• It was just another day at the ballpark for Phillies second baseman Wilson Valdez -- until he collected three hits and pitched a scoreless relief inning for the win in an epic 19-inning game against the Reds. Valdez, who said that he had never made a professional pitching appearance before Wednesday's emergency outing, showed off an 89-mph fastball and retired the heart of the Reds lineup. (MLB.com). With the victory, the second baseman-turned-pitcher became the first position player since 2000 to collect a pitching victory and joined Babe Ruth as the only player since 1921 to start as a fielder and end up with a win on the mound. Said Valdez, "It was fun. It's something that I will never forget. I'm a winner." (MLB.com)

• Curtis Granderson gave the inside tour of his insane New Zealand crib (Yankees.com). The Yankees outfielder, known as one of the most charitable and professional guys in the game, has traveled to England, the Netherlands, Italy, South Africa and China as one of Major League Baseball's international ambassadors and spent this past offseason in New Zealand promoting the game of baseball. (Yankees.com)

• In the spirit of classic Americana, Rays players donned gear featuring American auto brands for their flight back from the Motor City. "Got to play the part," remarked Rays reliever J.P. Howell, who took the best dressed award by sporting a Camaro T-shirt, stuffing a rag in his back jeans pocket, and asking anyone he encountered if he could check their oil. (St. Petersburg Times)

• In need of a virtual vacation? Check out Jeremy Guthrie's picks for the world's best getaway spots. Warning: Slideshow contains some serious landscape eye candy and may cause viewers to book spontaneous flights to Spain. (Baltimore Sun)

• Thanks to the help and support of his biological family and his baseball family, Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is a rising Major League star. "My dad, he believed in me," recalled Cabrera. "My first year was hard for me. I came to the States [from Venezuela] with myself and no one came with me." Now a father himself, Cabrera is proud that he can say, "Hey Dad, I'll take care of you. Don't work anymore." (Sports Illustrated)

• David Aardsma is on a mission to photograph every VIP inch of Safeco Field. (Twitter: 1 / 2)

• The humble kid from Panama with one signature pitch continued his dominant march into the history books. Congratulations to Mariano Rivera, who became the first pitcher ever to appear in 1,000 games with a single team. (MLB.com). Said Rivera of his accomplishment, "You just have to be thankful to the Lord, being able to play with so many greats, great players, and what else can you say?" (MLB.com)

Tweet of the Day: "Started off day right, learned how to tie a tie on the internet #dressforsuccess" -- Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (@jparencibia9)

Quote of the Day: "I drove through some sort of cyclone on the Dallas North Tollway at approximately 11:00 last night. It was the most exciting driving experience I've ever had in the streets. My truck was blasting the 'Tron' soundtrack going like 50 [mph], and going sideways. All my rally car training really paid off." -- Rangers pitcher and racing enthusiast C.J. Wilson. (MLB.com)