their staff ace has shown improvement after back spasms forced him to miss his start Tuesday night against the San Diego Padres, San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said. … The Phillies sent reliever Scott Eyre back to Philadelphia to have his ailing left elbow examined. Also, Jamie Moyer will start in place of J.A. Happ in Saturday’s game against New York. Happ was scratched from Monday’s start with an oblique strain. … Minnesota activated left-hander Francisco Liriano off the 15-day disabled list and will use the former starter out of the bullpen for the remainder of the season. … Dwight Gooden is back in baseball at the independent minor league level. The Newark (N.J.) Bears say the former Cy Young award winner will be hired as senior vice president of the Atlantic League franchise today. … Cleveland outfielder Grady Sizemore had arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow.

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