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  1. Bobby Valentine calls reported rift with general manager Ben Cherington “lazy journalism”

    Mar 26, 2012, 2:48 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox general manager Cherington introduces Valentine as the new Boston Red Sox manager at Fenway Park in Boston

    Two days ago Christopher Gasper of the Boston Globe wrote an article with the headline “Power Struggle May Weaken Red Sox” in which he wrote, among other things, that “a wedge appears to be forming between new manager Bobby Valentine and new general manager Ben Cherington” regarding several roster decisions. Valentine responded to that article…

  2. Frank McCourt is making good on a charitable commitment

    Mar 26, 2012, 2:31 PM EDT

    Frank McCourt

    When Frank and Jamie McCourt bought the Dodgers several years ago, one of their signature philanthropic initiatives was the Dodgers Dreamfield program, which was devoted to renovating and reviving youth baseball fields serving disadvantaged neighborhoods. It would fit a certain storyline involving Frank McCourt if the promise of that initiative went unfulfilled.  But, thankfully — and to…

  3. Former first-round pick Aaron Thompson suspended 50 games for “drug of abuse”

    Mar 26, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    say no to drugs

    Aaron Thompson, who was the Marlins’ first-round pick in 2005 and is now in the Twins’ organization on a minor-league contract, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a “drug of abuse.” His track record in the minors is mediocre at best and Thompson was never an option to make the big-league roster…

  4. Springtime Storylines: Was 2011 a fluke for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

    Mar 26, 2012, 2:00 PM EDT

    Justin Upton, Matt Davidson, Chris Young

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Big Question: Was 2011 a fluke year? The Diamondbacks went from 70 wins in 2009 to…

  5. Corey Hart’s status for Opening Day in doubt after knee surgery, head stitches

    Mar 26, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    Corey Hart homers AP

    Corey Hart underwent knee surgery three weeks ago and then needed eight stitches after hitting his head while lifting weights last week, and today the Brewers right fielder admitted that he may not be healthy by Opening Day. Hart, who’s scheduled to resume playing in minor-league games Wednesday, told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal…

  6. Springtime Storylines: Can the Seattle Mariners score any runs?

    Mar 26, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Chicago Cubs

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: the Seattle Mariners. The Big Question: Can they score any runs? In case you forgot, the Mariners had a historically…

  7. Jim Thome plays five innings at first base, doesn’t fall apart

    Mar 26, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    Jim Thome

    Jim Thome hasn’t played an inning at first base since 2007, when he started one game for the White Sox, but yesterday the 41-year-old designated hitter played half a game there and managed to avoid any injuries. He won’t be replacing Ryan Howard, but the Phillies are trying to at least prepare Thome for occasional…

  8. Photo of the Day: Yeah, Spring Training needs to end now

    Mar 26, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

    Camera

    This got circulated over the weekend — and creatively expounded upon — but this screen capture from 30FPS pretty much says all that needs to be said about late March spring training games: I feel bad for him, but we’ll all be better off if he goes back to the minors, the major leaguers all…

  9. Mets bring back Chris Young on minor-league contract

    Mar 26, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Mets' Young delivers a pitch to the Phillies during their National League MLB baseball game in Philadelphia

    UPDATE: It’s now a done deal. ========== Chris Young rejoining the Mets has been assumed for a while now and Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger reports that it’s all but a done deal now, as the oft-injured 32-year-old will sign a minor-league contract by the end of this week. Last season Young signed…

  10. Dodgers reliever Blake Hawksworth out until mid-May

    Mar 26, 2012, 11:51 AM EDT

    Hawksworth_Blake

    Initially when Blake Hawksworth underwent elbow surgery in January his status for Opening Day was said to be in question, but now it turns out the Dodgers right-hander is expected to miss much of the first half. Vincent Bonsignore of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Hawksworth won’t return from the disabled list until…

  11. OK, so maybe Joba Chamberlain didn’t almost die

    Mar 26, 2012, 11:33 AM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers v New York Yankees

    Last week the New York Daily News had a report about how horrific Joba Chamberlain‘s ankle injury was. In it, there was talk about how Chamberlain lost a ton of blood and that, as such, there was fear that his life was in danger. Eh, maybe not. Buster Olney had this line in his column this…

  12. Pirates sticking with struggling Pedro Alvarez at third base

    Mar 26, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

    Pedro Alvarez

    Pedro Alvarez hit .191 in 74 games for the Pirates last season, wasn’t much better in 35 games back at Triple-A, and has seen his struggles carry over this spring, but the Pirates aren’t giving up on the 25-year-old former No. 2 overall pick as their starting third baseman. General manager Neal Huntington told Rob…

  13. Jamie Moyer is older than Wilford Brimley was in “The Natural”?!

    Mar 26, 2012, 11:01 AM EDT

    moyer getty

    A lot of people have been having fun with Jamie Moyer‘s age this spring. My friend Baseball Crank has been tweeting random players who are younger than Jamie Moyer. Guys like Sam Horn, Billy Ripken and Ozzie Guillen.  It’s kind of mind-blowing. Today Jim Caple of ESPN.com has a list of 49 Jamie Moyer facts.…

  14. Andrew Friedman: Matt Bush is “not going to play for us again”

    Mar 26, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Matt Bush mugshot

    For now Matt Bush remains on the Rays’ 40-man roster following his arrest on DUI, hit-and-run, and several other charges, but that may soon be changing. Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said yesterday that Bush is “not going to play for us again” and indicated that the ongoing investigation might be the only thing keeping…

  15. Orel Hershiser wants to make Dodger Stadium look kinda silly

    Mar 26, 2012, 10:30 AM EDT

    Dodger Stadium rendering

    Orel Hershiser isn’t involved in the bidding for the Dodgers, but he is campaigning for Dodger Stadium. As in, he wants to be sure it lasts for many more years, and to that end has commissioned an architectural rendering of what a renovated Dodger Stadium might look like: (rendering by Brian Kite / Lynx Architecture) Thoughts: The…

  16. Brewers won’t try to sign impending free agent Shaun Marcum before he hits open market

    Mar 26, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Shaun Marcum adjusts his cap after giving up a three run home run to St. Louis Cardinals David Freese in the 1st inning of Game 6 of the MLB NLCS baseball playoffs in Milwaukee

    This time of year there are lots of stories about teams trying to sign free agents-to-be before they hit the open market following the season, but in the Brewers’ case they plan to let Shaun Marcum‘s contract expire. Marcum has one year and $7.725 million left on his deal and general manager Doug Melvin told…

  17. Springtime Storylines: Who are the Oakland Athletics?

    Mar 26, 2012, 10:00 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v Oakland Athletics

    Between now and Opening Day, HardballTalk will take a look at each of baseball’s 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2012 season. Up next: the Somewhere in the Bay Area Probably Oakland A’s. The Big Question: Who are these guys? To say the A’s…

  18. The Tigers send Jacob Turner to Toledo

    Mar 26, 2012, 9:36 AM EDT

    jacob turner getty

    Jacob Turner, the Tigers top pitching prospect entered spring training with a chance to become the fifth starter.  A bout with shoulder tendinitis derailed that, however.  Over the weekend Jim Leyland said that he still had a “slight chance” to win the fifth starter’s job, but that’s all over now, as the Tigers have optioned…

  19. David Wright to make his spring debut today

    Mar 26, 2012, 9:11 AM EDT

    david wright ap

    Over the weekend we heard that David Wright may make his spring debut on Tuesday against the Braves. But the Mets Twitter feed tells us differently today: David Wright is starting at third base today and batting third!! — New York Mets (@Mets) March 26, 2012   Wright tore his rectus abdominis (no, not that) earlier…

  20. Please set the Michael Pineda fastball velocity watch back to DEFCON 4

    Mar 26, 2012, 8:42 AM EDT

    New York Yankees starter Pineda pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies during a spring training baseball game in Clearwater

    Michael Pineda has found the few miles per hour that have been missing from his fastball. David Waldstein of the New York Times: With a solid performance Sunday, Yankees pitcher Michael Pineda might have quelled for now some of the near panic over the mysterious loss of three or four miles per hour on his fastball.  Pitching…

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