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  1. How close was Carlos Beltran to signing with the Red Sox?

    Mar 16, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Carlos Beltran

    Carlos Beltran was linked to the Red Sox prior to signing with the Cardinals, but today the veteran outfielder explained to Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal why he didn’t end up in Boston: I did feel that it was going to be a good fit for me. We talked a little bit, and they…

  2. Philly fans and Boston fans are basically the same

    Mar 16, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

    Phillies fans AP

    My friend Stephen Silver has lived in both Boston and Philly, and is intimately familiar with the respective sports scenes.  And he writes something today that is likely to make the fans in both of those cities mad: … as someone who has lived in both cities and has a lot of family and friends in…

  3. Ervin Santana plays catch after being struck by line drive

    Mar 16, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Ervin Santana

    Ervin Santana played catch yesterday after being hit on the shoulder by an Alexi Ramirez line drive Wednesday, telling Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times that “it’s better than I thought” and “I can move it and anything.” For now the Angels are leaving open the possibility that Santana won’t even miss a turn…

  4. Derek Jeter scratched with a tender calf

    Mar 16, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    New York Yankees shortstop Jeter stretches during workouts before a spring training baseball game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Dunedin

    There are so many guys who cover the Yankees that when some bit of Yankees news is released, my Twitter feed fills up with multiple identical tweets. This morning’s version: “Derek Jeter has a tender calf.” That’s what she said. Anyway, Cap’n Jetes is out of the game today and likely will sit through the…

  5. End of the line for D-Train? Phillies release Dontrelle Willis

    Mar 16, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies' Willis and Qualls wait to throw in the bullpen during workouts at the team's spring training complex in Clearwater

    Last week after an ugly appearance Dontrelle Willis described his performance as “horse[bleep]” and it turns out the Phillies apparently agreed, releasing the veteran left-hander today. Willis signed a one-year, $850,000 deal in December and was expected to serve as a situational southpaw out of the bullpen after shutting down lefty bats in 2011, but…

  6. Super Great: Dee Gordon catches the Royals napping

    Mar 16, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    Dee Gordon

    This video may disappear soon, so if the YouTube I embed here ceases to work soon, go check it out over at Deadspin and trust that they have figured out a way to keep it up on their site longer. Anyway, the fun begins at 1:10, when Dee Gordon walks.  And then immediately steals second…

  7. Giancarlo Stanton “will be out at least for another week”

    Mar 16, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Mike Stanton

    Giancarlo Stanton is sidelined by a knee injury now in addition to his sore wrist, and Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald reports that he “will be out at least for another week” after being diagnosed with inflammation. Stanton underwent an MRI exam yesterday and the Marlins are saying the injury isn’t major, but Stanton…

  8. Domonic Brown hurt his neck sleeping on the bus

    Mar 16, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

    Domonic Brown swinging

    Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown has been scratched for the second straight day due to a neck injury.  One that could only have happened in spring training: Brown was scratched from the lineup for the second time in as many days with a neck injury, an injury he said he first felt after sleeping on the…

  9. Are parts of baseball’s new social media policy … illegal?

    Mar 16, 2012, 9:40 AM EDT

    Social Media

    As we reported the other day, Major League Baseball released its new social media policy.  And it’s good. But do parts of it run afoul of federal labor laws? That’s the question asked by lawyer Eric B. Meyer of The Employer Handbook blog.  He suggests that some of the prohibitions in the policy violate parts…

  10. Ryan Howard’s timetable pushed back to late May, early June

    Mar 16, 2012, 9:06 AM EDT

    Ryan Howard rehabbing

    This is probably expected given his recent infection/setback/whatever Ruben Amaro wants to call it, but Jon Heyman reports that Ryan Howard‘s projected return date has been pushed back about a month. The expectation at the moment: late May or early June. Just sayin’ now: the presence of Mayberry and Wigginton notwithstanding, I want lots of Jim…

  11. HBT Extra: Previewing the AL East

    Mar 16, 2012, 8:40 AM EDT

    Tiffany and Craig

    Some of you will care about this video because I talk about the 2012 AL East in it.  Many more of you will care about it because Tiffany’s back.  It’s OK. I can deal.  I get paid either way. Oh, and we have a new intro that I kinda like.

  12. George Brett: if steroid users get elected to the Hall of Fame, current inductees will boycott

    Mar 16, 2012, 7:41 AM EDT

    George Brett

    George Brett was interviewed by Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic and the topic of PED users and the Hall of Fame came up. Brett says that if he were a voter, he would not put guys like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens on his ballot.  Which, fine, there are a lot of people who…

  13. Franklin Gutierrez making progress, takes 25 swings

    Mar 15, 2012, 10:16 PM EDT

    gutierrez getty

    Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez took a significant step forward Thursday in his ongoing recovery from a torn left pectoral muscle, swinging a bat through the air 25 times without discomfort. This according to 710 ESPN’s Shannon Drayer. Gutierrez had been limited this week to pool workouts, but he reported feeling strong when he arrived…

  14. Jamie Moyer scratched Friday due to left leg discomfort

    Mar 15, 2012, 8:51 PM EDT

    moyer getty

    As first reported by the Denver Post‘s Troy Renck, veteran lefty Jamie Moyer has been scratched from his scheduled start Friday in a minor league game due to “stiffness and soreness” in his left leg. Rockies manager Jim Tracy called the decision to scratch Moyer from the outing a “precautionary measure,” but there is currently…

  15. Red Sox, O’s had scouts at Joe Blanton’s start Thursday

    Mar 15, 2012, 7:33 PM EDT

    blanton getty

    From beat writer Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com comes word that the Red Sox and Orioles had scouts in the stands for Joe Blanton‘s Grapefruit League outing Thursday against the Braves. Blanton threw the ball well, allowing only four hits and no walks in five innings of work while striking out four Atlanta hitters. He has…

  16. Aaron Kurcz goes to Red Sox to complete Theo Epstein compensation package

    Mar 15, 2012, 6:46 PM EDT

    Chicago Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein speaks at a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago

    Already having picked up Chris Carpenter, the Red Sox have now acquired fellow right-hander Aaron Kurcz from the Cubs as the player to be named in the Theo Epstein compensation package. This comes almost five months after Epstein left the Red Sox to become the Cubs’ president of baseball operations. The Red Sox still owe…

  17. Dodgers to give away Hello Kitty bobblehead on July 1

    Mar 15, 2012, 6:37 PM EDT

    hello kitty

    This may not quite placate fans missing Hiroki Kuroda. At least not those male and over 12. The Dodgers announced Thursday that the first 50,000 fans through the gates on July 1 would receive a Hello Kitty Mini Bobblehead. But that’s not all. Not even close: In addition, Hello Kitty and her friend Keroppi® will…

  18. Brian Matusz no longer looking like the worst pitcher ever

    Mar 15, 2012, 6:05 PM EDT

    Brian Matusz

    When last we saw Orioles hurler Brian Matusz, he was setting a major league record. A bad one. He ended last year with a 10.69 ERA in 49 2/3 innings, the highest ERA ever for a pitcher to throw at least 40 innings. Matusz, though, appears to have shaken off that disaster. He was terrific…

  19. Michael Pineda’s velocity still off

    Mar 15, 2012, 5:35 PM EDT

    New York Yankees starter Pineda warms up on the mound during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies in Clearwater

    We wrung our hands at Roy Halladay’s velocity earlier today, so we may as well do the same with Michael Pineda, who has already been the subject of similar hand-wringing this spring. He pitched today and … A scout said Michael Pineda’s velocity was still down today. Sat at 90 or 91 mph. #Yankees have…

  20. Astros minor leaguer Angel Heredia suspended for PEDs

    Mar 15, 2012, 5:01 PM EDT

    Spinal Tap

    I’ve come to look forward to the once or twice weekly minor league drug suspensions. I don’t know who any of these dudes are, but I feel like I learn a little bit about them anyway. Like Astros minor leaguer Angel Heredia: The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Houston Astros Minor…

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