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  1. Josh Beckett is in Cleveland getting a second opinion

    Apr 3, 2012, 9:44 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox Josh Beckett walks to the dugout at the end of the seventh inning, during which the Baltimore Orioles scored two runs, in their MLB American League baseball at Fenway Park in Boston

    “Well, you’re ugly too.” Sorry. One of my favorite old jokes. Anyway. A day after Josh Beckett went to San Antonio to get his wonky thumb looked at, he is on his way to the shores of Lake Erie to get a second opinion, this time at the Cleveland Clinic. While one might assume this…

  2. Springtime Storylines: Do the Tampa Bay Rays have the best rotation in baseball?

    Apr 3, 2012, 9:14 AM EDT

    Matt Moore

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: The Tampa Bay Rays. The Big Question: Do the Rays have the best rotation in baseball? The Phillies and the…

  3. Andy Pettitte could pitch tomorrow

    Apr 3, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    Andy Pettitte Reuters

    Andy Pettitte has only pitched in simulated games thus far, but he may actually get to face some live hitters tomorrow. Those live hitters would be the Mets in the Yankees final spring training game. It’s been a slow ramp-up and de-rust-i-fication process for Pettitte. But one figures that if he wasn’t ready, Yankees coaches…

  4. HBT Extra: Stuff to watch this season

    Apr 3, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    Tiffany and Craig

    Tiffany and I spend our last full day without regular season baseball talking about the stuff people will be talking about this season.

  5. Springtime Storylines: Have the Reds built themselves a World Series contender?

    Apr 2, 2012, 10:47 PM EDT

    Dusty Baker, Scott Rolen

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: The Cincinnati Redlegs. The Big Question: Do the Reds have the pieces to compete for the 2012 World Series title?…

  6. Springtime Storylines: Is there life after Prince Fielder in baseball’s smallest market?

    Apr 2, 2012, 9:31 PM EDT

    ryan braun reuters

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: A Battered Brew Crew. The Big Question: Can the Brewers still be successful without their Prince? Milwaukee put it all…

  7. Jesus Montero exits game after being hit in the helmet by a pitch

    Apr 2, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs

    The Mariners were given quite the scare earlier this afternoon when Jesus Montero was hit in the helmet by a pitch from Rockies’ right-hander Edgmer Escalona. Yes, the Rockies. Plenty of drama for them in the 24 hours for them, huh? Montero immediately fell to the ground, but quickly got to his feet and began…

  8. Andrew Bailey told that he needs surgery on thumb

    Apr 2, 2012, 8:26 PM EDT

    andrew bailey getty

    UPDATE: Abraham now reports that Bailey was already told that surgery is recommended on his thumb. If Dr. Thomas Graham agrees with the diagnosis, the surgery could happen as soon as tomorrow. 8:26 PM: Andrew Bailey‘s thumb injury? Yeah, it could be a lot more serious than we originally thought. Peter Abraham of the Boston…

  9. Springtime Storylines: Are the Marlins the most interesting team in baseball?

    Apr 2, 2012, 7:50 PM EDT

    Ozzie Guillen Getty

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: The new-look Miami Marlins. The big question: Are the Marlins the most interesting team in baseball? The Florida Marlins are…

  10. The Reds go too far with Joey Votto’s $225 million deal

    Apr 2, 2012, 7:26 PM EDT

    Joey Votto

    Ever since Joey Votto won the 2010 NL MVP award, it seemed like Reds fans were counting down the days to his departure. The Reds weren’t going to pony up the money Votto so clearly deserved, and Votto, for his part, seemed OK with the idea of spending the second half of his career in…

  11. Report: Reds, Joey Votto agree to 10-year, $225 million deal

    Apr 2, 2012, 6:59 PM EDT

    Joey Votto

    Update: It’s a 10-year, $225 million extension, according to USA TODAY’s Bob Nightengale. It doesn’t replace Votto’s current contract, so it will run from 2014-2023. If the story is true, it’s the fourth biggest contract of all-time, surpassing Prince Fielder‘s deal with the Tigers. Alex Rodriguez holds the top two places on the list, with…

  12. This doesn’t bode well: Jake Arrieta is Baltimore’s Opening Day starter

    Apr 2, 2012, 6:55 PM EDT

    Jake Arrieta

    “This is Birdland” – the Orioles’ 2012 slogan. Jake Arrieta had a 5.05 ERA in 22 starts before requiring elbow surgery and missing the final two months of last season. This spring, he has a 6.14 ERA in his four starts. Incredibly, it was a good enough showing to earn him the Opening Day assignment against…

  13. Ubaldo Jimenez draws five-game suspension for throwing at Troy Tulowitzki

    Apr 2, 2012, 6:22 PM EDT

    Ubaldo Jimenez, Carlos Santana

    Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez was banned five games by the league Monday for intentionally throwing a pitch at Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki on Sunday. Jimenez was not ejected from Sunday’s game, even though it was obvious he meant to drill Tulowitzki. The benches cleared after the incident, though order was quickly restored. Tulo was taken for…

  14. Scott Boras says Johnny Damon will sign by May 1

    Apr 2, 2012, 5:58 PM EDT

    Johnny Damon

    ESPN’s Buster Olney heard from Scott Boras today and quoted the agent as saying that Johnny “Damon will be signed by May 1st; just don’t know where.” Olney also said that Damon is looking for at least 450 plate appearances, which would be enough to get him at least 100 hits closer to 3,000. Damon…

  15. Springtime Storylines: Will the Cleveland Indians build on last season or take a step backward?

    Apr 2, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

    Cleveland Indians' catcher Carlos Santana waits for his turn at bat during their MLB spring training baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Scottsdale

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: Cleveland Indians. The Big Question: Will the Cleveland Indians build on last season or take a step backward? Cleveland got…

  16. Braves name 22-year-old prospect Tyler Pastornicky starting shortstop

    Apr 2, 2012, 4:14 PM EDT

    Braves Spring baseball

    Tyler Pastornicky came into spring training as the favorite to be the Braves’ shortstop and today they made it official, naming the 22-year-old prospect the Opening Day starter. Pastornicky was acquired from the Blue Jays in the mid-2010 deal for Yunel Escobar and replaces veteran Alex Gonzalez, who signed with the Brewers as a free…

  17. Springtime Storylines: Does anyone remember that the Boston Red Sox were really good last year?

    Apr 2, 2012, 3:30 PM EDT

    Bobby Valentine Reuters

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: The Boston Red Sox. The Big Question: Does anyone remember that the Red Sox were actually, you know, good last…

  18. Matt Cain and the Giants agree to $112.5 million extension

    Apr 2, 2012, 3:15 PM EDT

    Matt Cain

    First Joey Votto and now Matt Cain. Said to be working hard on contract negotiations over the weekend, the Giants just made things official with Cain by announcing a five-year, $112.5 million extension with a sixth-year vesting option. Cain was already set to earn $15 million this season in the final year of a three-year,…

  19. Ubaldo Jimenez says he doesn’t deserve suspension, isn’t apologizing, didn’t hit Troy Tulowitzki on purpose

    Apr 2, 2012, 2:49 PM EDT

    Troy Tulowitzki, Ubaldo Jimenez, Lou Marson, Clint Fagan

    Ubaldo Jimenez spoke to the media this morning and reiterated that he didn’t hit former teammate Troy Tulowitzki on purpose yesterday, saying he shouldn’t be suspended. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com described Jimenez as having “leaned back in his chair inside the Indians’ clubhouse on Monday morning, calmly disagreeing with the notion that a suspension was…

  20. Sam Fuld needs wrist surgery, could miss entire season

    Apr 2, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    Sam Fuld

    Sam Fuld was slated for a minor role after fading in the second half last season, but now the Rays will have to find a new backup outfielder. Fuld is scheduled for wrist surgery tomorrow and is expected to miss 4-5 months, putting his entire season in jeopardy. He originally suffered the injury in September.…

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