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  1. Jose Bautista doesn’t mind all the extra drug tests

    Jan 31, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    Jose Bautista

    Last week Jose Bautista noted at a banquet that he has been given a ton more drug tests since he became a super duper power hitter.  He said yesterday, however, that he doesn’t want to be taken as complaining about it.  Quite the contrary: “It has increased in the last two years compared to before…

  2. Why all of you horrible savages are wrong for booing ballplayers

    Jan 31, 2012, 6:50 AM EDT

    Ralph Branca

    There are two areas in baseball — I think just two, but I’m sure someone will remind me if I’m missing any — in which I will freely own up to being an impossible annoying self-righteous prig:  beanball wars, as we discussed yesterday, and booing ballplayers. My thing about beanball wars is pretty defensible I…

  3. Marlins sell out first game at new stadium — sort of

    Jan 31, 2012, 12:10 AM EDT

    marlinsballpark-120130.standard[1]

    The Miami Marlins have figured out a way to erase the embarrassment of poor attendance figures: Make fewer tickets available. Brilliant! The Marlins have announced a sellout for their first game at their new ballpark, a contest against the University of Miami on March 6, reports the Miami Herald. Of course calling it a sellout…

  4. Pat Burrell and the Class of 1998

    Jan 30, 2012, 10:00 PM EDT

    Pat Burrell, Charlie Manuel

    Pat Burrell, the first overall pick in the 1998 draft, is expected to announce his retirement in the coming days. J.D. Drew, another top player from the same class, may do the same. So, here’s a look at the top players from the 1998 draft, as judged by Baseball-Reference’s version of WAR (the list only…

  5. The Astros aren’t changing their name

    Jan 30, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

    200px-Houston_Astros_Logo

    Remember how new Astros’ owner Jim Crane created a mini-controversy last week when he said he planned to conduct a study on whether to change the team’s name?  Well, the results are in. The Astros aren’t going anywhere…except the American League West, that is. According to Astros’ Sr. Director of Social Media Alyson Footer, Crane said the following…

  6. Yoenis Cespedes expected to travel to United States within 7-10 days

    Jan 30, 2012, 8:30 PM EDT

    cespedes-getty

    Yoenis Cespedes‘ agent Adam Katz has been a pretty popular guy since the Cuban outfielder was granted free agency by MLB last Wednesday. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Katz said the market for the 26-year-old has been “meaningful and aggressive” and that he expects his client will be in spring training with an MLB…

  7. The Rangers met with Roy Oswalt today

    Jan 30, 2012, 7:29 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    As mentioned by Craig yesterday morning, the Rangers did indeed have a meeting with Roy Oswalt today. But if you’re looking for any major developments, you’re probably going to be disappointed. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that the situation “remains ongoing and unresolved.” Meanwhile, Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com described it as an “exploratory meeting.” It’s probably fair…

  8. Corey Patterson lands with the Brewers

    Jan 30, 2012, 6:17 PM EDT

    Corey Patterson

    Even thought he wasn’t offered an invitation to spring training, Corey Patterson signed a minor league deal with the Brewers on Monday. Assistant GM Gord Ash said he’s being penciled in as the left fielder for Triple-A Nashville. Patterson had one of his best seasons with the Orioles in 2010, hitting .269/.315/.406 in 308 at-bats,…

  9. Mark Cuban explains why he didn’t get the Dodgers. And it doesn’t make much sense.

    Jan 30, 2012, 5:43 PM EDT

    Mark Cuban horizontal

    Mark Cuban’s name is always mentioned when a baseball team is up for sale. Yet he never seals the deal.  It just happened with the Dodgers too.  His explanation: “The economics got so out of control because the Dodgers’ TV deal’s up for bid and so there’s a lot of groups coming in going, ‘This TV…

  10. Orioles sign Pat Neshek, Ronny Paulino to minors deals

    Jan 30, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

    neshek wide getty

    Baltimore added some depth for spring training, signing right-hander Pat Neshek and catcher Ronny Paulino to minor-league deals with camp invites. Neshek was an excellent setup man for the Twins in 2006 and 2007, but underwent Tommy John elbow surgery in mid-2008 and hasn’t been the same since. He threw 25 innings for the Padres…

  11. Marlins President to run 50 miles for charity

    Jan 30, 2012, 5:00 PM EDT

    Marlins Miami new logo

    I only run (a) when there’s 70+ episodes of good TV on Netflix I can watch on my treadmill; or (b) when chased. Marlins President David Samson will run for different reasons: Miami Marlins president David Samson plans to run 50 miles in one day for charity to honor construction workers who built the Marlins’…

  12. Rangers keep manager Ron Washington through 2014 with two-year contract extension

    Jan 30, 2012, 4:40 PM EDT

    World Series Rangers Cardinals Baseball

    Ron Washington’s contract was set to expire after this season, but the Rangers have signed the 60-year-old manager to a two-year extension that will keep him in Texas through 2014. Washington’s current deal was also a two-year extension inked after the 2010 season, which was the Rangers’ first of back-to-back AL championships. Washington replaced Buck…

  13. Taylor Buchholz to sit out 2012 with depression issues

    Jan 30, 2012, 4:16 PM EDT

    Buchholz_Taylor

    Taylor Buchholz‘s season ended in early June due to a combination of shoulder fatigue and depression, and agent David Pasti told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York that the right-hander plans to sit out the entire 2012 season. Pasti described Buchholz as “feeling great, but not ready to get back into baseball” as he continues…

  14. The Rotoworld Draft Guide is now available

    Jan 30, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

    Buy Now

    Little known fact: like “Maude,” “Trapper John M.D.” and “Laverne and Shirley,” HardballTalk is a spinoff. Well, sorta.  Our roots are certainly elsewhere, as every writer up in this thing either wrote or currently writes for Rotoworld.  Well, not me. I’m lazy. But all the other guys do. And the coolest thing Rotoworld does apart…

  15. Red Sox hire Matt Stairs as television analyst

    Jan 30, 2012, 3:25 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    Matt Stairs, who retired in August after being released by the Nationals in his 19th big-league season, has already found a new gig as a part-time television analyst for the Red Sox’s local broadcasts. Stairs will serve as a studio analyst for NESN, which also hired Jenny Dell away from ESPN.com to replace Heidi Watney…

  16. Great Moments in Photoshop II: Jose Reyes playing short for the Marlins

    Jan 30, 2012, 2:55 PM EDT

    Shark

    Last week we got a glimpse of Albert Pujols playing first base for the Angels on his 2012 Topps card. This despite the fact that the only time he has worn the jersey was for his press conference. Topps is giving Jose Reyes the same treatment: This looks shopped. I can tell from the pixels and…

  17. Victor Martinez had microfracture surgery

    Jan 30, 2012, 2:15 PM EDT

    Victor Martinez

    Victor Martinez‘s season-ending knee injury was quickly overshadowed by the Prince Fielder signing, but in case you forgot: dude really bollocksed up his knee.  On Friday he had the first off multiple surgeries: microfracture surgery, which always sounds all kinds of scary.  He’ll have the reconstruction of his ACL done in approximately 6-8 weeks. I’m…

  18. Dmitri Young worked out for the Phillies

    Jan 30, 2012, 1:47 PM EDT

    Dmitri Young AP

    Dmitri Young’s comeback hasn’t found a home yet, but Jim Bowden of ESPN.com reports that the 38-year-old recently worked out for the Phillies. Young hasn’t played in the majors since 2008, so it’s a long shot, but hitting was never the reason for his demise and he’s dropped 75 pounds. According to Bowden the Phillies…

  19. Yankees in “serious talks” with Bill Hall, who may be in the Best Shape of His Life

    Jan 30, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    bill hall fields

    Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees are in “serious talks” with Bill Hall. This would obviously be for a bench/utility role.  Hall had a horrible 2011 season, but he was useful in 2010 for the Red Sox — 18 homers in 342 plate appearances — and could possibly still have a little life left in…

  20. Pat Burrell expected to retire at age 35

    Jan 30, 2012, 12:50 PM EDT

    Pat Burrell

    No official word yet, but Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports that Pat Burrell will announce his retirement following a 12-year career. Burrell got back on track after a miserable one-and-a-half season stint with the Rays, returning to the NL with the Giants while hitting .259 with 25 homers and an .827 OPS in…

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