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  1. Angels setup man Kevin Jepsen says demotion to Triple-A is “difficult to swallow”

    Apr 11, 2011, 1:15 PM EDT

    Kevin Jepsen

    Kevin Jepsen has been one of the Angels’ primary setup men since 2009 and posted a 3.97 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 59 innings last season, so he was understandably caught off guard when they demoted him to Triple-A yesterday: You think? Yeah, it caught me by surprise. This is always difficult to swallow. Mike…

  2. Two links to strange 1980s Royals-related content

    Apr 11, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

    Brett Wilson

    Did you know that … A: The Royals tried to lock up George Brett, Willie Wilson and Dan Quisenbery to lifetime deals after the 1985 season via side deals involving investments in a suburban Nashville, Tennessee apartment complex?; and B. That this is what George Brett would have looked like on his 1986 Topps baseball…

  3. J.J. Hardy out 2-3 weeks with strained oblique muscle

    Apr 11, 2011, 12:50 PM EDT

    J.J. Hardy

    J.J. Hardy is expected to miss 2-3 weeks after an MRI exam revealed a strained oblique muscle, which qualifies as good news considering the initial reports that he could miss six weeks. However, because oblique strains tend to linger 2-3 weeks is hardly a guaranteed return timetable. Hardy played well for Minnesota last season, hitting…

  4. Video: Fan beaten by police, tazed at Pirates-Rockies game on Saturday night

    Apr 11, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    PNC Park

    No clue what happened before this video to justify this man being escorted out of PNC park by police on Saturday night (UPDATE:  We now have more information), but I’m sure that his jacket and jean shorts didn’t help the situation any. And here’s the guy before the game, captured by the ballpark’s Fan Photos…

  5. Mark Prior works back-to-back games as reliever at Single-A

    Apr 11, 2011, 12:18 PM EDT

    Mark Prior

    Sent all the way down to Single-A at age 30 to continue his comeback as a reliever, Mark Prior pitched in back-to-back games over the weekend and threw a pair of scoreless innings. Prior told the Associated Press afterward that his arm “feels fine” and his fastball reportedly averaged 90 miles per hour. He can…

  6. About those glossy free agent brochures …

    Apr 11, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

    Carl Crawford Signs with the Boston Red Sox

    Scott Boras famously makes up these big crazy notebooks for his free agent clients, talking up their skills, their marketability and all of that. This past winter we heard about how Carl Crawford’s agent, Brian Peters, made up an iPad presentation (along with a free iPad) for teams interesting in his client’s services.  I always…

  7. Tsuyoshi Nishioka will miss 4-6 weeks with fractured fibula

    Apr 11, 2011, 11:46 AM EDT

    Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Nick Swisher

    Tsuyoshi Nishioka received relatively positive news on his fractured fibula, as doctors determined that he won’t need surgery and could potentially return in 4-6 weeks. It was sad to see Nishioka on the field supporting himself with crutches during the Twins’ home opener ceremonies Friday, particularly since his parents flew in from Japan to be…

  8. Bad news for Joel Zumaya

    Apr 11, 2011, 11:32 AM EDT

    zumaya hurt

    Last week Tigers’ reliever Joel Zumaya was cleared to start a throwing program.  Now it has taken a turn for the ominous: The news about Joel Zumaya turned somber Sunday after the Tigers disclosed he felt pain during Thursday’s rehabilitation at Lakeland, Fla. … The Tigers will hold a conference call today that will include James…

  9. Mets shake up bullpen, add 38-year-old Jason Isringhausen

    Apr 11, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    jason-isringhausen-mets-spring

    Jason Isringhausen convinced the Mets to give him a spring training invite following a tryout in February, looked good enough in camp to factor into their plans at age 38, and then agreed to stay behind in extended spring training while they sorted out other bullpen options. His patience has paid off, as the Mets…

  10. Milton Bradley wears earplugs to block the heckling

    Apr 11, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Milton Bradley sitting

    Will Milton Bradley be playing for the M’s come May? From Saturday: Milton Bradley was jeered by a few fans for the rest of the game after this error and at one point he even complained to the umpires to try and get the fans tossed. Later in the game Milton was seen at the plate…

  11. Derek Jeter ditches new swing after 7-for-34 (.206) start

    Apr 11, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    derek jeter and kevin long yankees

    Off to a slow start as he tries to bounce back from the worst season of his career, Derek Jeter has already ditched the “new swing” that made so many headlines throughout spring training. Hitting coach Kevin Long, who worked with Jeter to revamp his approach at the plate, told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com that…

  12. Tony La Russa staying with Ryan Franklin as Cardinals’ closer despite three blown saves

    Apr 11, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    ryan franklin posing

    Ryan Franklin has blown three saves in four chances this season, allowing a total of four runs in 3.2 innings, but yesterday manager Tony La Russa made it clear that he’s sticking with the 38-year-old right-hander as the Cardinals’ closer: I don’t see anything that’s changed between anybody that’s his competition. … Somebody’s got to…

  13. Comment(s) of the Day: Great Moments in Phillies Fans

    Apr 11, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    Phillies fans AP

    I engage in a fair amount of Phillies fan baiting — it’s a hoot! — but sometimes I don’t even have to bait them.  Here is some fun stuff from the ATH comments this morning: You mentioned Friday when the Phillies offense could only muster 3 runs saying “that’s what happens when you face a…

  14. Your Monday Morning Power Rankings

    Apr 11, 2011, 9:30 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles

    As you will see, ranking teams based on eight or nine games is kind of a sucker’s game. But let no one say that I am nor a sucker.

  15. There are too many little leaguers in San Francisco

    Apr 11, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

    Little League

    Not long ago we passed along a story about how interest in baseball is down among America’s youth and how little league participation is declining. Not so in San Francisco where Giants-inspired enthusiasm has leagues overflowing and a shortage of coaches and fields: The leagues are struggling to find enough fields for games and practices.…

  16. Marlon Byrd was caught stealing at a rather unfortunate time

    Apr 11, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    Byrd_Marlon

    The Cubs trailed the Brewers by one run in the ninth inning yesterday and they got their leadoff man — Marlon Byrd — on base.  And then, with a powerful hitter who had already stroked three doubles on the day at the plate, Byrd was … caught stealing. Strange play to say the least. Who…

  17. HBT Weekend Wrapup

    Apr 11, 2011, 8:23 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Dodgers v St. Louis Cardinals

    Things you missed during the one weekend a year that you try to care about golf before remembering that it is a truly wretched sports.

  18. And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

    Apr 11, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

    David Freese

    High point of my weekend: a double shot of streptococcal pharyngitis in the Calcaterra household kept me from watching the Braves flail helplessly at Cole Hamels.

  19. Red Sox ink Clay Buchholz to four-year contract extension

    Apr 10, 2011, 4:11 PM EDT

    Clay Buchholz

    Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz had a rough outing on Saturday afternoon against the Yankees, allowing eight hits and five runs before getting yanked in the middle of the fourth inning. That one rough patch hasn’t scared off the well-run Sox. According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, Buchholz agreed to a four-year contract extension…

  20. Angels place Erick Aybar on DL with oblique strain

    Apr 10, 2011, 3:37 PM EDT

    Erick Aybar

    The Angels waited a couple of days to see how shortstop Erick Aybar would respond to the oblique strain that he suffered on Wednesday night. Today, they decided not to wait any longer. According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, the Angels have placed Aybar on the 15-day disabled list and recalled reliever…

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