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  1. Photo of the Day: Cody Ross strikes out. Sorta.

    Apr 16, 2012, 2:29 PM EDT

    Camera

    This screen cap came from @Detroit4Lyfe, and it’s pretty good unless you happen to be a Red Sox fan.  It’s Fernando Rodney‘s pitches to Cody Ross, who struck out looking on a 2-2 pitch to end the Sox-Rays game. Though, really, it’s kinda hard to blame him for not swinging at these: Eric Gregg looked…

  2. Brian Matusz is “angry and frustrated” after latest loss

    Apr 16, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Baltimore Orioles

    There was a lot of optimism surrounding Brian Matusz based on his strong spring training, but unfortunately so far he’s looked more or less like the guy who posted a historically awful 10.68 ERA last season. Matsuz threw 25 innings with a 3.65 ERA and 22/3 K/BB ratio during spring training, but through two regular…

  3. Bobby Valentine is really not having a stellar 24 hours

    Apr 16, 2012, 1:28 PM EDT

    Daniel Bard

    First that dustup with Kevin Youkilis and now some bad in-game managing is making for a pretty crappy day for Bobby V. Daniel Bard and James Shields were locked in a 0-0 pitchers’ duel. Bard had been effective all day, but effectively wild too, walking several. In the seventh inning Bard, already over 100 pitches…

  4. Erick Aybar wants “at least five years and $50 million” in extension from Angels

    Apr 16, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    erick aybar ap

    General manager Jerry Dipoto has repeatedly indicated that the Angels are close to a long-term contract extension with Erick Aybar, which is something the two sides have been working on since December. What’s not known are the specifics of the deal. Second baseman Howie Kendrick‘s five-year, $33.5 million extension seemed like a reasonable starting point…

  5. Kevin Youkilis’ agent weighs in

    Apr 16, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    You will not be surprised to hear that Kevin Youkilis‘ agent, Joe Bick, was asked about the Bobby Valentine comments: “I will not dignify his quotes by responding to something so far off base on so many different levels” Well, that is a response, but I suppose we’ll that go.

  6. Andy Pettitte throws four scoreless innings in minors

    Apr 16, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Andy Pettitte Getty

    Andy Pettitte‘s first minor-league tuneup on April 9 went well and yesterday his second outing was even better, as the 39-year-old left-hander tossed four scoreless innings against high Single-A hitters. Pettitte threw 31 of his 47 pitches for strikes, whiffing three, walking zero, and allowing just two hits while inducing seven ground balls. He’s expected…

  7. Josh Collmenter might be pitching for his job next time out

    Apr 16, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Josh Collmenter

    Josh Collmenter struggled this spring and has coughed up 11 runs in seven innings through two starts, leading to speculation that he might not be long for the Diamondbacks’ rotation despite a very solid rookie season that saw him throw 154 innings with a 3.38 ERA. Kirk Gibson confirmed to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that…

  8. The Red Sox’ sellout streak is in jeopardy

    Apr 16, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

    Fenway Park

    The Boston Globe reported on Friday that the sellout streak at Fenway Park — now in its ninth season — is in jeopardy, with preseason ticket sales taking a dip, prices on the secondary market going down and overall interest waning, even if only slightly. I found this interesting: The Red Sox consider a game…

  9. Mitch Moreland misses two games with abscessed tooth

    Apr 16, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    moreland getty

    Mitch Moreland was out of the Rangers’ lineup yesterday for the second straight game because of an abscessed tooth and will use today’s break in the schedule to undergo oral surgery, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Mike Napoli came out from behind the plate to start at first base in Moreland’s absence yesterday, but…

  10. The Roger Clemens trial begins again, this time with more government lawyers

    Apr 16, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Roger Clemens leaves the federal courthouse with attorney Rusty Hardin in Washington

    Last July, Roger Clemens went on trial for lying to Congress. It didn’t last long, as the case was thrown out when the prosecutors blatantly disobeyed the judge’s order and played a video to the jury in which a congressman read affidavit testimony by Andy Pettitte’s wife. Which was eight kinds of inadmissible. Today the prosecutors…

  11. Jose Contreras rejoins Phillies eight months after surgery

    Apr 16, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves

    Jose Contreras is back in the Phillies’ bullpen eight months after undergoing elbow surgery that potentially could have ended the 40-year-old’s career last September. It looked like Contreras’ return might be delayed when his first rehab appearance was an ugly one, but he quickly got on track in the minors and also proved that he…

  12. The All-Time Dream Team

    Apr 16, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    Johnny Bench

    Graham Womack of the Baseball Past and Present blog recently had readers vote on an All-Time Dream Team, and then asked a number of writers to do little pieces about the winners at each position. I was invited to contribute and I did Johnny Bench. The post with all the winners is up and live…

  13. Vin Scully returns to Dodgers broadcast booth after illness

    Apr 16, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Vin Scully

    Vin Scully was back in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth yesterday after missing the home opener and a total of five games with a strong cold. It was good timing for the 84-year-old legend’s return, as he was able to regale listeners with first-hand stories on Jackie Robinson Day. Scully revealed that he first felt sick…

  14. Braves to retire John Smoltz’s number

    Apr 16, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

    (FILES) This 25 August, 2002, file photo

    The Atlanta Braves announced this morning that they are going to retire John Smoltz‘s jersey and induct him into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. There will be a ceremony honoring him June 8. Well-deserved. There’s little need to recount Smoltz’s importance to those Braves teams that won the division nearly every single year. Overall,…

  15. Youkilis, Pedroia respond to Bobby V’s comments

    Apr 16, 2012, 9:35 AM EDT

    Bobby Valentine Reuters

    Not surprisingly, Kevin Youkilis was asked about Bobby Valentine’s comment that Youk was not “physically or emotionally into the game.”  Rob Bradford of WEEI has his comments: “That’s not what I see. I go out every day and play as hard as I can. I take every ground ball in the morning, take every at-bat…

  16. Jim Leyland: The experts are a bunch of idiots

    Apr 16, 2012, 9:11 AM EDT

    Jim Leyland

    Everyone picked the White Sox to finish down in the pack in the AL Central. Jim Leyland, whose Tigers just dropped two of three to Chicago, doesn’t have a very high opinion of the experts. Chuck Garfien of CSNChicago.com was at U.S. Cellular Field yesterday, and witnessed what he calls “a classic rant” from the…

  17. Tim Tebow booed at Yankee Stadium

    Apr 16, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    Dwayne Wade, Tim Tebow

    When a celebrity — especially a local sports star — shows up on the jumbotron at a ballpark wearing the local team’s gear, you can almost always expect for the crowd to cheer. Almost: Tim Tebow has work to do if he’s going to win over New York sports fans. The new backup quarterback for…

  18. Bobby Valentine: Kevin Youkilis is not “physically or emotionally into the game”

    Apr 16, 2012, 8:09 AM EDT

    Bobby Valentine

    Bobby Valentine went on a local radio show in Boston last night and said this about Kevin Youkilis: “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But [on Saturday] it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks,…

  19. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    Apr 16, 2012, 5:45 AM EDT

    Houston Astros v Miami Marlins

    Marlins 5, Astros 4: Omar Infante and Hanley Ramirez hit home runs, finally putting that crazy home run sculpture into action. Somehow we all survived, though I’m not ruling out the possibility that we all got thrown into an alternate timeline or something and won’t truly realize it until all the crazy occult stuff starts…

  20. Still red hot, Matt Kemp goes 3-for-4, hits sixth homer

    Apr 15, 2012, 8:10 PM EDT

    Matt Kemp

    The Dodgers have been a two-man offense so far, but when those two are as hot as Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are, that’s plenty good enough. Kemp went 3-for-4 and hit his sixth homer Sunday as part of a 5-4 win over the Padres, moving the Dodgers to 9-1 on the season. Kemp is…

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