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  1. The G.M. is “willing to listen” to offers for Player X? So what?

    Jul 15, 2011, 4:25 PM EST

    Cell Phone

    Crazy season is upon us. The semi-annual rumor-fest, in which people hear this and that and run wild with speculation.  Occasionally — very occasionally — there is actually some hard news in all of this nonsense. But as Jeff Sullivan of Baseball Nation notes in an on-point column today, the least valuable of all of…

  2. Chien-Ming Wang looking good in minors, finally close to joining Nationals

    Jul 15, 2011, 3:58 PM EST

    wang getty wide

    Chien-Ming Wang hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since July of 2009 and has given the Nationals nothing in return for a pair of one-year contracts, but it sounds like he’s finally close to returning to the majors. Wang tossed six shutout innings last night at Double-A, giving him a 1.00 ERA and .203 opponents’…

  3. The Orioles are prepared to give J.J. Hardy a three-year extension

    Jul 15, 2011, 3:34 PM EST

    J.J. Hardy

    There has been chatter that the Orioles could make shortstop J.J. Hardy available at the trading deadline. There has been louder chatter, however, that they like Hardy and would try to lock him up.  Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun reports that, to that end, the Orioles are willing to go to three years on an extension.…

  4. Report: Phillies are front-runners for Padres relievers Heath Bell or Mike Adams

    Jul 15, 2011, 3:15 PM EST

    Heath Bell

    As further evidence that the Phillies have reached “Yankees of the National League” status and will now be linked to every big-name player being shopped, Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that “they have been considered frontrunner to land a San Diego reliever.” Heath Bell is the Padres’ closer and biggest name in the bullpen, but…

  5. Frank McCourt wants Jamie’s spousal support reduced

    Jul 15, 2011, 2:42 PM EST

    Combination of file photos of Frank and Jamie McCourt during their divorce trial in Los Angeles

    Josh Fisher of Dodger Divorce reports that Frank McCourt filed a motion in his divorce case today — or will shortly — asking that the $600,000-a-month spousal support he pays to Jamie be reduced.  Frank says “I simply can’t afford to support Jamie’s lifestyle anymore.” Don’t tell anyone I said this, but word on the street…

  6. Marlins owner non-committal about keeping Jack McKeon

    Jul 15, 2011, 2:16 PM EST

    Jack McKeon

    Jeffrey Loria spoke to the media today for the first time since June and the Marlins owner was non-committal about retaining Jack McKeon as manager beyond this season, saying: We’ll see where we are at the end of the year. There could be a number of candidates but right now Jack is the manager and…

  7. Foot injury sends Pat Burrell to DL, but Giants don’t call up Brandon Belt

    Jul 15, 2011, 1:47 PM EST

    Pat Burrell

    Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that the Giants will place Pat Burrell on the disabled list because of the bone spur in his right foot that’s been a problem for a while now. Brandon Belt is healthy and crushing the ball at Triple-A, hitting .336 with a 1.026 OPS in 39…

  8. Yes, Terry Leach will be included in the 1991 Minnesota Twins anniversary bobblehead set

    Jul 15, 2011, 1:30 PM EST

    Terry Leach

    This story is less interesting because of the baseball and bobblehead angle than it is for something else, but first the background: The Twins are selling a set of bobblehead dolls commemorating the 1991 World Series championship team. And it has every player plus manager Tom Kelly! At least now it does. At first it…

  9. Ryan Dempster and Mike Quade are friends again

    Jul 15, 2011, 1:20 PM EST

    Chicago Cubs manager Quade smiles with starting pitcher Dempster in Cincinnati

    Ryan Dempster was not happy about Cubs manager Mike Quade pulling him from Saturday’s start after the fifth inning and the two had an extended screaming match, but it sounds like they’ve patched things up. Here’s what Quade told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune: Everything is fantastic. I was going to tell you about…

  10. HBT Daily: Looking ahead to the second half

    Jul 15, 2011, 1:05 PM EST

    Matt and I talk about Cleveland, Pittsburgh, the AL MVP race and other second-half matters.

  11. Carlos Zambrano slated to come off disabled list Saturday

    Jul 15, 2011, 12:48 PM EST

    Carlos Zambrano

    Carlos Zambrano had a problem-free bullpen session yesterday, clearing the path for him to return from the disabled list when eligible tomorrow against the Marlins. Zambrano has been out since July 1 with a lower back injury, but allowed zero earned runs over four innings in a rehab start last Friday at Single-A and will…

  12. Mike Quade: “I was glad I didn’t end up in Tent City with Sheriff Arpaio”

    Jul 15, 2011, 12:31 PM EST

    Mike Quade

    Baseball people! They’re just like us! Cubs manager Mike Quade had to fly home commercial after the All-Star Game in Phoenix on Tuesday night and encountered a traveler’s nightmare while dealing with Sky Harbor Airport’s security. Quade said Thursday the TSA detained him for about 40 minutes and patted him down twice while going through airport security. He finally was…

  13. Nationals GM cites “dangerous field conditions” and “safety threat” at high Single-A Potomac

    Jul 15, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

    ugly lawn

    When the Nationals promoted Bryce Harper from low Single-A to Double-A two weeks ago there was speculation that they decided to have the game’s best prospect skip high Single-A altogether because of the terrible field conditions in Potomoc. Mike Rizzo denied that was the case at the time, but yesterday the general manager issued a…

  14. Fausto Carmona throws simulated game, declares himself “ready to go”

    Jul 15, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    carmona hurt ap

    On the disabled list with a quadriceps injury suffered while running the bases two weeks ago, Fausto Carmona threw a three-inning simulated game yesterday and declared himself “ready to go.” He threw 50 pitches and is now on track to return from the disabled list Monday against the Twins, although as Paul Hoynes of the…

  15. Jeff Francoeur wants to be part of the Royals’ future

    Jul 15, 2011, 11:34 AM EST

    Kansas City Royals v Detroit Tigers

    Bob Dunn has a story in the Kansas City Star about Jeff Francoeur‘s place in the world at the trading deadline. Short version: he would prefer not to go: “People keep asking me about it,” he said. “And what I say is I’m sure if a team came to the Royals and overwhelmed them (with…

  16. Ike Davis gets “last-ditch effort” cortisone injection as ankle surgery looms

    Jul 15, 2011, 11:19 AM EST

    New York Mets v Colorado Rockies

    The latest news on Ike Davis‘ ankle injury isn’t good. He got a cortisone shot yesterday and is slated to undergo an MRI exam over the weekend, with season-ending surgery looming if he doesn’t show significant improvement. Davis has already been out for more than two months with an injury that was initially deemed minor…

  17. Peter Bourjos is feeling much better

    Jul 15, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

    Bourjos_Peter

    Angels’ center fielder Peter Bourjos is looking to be back in the Angels’ lineup sometime this weekend, feeling much better after some rehab for his hamstring. According to the Orange County Register, top prospect Mike Trout is likely to stay with the team for a little bit overlapping with Bourjos return, but it probably means…

  18. Phillies place Placido Polanco on DL, activate Ryan Madson

    Jul 15, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals

    Placido Polanco initially planned to play in the All-Star game instead of taking the time to rest his injured back, but he was eventually scratched from the NL’s lineup after meeting with Charlie Manuel and now the Phillies have put him on the disabled list. Because the move is retroactive to Polanco’s last game on…

  19. Carlos Marmol’s job is safe

    Jul 15, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    Carlos Marmol

    Carlos Marmol lost his targeting last night, walking the ballpark, giving up five runs and blowing the game in the ninth.  Despite this, Mike Quade says that Marmol’s job is safe. Here’s Quade: “That was pretty bad. That was as bad as I’ve seen him. Still, you feel he has a chance to pull it…

  20. Chipper Jones following knee surgery: “I’ve felt fine for a few days now”

    Jul 15, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    Chipper Jones

    Chipper Jones‘ recovery from knee surgery last Saturday has gone well and the Braves third baseman said yesterday that he’s “felt fine for a few days now.” Jones told Chris Cox of MLB.com that he’s optimistic about coming off the disabled list when eligible on July 24, but remains undecided about whether he’ll head out…

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