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  1. Pitch like Tim Lincecum? Then maybe you can hit off him, too

    Aug 9, 2011, 3:45 PM EDT

    Tim Lincecum Red Bull

    Tim Lincecum is offering a lucky fan the chance to hit against him next spring.  All that fan will need to do is emulate his delivery better than everyone else. Fans can submit a video to the “Red Bull Ultimate” competition doing their best Lincecum windup for the opportunity to meet the ace in spring training.  According…

  2. Jose Reyes is “probably losing $100,000 a day on the DL”

    Aug 9, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v New York Mets

    We still have nearly two months left in the regular season, but one of the more interesting questions for the Hot Stove will be just how much Jose Reyes will make in free agency given that he has already had two stints on the disabled list this season with a strained left hamstring. Perception could…

  3. Blue Jays call up 21-year-old prospect Henderson Alvarez from Double-A

    Aug 9, 2011, 3:10 PM EDT

    Blue Jays catcher Molina talks with pitcher Alvarez during their Grapefruit League baseball game in Lakeland

    Henderson Alvarez began this season at Single-A, but 16 starts later the 21-year-old right-hander is in the majors after the Blue Jays called him up today. Alvarez is stepping into the rotation spot that belonged to Carlos Villanueva, who’s on the disabled list with a strained forearm, and will make his big-league debut tomorrow at…

  4. We own you: each team’s best record vs. another franchise since 2000

    Aug 9, 2011, 2:55 PM EDT

    Royals loss

    Here’s something I thought would be quick and fun on a slow news day: each team’s best record versus a league opponent since 2000.  I’m not including the small-sample interleague results. Arizona: 46-32 vs. Pittsburgh (.590 winning pct.) Atlanta: 52-31 vs. San Diego (.627) Chicago: 107-82 vs. Pittsburgh (.566) Cincinnati: 43-33 vs. Florida (.566) Colorado:…

  5. Ralph Kiner has the right idea about closers and saves

    Aug 9, 2011, 2:37 PM EDT

    ralph kiner

    Allen Barra of the Village Voice quotes 88-year-old Hall of Famer and part-time Mets announcer Ralph Kiner on the evolution of the closer role and the modern manager’s obsession with saves: One of the worst things they ever did to relief pitching was invent the “save” category. If they hadn’t done that, managers would bring…

  6. Lenny Dykstra looks good in orange

    Aug 9, 2011, 2:02 PM EDT

    Former Major League baseball player Lenny Dykstra appears Los Angeles Superior court for an arraignment in San Fernando, California

    Lenny Dykstra was back in court yesterday, wearing an orange jump suit and handcuffs at his arraignment hearing in California. Dykstra is charged with 25 counts including grand theft auto, attempted grand theft auto, filing false financial statements, and possessing a controlled substance. Dan Whitcomb of Reuters reports that he faces up to 12 years…

  7. White Sox rotation could go from six to four

    Aug 9, 2011, 1:35 PM EDT

    Mark Buehrle

    Five appears to be an unlucky number for the White Sox.  While they’ve recently gone back to a six-man rotation with Zach Stewart up, they’re considering dropping down to a four-man rotation with three off-days coming up in the second half of the month. “It has been on my mind the last couple of days.…

  8. Alex Rodriguez to meet with MLB about poker “in a few days” and “no chance he’ll be suspended”

    Aug 9, 2011, 1:17 PM EDT

    alex rodriguez poker

    As promised, MLB soon will meet with Alex Rodriguez to discuss his involvement in high-stakes poker games, according to the New York Daily News. The newspaper reports that the meeting will take place “in a few days” at MLB’s offices in New York, but commissioner Bud Selig likely won’t be there and the talks aren’t…

  9. Nationals unlikely to sign draft pick who made racist tweets

    Aug 9, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

    Nationals logo

    Zach Houchins, the Nationals’ 15th-round pick in the 2011 draft who created a bit of a stir when a fanblog highlighted some very unflattering tweets, hasn’t heard from the team in months and is highly unlikely to sign a contract prior to the Aug. 15 deadline. Houchins, a shortstop from a North Carolina juco, apologized…

  10. Stat of the Day: OPS leaders since the All-Star break

    Aug 9, 2011, 12:42 PM EDT

    napoli homer

    The overall OPS leaderboard is filled with familiar names as Jose Bautista, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, Prince Fielder, and Miguel Cabrera hold the top five spots, but the OPS leaderboard since the All-Star break has a few more surprises …

  11. David Ortiz got punk’d by Dustin Pedroia

    Aug 9, 2011, 12:27 PM EDT

    David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia

    Remember last week when David Ortiz burst into Terry Francona’s media session and went on a profanity-laced tirade over a lost RBI, the result of a changed scoring decision? Well, apparently no one got a bigger chuckle out of it than little Dustin Pedroia.  Says the CSNNE.com report: Pedroia told Ortiz that John Henry and Theo Epstein…

  12. Twins approached Jason Kubel about contract extension

    Aug 9, 2011, 12:04 PM EDT

    kubel getty wide

    Last week Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that the Twins offered impending free agent Michael Cuddyer a two-year, $16 million extension that he predictably turned down and now he says they “also spoke to Jason Kubel.” Kubel is also an impending free agent and has expressed a desire to remain in Minnesota,…

  13. With six days to go before deadline, 14 of top 16 draft picks still unsigned

    Aug 9, 2011, 11:50 AM EDT

    Gerrit Cole - UCLA

    It looks like we’re going to have another very busy Aug. 15 this year.  As of Tuesday morning, only nine of the 30 first-round picks have signed.  A mere two of the top 16 have inked deals. Here’s the top 16: 1. Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole 2. Mariners: LHP Danny Hultzen 3. Diamondbacks: RHP Trevor…

  14. Adam Dunn plans to change offseason routine “to not let this happen again”

    Aug 9, 2011, 11:28 AM EDT

    Adam Dunn

    Adam Dunn famously doesn’t swing a bat during the offseason and that approach has certainly worked for a long time, as he came into this season with an OPS above .800 in each of his first 10 years. However, with Dunn going through an epic collapse that includes a .165 batting average and league-leading 143…

  15. Brian McCann hoping to come off DL when eligible Friday

    Aug 9, 2011, 10:56 AM EDT

    Brian McCann

    Oblique strains tend to sideline players for longer than the minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list, but Brian McCann is pleased enough with how his recovery has gone to think returning when eligible Friday is possible. McCann took batting practice yesterday for the first time since suffering the injury on July 26 and told…

  16. Ongoing elbow problems may shut down Scott Baker

    Aug 9, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

    Scott Baker

    Scott Baker had elbow surgery shortly after the end of last season, spent time on the disabled list in July, and has been very successfully pitching through various levels of discomfort for much of this year, but it sounds like the pain may finally be too much. Baker allowed five runs in six innings against…

  17. Ramon Ramirez on fine: “I was waiting for a suspension”

    Aug 9, 2011, 10:01 AM EDT

    Phillies Giants Baseball

    Ramon Ramirez expected to receive a harsher punishment for his part in Friday night’s Giants-Phillies scuffle, calling his undisclosed fine “a surprise” because “I was waiting for a suspension.” Instead the only player suspended by MLB was Shane Victorino, who’s appealing his three-game punishment that the commissioner’s office termed “aggressive actions [that] prolonged the bench-clearing…

  18. Kevin Millwood leaves Red Sox and joins Rockies’ rotation for Wednesday start

    Aug 9, 2011, 9:25 AM EDT

    Kevin Millwood

    As rumored yesterday, Kevin Millwood will start for Colorado on Wednesday after opting out of his minor-league deal with the Red Sox to sign with the Rockies. Millwood went 4-16 with a 5.10 ERA for the Orioles last season and didn’t pitch particularly well for the Yankees and Red Sox at Triple-A this year, but…

  19. The Braves could skip Tommy Hanson in the rotation this week

    Aug 9, 2011, 8:16 AM EDT

    Tommy Hanson

    Drew asked the other day, “What’s the Deal With Tommy Hanson?” Well, we’re about to find out. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez and pitching coach Roger McDowell plan to talk with Hanson to determine whether he needs to be skipped in the rotation or have his scheduled Friday…

  20. Joey Votto isn’t interested in switching positions

    Aug 8, 2011, 11:21 PM EDT

    votto-110808

    Yonder Alonso is a promising young hitter and the top-rated prospect in the Cincinnati Reds organization. The problem is he doesn’t really have a good spot to play. Alonso, a first baseman by trade, is blocked by Reds All-Star Joey Votto, who is the reigning NL MVP and at 27, only three years older than…

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