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  1. Let’s not pencil the Phillies into the World Series just yet

    Dec 14, 2010, 1:34 AM EDT

    World Series Phillies Yankees Baseball

    There’s no doubt that the Phillies’ rotation has a chance to be historically great, with two likely Cy Young candidates and two other starters that could rank among the NL’s 10 best, but this is still a team with issues. – First, it’s no lock that Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels will live up to…

  2. Quote of the Day: the New York Yankees didn’t want Cliff Lee anyway. Right.

    Dec 14, 2010, 1:31 AM EDT

    sour grapes

    This comes from an anonymous New York Yankee official quoted by the Daily News’ Mark Feinsand in the wake of the Cliff Lee deal: “Anybody who would leave $50M on the table obviously doesn’t want to pitch in New York. Thank God we found out in time.” That might be the most ridiculous quote I’ve…

  3. So: how good is the Phillies rotation?

    Dec 14, 2010, 1:19 AM EDT

    H20

    Halladay. Lee. Hamels. Oswalt. And whoever. I’m not going to waste your time with wondering whether that’s the best rotation in the game today, because it clearly is. Any arguable next-best rotation probably has one guy who would crack that top four, and if you think otherwise, you’re dreaming.  No, we need to go with…

  4. Cliff Lee is going to the Phillies. What do the Yankees do now?

    Dec 14, 2010, 12:37 AM EDT

    Brian Cashman

    It’s not just a Yankees world in which we’re all living, but in this case, the implications for the Bombers losing out on Cliff Lee are the most interesting.  Philly? Heck, print up their NL East championship t-shirts already.  The Rangers? They seem like they felt they were out of it for a week now,…

  5. Going back to Philly: Cliff Lee chooses Phillies over Yankees and Rangers

    Dec 14, 2010, 12:12 AM EDT

    World Series Phillies Yankees Baseball

    Wow. In one of the most surprising free agent signings in a long time, Cliff Lee has turned down longer, more lucrative offers from both the Yankees and Rangers to return to the Phillies. Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Lee’s deal is worth approximately $100 million for five seasons. Obviously that’s…

  6. UPDATE: Cliff Lee chooses Phillies

    Dec 13, 2010, 11:55 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee

    UPDATE: Amazing. Absolutely amazing. According to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com, the Rangers have been told that Cliff Lee has chosen the Phillies. 10:42 PM: Todd Zolecki of MLB.com confirms that the Phillies are a legitimate suitor for Lee and adds that the team is shopping Joe Blanton, Raul Ibanez and Kyle Kendrick in order to…

  7. Earl Weaver insists he’s not dead

    Dec 13, 2010, 9:19 PM EDT

    Image (1) orioles%20logo.gif for post 4213

    Earl Weaver is not dead. We know this because he says so. This is contrary to a political column in the New York Times on Saturday, which referred to Weaver in the past tense. “Texas Democrats have become the Baltimore Orioles of politics,” wrote Ross Ramsey. “Somewhere in heaven, Earl Weaver and Ann Richards are…

  8. A’s “closing in on finishing a deal” with Brandon McCarthy

    Dec 13, 2010, 7:00 PM EDT

    brandon-mccarthy-rangers

    In addition to being on the verge of signing Hideki Matsui the A’s are also “closing in on finishing a deal” with Brandon McCarthy, according to Buster Olney of ESPN.com. McCarthy has a lengthy injury history and was limited to 56 innings this season–all in the minors–because of a stress fracture in his shoulder, but…

  9. Brian Cashman is still waiting, just like the rest of us

    Dec 13, 2010, 6:46 PM EDT

    Brian Cashman

    Ready for the latest on Cliff Lee? Well, there’s not much to report. Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told Tyler Kepner of the New York Times that much like the rest of us, he’s still playing the waiting game: “They have not made any decision, same as yesterday… He’s got a life decision to make,…

  10. Report: Rays re-sign left-hander J.P. Howell

    Dec 13, 2010, 6:26 PM EDT

    JP Howell

    According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays have re-signed left-hander J.P. Howell. Howell was non-tendered earlier this month, primarily in an effort to avoid paying him through the arbitration process, but Rays VP Andrew Friedman said last week that the club was making progress towards keeping him in the fold. He…

  11. A series of very sad tweets by Jose Canseco

    Dec 13, 2010, 5:57 PM EDT

    Canseco testifying

    Jose Canseco has taken to Twitter the past few days, talking about his desire to play baseball again. Among the more notable tweets: I can dh for any major league team and lead the league in home runs,just give me the chance I will show everyone that steroids are completely overrated once I get the…

  12. Sandy Alderson puts Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo on notice

    Dec 13, 2010, 5:04 PM EDT

    alderson at podium

    Sandy Alderson was on WFAN this afternoon, and he had this to say about Mets’ fans least favorite Mets: Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo: “If they don’t earn their way on the team, they won’t be on the team” It’s a transition year for the Mets. In some ways that’s a bad thing because it…

  13. Mariners designate catcher Rob Johnson for assignment

    Dec 13, 2010, 5:02 PM EDT

    rob-johnson-mariners

    Seattle has mercifully designated Rob Johnson for assignment after giving the 27-year-old catcher a total of 499 plate appearances during the past two seasons despite hitting a combined .204 with a .291 on-base percentage and .307 slugging percentage. And unlike most catchers who get significant playing time despite not being able to hit, Johnson wasn’t…

  14. Jayson Stark thinks the Phillies might be the “mystery team” interested in Cliff Lee

    Dec 13, 2010, 4:28 PM EDT

    Rangers' Lee throws against the Giants during Game 1 of Major League Baseball's World Series in San Francisco

    We’ve had great fun today with Jon Heyman’s mystery team, but the nagging thought remains: what if there actually is a mystery team? To be clear: even if a new team interested in Cliff Lee’s services emerges beyond the Yankees and the Rangers, Heyman is not vindicated.  His peddling of “mystery team” reports appears to…

  15. I want some Atlanta Braves-branded Kattobashi

    Dec 13, 2010, 3:58 PM EDT

    Chopsticks

    More news that is not Cliff Lee-related: Hundreds of baseball bats are broken by pro baseball players over the course of a season in the Nippon Professional Baseball league. The bits & pieces don’t go to waste, however, instead being reborn into cool chopsticks carrying NPB team names, colors and logos. They’re called “Kattobashi,” a play on…

  16. The White Sox sign Brian Bruney

    Dec 13, 2010, 2:53 PM EDT

    Brian Bruney

    The Chicago White Sox signed reliever Brian Bruney to a minor league contract. He had a 7.64 ERA for the Nationals this past season and no one else gave him a shot once they dumped him, so I can see why the White Sox wanted to get this one nailed down before Christmas. I dunno, maybe…

  17. Rangers re-sign backup catcher Matt Treanor to one-year deal

    Dec 13, 2010, 2:47 PM EDT

    matt-treanor-ranger

    Waiting for word from Cliff Lee hasn’t stopped the Rangers from making moves, as they’ve re-signed Matt Treanor to a one-year, $850,000 contract. Acquired from the Brewers last spring, Treanor actually led Rangers catchers in starts with 67. He moved into a backup role once Texas traded for Bengie Molina and will serve as Yorvit…

  18. Baseball’s average salary exceeds $3 million for the first time

    Dec 13, 2010, 2:02 PM EDT

    Money Bag

    The Associated Press reports that the average salary in Major League Baseball has surpassed $3 million for the first time.  Here’s a breakdown of the average salaries and minimum salaries in Major League Baseball going back to 1967.  Two thoughts: 1) I remember back in the 80s when Sports Illustrated ran a story with all…

  19. Lastings Milledge got into a “big fight” while playing winter ball

    Dec 13, 2010, 1:46 PM EDT

    Milledge waits

    In news that probably won’t help Lastings Milledge’s job search any, Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that the 25-year-old outfielder got into an on-field brawl yesterday while playing in the Venezuelan winter league. Here are some details that Rubin tweeted: Lastings Milledge involved in big team fight in winter ball. Venezuelan friend says: Heated game.…

  20. Zack Greinke will not be the Yankees’ “Plan B”

    Dec 13, 2010, 1:35 PM EDT

    Kansas City's Greinke throws a pitch against Tampa Bay during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

    Buster Olney passes along word that, in the event the Yankees don’t get Cliff Lee, they will likely not pursue Zack Greinke as a “Plan B,” which is what many have assumed they’d do. Buster doesn’t say why, but I assume it has to do with the concerns about his makeup/anxiety disorder and, oh yeah, the…

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