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  1. The Rays change the ground rules for balls hit off the Tropicana Field catwalk. Again.

    Mar 15, 2011, 10:31 AM EDT

    Tropicana catwalk

    It used to be that if a ball hit the “A” or “B” catwalk in Tropicana Field, the ball was in play, and it was fair or foul depending on where it came down.  Apart from the sheer humiliation of playing in a park with catwalks that can be reached by batted balls in play, this…

  2. Scott Podsednik to wear cast on left foot for at least 10 days

    Mar 15, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Scott Podsednik

    Scott Podsednik‘s setback with the plantar fasciitis in his left foot means that he’ll be wearing a cast for at least the next 10 days, according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. That means the earliest he’d be able to resume baseball activities is March 25, which would leave Podsednik less than a week to get…

  3. Springtime Storylines: Is there life after Adrian Gonzalez for the San Diego Padres?

    Mar 15, 2011, 10:00 AM EDT

    Mat Latos

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2011 season.  The latest: 2010’s biggest surprise, the San Diego Padres. The Big Question: Is there life after Adrian Gonzalez?: My brother lives in San Diego and,…

  4. Is Starlin Castro the next Derek Jeter?

    Mar 15, 2011, 9:34 AM EDT

    Chicago Cubs v San Francisco Giants

    While the headlines from Cubs camp this spring have focused on Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Silva, Patrick Mooney at CSN Chicago has a nice feature on the guy who, more than any other, may catapult the Cubs back into relevance in the NL Central: Starlin Castro, who is being compared to Derek Jeter in Chicago,…

  5. MLB umpire Ed Hickox gets a $775K jury award as a result of a foul ball injury

    Mar 15, 2011, 9:11 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers v Milwaukee Brewers

    In 2005, umpire Ed Hickox was hit by a foul ball behind home plate. It knocked his mask off as it hit him in the jaw and caused broken bones and a concussion. Hickox sued Wilson, the mask’s manufacturer.  Yesterday a jury returned a verdict in his favor to the tune of $775,000. The key…

  6. Guess which Yankees infielder is the new GQ cover boy

    Mar 15, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees

    I knew it! The guy is on his best behavior for a while, making us think that he’s all about dedicating himself to baseball in an effort to justify that out-sized contract, but really it’s all about the spotlight for him. Him and his actress girlfriend and the cover of fashion magazines, with the subheadline…

  7. Springtime Storylines: Am I gonna talk myself into liking the Dodgers’ chances this year?

    Mar 15, 2011, 5:45 AM EDT

    Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Dodgers

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2011 season.  The latest: Divorce Court, with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Season 2. The Big Question: Despite all the drama surrounding these guys, am I gonna talk…

  8. After frightening injury, David Newhan attempting comeback with Padres

    Mar 15, 2011, 12:46 AM EDT

    padres logo new

    Last week I published a seven-part series on the difficulties players face on the road to the major leagues. Now comes the story of a player trying to make it back. John Maffei of the North County Times has all the details of the comeback opportunity the San Diego Padres are giving to David Newhan,…

  9. Report: Mariners prospect Michael Pineda favored for rotation spot

    Mar 14, 2011, 9:30 PM EDT

    Seattle Mariners v Cleveland Indians

    Mariners prospect right-hander Michael Pineda has garnered all sorts of attention this spring by flashing mid-to-high 90s heat on the radar gun. And while spring training performances aren’t the be-all end-all, he has also pitched pretty well, posting a 2.57 ERA and 5/3 K/BB ratio over his first seven Cactus League innings. Still, the assumption…

  10. UPDATE: Andrew Bailey leaves game with right elbow discomfort

    Mar 14, 2011, 8:18 PM EDT

    Andrew Bailey

    Well, this doesn’t sound good. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Andrew Bailey left today’s game against the Indians in the bottom of the seventh inning due to right elbow discomfort. Bailey was clutching at his elbow before he left the mound. Of course, Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery back in 2005…

  11. Scratch that: Now Neftali Feliz wants to be a starting pitcher

    Mar 14, 2011, 7:58 PM EDT

    World Series Giants Rangers Baseball

    A lot can change in seven days. Neftali Feliz said just one week ago that he would prefer to remain in the bullpen, but he was singing a very different tune after tossing four innings of one-run ball against the Dodgers this afternoon. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Feliz is now…

  12. Dominican player involved in identity fraud flap, rewarded with 65 times greater signing bonus

    Mar 14, 2011, 5:32 PM EDT

    dominican republic

    A strange tale from the pages of Baseball America.  The basics: Dominican prospect Juan Carlos Paniagua signs a deal with the Diamondbacks for $17,000. The deal is conditional while a background check takes place; After pitching for the Dbacks developmental team for a spell under the conditional arrangement, the contract is rejected by Major League Baseball…

  13. Bill Hall calls Cole Hamels “a marked man” following on-field shouting match

    Mar 14, 2011, 5:20 PM EDT

    bill-hall-astros-spring

    During this afternoon’s Astros-Phillies game Bill Hall stepped out of the batters’ box to stop from being quick-pitched by Cole Hamels and Hamels responded by throwing the next pitch inside, at which point Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle reports that Hall had to be “restrained by home plate umpire Laz Diaz.” It didn’t go…

  14. The NBC Sports Talk Android App is … Go!

    Mar 14, 2011, 5:05 PM EDT

    Droid

    Just what you’ve been waiting for, Apple product rejectors: the NBC Sports Talk Android app is here.  You can go snag it at the Android Market. It’s totally free too, yo. It’s pretty much what you expect it to be: a fast, clean and easy interface between your lovely Android-powered phone and the NBC sports…

  15. Marlon Byrd feels targeted over his association with Victor Conte

    Mar 14, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    Byrd_Marlon

    We’ve noted in the past that Marlon Byrd made the strange decision a couple of years ago to start working with fomer BALCO mastermind Victor Conte.  Since 2009, Conte has supplied Byrd with supplements. Byrd remains the only Major League Baseball player who works with Conte, and now, Bruce Levine reports, Byrd says that he feels…

  16. Why aren’t more MLB general managers former MLB players?

    Mar 14, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    ruben amaro jr. baseball card

    As a follow-up to Ruben Amaro Jr.’s recent four-year contract extension with the Phillies, Jayson Stark of ESPN.com has an interesting article about how only three of the 30 current general managers played in the big leagues. Amaro is one, along with Kenny Williams of the White Sox and Billy Beane of the A’s. And…

  17. Nate Robertson out four weeks after surgery to remove “loose bodies” from elbow

    Mar 14, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

    nate-robertson-marlins

    Nate Robertson was a long shot to claim a spot in the Mariners’ rotation to begin with, but whatever slim chance he had is now gone with news that he’ll be sidelined for at least a month following surgery to remove “loose bodies” from his elbow. Robertson signed a minor-league contract with Seattle after posting…

  18. Stop me if you’ve heard this, but Jason Heyward is banged up again

    Mar 14, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    Heyward_Jason

    Jason Heyward was held out of today’s game due to back stiffness. A week or so ago he missed action because tightness in his hamstring.  In the first week of March he missed action because of a sore groin. None of this is serious, but as an official member of the Jason Heyward is So…

  19. Casey Blake to have precautionary MRI exam on injured back

    Mar 14, 2011, 2:21 PM EDT

    casey-blake-dodgers-spring

    Despite manager Don Mattingly telling Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com that he doesn’t expect Casey Blake to miss significant time, the veteran third baseman is scheduled to undergo what the Dodgers are calling a “precautionary” MRI exam on his injured back. For now Blake is expected to miss just a few days, but he also struggled…

  20. Springtime Storylines: Do the Colorado Rockies have enough offense?

    Mar 14, 2011, 2:03 PM EDT

    Troy Tulowitzki

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2011 season.  The latest: The … punchless Colorado Rockies? The Big Question: Do the Rockies have enough offense? That may seem like a strange thing to ask…

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