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  1. The Red Sox have talked to the Royals about Jeff Francoeur

    Jul 22, 2011, 4:03 PM EST

    Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers

    I don’t post this because it’s likely to lead to anything. In fact the guy who reported that the Sox and Royals have discussed Francoeur — Jon Paul Morosi — said that they were “exploratory” and not likely to go anywhere. But the mere existence of Francoeur talks with a team other than Atlanta makes me…

  2. After one week off, Carlos Marmol is back as the Cubs’ closer

    Jul 22, 2011, 3:47 PM EST

    Carlos Marmol

    Mike Quade just announced that Carlos Marmol is back to being the Cubs’ closer, meaning his break/demotion from the role lasted all of a week and included just one non-closer appearance. Marmol walked two batters in a scoreless inning against the Phillies on Monday, but also recorded two strikeouts after failing to strike out a…

  3. Report: Pat Gillick “would definitely consider the Cubs”

    Jul 22, 2011, 3:15 PM EST

    Pat Gillick

    Earlier this week Chicago radio station WSCR-670 (and later the Chicago Tribune) reported that the Cubs had talked to Hall of Fame general manager Pat Gillick about taking a potential role with the team. The next day Cubs president Tom Ricketts denied having any talks with Gillick, saying: “Reports of a conversation are unfounded.” And now…

  4. Judge rules against Frank McCourt in Dodgers bankruptcy case

    Jul 22, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

    Frank McCourt

    The judge in the Dodgers bankruptcy case just ruled that Frank McCourt cannot use the financing he obtained from Highbridge Principal Strategies to keep the Dodgers running during their time in bankruptcy.  Rather, he has ordered the Dodgers to negotiate with Major League Baseball in order to obtain financing from the league. You can read the…

  5. Phillies activate Brad Lidge from DL, drop Danys Baez

    Jul 22, 2011, 2:44 PM EST

    brad-lidge-and-charlie-manuel-phillies

    As expected, the Phillies have activated Brad Lidge from the disabled list after the former closer missed the first 97 games of the season with shoulder and elbow problems. To make room on the roster and in the bullpen for Lidge they designated Danys Baez for assignment, which is a move that’s been a long…

  6. The Eric Gregg-Livan Hernandez game explained

    Jul 22, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

    Livan Hernandez Marlins

    I never did understand why Eric Gregg’s strike zone was so out of whack in Livan Hernandez‘s favor back in the 1997 playoffs.  I’ve considered any number of possibilities, from basic incompetence to some complicated theory in which Livan Hernandez’s acquaintances in the illicit drug business were somehow involved, but all of these theories have flaws. I…

  7. Red Sox prospect Ryan Lavarnway is banging down the door

    Jul 22, 2011, 2:10 PM EST

    Ryan Lavarnway

    Catcher Ryan Lavarnway homered yet again on Thursday.  He’s hitting .514 with seven homers in his last nine games for Triple-A Pawtucket. Lavarnway, a 2008 sixth-round pick out of Yale, has been on a tear since the day the Red Sox traded Michael McKenry to to the Pirates to clear a spot for him on…

  8. Edward Mujica would take over as the Marlins’ closer if Leo Nunez is traded

    Jul 22, 2011, 1:52 PM EST

    Mujica_Edward

    Marlins closer Leo Nunez has been the subject of numerous trade rumors as the team contemplates cashing in a good but not great reliever whose value is inflated by his save total. If they do end up moving Nunez before the July 31 trade deadline manager Jack McKeon told Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald…

  9. Japan threatens boycott of World Baseball Classic

    Jul 22, 2011, 1:40 PM EST

    Sadaharu Oh, Ichiro Suzuki

    Unsatisfied with its current share of World Baseball Classic revenues, two-time champion Japan is threatening to sit out the 2013 event, Reuters reports. “We are not saying we don’t want to take part,” stated union president Takahiro Arai. “But we will not be able to compete under the current conditions, which are unfair.” Japan won both…

  10. Shin-Soo Choo found guilty of DUI

    Jul 22, 2011, 1:25 PM EST

    Choo mugshot

    The Morning Journal — a suburban Cleveland paper I won’t link because their website is rife with popup ads and autoplay videos which are outrageously hostile to readers — reports that Indians’ outfielder Shin-Soo Choo pleaded no-contest to DUI charges and was found guilty yesterday.  He won’t serve any jail time, but was fined $775…

  11. HBT Daily: Looking ahead to the weekend

    Jul 22, 2011, 1:03 PM EST

    Thanks to my laziness yesterday, you get two HBT Dailies today. It’s OK if you didn’t get me anything. It’s all about giving.

  12. Rafael Soriano on track to rejoin Yankees’ bullpen next week

    Jul 22, 2011, 12:48 PM EST

    Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

    Rafael Soriano has been out since mid-May with an elbow injury, but yesterday manager Joe Girardi told Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com that he’ll “probably” be cleared to come off the disabled list by Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Soriano had a 5.40 ERA in 16 appearances before the injury, but turned in five straight…

  13. The Carlos Beltran derby is down to five teams

    Jul 22, 2011, 12:33 PM EST

    beltran bats

    Buster Olney tweeted the following a bit ago: Source: Carlos Beltran trade talks down to five serious teams, which includes BOS, SF, PHI, ATL, TEX.  CLE, PIT basically out of conversation. I wasn’t aware that Cleveland was ever in the conversation.  Pittsburgh was an interesting idea, but I think that high is starting to wear…

  14. Kyle Lohse cleared to make next start despite finger injury

    Jul 22, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

    Kyle Lohse

    Kyle Lohse has been cleared to take his next turn in the rotation Sunday after leaving the Cardinals to have his injured right index finger examined by team doctors in St. Louis yesterday. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that an MRI exam revealed no structural damage, so Lohse has been placed…

  15. Nonsensical stuff about Jeremy Guthrie

    Jul 22, 2011, 12:03 PM EST

    Jeremy Guthrie

    Jeff Zrbiec of the Baltimore Sun has written recently that he didn’t think that the Oriole would trade starter Jeremy Guthrie, because they need to have an innings eater around to protect their young arms. Fair enough. Today, however, he rethinks it a bit. He doesn’t change his general view of things, but does note…

  16. Justin Verlander has thrown 100+ pitches in 40 straight starts

    Jul 22, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    Justin Verlander

    Justin Verlander shut down the Twins last night, holding Minnesota to one run in eight innings while improving to 13-5 with a 2.24 ERA. He also threw 126 pitches, which would be a noteworthy workload for just about anyone but Verlander, as he’s thrown at least 125 pitches five times this season and has yet…

  17. The player you (irrationally) love to hate

    Jul 22, 2011, 11:35 AM EST

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    I’ll admit it: my hangups about Jeff Francoeur aren’t entirely rational. OK, you probably knew that already. But I’m not alone! Fans of every team have a guy they simply can’t be rational about. The guy who sticks in their craw no matter what his case is as a ballplayer on the merits. Just ask…

  18. Cubs willing to eat millions to move Alfonso Soriano

    Jul 22, 2011, 11:19 AM EST

    Alfonso Soriano

    Alfonso Soriano said earlier this week that he wouldn’t use his no-trade rights to block a move from Chicago, but as I wrote yesterday that won’t lead to a deal unless the Cubs are willing to eat a significant portion of the $18 million he’s owed in each of the next three seasons. And sure…

  19. The Tigers were scouting James Shields last night, but will the Rays move him?

    Jul 22, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

    Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros

    The New York Post reports that the Tigers had two scouts in Tampa Bay to watch James Shields‘ start against the Yankees last night. They probably weren’t the only ones, but if you believe Ken Rosenthal’s report from yesterday, the Rays — while always willing to listen! — are reluctant to trade Shields. They like…

  20. Josh Hamilton ditches custom sunglasses after going 0-for-3

    Jul 22, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    Oakland Athletics v Texas Rangers

    In an effort to solve his problems hitting in day games Josh Hamilton wore a pair of specially designed sunglasses yesterday, but after going 0-for-3 he ditched the shades in his final plate appearance … and drew a walk. Hamilton has also tried eye drops and what Jeff Caplan of ESPN Dallas describes as “lid…

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