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The Orioles were off yesterday and as they open a series at home tonight against the Yankees, the search for a new manager is set to begin anew. In the meantime, they're finding out about the work ethic and leadership of interim manager Dave Trembley, who never played in the majors or minors but is highly respected by many of the players with whom he has worked.

Meanwhile, in places where teams are focused on what is happening on the field, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks began a key series in the NL West.

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The Dodgers' Brad Penny helped give the first round to L.A. by  throwing eight innings of four-hit ball in an 8-1 victory. Yesterday's pitching performance raised Penny's record to 10-1 and lowered his ERA to 2.04. Every time Penny faces Arizona, the D-backs should get a queasy feeling. The Arizona franchise originally drafted Penny back in 1996 but, even though he was a minor league standout, they traded him (to Florida while he was still in the minors). He's 7-2 against the organization that originally signed him. With the win, the Dodgers moved to within a half-game of Arizona in that divisional race.

* Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia turned in a throwback performance as the Indians outlasted Oakland, 5-2.  Sabathia pitched a rarity these days, a complete game, and it was his second of the month, giving him an 11-2 record and tying him with Boston's Josh Beckett in the total win department.  But here's what impressed me about Sabathia. In the ninth, he was in a bit of a jam with runners on second and third and two out. Instead of going to the bullpen, Indians manager Eric Wedge let Sabathia stay in the game (even though he was on his way to 111 pitches) and the starter struck out Mark Kotsay to end the game.

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* And the Chicago Bears finally decided enough was enough with Tank Johnson. The Bears cut Johnson after a traffic stop over the weekend in the Phoenix area, where the defensive lineman was going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone at 3:30 a.m., and the police suspected he may have been driving impaired. During the offseason, Johnson has served a short jail sentence for violation of his probation, all related to gun charges. And he had already been suspended by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell for the first half of the 2007 season, Certainly this could lengthen that -- if he's signed by another team.

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