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  1. OK, it is possible to overhype Mariano Rivera

    Sep 15, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    Mariano Rivera

    OK, I lied. It is possible to overstate the Mariano Rivera love. Here’s Kevin Kernan of the New York Post, filling out his Top Five Yankees of All Time ballot.  Note that he’s also filling out his column inches by needlessly including nicknames and descriptors of the most famous baseball players in history as if…

  2. Rockies to install Coors Field-like humidor at Triple-A

    Sep 15, 2011, 1:20 PM EDT

    Humidor balls

    Coors Field has become somewhat less of a hitter’s paradise since the Rockies began storing baseballs in a humidor and Dave Krieger of the Denver Post reports that they hope to deflate the ridiculous offensive numbers being posted at Triple-A by doing the same in Colorado Springs. In general the Pacific Coast League is very…

  3. NBC SportsTalk: When can a pitcher win the MVP

    Sep 15, 2011, 1:02 PM EDT

    One more of these because, hey, why not?  In this one I talk about when I think it’s appropriate to consider a pitcher for the MVP award:

  4. Daniel Bard on recent struggles: “It’s something I’ve fixed before and I’ll fix it again”

    Sep 15, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox Daniel Bard pitches against Tampa Bay Rays during American League MLB baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

    Plenty of pitchers go through stretches of struggling to throw strikes, but Daniel Bard’s recent wildness is particularly worrisome because his career was nearly derailed by extreme control problems in the minors. Bard walked 78 batters in 78 innings as a starter at Single-A in 2007, but moved to the bullpen the next season and…

  5. Comment of the Day: How many people really watch MLB games?

    Sep 15, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    old TV

    In an earlier post I wondered about how many people actually watch MLB games overall, not just on the national broadcasts.  Reader tjwilliams did some calculations: Okay, so I just did some quick back-of-the-napkin math and came up with 1.65 billion viewers for NFL (live and TV) and 1.01 billion viewers for MLB (live and…

  6. Kenley Jansen racking up strikeouts at historic rate

    Sep 15, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Los Angeles Dodgers

    Last season Carlos Marmol set the all-time record by striking out 16.0 batters per nine innings, becoming the first pitcher in baseball history with a strikeout rate above 15.0. Marmol’s record is probably safe, but Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen looks set to join him in the 15-plus club. Last night Jansen closed out a 3-2…

  7. You asked me questions on Twitter. So I shall answer them

    Sep 15, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

    The Question

    It’s that time again. Your almost 100% non-baseball questions.  But that’s OK. We need to do this to get all of the Star Wars talk out of our system lest we drive our wives and girlfriends crazy.  Assuming anyone who is obsessed with Star Wars has a wife or a girlfriend.  I should probably think…

  8. Josh Hamilton’s grand slam was worth $500,000 in carpet

    Sep 15, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

    Wes Helms, Josh Hamilton

    Josh Hamilton‘s grand slam last night helped the Rangers to their 85th win of the season, but it was also worth about $500,000 in free carpet. As part of a promotion CC Carpet and Floor Design in Dallas offered customers who bought flooring or counter tops a full refund if Hamilton hit a grand slam…

  9. Twins unsure if Justin Morneau and Denard Span will play again this season

    Sep 15, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    morneau frustrated reuthers

    Minnesota’s season has been a mess on nearly every possible level, but the biggest long-term worries to come from their miserable 2011 are Justin Morneau‘s and Denard Span‘s struggles to come back from concussions. Morneau originally suffered his concussion in the middle of last year, but was recently shut down after experiencing dizziness 15 months…

  10. Buster Posey’s rehab is ahead of schedule

    Sep 15, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    posey wider

    Obviously the season was a wash the moment he broke his ankle, but Buster Posey‘s rehab is continuing apace, with the Giants’ catcher to begin hitting off a tee next week. Actually, Giants trainer Dave Groeschner says that Posey is ahead of schedule and that his rehab is “pretty accelerated” at the moment. Of course, doing…

  11. X-rays were negative, so Robinson Cano plans to play Friday

    Sep 15, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    New York Yankees Robinson Cano walks off the field as the Chicago White Sox celebrate after Brent Lillibridge made a diving catch to win in New York

    Shortly before losing to the Mariners on an extra-inning walk-off homer by Luis Rodriguez last night the Yankees nearly lost Robinson Cano when he was hit on the foot by a 95-mph pitch. Cano remained in the game and hobbled to first base, and afterward underwent X-rays that came back negative. Andrew Marchand of ESPN…

  12. The Reds aren’t exactly thrilled with their 2012 schedule

    Sep 15, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    GABP

    At least not the opening of it. The Reds had traditionally played the first game of the season in honor of their status as the oldest major league team.  That tradition has broken down in recent years, with prime time games taking over as the real opener and even some other teams having their first…

  13. Reds want Yonder Alonso to lose some weight

    Sep 15, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Alonso_Yonder

    They aren’t sure where Yonder Alonso will play defensively, using the natural first baseman in left field and at third base because of Joey Votto‘s presence, but the Reds are certain the 24-year-old former first-round pick needs to lose some weight wherever he winds up. Alonso, who’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 241 pounds, told John…

  14. NBC SportsTalk: handicapping the NL Cy Young race

    Sep 15, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    Roy Halladay

    As I mentioned, last night I made my debut as a talking head on NBC SportsTalk, our new studio show on Versus (which, as of the first year, will be known as the NBC Sports Network).  I didn’t barf, drop any F-bombs or ruin any equipment, so I assume that they’ll have me back on…

  15. Mariano Rivera: center fielder

    Sep 15, 2011, 9:40 AM EDT

    Mariano Rivera

    I want to say I heard someone talking about this once before, but in the New York Times today there’s a story about how Mariano Rivera thinks he’d be a pretty nifty center fielder.  And about how he’d love a chance to get in at least one game in center before he’s done. Joe Girardi…

  16. Fox sports honcho: baseball is a regional game

    Sep 15, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

    old TV

    Every time someone talks smack about baseball by bringing up the relatively low ratings for national games of the week, the All-Star Game or the playoffs, I go off on some rant about how that person is ignorant of how baseball works on television.  About how baseball is a local game and how you can’t…

  17. Matt Moore makes an inauspicious debut

    Sep 15, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    Matt Moore

    Rays pitching prospect Matt Moore made his major-league debut in last night’s 6-2 loss to the O’s.  It wasn’t fantastic: he allowed two runs on three hits in one and a third in relief. It was a weird first appearance too.  He and the bullpen coaches thought he was supposed to start the seventh inning,…

  18. Programming Note: Announcing the Story Explorer

    Sep 15, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    Power House

    Sometime later today you’re going to notice a minor change to HBT and the other NBC SportsTalk blogs.  At the bottom of each story there will be a little navigation bar we call the Story Explorer. The idea is that once you’ve finished reading a post you will be able to browse and then —…

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

    Sep 15, 2011, 5:48 AM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v Chicago White Sox

    Tigers 6, White Sox 5: Detroit continues to be ridiculous. Alex Avila was a hero, tying it up at five with a big fly. Carlos Guillen won it with an RBI single in extras. I know there are people who want to pretend that Justin Verlander is single-handedly carrying the Tigers into the playoffs, but…

  20. Fielder states the obvious, calls it his ‘last year’ with Brewers

    Sep 15, 2011, 1:11 AM EDT

    National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix

    Quick everyone, raise your hand if you expect Prince Fielder to sign a huge free-agent deal this offseason to return to the Milwaukee Brewers. (… waits …) Nobody? Well I can’t say that I’m surprised. Neither apparently, does Prince Fielder, who told TBS on Wednesday that this would likely be his last season in Milwaukee.…

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