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  1. Phillies release veteran starter Joel Pineiro

    Mar 19, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Joel Pineiro

    Philadelphia signed Joel Pineiro to a minor-league contract in January, but a three-week look at the veteran right-hander was all they needed to determine he wasn’t worth keeping around. Today they released Pineiro, who made $8 million from the Angels in each of the past two seasons and would have gotten $1.5 million from the…

  2. Baseball trying to encourage civility between players and umpires

    Mar 19, 2012, 12:03 PM EDT

    Yost Estabrook

    Buster Olney reports in his column this morning that Major League Baseball has been trying to encourage a more civil discourse between the players and the men in blue: In short, they are encouraging that there be a more civil discourse. “I don’t think they mind us asking questions of the umpires, like ‘Was that…

  3. Mike Maddux denies pulling name from consideration in Cubs’ manager search

    Mar 19, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Mike Maddux Getty

    Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux pulled his name from consideration for the Red Sox’s managerial opening back in November, but said yesterday that he did not do the same with the Cubs’ job. He simply lost out to Dale Sveum. Maddux cited family reasons for pulling out of the running in Boston, but later interviewed…

  4. The Wilpons aren’t gonna be out all that much money

    Mar 19, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

    Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

    We’ve heard scary numbers regarding the potential liability of the Mets owners in the Madoff mess. The trustee, Irving Picard, was using the B-word at times last year. Recently it was thought that their exposure could be $300 million or more.  A couple of weeks ago they were ordered to pay $83 million as part…

  5. Knee injury puts Giancarlo Stanton’s status for Opening Day in doubt

    Mar 19, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    stanton swing

    Giancarlo Stanton’s wrist is no longer an issue after being hit by a pitch on March 11, but he remains out of the lineup with knee soreness that hasn’t gotten any better in a week. Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that the Marlins believe Stanton would play if Opening Day was tomorrow,…

  6. Dirk Hayhurst had a pretty short stay in Italy

    Mar 19, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    Dirk Hayhurst

    Dirk Hayhurst, friend of the blog and author of “The Bullpen Gospels”and the recently released (and most excellent) “Out of my League,” was supposed to play for Nettuno of the Serie A1 in Italy this year. He signed back in January was going to be their Opening Day starter, but the plans have changed. In a series of Tweets yesterday,…

  7. Chase Utley leaves Phillies camp to see knee specialist, “doubtful” for Opening Day

    Mar 19, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    utley ap

    Chase Utley kept sitting out games and the Phillies kept insisting it was precautionary and simply an effort to keep him from wearing down during the long regular season, but now it’s clear his chronic knee problems are a much bigger issue than the team was letting on. Utley has left Phillies camp and will…

  8. The Koreans are really serious about keeping the Orioles out

    Mar 19, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    Orioles cap

    Remember how the Orioles got themselves banned from scouting in Korea thanks to violating rules of the Korea Baseball Association?  Well, the Koreans are really serious about it. This pic comes from Korean baseball columnist Daniel Kim, who took it today at Guyee Stadium in Korea: But hey, totally worth it to sign a mediocre…

  9. Twins send Tsuyoshi Nishioka to Triple-A with two years and $6.25 million left on contract

    Mar 19, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Tsuyoshi Nishioka

    After watching Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit and field terribly for 68 games last season and look even worse this spring the Twins announced that they’re sending him to Triple-A with two years and $6.25 million remaining on his contract. Toss in the $3 million he made last season and the $5.25 million they paid for his…

  10. Joakim Soria is worried about his elbow

    Mar 19, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

    Joakim Soria

    Royals closer Joakim Soria left yesterday’s game against the Indians due to some elbow soreness.  Afterwards, he said that he’s pretty worried about it: “Oh, yeah, I’m worried,” he admitted. “Since I’ve had my Tommy John surgery (in 2003), I’ve never had anything like that. I don’t feel it’s that bad because before the Tommy…

  11. BREAKING: The Mets owners have settled with the bankruptcy trustee for $162 million

    Mar 19, 2012, 9:28 AM EDT

    File image of New York Mets chairman and CEO Fred Wilpon talking to reporters at a news conference in New York

    UPDATE: Richard Sandomir reports that the settlement is for $162 million. This is still a hefty chunk of change, but it is less than the liability they faced. And, more importantly, it brings certainty to what has been an uncertain liability hanging over the team’s head for a couple of years now. 9:27 AM: The…

  12. Not cool: C.J. Wilson tweets Mike Napoli’s cell phone number

    Mar 19, 2012, 9:12 AM EDT

    Cell Phone

    C.J. Wilson and Mike Napoli are former teammates and now play for division rivals.  Mike Napoli recently taunted Wilson, saying that he can’t wait to hit home runs off Wilson.  So, naturally, Wilson gets him back in proportional style: by tweeting Napoli’s cell phone to his 100,000+ Twitter followers. Dave Brown of Big League Stew…

  13. Robinson Cano has a bruised hand

    Mar 19, 2012, 8:50 AM EDT

    New York Yankees infielder Robinson Cano gestures during workouts before a spring training baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Tampa

     Robinson Cano left last night’s Orioles-Yankees game in the sixth inning after being hit in the left hand. Kind of a scary moment — that kind of thing leads to broken bones and there’s a pretty good argument that he’s the most important dude on that team — but all seems OK.  X-rays came back negative.…

  14. Freddy Garcia doesn’t sound thrilled about Andy Pettitte being back

    Mar 19, 2012, 8:20 AM EDT

    New York Yankees' Garcia stretches during a workout at the team's spring training complex in Tampa

    Andy Pettitte’s return has everyone excited.  Well, almost everyone. When reached for comment, Phil Hughes, who may be ticketed to the pen or to the minors as a result of the Pettitte signing, offered the classically passive-aggressive “is what it is.” Though to be fair it was surrounded by some more diplomatic noises. But there…

  15. Maybe the Mets should just release Mike Pelfrey

    Mar 18, 2012, 9:00 PM EDT

    Mike Pelfrey adjusts his cap after giving a run to the Houston Astros in Kissimmee, Florida

    Mike Pelfrey gave up eight runs to the Astros (of all teams) on Sunday, taking his spring ERA to 14.90.  In the best of his three starts, he allowed four runs in 4 1/3 innings and struck out none versus the Cardinals. Overall, he’s allowed 16 runs, 20 hits and six walks while striking out…

  16. Rays demote former No. 1 picks Matt Bush and Tim Beckham

    Mar 18, 2012, 8:10 PM EDT

    Tim Beckham, Joe Benson

    It’s not every day a team sends down two former No. 1 draft picks. Reliever Matt Bush, the first overall selection in the 2004 draft, and shortstop Tim Beckham, the first pick in 2008, were both demoted as part of the Rays’ roster cuts on Sunday. Both moves were expected. The more surprising demotion was…

  17. Hail storm sends fans scattering in Arizona

    Mar 18, 2012, 7:32 PM EDT

    Peoria Sports Complex (photo courtesy of the Mariners)

    It was a wild weather day in Arizona on Sunday, as multiple Cactus League games were halted due to rain and hail. The game between the Rockies and Mariners in Peoria was called in the fifth. The Diamondbacks-Athletics and Padres-Giants games likewise had hail sightings, though those teams continued to play. A’s beat reporter Susan…

  18. Joakim Soria leaves game with sore elbow

    Mar 18, 2012, 6:46 PM EDT

    Joakim Soria

    Royals closer Joakim Soria was forced from his appearance Sunday against the Indians by elbow soreness, the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton reports. Soria retired just one of the five batters he faced before departing and was charged with three runs. It was the third time in three spring appearances that he gave up at…

  19. Francisco Liriano and the near no-hitter

    Mar 18, 2012, 6:40 PM EDT

    Francisco Liriano

    The resurgent Francisco Liriano pitched five hitless innings and combined with four relievers on a one-hit shutout of the Pirates on Sunday. The Pirates got their only hit when Brandon Boggs singled off Luis Perdomo in the eighth. Twins pitchers ended up with 10 strikeouts in the 10-0 win. Liriano recorded six of them. Liriano,…

  20. Sveum calls Jeff Samardzija “near lock” for rotation spot

    Mar 18, 2012, 6:03 PM EDT

    samardzija getty

    Cubs manager Dale Sveum told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune Sunday in camp that right-hander Jeff Samardzija is a “near lock” for a spot in the team’s regular-season starting rotation. Samardzija finally found major league success last year in the Chicago bullpen, posting a 2.97 ERA and tallying 87 strikeouts in 88 innings of…

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