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  1. Great Moments in Cliff Lee Love

    Mar 30, 2011, 3:05 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee phillies throwing

    Apparently ladies love cool Cliff: Cliff Lee love isn’t about box scores, ERAs, or innings pitched. You won’t understand it by dissecting interview transcripts, psychoanalyzing his heart, or rereading the fine print of the leaner contract he signed with Philadelphia at the expense of a fatter paycheck dangled by the Yankees. It is about animal…

  2. Braves finally remove retired Billy Wagner from 40-man roster

    Mar 30, 2011, 2:42 PM EDT

    billy-wagner-braves

    Billy Wagner announced his retirement in October and has repeatedly stated since then that he has no plans to return, but the Braves kept him on the 40-man roster just in case. Today they finally removed him from the roster, but not before working out a deal to retain his rights should he decide to…

  3. The Indians have made a really nice promotional video

    Mar 30, 2011, 2:07 PM EDT

    Progressive Field

    I’ve been linking to various team’s promotional videos this spring. I know they’re advertisements, but I find them interesting. Some are funny. Some are effective. Some are awful. The Indians have what may be the most moving one I’ve seen so far.  Check it out. Biggest reason I like it: it doesn’t shy away from the…

  4. Braves send Kenshin Kawakami and his $6.7 million salary to Double-A

    Mar 30, 2011, 1:47 PM EDT

    Kawakami  throwing

    How far out of favor has Kenshin Kawakami fallen in Atlanta? Well, yesterday the Braves demoted him to Double-A, where he’ll earn $6.7 million while pitching against hitters a dozen years his junior. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes that they sent Kawakami all the way down to Double-A because “they want to…

  5. Tryout over: Luis Castillo released nine days after signing with Phillies

    Mar 30, 2011, 1:22 PM EDT

    luis-castillo-phillies-spring

    Nine days after signing Luis Castillo to a minor-league contract following news that Chase Utley would begin the season on the disabled list the Phillies have released the veteran second baseman. Castillo got off to a slow start after reporting to Phillies camp, but notched two hits Saturday and two hits with a stolen base…

  6. How to use Twitter properly to enhance your baseball experience

    Mar 30, 2011, 1:06 PM EDT

    twitter follow me

    Moshe Mandel had a great post over at The Yankee Analysts yesterday. It’s about Twitter, and he keys on the biggest thing that keeps a lot of baseball fans off it: they misunderstand the point of it all. As an example, Moshe links to a Time Magazine list of the allegedly most important Twitter accounts…

  7. Next stop, stardom: 2011 breakout picks – Justin Upton

    Mar 30, 2011, 12:48 PM EDT

    justin-upton-diamondbacks

    Justin Upton has yet to become the MVP-caliber superstar expected from the No. 1 pick in the 2005 draft and actually took a major step backward last season following a very strong 2009 performance, but I’m not sure most people fully realize just how rare it is for someone to be as productive as Upton’s…

  8. Mets over Phillies? Well … that’s an interesting prediction

    Mar 30, 2011, 12:36 PM EDT

    mets logo hat

    We run our own predictions because, well, they’re fun to do.  And since they’re almost always wrong anyway I don’t suppose there is any reason for anyone to get too worked up by them. But sometimes you see one that does sort of strain credulity a bit.  Like Mike Vaccaro’s in the New York Post. His…

  9. Jamie Moyer joins ESPN as “Baseball Tonight” analyst

    Mar 30, 2011, 12:16 PM EDT

    jamie-moyer-phillies

    Jamie Moyer hasn’t given up hope of pitching again despite being 48 years old and sidelined for this season following Tommy John elbow surgery, but in the meantime he’s taken a job as a “Baseball Tonight” analyst, ESPN announced today. According to the press release his television debut will come tomorrow and Moyer “will provide…

  10. Jake Fox — gasp! — broke an unwritten rule

    Mar 30, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

    Fox_Jake

    I had missed this, but several readers have alerted me to the fact that Jake Fox of the Baltimore Orioles was excoriated by both the opposing manager — Jim Leyland — and his own manager following what they perceived to be a clear violation of one of baseball’s many, many unwritten rules the other day:…

  11. Ken Rosenthal will be wearing bow ties all year. And this is a very good thing.

    Mar 30, 2011, 11:40 AM EDT

    Rosenthal bow tie

    I think I may have been one of the only people on the planet who liked the fact that Ken Rosenthal wore bow ties while on camera for the FOX playoff broadcasts last fall. I thought it was dapper and rather charming. I’ve met Ken in person a couple of times and he totally fits…

  12. Jason Isringhausen agrees to stay behind in Mets’ extended spring training

    Mar 30, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    jason-isringhausen-mets-spring

    Yesterday the Mets chose Blaine Boyer over Manny Acosta for their final bullpen spot and also asked 38-year-old Jason Isringhausen to stay behind in extended spring training so they could make sure his elbow is healthy before potentially adding him to the relief mix. Isringhausen agreed to do that today and will remain in Florida…

  13. UPDATE: Royals have a 5-foot-7 strikeout machine in bullpen

    Mar 30, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    tim-collins-royals-spring

    UPDATE: It’s official, he made the team as one of four rookie relievers. ========== Tim Collins has become sort of a cult favorite among prospect buffs for his small stature and big strikeout totals. He’s listed at 5-foot-7, might be an inch or two shorter than that, and struck out 108 batters in 71 innings…

  14. FOX is testing a new overhead camera

    Mar 30, 2011, 10:31 AM EDT

    old TV

    Sticking with the Los Angeles Times, there was a report there yesterday about FOX’s desire to use a new “Field Cam,” which would travel overhead the diamond, giving all of us at home new angles. Apparently they used it last night in the Dodgers-Angels exhibition game.  There was something like this in the playoffs last…

  15. Franklin Gutierrez to begin year on disabled list with mystery stomach problems

    Mar 30, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    franklin-gutierrez-mariners-spring

    Franklin Gutierrez, who has spent much of the spring sitting out games while undergoing tests on stomach problems that date back to last season, will begin the year on the disabled list. Greg Johns of MLB.com reports that Gutierrez “still has received no answers from a battery of medical tests and his return remains uncertain.”…

  16. Dodgers fan balks at the chance to have lunch with Frank McCourt

    Mar 30, 2011, 10:05 AM EDT

    Frank McCourt

    I gotta be honest: if John Malone, the CEO of Liberty Media — owner of my Atlanta Braves — invited me to have lunch with him, I’d probably balk too.  I mean, really, what would we have to talk about?  Our vast land holdings? Our fights with the FCC?  The awkwardness of the fact that,…

  17. MLB launches the Fan Cave

    Mar 30, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

    Fancave.bmp

    Remember last month when we mentioned that Major League Baseball was looking for someone for their “dream job?” With that job being to move to New York to star in a baseball web series and “be a part of a live interactive experience for baseball fans that will include watching every MLB game over the…

  18. Vote: Pick World Series winner, then argue about it!

    Mar 30, 2011, 9:16 AM EDT

    You’ve seen our picks for this season’s division winners, now it’s your turn to get involved. Vote for who will win the World Series, then argue about it in the comments section! It’s fun, and it sure beats a number of other things you could be doing, like working or going to school. Besides, Diddy wants…

  19. Wow: the Giants may make Brandon Belt their starting first baseman

    Mar 30, 2011, 8:59 AM EDT

    San Francisco Giants Photo Day

    This would be unexpected: John Shea is reporting that the Giants may make Brandon Belt their starting first baseman. At least they’re “leading toward” doing. There will be an announcement later today. If they go in that direction, one assumes that Pat Burrell would sit and Aubrey Huff would play left. Although, given that Burrell…

  20. And now, the HardballTalk staff predictions

    Mar 30, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    Oracle of Delphi

    Our Springtime Storyline previews are the Official Previews of HardballTalk. But despite our little paragraphs entitled “So, how are they going to do?” their real value is in talking about the issues facing each team, not in providing predictions. And, it should be noted, they are a collective product. For example, Aaron wrote up the…

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