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  1. So what happened lower down on the Hall of Fame ballot?

    Jan 9, 2012, 3:31 PM EDT

    jack morris-thumb-250x375-4861

    Hooray for Barry Larkin. Now let’s look farther down the ballot and see what’s what.  We’ll do this in random notes format: Jack Morris’ uptick from 53.5% in 2011 to 66.7% this year is, on the surface, a good thing for his candidacy. Not many guys who get that many votes fail to make it.…

  2. Barry Larkin elected to the Hall of Fame

    Jan 9, 2012, 3:06 PM EDT

    Barry Larkin

    We’ve seen this coming for a while, but now it’s official: Barry Larkin — and no one else — has been elected to the Hall of Fame. As you know, 75% of the vote is required for induction.  Larkin was named on 86% of the ballots. Following him were: Jack Morris, with 66.7% of the…

  3. Dear BBWAA: please lower your Hall of Fame voting standards

    Jan 9, 2012, 2:12 PM EDT

    Tim Raines

    Dave Cameron makes a well-reasoned appeal to the BBWAA to lower its Hall of Fame voting standards and let more dudes into Cooperstown: To me, an inclusive hall is a better hall, and one I’d be more interested in visiting. I won’t begrudge someone who holds a small hall perspective, but I would ask them…

  4. Would you believe a Hall of Fame ballot with Don Mattingly and no one else?

    Jan 9, 2012, 1:14 PM EDT

    Don Mattingly

    Better believe it because it’s true. It belongs to Rick Carpiniello. He’s a hockey blogger, by the way. Still gets to vote for the baseball Hall of Fame because, well, I have no idea, but one must not question the logic of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. They’ve been there and you haven’t and…

  5. Johnny Giavotella expects to be ready for spring training following hip surgery

    Jan 9, 2012, 12:44 PM EDT

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    Johnny Giavotella underwent hip surgery in October to repair a torn labrum and recently had a checkup with the doctor who performed the operation, telling Dick Kaegel of MLB.com that he “will definitely be 100 percent by spring training.” Giavotella has already started to “run, hit, and throw” so his focus now is on adding…

  6. Hiroki Kuroda to decide where he’ll sign “in the next couple of days”

    Jan 9, 2012, 12:20 PM EDT

    kuroda throws getty

    Per NPB Tracker, Hiroki Kuroda — who, rumor has it, could be had on a one-year deal — has reportedly informed the Hiroshima Carp that he intends to pitch in the Major Leagues in 2012, not return to Japan as has been suggested a few times. Moreover, Kuroda reportedly intends to decide on where he’ll sign “within…

  7. The Rangers are offering Yu Darvish “Dice-K money”

    Jan 9, 2012, 11:50 AM EDT

    darvish getty japan team

    Jon Heyman reports that the Texas Rangers are “offering about ‘Dice K money”” to Yu Darvish and that, as such, a deal is not close at the moment. Matsuzaka’s deal with the Red Sox was for six years and $52 million, and that seems way light of what most people have been projecting Darvish is…

  8. Anonymous New York Met: “We’ve become the Oakland A’s”

    Jan 9, 2012, 11:00 AM EDT

    mets logo hat

    New York Magazine has a feature called “Workplace Confidential.” In it people anonymously dish dirt or vent spleen about their jobs and employers. Wanna hear from a bikini waxer who has a problem with female anatomy? Wanna hear from a plastic surgeon who says that liposuction is useless? That’s the place to go. Yesterday one appeared from…

  9. Kerry Wood expected to sign by Friday; Cubs no sure thing

    Jan 9, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

    kerry-wood-cubs

    Kerry Wood told NBC-5 in Chicago that he expects to sign by Friday, with Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reporting that the Phillies, Tigers, Angels, and Reds are among the teams competing with the Cubs for the 34-year-old reliever. Wood took significantly less money to sign with the Cubs last offseason and said just a couple…

  10. Owners likely to decide on expanded playoff timing this week

    Jan 9, 2012, 10:31 AM EDT

    Rays' Evan Longoria runs to home plate as his teammates crowd around after his 12th inning home run to defeat the Yankees during their American League MLB baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida

    The owners are meeting in Arizona this week. It’s the last scheduled owners meeting between now and March 1. That’s significant because March 1 is the date by which it is to be decided whether the new expanded playoff system — an extra wild card in each league — will go into effect in 2012…

  11. Brewers put Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki through 75-minute workout

    Jan 9, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

    Aoki

    As expected, Norichika Aoki traveled to Arizona over the weekend to have an in-person workout with the Brewers after they bid $2.5 million for the Japanese outfielder’s exclusive negotiating rights. Nikkon Sports, via Patrick Newman of NPB Tracker, reports that the workout lasted 75 minutes and “included catch, long toss, batting practice and base running.”…

  12. Bill Mueller is getting at least one Hall of Fame vote

    Jan 9, 2012, 9:59 AM EDT

    Bill Mueller

    I kinda liked Bill Mueller as a player. Got on base at a nice clip. Won a batting title. Was part of the 2004 Red Sox World Series team and hit well in the series itself. Maybe the numbers say differently but I want to remember him as playing a good third base. To the…

  13. The Rockies don’t have room in the budget for … Kevin Millwood?

    Jan 9, 2012, 9:33 AM EDT

    Kevin Millwood, Carlos Lee

    Things that just sort of make you stop and say “really?”:  Troy Renck of the Denver Post reporting that the Rockies may be interested in Kevin Millwood, but can’t seem to find space in the budget for him.  The same Kevin Millwood who pitched all of 54 major league innings last year. Now, granted, those…

  14. Happy Hall of Fame Day

    Jan 9, 2012, 9:01 AM EDT

    cooperstown

    The Hall of Fame voting results will be announced today at 3PM. You can get your info either by following the Baseball Writers Association of America Twitter feed, going to their website or watching the announcement live on the MLB Network or at MLB.com (the MLB show starts at 2PM, but the announcement won’t be until…

  15. No one thinks Bud Selig is retiring

    Jan 9, 2012, 8:23 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves

    Bud Selig is supposed to retire at the end of the 2012 season. He has an office at the University of Wisconsin set up for himself and everything.  Yep, pushing 80, it’s time for the Budster to finally ease into retirement.  Too bad no one thinks he’s gonna.  From Bill Madden’s latest at the Daily…

  16. Will anti-McGwire stance among Hall voters soften over time?

    Jan 9, 2012, 3:09 AM EDT

    mcgwire--mark-120108.standard[1]

    The announcement of the Hall of Fame vote will come in at 3 p.m. ET on Monday, and it will be interesting to see who is elected to Cooperstown. Will it be Barry Larkin and no one else? Perhaps. Some even suggest that no one will be elected, which would be bad news for those who…

  17. Red Sox sign righty Aaron Cook to minor league contract

    Jan 8, 2012, 10:40 PM EDT

    aaron cook getty

    From FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal comes word that the Red Sox have signed right-hander Aaron Cook to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The agreement is pending a physical. Rosenthal says Cook will be given a change to compete for a job in the Boston rotation during spring camp, but the…

  18. Picture of the Day: J.P. Arencibia and a very young fan

    Jan 8, 2012, 5:08 PM EDT

    arencibia tweet

    Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia is participating in the team’s “Winter Tour” this weekend, meeting admirers and signing autographs in various Canadian cities. The photo below comes from Ottawa, where the 26-year-old former first-round pick was asked to pose with an especially young Jays fan. Gotta get to ’em early.

  19. Phillies among teams with interest in Kerry Wood

    Jan 8, 2012, 3:14 PM EDT

    kerry wood getty

    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported Saturday that free agent right-hander Kerry Wood is no longer a lock to re-sign with the Cubs and has begun speaking to other teams. Now we have even more details. Crasnick reported moments ago that the Phillies are among the clubs with interest in Wood, and may get aggressive if veteran setup…

  20. Brewers will know Ryan Braun’s fate before spring training

    Jan 8, 2012, 1:53 PM EDT

    braun shadows getty

    It’s far from surprising news, but we’ll pass it along anyway. Via Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: The Milwaukee Brewers will know before the start of spring training whether all-star leftfielder Ryan Braun will be in their lineup on opening day. People familiar with the history of the Major League Baseball drug testing program and…

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