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  1. Ken Davidoff’s awesome Hall of Fame ballot

    Dec 27, 2011, 10:40 AM EDT

    Alan Trammell

    Newsday’s Ken Davidoff has released his Hall of Fame ballot.  It’s good for the people he picks, all of whom I’d either pick myself or who are extremely defensible choices even if I differ: Barry Larkin, Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Edgar Martinez, Alan Trammell, Larry Walker, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro. The real value of…

  2. Jim Johnson, not Kevin Gregg, likely to be Orioles’ closer

    Dec 27, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Johnson_Jim

    Earlier this offseason there was some talk about the Orioles possibly moving Jim Johnson into the rotation, but he now seems destined to remain in the bullpen and Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com expects Johnson to be the Opening Day closer. That could still change if the Orioles acquire a veteran closer, but they whiffed on…

  3. R.A. Dickey’s Mt. Kilimanjaro trip has the Mets nervous

    Dec 27, 2011, 9:22 AM EDT

    RA Dickey pitch

    We’ve mentioned before that R.A. Dickey is going to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro next month. Why? Because he’s awesome. And he has always wanted to. And because he’s going to promote a charity that helps victims of sex trafficking in India, which in turn makes him awesome again, and that’s before we even get to the…

  4. So let’s move a baseball team to San Berdoo

    Dec 27, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

    San Bernadino

    Via BTF, we find a very cool set of charts over at the Wages of Wins Journal* showing which metropolitan areas in the U.S., based on local income and size, could support expansion franchises or relocated franchises for the major sports. The upshot for baseball: there really is no place for a team to move…

  5. Don Drysdale on “The Brady Bunch” and the tragic life of the first Mrs. Brady

    Dec 27, 2011, 6:48 AM EDT

    Drysdale Brady Bunch

    Don’t lie: you’ve done it. You’ve done exactly what Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times describes in this article from the other day: Baseball fans, who seem to have more time to waste than normal people, love to compile All-This or All-That teams: lineups made of real players who meet some criterion. The All-Steroids…

  6. Yorvit Torrealba issues apology for umpire attack in Venezuela

    Dec 26, 2011, 8:00 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

    Yorvit Torrealba shoved an umpire in the face last Friday while playing for his hometown Leones del Caracas in the Venezuelan winter league. The league announced a 66-game suspension earlier today, which covers the rest of this winter league season and carries into next season. You can watch video of the attack here. According to Jeff…

  7. Cubs sign Andy Sonnanstine and Manny Corpas to split contracts

    Dec 26, 2011, 6:00 PM EDT

    Andy Sonnanstine Getty

    The Cubs just announced that they have signed right-handers Andy Sonnanstine and Manny Corpas to non-guaranteed split contracts for 2012. Way to totally upstage Boxing Day, you guys. We knew about Corpas last week, although it was originally reported as a one-year major-league deal. Sonnanstine, who turns 29 in March, was non-tendered by the Rays…

  8. The Yankees aren’t going to bid on Hiroki Kuroda

    Dec 26, 2011, 4:23 PM EDT

    kuroda getty

    Ever since Hiroki Kuroda came off the notion of playing of the Dodgers or no one else — and that he’d be willing to take a one-year deal someplace — it has been widely speculated that the Yankees would be in on that action.  It just makes so much sense. They could use a good…

  9. Because there’s nothing better than more articles about how screwed the Mets’ finances are

    Dec 26, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    mets logo

    Missed this on Christmas Eve as I was decking the halls and stuff, but Richard Sandomir has yet another article underscoring just how bad off the Wilpons and the Mets are, financially speaking: Their $430 million loan on the team is due in 2014. Their $25 million loan from M.L.B. is past due and repayment…

  10. Venezuelan winter league suspends Yorvit Torrealba for 66 games following umpire attack

    Dec 26, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

    Torrealba_Yorvit

    While playing in the Venezuelan winter league last week Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba attacked the home plate umpire following a strikeout, screaming in his face and then shoving his head. You can see the incident for yourself in this video. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said yesterday that the team was looking into the situation,…

  11. Meet MLB’s new chief of security

    Dec 26, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Clinton Lewinsky

    Back in October we passed along word that MLB had hired a new security chief. He’s Bill Bordley, who once had a cup of coffee for the San Francisco Giants back in 1980 and then went on to become a Secret Service agent. Today’s Washington Post has a feature on him and his background. Including…

  12. Pitching coach Bob McClure ready to “kick ass and win” in Boston

    Dec 26, 2011, 11:47 AM EDT

    mcclure getty wide

    Hired as the Red Sox’s new pitching coach last week, Bob McClure said during a radio interview yesterday that his philosophy is to “kick ass and win” in Boston. McClure also said that he likes the idea of Daniel Bard coming into spring training with plans to compete for a rotation spot, because switching back…

  13. Rockies “in contract talks” with outfielder Cody Ross

    Dec 26, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Cody Ross

    Colorado seemingly had all the outfield depth it needs and then some after signing Michael Cuddyer, but apparently they’re not done pursuing right-handed hitting outfielders. Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that the Rockies are “in contract talks” with Cody Ross, whose market has proven lacking compared to his desire for a three-year contract. Ross seems…

  14. Casper Wells is the most awesome person ever

    Dec 26, 2011, 9:32 AM EDT

    casper wells getty

    I had a pretty good Christmas. It’s all about the kids at this point in my life, but I got a couple of cool things and I’m grateful.  But — at the risk of sounding like a horrible, materialistic and greedy person — there is part of me that wishes I was Casper Wells of…

  15. Hall of Fame voting: Great Moments in Apples and Oranges

    Dec 26, 2011, 8:34 AM EDT

    Tim Raines

    Did you all have a good Chirstmas? I hope so. Hope you got what you wanted. Anyway, the week between Christmas and New Years is the deadest of the dead in baseball circles. The only thing you get a lot of are Hall of Fame columns because ballots are due by December 31.  And they…

  16. Red Sox keeping door open with free agent Jason Varitek

    Dec 25, 2011, 4:21 PM EDT

    varitek ap wide

    When the Red Sox signed catcher Kelly Shoppach to a one-year, $1.35 million free agent contract earlier this winter, many took it as a signal of the conclusion of the Jason Varitek era in Boston. But maybe that was an incorrect assumption. According to Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald, the Red Sox have “kept…

  17. Joba Chamberlain’s rehabbing right arm “feels great”

    Dec 25, 2011, 1:39 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v New York Yankees

    Yankees right-hander Joba Chamberlain provided an update Saturday on his ongoing recovery from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. It sounds like everything is going smoothly: Chamberlain had the procedure in June and will be looking to return to live action around late May. He registered a 2.83 ERA and 24/7 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings…

  18. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from HardballTalk

    Dec 25, 2011, 11:03 AM EDT

    santa white sox reuters

    Christmas isn’t typically a busy day in the baseball world, so you probably won’t be hearing much from us over the next several hours. Enjoy whatever it is you enjoy, and maybe check in with our friends at ProBasketballTalk as they cover the season-opening marathon of NBA games. Happy Holidays!

  19. Padres ready to talk extension again with Cameron Maybin

    Dec 25, 2011, 9:14 AM EDT

    maybin stealing getty

    From Dan Hayes of the North County Times comes word that the Padres are planning to re-engage young center fielder Cameron Maybin early next month about a contract extension. The two sides first broached the topic of a long-term deal in September, but decided to table talks until the winter. And now it’s time to get…

  20. A’s making another attempt at Japan’s Hisashi Iwakuma

    Dec 24, 2011, 7:01 PM EDT

    hisashi iwakuma getty

    The A’s put up a $19 million posting fee last winter for the right to negotiate exclusively with Japanese righty Hisashi Iwakuma. The two sides failed to work out a contract, and that money was returned to Oakland after the 30-day negotiating period. But now that Iwakuma is a free agent, Billy Beane and Co.…

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