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  1. Sean Rodriguez beats Reid Brignac for Rays’ shortstop job

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    B.J. Upton, Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Reid Brignac, Sean Rodriguez

    Reid Brignac‘s foot injury opened the door for Sean Rodriguez to overtake him on the Rays’ shortstop depth chart and sure enough manager Joe Maddon announced that Rodriguez will open the season as the primary starter. Brignac (.742 OPS) and Rodriguez (.743 OPS) had nearly identical production this spring, but Brignac was limited to just…

  2. A book about fathers and sons learning to love baseball after the steroids scandals? Hoo-boy.

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:36 AM EDT

    syringe

    Via Baseball Think Factory, we learn of the existence of a new book about fathers, sons, baseball and … steroids: Freelance writer Jim Gullo loves baseball and he wanted his son Joe to love it too. So, in the spring of 2007, he bought seven year old Joe a glove, a bat and a ball, and…

  3. Indians finalize $16.5 million deal with Asdrubal Cabrera

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Asdrubal Cabrera

    Asdrubal Cabrera and the Indians have agreed to a two-year, $16.5 million contract extension, with an official announcement today that he’ll make $6.5 million in 2013 and $10 million in 2014. Cabrera was already under contract for $4.55 million this season after avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal and would have been arbitration eligible for…

  4. The top storylines of the 2012 season

    Apr 4, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Rays' Evan Longoria runs to home plate as his teammates crowd around after his 12th inning home run to defeat the Yankees during their American League MLB baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida

    We have used the word “storylines” around here a whole lot lately. Sorry about that. Until the games start later, it’s all about the narrative.  We can get back to our more natural state — reacting to cool stuff that happens rather than speculating about what will — not long after the Cardinals and Marlins…

  5. Chipper Jones aims to return from knee surgery next week

    Apr 4, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Chipper Jones AP

    Chipper Jones underwent knee surgery just eight days ago, but the future Hall of Famer told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he hopes to be back in the Braves’ lineup at some point next week. April 13 has been the targeted return date, which is the Braves’ home opener against the Brewers,…

  6. Matt Bush, Brandon Guyer sued for $5 million each

    Apr 4, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    Matt Bush mugshot

    The family of Tony Tufano, the man who was hit by pitcher Matt Bush has sued Bush — and Brandon Guyer, who owned the car Bush was driving — for $5 million each, according to the Tampa Bay Times.  The family’s lawyer says that it’s possible that the Rays themselves will be added to the…

  7. Josh Hamilton is “kidding, kidding, kidding, kidding”

    Apr 4, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Josh Hamilton Reuters

    Once upon a time the Rangers regularly avoided playing Josh Hamilton in center field because they hoped moving to a corner spot would help keep him healthy, but those plans are out the window now. Hamilton is slated to be the primary center fielder for the first time since 2009 and because he prefers center…

  8. Your inaugural Power Rankings

    Apr 4, 2012, 9:55 AM EDT

    Joe Girardi

    The only thing sillier than predictions about who wins each division several months before the season ends is judging which team is the best before any games are played.  But hey, that’s never stopped me before, so let’s have a Power Ranking, shall we? And yeah, there is that big of a gap between the…

  9. Catching: The toughest job in sports

    Apr 4, 2012, 9:38 AM EDT

    spt-4x3-posey-120403.standard[1]

    During a week-long stint at spring training in Arizona this year, I spent a lot of time with catchers. I learned a lot about their craft, about what they go through on a daily basis. About the stresses of the job, the grind of the six-month long season, as well as the non-stop mental challenges…

  10. Albert Pujols wants to prove people wrong? About what?

    Apr 4, 2012, 9:10 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim's first baseman Pujols watches the field during their spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Arizona

    It takes a special kind of person to play the “no one believes in me” card after getting a ten-year, $240 million contract, but Albert Pujols is apparently that special.  From Bob Nightengale at USA Today: “I always have that chip on my shoulder, no matter what kind of success I’ve had,” Pujols says forcefully.…

  11. And now your HardballTalk writer predictions

    Apr 4, 2012, 8:40 AM EDT

    Oracle of Delphi

    We’re so wrong about these things all the time I’m not even sure why we do them. Yet … we do them. All I ask is that when you all accuse us of hating the Phillies, you remember that this post is floating around the archives, with all four of us picking them to win…

  12. Josh Outman has the worst DL trip ever

    Apr 4, 2012, 6:38 AM EDT

    Josh Outman

    Poor Josh Outman. The Rockies had to put their pitcher on the disabled list last night. Why? Here’s how I heard it: Left handed relieverJosh Outman has been placed on the disabled list with a vomit-induced oblique injury. — Purple Row (@PurpleRow) April 4, 2012 Oh, man.  How did that happen? His brother Zach elaborates:…

  13. Dallas Braden will be shut down for the next three weeks

    Apr 3, 2012, 10:01 PM EDT

    dallas braden ap

    When Dallas Braden strained his surgically-repaired shoulder last week, the A’s weren’t exactly sure how bad of a setback it would be to his ongoing recovery. But that information has since been revealed. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, A’s manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday that Braden will be shut down for…

  14. Rangers discussing six-year extension with Ian Kinsler

    Apr 3, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers Photo Day

    From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Rangers are talking about a six-year contract extension with second baseman Ian Kinsler. But an agreement is not closer because the two sides are differing on what the annual value of the contract should be. Rosenthal explains: The Rangers, sources say, are willing to give Kinsler…

  15. It sucks to be Yohan Flande right now

    Apr 3, 2012, 7:16 PM EDT

    Yohan Flande

    The Braves got down to 25 players Monday, demoting pitchers Cory Gearrin and Julio Teheran to Triple-A as part of their cuts. Left as the 12th pitcher on the staff was Yohan Flande, who appeared all set to make his major league debut after spending six years in the minors. Then came the bad news…

  16. Andrew Bailey set for ligament surgery, likely to miss first half

    Apr 3, 2012, 6:36 PM EDT

    Andrew Bailey

    A second opinion confirmed that Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey has a torn UCL in his right thumb. He’s scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday and will likely miss 3-4 months. It turns out that Bailey was hurt in a collision with Pittsburgh’s Alex Presley at first base in his March 21 outing, though he thought…

  17. Rangers play on after Arlington tornadoes; Mike Napoli posts storm video

    Apr 3, 2012, 6:23 PM EDT

    Texas tornadoes

    The Rangers will face the Mexico City Red Devils as planned tonight despite today’s tornadoes in Texas, including Arlington. According to Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News, several players, including Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Michael Young, were struggling to make it to the ballpark after the storms. Players were supposed to be there…

  18. The HardballTalk Season Preview

    Apr 3, 2012, 6:00 PM EDT

    Wilson Opening Day

    Opening Day is upon us.  Well, one of them anyway. We had one in Japan last week. And then the Cardinals-Marlins game and then more staggered Opening Days across Thursday and Friday. It’s all a conspiracy, you know. The red, white and blue decorative bunting industry and its high-powered lobbyists are what made that happen. More…

  19. Nationals demote left-hander John Lannan and his $5 million salary to the minor leagues

    Apr 3, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

    Florida Marlins v Washington Nationals

    UPDATE: It’s official, according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. Lannan has been optioned to Triple-A Syracuse and Detwiler will open the year as the Nationals’ fifth starter. ************* At the beginning of spring training John Lannan was rumored to be on the trading block and then when it became clear that Chien-Ming Wang wouldn’t be ready…

  20. Video: Jamie Moyer on the “Today” show with Matt Lauer

    Apr 3, 2012, 4:49 PM EDT

    Jamie Moyer

    Fresh off coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery to grab a spot in the Rockies’ rotation 49-year-old Jamie Moyer talked to Matt Lauer on the “Today” show:

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