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2012 February 23

  1. Running down the rosters: Baltimore Orioles

    Feb 23, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

    Matt Wieters, Adam Jones

    After sitting out the chase for Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder, the Orioles are staring down a fifth straight last-place finish and a seventh consecutive 90-loss season. Such is life in the AL East. Rotation Jason Hammel – R Zach Britton – L Jake Arrieta – R Wei-Yin Chen – L Tommy Hunter – R…

  2. Was there really a violation of chain of custody protocol in Ryan Braun’s PED case?

    Feb 23, 2012, 9:56 PM EDT

    braun reuters

    Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun had his 50-game performance-enhancing drug suspension overturned Thursday after independent arbitrator Shyam Das ruled that there were legitimate chain of custody issues with the urine sample that eventually tested positive for elevated levels of synthetic testosterone. After a thorough review of the joint drug agreement between Major League Baseball and its…

  3. Clayton Kershaw on tap for Friday bullpen session

    Feb 23, 2012, 8:18 PM EDT

    kershaw reuters

    Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw skipped a scheduled bullpen session Wednesday after feeling stiffness in his back following his first spring workout. As expected, the stiffness is no big deal. Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Kershaw will throw that bullpen session on Friday and is expected to have no restrictions going forward…

  4. Bryan LaHair named Cubs’ cleanup hitter after BSOHL claim

    Feb 23, 2012, 7:34 PM EDT

    Bryan LaHair

    A fitting reward, is it not? Cubs manager Dale Sveum said today that while he’s still figuring out the rest of his lineup, he’s currently planning to use David DeJesus as a leadoff man and Bryan LaHair in the cleanup spot. It’s quite a show of faith in LaHair, a 29-year-old who has hit .262/.335/.395…

  5. Ryan Braun got off on a “technicality?” Bull!

    Feb 23, 2012, 6:59 PM EDT

    ryan braun wide getty

    In almost all cases, the people who say that someone “got off on a technicality” or took advantage of a “loophole” really mean “I think the SOB was guilty and because of that I don’t care if the proper safeguards and protocols were followed!”  It’s a ridiculous stance. Ridiculous because procedures such as chain of…

  6. Ryan Braun won his appeal because the evidence collector took his urine sample home with him

    Feb 23, 2012, 6:53 PM EDT

    braun wide getty

    Lots of people are saying that Ryan Braun got off on a “technicality.”  Before I get in to the odiousness of that particular phrase, let’s all get up to speed on what that technicality was.  This is from ESPN.com: Braun didn’t argue evidence of tampering, didn’t argue anything about science being wrong but argued protocol…

  7. Running down the rosters: Washington Nationals

    Feb 23, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT

    Michael Morse, Jayson Werth, Ryan Zimmerman

    The Nationals may have disappointed some by failing to make a big run at the top three free agents, but a vastly improved rotation could make them surprise contenders in the NL East. Rotation Gio Gonzalez – L Edwin Jackson – R Jordan Zimmermann – R John Lannan – L Stephen Strasburg – R Bullpen…

  8. Ryan Braun’s return puts Brewers on good footing in NL Central

    Feb 23, 2012, 6:07 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun slaps hands with teammate Rickie Weeks after hitting a two-run home run against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning of Game 1 of the MLB National League Championship Series baseball playoff game in Milwaukee

    In doing the Brewers’ edition of running down the rosters earlier this month, I presented two lineups: one with Ryan Braun and one without him for the 50 games he appeared likely to miss pending the appeal of his PED suspension. Needless to say, the one with the exonerated 2011 NL MVP looked a whole…

  9. Yadier Molina likely to become one of the highest-paid catchers ever

    Feb 23, 2012, 5:52 PM EDT

    Yadier Molina

    Just three catchers in big-league history have signed contracts worth in excess of $10 million per season. That’s about to change. Yadier Molina heads a class of four free-agent-to-be catchers, all of whom could find themselves in eight-figure territory with big 2012 seasons. Molina is probably the one sure thing in the bunch to draw…

  10. Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman are “close to a resolution” on contract extension

    Feb 23, 2012, 5:31 PM EDT

    zimmerman bats

    UPDATE: Apparently general manager Mike Rizzo wasn’t kidding about “working extremely hard” on an extension with Zimmerman, because Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the two sides are “close to a resolution.” ========== Ryan Zimmerman has said that he won’t negotiate a long-term contract extension once spring training is over, so the Nationals are making…

  11. Ryan Braun wins the appeal of his drug suspension

    Feb 23, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

    braun tall getty

    Huge news:  As first reported by Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Ryan Braun has won the appeal of his 50-game suspension for taking a banned substance.  The MLBPA has confirmed.  Braun is the first player to successfully appeal a drug suspension. Immediately after this news broke, Major League Baseball released a statement, printed in…

  12. Adam LaRoche’s surgically repaired shoulder is not at full strength

    Feb 23, 2012, 5:13 PM EDT

    laroche swing

    After missing out on Prince Fielder the Nationals are fully committed to Adam LaRoche at first base despite his missing most of last season following shoulder surgery. LaRoche played catch from 150 feet today, which is the furthest he’s thrown since going under the knife in May, and but afterward told Adam Kilgore of the…

  13. Omar Vizquel: “This will likely be my last year”

    Feb 23, 2012, 4:58 PM EDT

    Omar Vizquel

    Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com was on hand today when Blue Jays shortstop Omar Vizquel said today that 2012 will likely be his last year: “This will likely be my last year.  My motivation is to challenge myself to play another year. I know every year it starts to get a little harder for yourself and…

  14. Jose Canseco is having a good day

    Feb 23, 2012, 4:30 PM EDT

    Wonka

    Sometimes, on his Twitter feed, Jose Canseco sounds really sad and depressed. Some days, however, he’s the most optimistic, upbeat guy in the world. I’m no psychiatrist, but I’m going to assume that swinging back and forth between such extremes — between such poles, as it were — is nothing but healthy.  All that mania…

  15. Russell Martin, Yankees still discussing long-term deal

    Feb 23, 2012, 4:10 PM EDT

    That can't be good for his back

    UPDATE: Martin’s agent told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York that the Yankees are now pitching the idea of figuring out a three-year deal that would cancel out his one-year contract, but “negotiations are in the early stages.” ========== Russell Martin and the Yankees avoided arbitration by signing a one-year, $7.5 million contract back in…

  16. Hey look: another misleading “the Mets have sold a bunch of minority shares” story!

    Feb 23, 2012, 3:40 PM EDT

    Image (1) Mets%20Logo.png for post 3903

    Once or twice a month we get a new story about how the Mets have sold several of those minority stakes they’ve been peddling for close to a year. The stories always have a bit of an optimistic “we’re almost there!” spin to them.  The latest appeared yesterday as the Newsday — and then the…

  17. Jason Isringhausen’s minor-league deal is worth at least $700,000 if he makes Angels

    Feb 23, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

    jason-isringhausen-mets-spring

    Yesterday the Angels and Jason Isringhausen agreed to a minor-league contract and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the deal is worth between $700,000 and $1 million in guaranteed money if he cracks the Opening Day roster. DiGiovanna and other reporters covering the Angels seem to think that’s likely, and general manager…

  18. Cardinals “re-engage” in contract talks with Yadier Molina

    Feb 23, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    yadier molina getty

    Earlier this week Yadier Molina said that long-term contract negotiations with the Cardinals had stopped, but now Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the two sides have “re-engaged” in talks. Molina has made it clear that he won’t discuss a deal once spring training is over and he’ll be a free…

  19. Back tightness is the new oblique strain

    Feb 23, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

    Back pain

    Remember last year how we couldn’t go a day in spring training without hearing about strained oblique muscles?  Yeah, that was great.  This year we have a new fashionable muscle strain: starting pitcher backs. Tim Lincecum the other day, Clayton Kershaw yesterday.  Today it’s Wandy Rodriguez. Will back strains become as popular as strained obliques?…

  20. Ozzie Guillen says Hanley Ramirez will stay at third base even if Jose Reyes is injured

    Feb 23, 2012, 1:43 PM EDT

    hanley getty

    Now that Hanley Ramirez has put to rest all the offseason speculation about his willingness to play third base the next question is whether the Marlins would move him back to shortstop if Jose Reyes is on the disabled list. Ozzie Guillen gave a pretty adamant “no” to that question today, telling Clark Spencer of…

  21. Roy Oswalt is probably going to pull a Roger Clemens, come back mid-season

    Feb 23, 2012, 1:19 PM EDT

    oswalt getty

    Roy Oswalt still plans on making an announcement later today, but Jerry Crasnick has some inside dirt:  Oswalt is likely going to pull a Roger Clemens and come back in the middle of the season: Oswalt, 34, has told teams that he plans to keep throwing, stay ready and would be willing to return during…

  22. MLB Network is going to mic-up players for a spring training game

    Feb 23, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

    mic

    I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but one of my favorite 1990s baseball things is watching Braves games on TBS and hearing a constant flow of Greg Maddux F-bombs through that networks’ seemingly over-sensitive field mics.  That doesn’t seem to happen very much these days. Maybe because players are more refined than Greg Maddux…

  23. Justin Verlander has his own cereal now

    Feb 23, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    justin verlander cereal

    Sure, winning the Cy Young and MVP awards were nice, but Justin Verlander‘s outstanding 2011 season has led to something even bigger and more exciting: He has his own cereal. Verlander appears on the box for a special-edition cereal called “Fastball Flakes” that will be sold in Michigan to raise money for the local VA…

  24. Bill Lee is dubious of Oil Can Boyd’s claims

    Feb 23, 2012, 12:04 PM EDT

    Bill Lee

    No one believes it when someone like Ronald Belisario or Ron Washington says that they did cocaine only once. Seems that Bill Lee doesn’t believe Oil Can Boyd’s claim that he did cocaine hundreds of times: Former Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee, appearing on WEEI’s Planet Mikey show recently with good friend Mike Adams, spoke…

  25. Would the Angels use Albert Pujols at third base?

    Feb 23, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v St. Louis Cardinals

    Mark Trumbo has never played third base in a professional game, majors or minors, so the Angels’ plans to use him at the hot corner this spring and perhaps regularly during the season raised the question of whether they might do the same with Albert Pujols. Pujols, unlike Trumbo, actually has plenty of third base…

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