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  1. No common ground to be found for Pirates and Mark Appel

    Jul 9, 2012, 6:57 PM EST

    Mark Appel

    The Pirates knew they were taking a risk when they made Stanford right-hander Mark Appel the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft. Expected to go first overall, Appel reportedly turned down a $6 million bonus from the Astros before the draft, causing Houston to choose Carlos Correa instead. The fall to No. 8 guaranteed…

  2. The worst of the worst at the All-Star break

    Jul 9, 2012, 6:26 PM EST

    Tim Lincecum

    Because the non-All-Stars deserve recognition too — even when they’d prefer to hide their faces — here’s a look at some midpoint leaderboards in reverse order. OPS 1. Dee Gordon (SS LAD): .562 2. Cliff Pennington (SS Oak): .563 3. Cameron Maybin (CF SD): .596 4. Jamey Carroll (INF Min): .597 5. Justin Smoak (1B…

  3. Jose Canseco thinks he’d win the Home Run Derby

    Jul 9, 2012, 5:51 PM EST

    Jose Canseco

    Well, of course he does. He’s Jose Canseco, after all. Unfortunately, Canseco, who turned 48 a week ago, wasn’t invited to the festivities by either Matt Kemp or Robinson Cano. Surely only because he wasn’t eligible to be invited, by virtue of his being out of the league for 11 years now. Still, I’d be…

  4. All-Star Game starting pitcher (Loaiza, Mulholland, Penny, Nagy) isn’t always big name

    Jul 9, 2012, 5:27 PM EST

    terry mulholland

    This year’s All-Star Game starting pitchers, Justin Verlander and Matt Cain, are certainly both big names with excellent track records, but it’s interesting to note that the honor of starting an All-Star Game doesn’t always go to elite pitchers. Obviously any pitcher who starts an All-Star Game is by definition having an excellent season at…

  5. Mark Trumbo is your Home Run Derby favorite

    Jul 9, 2012, 5:03 PM EST

    Mark Trumbo

    With Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium serving as the battleground, Monday’s Home Run Derby figured to yield fewer souveniers than usual. Kauffman is one of the game’s tough home run parks. Using Stats Inc. park factors, only Minnesota’s Target Field played tougher on home runs for AL parks  from 2009-11 and that only slightly. It’s played…

  6. Braves rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons out at least a month with broken finger

    Jul 9, 2012, 4:33 PM EST

    Darwin Barney, Andrelton Simmons

    Andrelton Simmons has made a huge impact since being called up on June 2, hitting .296 with a .788 OPS and spectacular defense at shortstop, but the Braves rookie won’t be playing again until at least August. Simmons broke his right pinkie finger in the first-half finale and the Braves have placed him on the…

  7. Jay Gibbons announced his retirement

    Jul 9, 2012, 4:16 PM EST

    jay-gibbons-dodgers

    After hitting just .204 in 34 games for the Brewers’ Triple-A team this season former big leaguer Jay Gibbons has announced his retirement at age 35. Gibbons was a fixture in the middle of Baltimore’s lineup from 2001-2007, but the Orioles released him with more than $10 million remaining on his contract when he was…

  8. Yankees tell Reggie Jackson to go away

    Jul 9, 2012, 3:30 PM EST

    Reggie Jackson

    Reggie Jackson made headlines last week for saying that Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Jim Rice, Bert Blyleven, Don Sutton, and Phil Niekro shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame, and also for saying that Alex Rodriguez‘s numbers should be questioned due to performance enhancing drugs. Jackson later apologized and Rodriguez seemingly brushed it off by…

  9. Cubs sign No. 6 overall pick Albert Almora for $3.9 million

    Jul 9, 2012, 2:55 PM EST

    mlb draft

    As of this morning there were seven unsigned first-round picks with Friday’s deadline looming, but Jim Callis of Baseball America reports that the Cubs and No. 6 overall pick Albert Almora have agreed to terms. Almora, a high school outfielder from Florida, hinted from the outset that he’d be difficult to get under contract and…

  10. Tony La Russa adds Carlos Gonzalez to National League All-Star lineup with voted-in starters

    Jul 9, 2012, 2:04 PM EST

    Carlos Gonzalez

    Tony La Russa officially named Matt Cain his All-Star starter at this afternoon’s press conference and also unveiled the National League lineup, with Carlos Gonzalez as the designated hitter/leadoff man and the past two MVPs, Ryan Braun and Joey Votto, batting third and fourth: 1. Carlos Gonzalez, DH 2. Melky Cabrera, CF 3. Ryan Braun,…

  11. American League All-Star lineup has Derek Jeter leading off, Josh Hamilton batting third

    Jul 9, 2012, 1:48 PM EST

    Josh Hamilton

    American League manager Ron Washington officially announced Justin Verlander as his starter at today’s press and also revealed his lineup, which features Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter leading off, Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton batting third, and Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista cleaning up: 1. Derek Jeter, SS 2. Robinson Cano, 2B 3. Josh Hamilton, LF 4.…

  12. Mark Appel and six other first-round picks remain unsigned as Friday’s deadline approaches

    Jul 9, 2012, 1:16 PM EST

    deadline clock

    As part of the new collective bargaining agreement MLB moved the deadline for draft picks to sign from mid-August to mid-July, so this year’s unsigned picks have until Friday at 5:00 p.m. eastern time to ink deals. Most early selections signed within two weeks of the draft, but seven of the 31 first-round picks remain…

  13. Alex Rodriguez is having the worst season of his career, but Joe Girardi says “he’s due”

    Jul 9, 2012, 12:21 PM EST

    Alex Rodriguez, Joe Girardi

    Alex Rodriguez is having the worst season of his career, finishing the first half hitting .269 with 13 homers, 38 RBIs, and a .436 slugging percentage in 82 games. Both his batting average and slugging percentage would be career-lows and he’s on pace to finish with an OPS below .800 for the first time in…

  14. Add a sprained thumb to Yoenis Cespedes’ list of injuries

    Jul 9, 2012, 11:19 AM EST

    Yoenis Cespedes

    Yoenis Cespedes has been banged up basically all season, missing time with hamstring, knee, and hand injuries. And now you can add a sprained left thumb to that list, as the A’s outfielder exited yesterday’s first-half finale after hurting his thumb sliding into second base. At least this injury comes at a good time, as…

  15. Great Moments in Self-Promotion: I’ll be on NBC SportsTalk tonight and tomorrow

    Jul 9, 2012, 11:00 AM EST

    NBC SportsTalk logo

    Because you don’t get enough of my opinions around here, I figured it’d be good to let you know that tonight and tomorrow night I’ll be on NBC SportsTalk on the NBC Sports Network.  The show is on at 6pm Eastern each night and is replayed at 7PM and 11PM Eastern. The twist this time:…

  16. One out of every eight MLB regulars made the All-Star game

    Jul 9, 2012, 10:47 AM EST

    participation award

    Between the expanded roster size and numerous players being added as injury replacements this season’s All-Star game will feature a total of 72 players, with 36 for the AL and 36 for the NL. Technically at any one point there are 750 major leaguers on active rosters, but in terms of “regulars” that number is…

  17. Frank White is really, really done with the Kansas City Royals

    Jul 9, 2012, 10:32 AM EST

    frank white royals

    Over the winter we learned about the Kansas City Royals parting ways with Kansas City and franchise institution Frank White.  It seemed pretty ugly at the time, with the Royals allegedly not being happy with White being negative as a broadcaster and White being pretty darn unhappy with the organization for nebulous reasons. But it…

  18. Derek Jeter says muscle spasms in shoulder “no big deal”

    Jul 9, 2012, 10:15 AM EST

    Derek Jeter

    Not only did Derek Jeter uncharacteristically drop a routine pop up last night, he also experienced muscle spasms in his right shoulder during the Yankees victory over the Red Sox. However, he remained in the game and afterward told reporters that the muscle spasms are “no big deal” and “happens all the time.” Joe Girardi…

  19. Catch up with Drew Silva’s All-Star Odyssey

    Jul 9, 2012, 10:00 AM EST

    Image (1) CAC%20Road%20Trip.jpg for post 5434

    In case you missed it Friday and over the course of the weekend, HBT’s Drew Silva is on the scene in Kansas City for the All-Star festivities and has been filing reports. So far he has four installments: uno, dos, tres, quatro. As is usually the case when one of the HBT crew leaves his…

  20. Report: Matt Cain will get the All-Star Game start over R.A. Dickey

    Jul 9, 2012, 9:43 AM EST

    Matt Cain Getty

    We know Justin Verlander will be starting the All-Star Game for the AL. John Harper of the New York Daily News has a source telling him who the NL starter will be: Source says Dickey is not starting All-Star game. Will be Cain vs. Verlander. — John Harper (@NYDNHarper) July 9, 2012 I know a…

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