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  1. Joe Maddon and 70 other Rays shave their heads for charity

    Mar 15, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    joe maddon haircut

    Not only did Joe Maddon shave his head today as promised, the manager convinced a total of 70 other members of the Rays organization to join him in the name of charity. Everyone from Evan Longoria and David Price to owner Stu Sternberg and executive vice president Andrew Friedman got in on the action, raising…

  2. The fraud who promised to lead the Dodgers to a World Series title

    Mar 15, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

    Macciello

    No, that headline is not about Frank McCourt.  “Fraud” is too strong a word for him.  He’s merely greedy and feckless. No, the real fraud is a man named Josh Macciello. He appeared out of nowhere over the winter and claimed he was (a) a billionaire; and (b) was going to buy the Dodgers at…

  3. Josh Hamilton returns to Rangers lineup after injuring heel

    Mar 15, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    hamilton head getty

    The heel injury that forced Josh Hamilton from yesterday’s game is apparently very minor, as the former MVP is already back in the Rangers’ lineup today. Given his health history the Rangers would presumably play it very safe with Hamilton if they felt the injury was anything serious, so it says something that he’s in…

  4. Arodys Vizcaino to pay a visit to Dr. James Andrews

    Mar 15, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

    Dr. James Andrews probably wonders why no one ever pays him a visit for lunch. Or to watch a game. Or to just have a nice cold glass  of sweet tea on his porch on one of those hot Alabama summer days. It’s always bad news. Sigh. The latest visitor: Braves’ righty Arodys Vizcaino who is…

  5. Dallas Braden will not travel to Japan for A’s opening series

    Mar 15, 2012, 12:51 PM EDT

    Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden throws during their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

    This season officially begins later this month when the A’s play a two-game series against the Mariners in Japan, but left-hander Dallas Braden will not make the trip with the team as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Braden threw 45 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday, but told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle…

  6. Halladay brushes off questions about his health, velocity

    Mar 15, 2012, 12:33 PM EDT

    Phillies Tigers Spring Baseball

    Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com spoke with Roy Halladay about the report of his diminished velocity and the speculation that maybe he has a physical problem.  Halladay ain’t having it. First on the idea of any health problems: “Yeah, I heard about that … Poor reporting on the extreme end of poor reporting. It couldn’t be…

  7. Royals agree to long-term contract with Alcides Escobar

    Mar 15, 2012, 12:19 PM EDT

    alcides-escobar-royals-spring

    Alcides Escobar and the Royals have agreed to a four-year contract that includes team options for 2016 and 2017, the team announced. Escobar is just 25 years old and not even eligible for arbitration yet after being acquired from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke trade last offseason, so the four-year contract simply buys out…

  8. No pressure, Jason Kipnis

    Mar 15, 2012, 12:00 PM EDT

    kipnis getty

    This tweet from Peter Gammons, quoting Many Acta, is probably gonna make Jason Kipnis either really happy or really scared. Not sure which: Manny Acta says Jason Kipnis is “a cross between (Dustin) Pedroia and (Chase) Utley.” Highest of praise — Peter Gammons (@pgammo) March 15, 2012   No pressure.  Especially considering he was converted to…

  9. Luke Scott won’t play any defense during spring training

    Mar 15, 2012, 11:44 AM EDT

    Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day

    Luke Scott is coming back from shoulder surgery and Rays manager Joe Maddon said today that he won’t play the field at all during spring training, sticking strictly to designated hitter duties. That isn’t such a big deal, as Scott is slated to be the Rays’ regular DH, but it does indicate that he’s not…

  10. Photo of the Day: Bryce Harper may regret this one

    Mar 15, 2012, 11:08 AM EDT

    Camera

    With all apologies to Will Leitch, the below photo, from his GQ interview of Bryce Harper — which the good people of GQ gave us permission to run — may be the best part of the interview: To reiterate, my thing on Bryce Harper: he’s young and brash and says stuff I’d never say. But…

  11. Scott Baker’s elbow again has the Twins worried

    Mar 15, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    Scott Baker

    Last season Scott Baker made just four starts in the second half, including zero after August 8, spending two stints on the disabled list because of elbow problems that once again have the Twins worried this spring. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Baker’s “inability to get loose in a B game…

  12. Aroldis Chapman had family problems last year

    Mar 15, 2012, 10:31 AM EDT

    Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates

    Aroldis Chapman took a step back last year, walking a ton more guys than he had previously. Yesterday Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that Chapman had some family issues that may have affected his focus, and that, for him, family problems are trickier than they are for other guys: “Last year…

  13. Anibal Sanchez makes spring debut, says shoulder problems are “no big deal”

    Mar 15, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Anibal Sanchez

    Anibal Sanchez was sidelined by shoulder problems early in camp, but made his spring training debut yesterday and said afterward that he felt fine. Sanchez’s history of shoulder problems, including surgery as a minor leaguer, make any issues in that area a bigger concern than usual, but he tossed two scoreless innings against the Rays…

  14. Giants, Matt Cain not getting anywhere in contract talks

    Mar 15, 2012, 9:58 AM EDT

    Matt Cain

    Ken Rosenthal reports that the Giants are not making progress in extension talks with Matt Cain.  Given that he’s already said that he’s not going to talk about an extension once spring training is over, it likely means that he’s gonna hit the market next fall. Which leads to an interesting question: can Yankees fans’…

  15. Bryce Harper cranks it up to 11 in GQ interview

    Mar 15, 2012, 9:21 AM EDT

    Bryce Harper

    Will Leitch interviewed Bryce Harper for GQ, and the interview just went live.  It’s fantastic.  If for no other reason than the picture of Harper with a baseball in his mouth right at the top. But it can also be summed up with Leitch’s observation that “Harper seems to have emerged fully formed to piss…

  16. Roy Halladay topped out at 89 m.p.h. yesterday

    Mar 15, 2012, 8:57 AM EDT

    Roy Halladay

    Matthew had a post about Roy Halladay’s spring training struggles yesterday. The general notion is, well, yeah, Halladay hasn’t been himself. But hey, it’s spring and while this is worth watching, it’s probably too early to freak out. But Ken Rosenthal said something last night that maybe there something to be concerned about: Halladay’s velocity…

  17. Jeremy Hellickson doesn’t believe in BABIP. Which is fine, because he doesn’t have to.

    Mar 15, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

    Jeremy Hellickson

    Interesting article in the Tampa Bay Times. Marc Topkin spoke to Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson about BABIP — batting average on balls in play. The idea of BABIP, in case you’re unfamiliar, is that a pitcher can control walks, strikeouts and homers, but once the ball is in play, the fates and team defense have…

  18. Report: Steve Cohen has top Dodgers bid, would hire Tony La Russa as club president

    Mar 14, 2012, 10:02 PM EDT

    Tony La Russa

    From USA Today’s Bob Nightengale comes this intriguing update on the looming sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers: Hedge-fund billionaire Steve Cohen emerged Wednesday as the strongest bidder to purchase the Dodgers, and plans to hire Tony La Russa to a key front-office position, according to two Major League Baseball officials familiar with the process…

  19. Josh Hamilton suffers “jammed heel” in spring game

    Mar 14, 2012, 8:38 PM EDT

    hamilton getty

    Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was lifted from Wednesday’s Cactus League game against the Rockies after suffering what is being called a “jammed right heel” while chasing after a double. According to beat writer Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Hamilton was spotted icing his right foot in the clubhouse after the 6-1 loss to…

  20. Stephen Strasburg gives up two homers in third spring start

    Mar 14, 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg

    Stephen Strasburg showed great velocity in a four-inning outing Wednesday, but he gave up two homers and four runs to what had been a slumbering Braves offense. Strasburg was taken deep twice on fastballs, first to the opposite way by Dan Uggla in the first inning and later on a laser from Jason Heyward in…

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