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  1. Must-click link: Adrian Beltre freaks out if you touch his head

    Jan 4, 2011, 5:19 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    This probably qualifies somewhere between “weird” and “the greatest thing I’ve ever seen,” but apparently Adrian Beltre really, really hates when people touch the top of his head. So naturally his teammates on the Red Sox last season–and Victor Martinez, in particular–did it frequently to upset him in the dugout, hilarious evidence of which you…

  2. Who the heck is Barry Stanton?

    Jan 4, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT

    mystery man

    Since that ESPN ballot started making the rounds, complete with a guy named Barry Stanton voting for B.J. Surhoff and Tino Martinez of all people, the most frequent question populating my email box and Twitter feed is “who the heck is Barry Stanton?” Some folks over on this BTF thread did some Googling, and it…

  3. Deep Thought: The Yankees’ imminent downfall is going to disappoint a lot of people

    Jan 4, 2011, 4:09 PM EDT

    Brian Cashman

    I was just on a radio show. As has been the case with every radio show I’ve been on in the past couple of months, the Yankees came up. Today’s hosts were way more reasonable about it than most have been, but there has been a pretty common thread to these things: somewhat restrained glee…

  4. Behold: the worst Hall of Fame ballot you’ll see this year

    Jan 4, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    BJ Surhoff.php

    ESPN has a whopping 18 Hall of Fame voters in its employ, and today they released their ballots. It’s hard to follow because they do it by player (you have to read the names underneath) but Jason at IIATMS has made a grid out of it.  The following ballot submitted by ESPN news editor Barry…

  5. Kevin Gregg signs two-year, $10 million deal with Orioles

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT

    Kevin Gregg

    Kevin Gregg has been linked to the Orioles for most of the offseason and Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that the two sides have finally agreed to terms on a deal. According to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun he’ll get $10 million for two years, and the contract also includes a vesting option…

  6. Jayson Stark makes a damn good point about the Hall of Fame ballot

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:36 PM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    Today Jayson Stark makes a point about the Hall of Fame ballot that I hadn’t even considered: writers leaving suspected PED users off their Hall of Fame ballots are, perversely, making it harder for the suspected non-users like Fred McGriff and Dale Murphy to make the hall. How is that? Because not everyone thinks like…

  7. UPDATE: Beltre’s deal with the Rangers: six-years, $96 million

    Jan 4, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    Adrian Beltre

    UPDATE:  T.R. Sullivan fills in the details of the Adrian Beltre-Rangers deal: The Rangers still have work to do before they finalize an agreement with free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. But the deal is far enough along, according to sources, that it would be worth $96 million over six years. It would also include a…

  8. Arthur Rhodes’ one-year deal with Rangers includes vesting option for 2012

    Jan 4, 2011, 1:44 PM EDT

    Arthur Rhodes

    Arthur Rhodes and the Rangers agreed to terms on a one-year contract last week, but the deal finally became official yesterday and the monetary details have been revealed. Rhodes will make $3.9 million this season and the deal also includes a $4 million option for 2012 that vests if he appears in at least 62…

  9. The man who sold the BBWAA on Bert Blyleven

    Jan 4, 2011, 1:31 PM EDT

    Blyleven Angels

    Yesterday Jon Heyman made a reference to “the small coterie of Internet zealots” who are responsible for getting BBWAA voters to change their minds about Bert Blyleven and push him to the brink of election to the Hall of Fame.  While Heyman was unbelievably snotty in writing it like he did, he wasn’t technically wrong.  There…

  10. UPDATE: Vlad Guerrero may not be in the Angels’ future after all

    Jan 4, 2011, 12:59 PM EDT

    World Series Rangers Giants Baseball

    UPDATE: Mark Saxson of ESPN Los Angels says that Vlad is not part of the Angels’ Plan B. That’s the speculation from the Los Angeles Times’ Mike DiGiovanna: Adrian Beltre, according to numerous media reports, is closing in on a deal with the Texas Rangers, a move that would be a considerable blow to the…

  11. Rays “have expressed interest in” Manny Delcarmen

    Jan 4, 2011, 12:46 PM EDT

    manny-delcarmen-rockies

    In their ongoing effort to rebuild the bullpen the Rays “have expressed interest in” Manny Delcarmen, according to Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times. Delcarmen was traded from the Red Sox to the Rockies in August and then non-tendered last month after posting a 4.99 ERA and 38/32 K/BB ratio in 52 innings between…

  12. The Mariners may not formally replace Dave Niehaus any time soon

    Jan 4, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Dave Niehaus

    How do you replace a broadcasting legend?  As Larry LaRue reports, the Seattle Mariners may just avoid a replacement for the late great Dave Niehaus altogether: Out of respect for Niehaus, his family and fans, the team has not conducted a single interview – and may not. Among the options the Mariners are considering is…

  13. Brandon Webb’s “goal” is to be ready by Opening Day

    Jan 4, 2011, 11:47 AM EDT

    brandon-webb-spring-training

    Brandon Webb hasn’t pitched in a big-league game since Opening Day of 2009, yet the former Cy Young winner still isn’t certain he’ll be recovered enough from shoulder surgery to begin the season in the Rangers’ rotation. Asked if he’ll be ready for Opening Day, Webb told Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com: I set timetables last…

  14. And now for a little Hall of Fame perspective

    Jan 4, 2011, 11:23 AM EDT

    Cy Young

    Given that I’ve written approximately ten thousand Hall of Fame posts in the past three weeks, I have no leg to stand on, but something over at MLB.com today provides a good reminder for us not to get too worked up at tomorrow’s vote totals: First, there were five. Cy Young, whose name graces the highest…

  15. Reds “have an offer out” to jilted Giant Edgar Renteria

    Jan 4, 2011, 10:45 AM EDT

    Renteria running

    General manager Walt Jocketty revealed last week that he’d talked to Edgar Renteria‘s agent and today John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that “it’s believed that the Reds have an offer out to” the veteran shortstop. Last month the Giants reportedly offered Renteria a one-year, $1 million deal to re-sign after winning World Series…

  16. HBT Commenters always tell the truth

    Jan 4, 2011, 10:33 AM EDT

    Lenny Dykstra

    Back before Christmas I did a post about Lenny Dykstra that inspired some fun comments from a person named Monica Foster. Those of you who hung around that thread heard Ms. Foster explain how Lenny Dykstra bounced a check to her for escort services in a Beverly Hills hotel. As soon as she began posting…

  17. There was nothing improper about Scott Boras’ loan to Edward Salcedo

    Jan 4, 2011, 9:43 AM EDT

    Boras sulking

    An MLBPA source has told the Associated Press that Scott Boras did not violate any union rules when his company made loans to client Edward Salcedo. Of course we knew this back in November. The only person who didn’t seem to know this was the New York Times’ Michael S. Schmidt, who continued to push this story…

  18. Alfredo Simon will likely be charged with involuntary manslaughter

    Jan 4, 2011, 9:16 AM EDT

    Alfredo Simon walking

    Things are not looking good for Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon.  The prosecutor told the Associated Press that the evidence supports an involuntary manslaughter charge: “The version that we have is that there was a dispute between two women and [Simon] tried to dissolve it, fired a shot that ended up wounding a young person in the…

  19. Jeremy Hermida signs with the Reds

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:59 AM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v Seattle Mariners

    This is not a notable signing in and of itself.  Jeremy Hermida will, at best, be a bat off the bench for Cincinnati.  It’s notable, however, because it shows just how powerful first impressions can be. Hermida raked during a cup of coffee with the Marlins in 2005 and had another nice 120 games with…

  20. The Garfoose bids Toronto adieu

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:30 AM EDT

    Dirk Hayhurst

    I’ve mentioned Dirk Hayhurst here before.  For those who missed it or forgot, Hayhurst — known on Twitter and elsewhere as @TheGarfoose — is a mostly minor league pitcher, most notable to us for having written “The Bullpen Gospels.” The book was published last year, and it’s a great one. Sort of a “Ball Four”…

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