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  1. Pirates sign Josh Fields to minor league contract

    Dec 21, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    josh-fields-royals

    Last offseason the Royals acquired Josh Fields from the White Sox along with Chris Getz in exchange for Mark Teahen, but after one injury wrecked season in Kansas City the former top prospect and 2004 first-round pick was non-tendered a few weeks ago. Fields has latched on with the Pirates, agreeing to a minor-league contract…

  2. Let’s wait on giving a nickname to the Phillies’ rotation

    Dec 21, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

    Phillies' Hamels, Halladay and Howard watch as the Giants celebrate their victory in Game 4 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in San Francisco

    We all know that giving yourself a nickname is simply inexcusable. Someone has to apply it to you, T-bone, you can’t just pick it yourself. Similarly, you have to earn a nickname. You can’t just start off with one.  And this applies to collective names as well as individual ones. I’m looking at you Stan Hochman…

  3. AP Writer: Cliff Lee should be ashamed that his salary isn’t going to starving children in Africa

    Dec 21, 2010, 9:12 AM EDT

    Cliff Lee phillies throwing

    I’m with the Associated Press’ Tim Dahlberg to the extent he’s critical of those who are lauding Cliff Lee for making some sort of financial sacrifice to go to the Phillies. Sure, there’s a bit less guaranteed money, but we’re not in sainthood territory here. Dahlberg completely loses me, however, when he goes off on…

  4. Is everything OK in Baltimore?

    Dec 21, 2010, 8:46 AM EDT

    Andy Macphail

    I don’t read Roch Kubato’s blog every day so maybe this is just part of his shtick, but if not, this is mildly interesting: Yesterday passed without the Orioles doing anything. President of baseball operations Andy MacPhail might have made contact with more agents or rival executives, but that’s only an assumption. The media has…

  5. Lowell Cohn: “I compare PED users to murderers”

    Dec 21, 2010, 8:22 AM EDT

    McGwire Palmiero

    On some level it’s liberating to bypass all of that difficult moral and ethical hand-wringing about a complicated issue and simply vent spleen. It’s not helpful or instructive, but man, it sure is liberating.

  6. Hey pod people: the HBT iPhone app is now available

    Dec 21, 2010, 6:09 AM EDT

    iphone

    Actually, it’s not just a HardballTalk app. It’s an app for all of NBC Sports.com’s blogs, including Pro FootballTalk, Pro BasketballTalk, ProHockeyTalk and all the others called “NBC Sports Talk.”  You can get it here.  Word is that the Android app will be ready soon as well, and of course we’ll let you know when that happens.…

  7. The Nationals are still in the mix for Carl Pavano

    Dec 20, 2010, 9:35 PM EDT

    Carl Pavano pitching

    The Cubs and Rangers may have jumped ahead of the Nationals for Brandon Webb, but Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that the club remains interested in Carl Pavano. Pavano, who turns 35 in January, is considered by many to be the best free agent starting pitcher left on the market. He went 17-11 with a…

  8. Billy Butler: Zack Greinke “didn’t want to be here”

    Dec 20, 2010, 8:10 PM EDT

    Greinke throwing

    While Billy Butler told Matthew Leach of MLB.com that he had no ill will towards his former teammate Zack Greinke, he sounded downright relieved that the team wouldn’t have to begin the 2011 season with a distraction. “There’s no surprise,” Butler said Monday. “This has been a controversy ever since Zack had that article that…

  9. The Angels are interested in Scott Podsednik

    Dec 20, 2010, 7:21 PM EDT

    scott podsednik sliding

    Many considered the Angels a lock to sign Carl Crawford this winter, but now that he is in Boston, all they have to show for themselves is a pair of left-handed relievers, Hisanori Takahashi and Scott Downs. That might soon change, but not necessarily for the better. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, the Angels…

  10. Stephen Strasburg hopes to begin throwing in January

    Dec 20, 2010, 6:17 PM EDT

    Strasburg press conference

    Stephen Strasburg updated his progress from Tommy John surgery during a conference call with reporters earlier today. According to Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com, Strasburg said he has a follow-up with Dr. Lewis Yocum after Christmas and plans to begin throwing sometime in January before reporting to spring training along with the rest of the pitchers…

  11. Why would voters want to “wait” on Jeff Bagwell?

    Dec 20, 2010, 5:33 PM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    I promise: this is my last Hall of Fame post for the day. If there is other big news I’m neglecting, please let me know. In the meantime: I’ve seen a few references to voters wanting to “wait and see” on Jeff Bagwell’s Hall of Fame case. Or to give it more time. Or to…

  12. There’s “a very real possibility” that Andy Pettitte will retire

    Dec 20, 2010, 5:06 PM EDT

    Pettitte looks in

    At the risk of adding to the annoyance factor I complained about earlier this afternoon, here’s Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger with the latest Andy Pettitte update: Person with knowledge of Pettitte’s thinking puts his chances of a return at 30%. “There is a very real possibility that he will retire.” Someone in the last…

  13. Attention voters: here’s what to do when someone doesn’t “feel like a Hall of Famer”

    Dec 20, 2010, 4:49 PM EDT

    Bagwell

    In the Heyman Hall of Fame post, I talked about how memory doesn’t always serve us well. About how Heyman’s “you just had to be there” and multiple references to “impact,” in support of Jack Morris’ Hall of Fame case weren’t persuasive to me.  An excellent counterexample of all of that comes in the form…

  14. Pete Rose to manage in the minor leagues

    Dec 20, 2010, 4:32 PM EDT

    Pete Rose Jr.

    Oh, sorry. Missed the “Jr.” after his name in the story. Much too busy to go back and make that headline more accurate, however. So many things to get done before Christmas! Pete Rose Jr., the son of the career hits leader who is banned from baseball, will run a rookie league team of the Chicago…

  15. Bartolo Colon may be in the best shape of his life

    Dec 20, 2010, 4:10 PM EDT

    bartolo colon released-thumb-240x157-1926

    Someone stop the Indians’ front office, because they are en fuego! First Austin Kearns, now they’re in hot pursuit of Bartolo Colon. And that pursuit isn’t as easy at it used to be, because Colon may be … in the best shape of his life! Antonetti said the Indians are indeed interested in Bartolo Colon…

  16. Deep Thought: What’s the deal with Andy Pettitte?

    Dec 20, 2010, 4:02 PM EDT

    Andy Pettitte

    I’m not prepared to make some final and serious moral judgment on the matter right now or anything, but I have to ask: am I nuts for thinking that Andy Pettitte’s coyness on whether he will or will not return is really annoying? I know he’s a free agent and his own man and has…

  17. In which we pore over Jon Heyman’s Hall of Fame column

    Dec 20, 2010, 3:13 PM EDT

    jack morris-thumb-250x375-4861

    Jon Heyman has posted his Hall of Fame column in which he explains his votes.  Keeping in mind this morning’s thoughts on the Hall of Fame — and trying hard to be a little more charitable than I have been in the past to Mr. Heyman — I will say that I am glad that…

  18. The Cubs and Rangers are in on Brandon Webb

    Dec 20, 2010, 2:09 PM EDT

    webb

    Last week it seemed like the Nationals were the front runners for Brandon Webb’s services.  Now MLB.com’s Bill Ladson reports the Cubs and Rangers have “jumped ahead” of the Nats. The Cubs have reportedly been targeting Webb for some time, though their flirtation with Matt Garza has interrupted things a bit.  I don’t recall seeing…

  19. New York Governor fined for accepting free Yankees tickets. Why aren’t the Yankees in trouble?

    Dec 20, 2010, 1:36 PM EDT

    Image (1) patterson%20world%20series.jpg for post 4339

    You’ll recall last March that the New York Commission on Public Integrity charged New York’s governor, David Paterson, with violating state ethics laws when he got free tickets to the opening game of the 2009 World Series from the Yankees.  The case has run its course now, and yep, the governor has been found guilty.  He was…

  20. Rosenthal: Derrek Lee wants at least $8 million

    Dec 20, 2010, 1:14 PM EDT

    Derrek Lee

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com is hearing from baseball executives that Derrek Lee is looking for a salary around $8-10 million. He surmises, much like Jon Heyman did last Friday, that such a salary will likely be too high for the Padres, but that the Nationals could still be a fit. The 35-year-old Lee is asking…

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