Quick Hits: Braun, Phillies, Manuel, Cuba

Can anyone stop the Dodgers?  The Chavez Ravine side extended their winning streak to nine games with a 4-0 win over the Phillies tonight.  The Dodgers are an incredible 41-8 since June 22 — no team has put together such a 49-game hot streak since the 1944 Cardinals.  Here's the latest from around baseball as we head into the weekend…

  • Ryan Braun soon plans to admit his PED use and publicly apologize, sources tell USA Today's Bob Nightengale.  It will be Braun's first public statement since he was suspended for 65 games (the remainder of the 2013 season) on July 22 for his part in the Biogenesis PED scandal.  The Brewers outfielder wants to be "the anti-Alex Rodriguez," sources close to the Brewers slugger say, as Rodriguez is drawing even more scorn for appealing his own 211-game suspension.
  • While it seems as if this was always intended to be Charlie Manuel's last season as the Phillies manager, Bob Ford of the Philadelphia Inquirer believes Manuel's early departure could've been avoided has GM Ruben Amaro put together a stronger roster.
  • In a must-read piece for MLB.com, Jesse Sanchez details the process and risks that modern Cuban players take in both escaping the country and going through the proper channels for a shot at reaching the majors.
  • In an Insider-only piece for ESPN, Jim Bowden polled several executives around the league to find two managers and two GMs who could be fired unless their teams have strong finishes to the 2013 season.

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