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  1. 2012 Top 111 Free Agents: Nos. 111-81

    Jun 20, 2011, 5:00 PM EST

    Jim Thome

    I posted a look at some honorable mentions yesterday, but here’s the real countdown of the winter’s top 111 free agents. I’m including pretty much everyone except for a few locks. I am assuming that the Yankees and Cardinals will exercise their respective options on Robinson Cano and Yadier Molina. Also, I’m having a hard time…

  2. In first day on the job Jack McKeon benches Hanley Ramirez

    Jun 20, 2011, 4:45 PM EST

    jack mckeon marlins

    Jack McKeon wasted no time making his presence felt as Edwin Rodriguez’s replacement, as the 80-year-old’s first lineup since returning as Marlins manager doesn’t include Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez has dealt with back problems for much of the season, but told reporters that he’s healthy and confused by not starting tonight. McKeon explained to Clark Spencer…

  3. MLB had a huge attendance weekend

    Jun 20, 2011, 4:30 PM EST

    old turnstile

    Major League Baseball has been suffering from a bit of an attendance decline this year, partially due to the weather, partially due to a wildcat strike by fans against the Dodgers and partially due to unknown causes, be they economic or what have you.  This past weekend, however, was a humdinger at the box office.…

  4. Rockies activate Dexter Fowler from DL, send him to Triple-A

    Jun 20, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

    Dexter Fowler

    As expected, the Rockies have activated Dexter Fowler from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A instead of bringing the center fielder back to the big-league roster. Fowler’s abdominal injury actually kept him from being demoted to Triple-A last month and since then the Rockies have repeatedly talked about the switch-hitter needing to improve…

  5. NL All-Star ballot update: Pujols remains tops at first, but for how long?

    Jun 20, 2011, 4:00 PM EST

    pujols grimace

    Major League Baseball just announced the latest vote tallies for the National League All-Stars. In light of today’s news, the totals at first base are the most notable: Albert Pujols leads Joey Votto 2,806,864 to 2,270,211. Obviously the vote totals don’t reflect the fact that Pujols was knocked out yesterday and only announced as being unavailable for…

  6. HBT Daily: Jack McKeon? Why not?

    Jun 20, 2011, 3:30 PM EST

    Tiffany and I discuss the Marlins’ hiring of Jack McKeon to be their interim manager. I’m pretty OK with this, actually.

  7. Marlon Byrd hoping to return from facial fractures on July 4

    Jun 20, 2011, 3:17 PM EST

    Marlon Byrd after beaning

    Out since a May 21 beaning left him with facial fractures, Marlon Byrd said yesterday that he could be cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment as soon as next week. Byrd, who did some running yesterday, told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune that he hopes to join the Cubs’ Triple-A affiliate in Des…

  8. Rape charges dropped against Garrett Wittels

    Jun 20, 2011, 3:00 PM EST

    garrett wittels

    You’ll recall that  Florida International University baseball star Garrett Wittels and two friends had rape charges filed against them in the Bahamas last year.  Well, that’s over: they’ve been dropped:  Authorities decided the evidence didn’t support prosecution. The three young men, represented in the Bahamas by Thomas Evans and present in court Monday, were accused…

  9. Knee injury voids Chris Coghlan’s demotion to Triple-A, sends him to DL instead

    Jun 20, 2011, 2:44 PM EST

    chris-coghlan-marlins

    Before hiring an 80-year-old as their new manager the Marlins made a different surprising move last week by demoting former Rookie of the Year and Opening Day center fielder Chris Coghlan to Triple-A, but the transaction has been voided because Coghlan informed the team of a knee injury and has instead been placed on the…

  10. Twins follow MLB-worst 17-36 start with 14-3 run this month

    Jun 20, 2011, 1:48 PM EST

    San Diego Padres v Minnesota Twins

    I’ll save most of the dorky details and nerdy numbers for my Twins-focused blog, but Minnesota has started to dig out of its huge early hole by recovering from an MLB-worst 17-36 start through May 31 to go 14-3 so far in June. Run prevention has been the biggest key, as none of the six…

  11. The Reds have a decision to make on Aroldis Chapman

    Jun 20, 2011, 1:30 PM EST

    aroldis chapman

    As John Fay reports, Arolids Chapman’s rehab time is up on Tuesday, and at that point the Reds have to decide if they’re going to call him back to Cincy or option him to the minors. It had been shaping up to be an easy decision until Saturday — keep the man down — but…

  12. Albert Pujols out 4-6 weeks with fractured forearm/wrist

    Jun 20, 2011, 1:13 PM EST

    Albert Pujols

    At the time it looked much worse than the initial diagnosis of a sprain and sure enough the Cardinals have announced that Albert Pujols will be out for 4-6 weeks after further examination revealed a “non-displaced fracture” in his left forearm, near his wrist. Losing him for at least a month is obviously a huge…

  13. Report: Major League Baseball rejects the Dodgers-Fox deal

    Jun 20, 2011, 1:06 PM EST

    Combination of file photos of MLB commissioner Bud Selig and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt

    UPDATE: Now it’s official, with Shaikin and everyone else reporting that Major League Baseball has, in fact, rejected the Dodgers-Fox deal and that Frank McCourt has, in fact, been notified of it. So now it’s go-time. 1:06 PM: Um, OK, Bill Shaikin reports that MLB has not notified McCourt of any decision on Fox deal. Shaikin…

  14. American League dominating interleague play … again

    Jun 20, 2011, 12:16 PM EST

    interleague play logo

    After the first set of interleague series it looked like the American League’s dominance over the National League might finally be coming to an end, but the AL went 29-13 over the weekend and is now 47-34 overall against the NL the season. That works out to a .580 winning percentage, which is a 94-68…

  15. Here’s an idea: Barry Zito for Alfonso Soriano

    Jun 20, 2011, 12:00 PM EST

    zito throws

    No, this isnt’ a rumor or even a rumbling. It’s the wholesale invention — and a creative one — by Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News: the Giants and the Cubs trade Barry Zito for Alfonso Soriano. The rationale: the Cubs pitching stinks and the Giants offense needs help, and since both guys are…

  16. Michael Bourn on ejection: “I just didn’t understand and then he threw me out of the game”

    Jun 20, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    michael-bourn-astros-ejection

    Michael Bourn was ejected from yesterday’s game after being called out on strikes by umpire Jeff Nelson, but afterward the Astros center fielder told Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t understand why he got the boot: I don’t argue too many calls. I was just asking, “Where was it?” I didn’t cuss…

  17. Jack McKeon accepts the Marlins’ job. So: how old is Jack McKeon?

    Jun 20, 2011, 11:33 AM EST

    mckeon getty

    It’s official: Jack McKeon has accepted the job as Marlins’ interim manager. As I said this morning, the McKeon-is-old jokes will grow tired soon. I think the “let’s put Jack McKeon’s age in perspective thing” has some legs, however. Not mocking his age, mind you, just noting his experience in the game and how having…

  18. Blue Jays GM is “livid” about reports of pre-draft deal with first-round pick Tyler Beede

    Jun 20, 2011, 11:19 AM EST

    Alex Anthopoulos

    Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos is furious about reports and speculation claiming the Blue Jays made a pre-draft deal with first-round pick Tyler Beede, calling them “ridiculous” and “a joke.” Last week Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus noted “lots of industry rumors that the Blue Jays had a pre-draft deal done with first-round pick…

  19. MLB is taking a second look at Jim Crane

    Jun 20, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

    Jim Crane

    This probably won’t complicate the sale of the Astros, but Phil Rogers reports that, in the wake of Maury Brown’s Forbes report about the skeletons in Jim Crane’s closet, the league is taking a closer look at his background. Rogers says that Crane had already been vetted — which makes sense, given how long he’s…

  20. David Wright “felt good” after taking grounders on his knees

    Jun 20, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    David Wright

    David Wright hasn’t been cleared for full baseball activities as he recovers from a lower back stress fracture, but he fielded ground balls from his knees yesterday and made about 20 throws, telling Mike Mazzeo of ESPN New York afterward that he “felt good.” Mazzeo reports that Wright will spend today riding an exercise bike…

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