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  1. Braun vs. the Collector: they could both be right, you know

    Feb 29, 2012, 8:08 AM EDT

    braun getty wide

    I was busy fighting crime yesterday afternoon when the sample collector from L’affaire Braun offered his statement. After that a bunch of people emailed me with some variation of “Ah-ha! Braun is a dirty stinkin’ lying cheater and the arbitrator was in the bag for him! Apologize now.” OK, maybe the emails weren’t quite so…

  2. Can Jesus Montero catch? He’s motivated to show he can

    Feb 28, 2012, 11:42 PM EDT

    montero-jesus-120228

    PEORIA, Ariz. – There are some who say Jesus Montero will never be a quality major league catcher. Analysts who rush to praise his quick, powerful bat are equally quick to pan his defensive skills. His receiving is poor, his footwork worse, they say. He’s too big (6-3, 235), and not athletic enough to play…

  3. Cubs plan to talk extension with Matt Garza

    Feb 28, 2012, 10:21 PM EDT

    matt garza getty

    The rebuilding Cubs reportedly explored the possibility of trading Matt Garza over the winter, but the club is now considering keeping him in the fold for the long haul. According to David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed earlier today that they plan to discuss a contract extension with the 28-year-old right-hander.…

  4. Bobby Valentine is already trolling Yankees fans

    Feb 28, 2012, 8:50 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox manager Valentine watches pitchers work out at the Red Sox new Major League Baseball spring training facility in Fort Myers

    If Bobby Valentine’s goal is to play the role of villain in the eyes of Yankees’ fans, he’s already off to a pretty good start. According to the Associated Press, earlier today the Red Sox were practicing relay throws and Valentine was asked about Derek Jeter‘s famous “flip” to home plate in Game 3 of…

  5. The Mets haven’t ruled out signing Ivan Rodriguez…or have they?

    Feb 28, 2012, 7:50 PM EDT

    Ivan Rodriguez

    UPDATE: Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com was told by multiple Mets’ sources that a deal with Rodriguez is unlikely. In fact, one source told him: “We are not bringing Ivan here.” The club appears content to go with Mike Nickeas or Rob Johnson as Josh Thole‘s backup. 6:48 PM: 40-year-old Ivan Rodriguez is still out there…

  6. New Astros GM already a master in the art of saying nothing

    Feb 28, 2012, 7:20 PM EDT

    Jeff Luhnow

    Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow did a Q&A session with Astros fans Tuesday. While it was nice to see him reaching out to the community, he wasn’t exactly illuminating with most of his answers. Alyson Footer has the full transcript, which includes some of the following gems: Q: What do the Astros have this year…

  7. Apparently, Gary Sheffield is an agent

    Feb 28, 2012, 6:15 PM EDT

    Gary Sheffield

    That veteran right-hander Josh Banks signed a minor league deal with the Orioles on Tuesday will go unnoticed by most and rightfully so, but there was an interesting footnote to the story: Banks’ deal was negotiated by former major leaguer Gary Sheffield. “[Sheffield] brought him here,” Baltimore VP of baseball operation Dan Duquette said, “because…

  8. Yankees to force Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova to compete for rotation spots

    Feb 28, 2012, 5:47 PM EDT

    Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Hiroki Kuroda

    With A.J. Burnett gone, expectations were that it would come down to Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes for one spot in the Yankee rotation. Manager Joe Girardi has other ideas, though, announcing Tuesday that CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda were his only starters guaranteed spots. That leaves Michael Pineda and Ivan Nova competing for jobs.…

  9. “Nothing new” in Royals’ contract talks with Alex Gordon

    Feb 28, 2012, 5:17 PM EDT

    alex gordon getty

    Yesterday the Royals signed 21-year-old catcher Salvador Perez to a long-term deal before he’s even played one full season in the big leagues, but apparently they aren’t close to locking up Alex Gordon to a contract extension. Several months ago Gordon and the Royals were said to be talking about a multi-year deal, but they…

  10. Nationals prospect Sammy Solis to undergo Tommy John surgery next week

    Feb 28, 2012, 4:26 PM EDT

    sammy solis

    UPDATE: It’s official, Solis will have Tommy John surgery next week. ========== Sammy Solis, a 2010 second-round pick Baseball America recently ranked as the Nationals’ sixth-best prospect, has been shut down after experiencing elbow pain during a throwing session and is likely headed for Tommy John surgery, according to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com. Solis left…

  11. Manny Ramirez likes PDAs, seems to be enjoying A’s camp

    Feb 28, 2012, 3:45 PM EDT

    Manny Ramirez, Juliana Ramirez

    Despite the best efforts of certain national baseball writers, Manny Ramirez and his family appear to have had a great time during media day in A’s camp: And there’s more where that came from.

  12. Wisconsin man who collected Ryan Braun’s urine sample issues statement “to set the record straight”

    Feb 28, 2012, 3:05 PM EDT

    DinoLaurenzi

    Dino Laurenzi, the Wisconsin man who was in charge of Ryan Braun‘s urine sample, issued the following lengthy statement following the overturning of Braun’s suspension: On February 24th, Ryan Braun stated during his press conference that “there were a lot of things that we learned about the collector, about the collection process, about the way…

  13. Jesse Litsch shut down for a week with shoulder soreness

    Feb 28, 2012, 2:49 PM EDT

    Blue Jays pitcher Litsch throws to the  Rays during their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto

    Jesse Litsch came back from Tommy John elbow surgery to throw 75 reasonably effective innings last season, but now he’s been shut down for at least a week after experiencing shoulder soreness in Blue Jays camp. John Lott of the National Post reports that Litsch was examined yesterday by Dr. James Andrews, which is so…

  14. Freddie Freeman injures knee, likely to miss two weeks

    Feb 28, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

    New York Mets v Atlanta Braves

    Freddie Freeman reported to spring training in The Best Shape Of His Life, but the Braves’ first baseman is expected to sit out at least two weeks after injuring his right knee in this morning’s workout. Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports that “Freeman’s right knee popped out of place as he reached to pick a…

  15. Franklin Gutierrez leaves Mariners camp with trainer

    Feb 28, 2012, 1:50 PM EDT

    Franklin Gutierrez

    Franklin Gutierrez, who had all sorts of health problems last season but was said to be at full strength this spring, left Mariners camp this morning in a car driven by the team’s trainer. No further details are known yet, but when asked about the situation by Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times general manager…

  16. Jamie Moyer “feels good” after throwing batting practice

    Feb 28, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

    Jamie Moyer

    Jamie Moyer threw batting practice to Rockies hitters yesterday and the 49-year-old who’s coming back from Tommy John elbow surgery felt just fine when he woke up this morning, telling Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post: My arm feels good and my body feels good. I felt like I could have thrown another 30 or…

  17. David Wright doesn’t want to think of the Mets as underdogs

    Feb 28, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT

    Underdog

    Yesterday, Jeff Wilpon gave Mets players t-shirts with a “U” on them — the Underdog symbol, reflecting that no one really thinks the Mets are gonna do anything this year. T-shirts with slogans on them don’t really do anything — I still haven’t found the beef and I am not, in fact, a pepper, despite…

  18. Ron Washington: Mike Napoli is “60-70 percent” recovered from World Series ankle injury

    Feb 28, 2012, 12:48 PM EDT

    2011 World Series Game 6 - Texas Rangers v St Louis Cardinals

    Mike Napoli played a game-and-a-half on the gruesome-looking ankle injury he suffered during the World Series, but four months later manager Ron Washington describes him as being “60-70 percent” recovered as Rangers camp begins. T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com reports that Napoli’s ankle is strong enough that he’s been able to catch multiple bullpen sessions, but…

  19. Photo of the Day: Holy crap, Albert Belle looks old

    Feb 28, 2012, 12:30 PM EDT

    Camera

    Since Albert Belle’s career ended rather abruptly after the 2000 season, we didn’t get to see him age all that much in the public eye.  He turned 34 in his last season and then just disappeared to wherever crazy, occasionally criminal elite power hitters go.  I picture a fortress carved in a foreboding mountain, for what it’s…

  20. Luke Scott brought seven-foot-long, pig-killing spears into Rays clubhouse

    Feb 28, 2012, 12:16 PM EDT

    Luke Scott deer

    Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times had an interesting note about new Rays designated hitter Luke Scott, who in addition to being a good baseball player is well known for hunting large animals and saying controversial things about Barack Obama: Scott brought the two 7½-foot spears that he has used to kill wild pigs…

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