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July 28, 2009 at 9:02 PM

POSTGAME UPDATE: Tacoma’s Jeff Clement pinch-hit for in third inning

UPDATE P0ST-GAME: Jeff Clement’s removal in the third inning was creating some buzz in the clubhouse as word filtered out, but no one seemed to know the significance.
Here’s what manager Don Wakamatsu said: “I just found out. I’m sitting here trying to get out of a four-game losing streak. If anything happens, I trust our organization in Jack Zduriencik’s hands. I don’t know any details beyond he was pulled,”

Jeff Clement has been removed for a pinch-hitter in the third inning of Tacoma’s game tonight in Reno. I’m not sure of the significance, but with the trade deadline approaching, and Clement a possible chip, you have to wonder if it’s trade related. I’m not saying it is, because I don’t know. But it’s provocative.
I’m told that there is no injury involved. It’s more than provocative. I’d advance it to suspicious. There have been recent rumors of a three-way trade involving both Clement and Brandon Morrow going to Cleveland, Victor Martinez and Cliff Lee to Tampa, and Scott Kazmir and shortstop Reid Brignac to Seattle. Kazmir, provocatively, pitched seven strong innings for the Rays tonight to beat the Yankees (seven innings, five hits, one run). Cliff Lee is rumored to be going a million different places right now, so who knows? I’m digging as fast as I can while trying to get my game story done simultaneously.

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