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  1. Bobby Valentine owns Stamford, Connecticut

    Jan 13, 2011, 11:36 AM EDT

    Bobby Valentine horizontal

    No one may want Bobby Valentine to manage their team, but someone loves him: his hometown of Stamford, Connecticut. Earlier this week he was named Stamford’s “Citizen of the Year.” Today he was named the city’s Director of Public Safety. There was probably a need for a new Director of Public Safety, actually: the last guy…

  2. Cornering the market on scrappiness, Diamondbacks sign Willie Bloomquist

    Jan 13, 2011, 11:15 AM EDT

    Willie Bloomquist

    Geoff Blum apparently didn’t fill new general manager Kevin Towers’ “scrappy utility infielder” quota for the offseason, so Jon Heyman of SI.com reports that the Diamondbacks have signed Willie Bloomquist to a one-year, $1.05 million deal with a mutual option for 2012. That means Diamondbacks fans will now be treated to months of newspaper articles…

  3. Randy Wells committed two sins

    Jan 13, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Randy Wells

    The Cubs’ Randy Wells admits that he wasn’t focused last season: “Last year I got caught up in a lot of stuff,” Wells said Wednesday at a Cubs Caravan luncheon at Harry Caray’s restaurant. “I maybe got too big for my britches.” Wells likened his season to that of fictional pitcher Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn in…

  4. Jay Gibbons leaves winter ball team due to blurred vision

    Jan 13, 2011, 10:50 AM EDT

    jay-gibbons-dodgers

    Jay Gibbons has been playing winter ball in Venezuela, but had to leave the team earlier this week because of blurred vision following November eye surgery to improve his sight from 20/20 to 20/15, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times. Dodgers trainer Stan Conte downplayed the seriousness of the blurred vision, telling…

  5. Sadly, there is nothing complicated or controversial about the sale of the Houston Astros

    Jan 13, 2011, 10:33 AM EDT

    Drayton McLane

    There’s a good article by Zachary Levine over at the Houston Chronicle today about the sale of the Houston Astros. The short version: Unlike the sale of the Cubs, the sale of the Houston Astros doesn’t figure to be a protracted affair. Unlike the sale of the Rangers, it doesn’t figure to be complicated and acrimonious.…

  6. Jose Tabata “worked out in the gym every day this winter”

    Jan 13, 2011, 10:21 AM EDT

    Neil Walker, Jose Tabata

    It looks like we can add Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata to the ever-growing pool of players “in the best shape of their life.” Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review writes that Tabata “has bulked up noticeably” during the offseason “and it’s muscle, not fat.” One teammate called Tabata “a beast” after getting a look…

  7. The best video explaining a sabermetric concept you’ll see today

    Jan 13, 2011, 10:01 AM EDT

    And I’d say it was awesome even if it didn’t have a dragon in it. But yeah, it has a dragon in it.

  8. So they apparently play baseball in Ireland

    Jan 13, 2011, 9:45 AM EDT

    Irish baseball cap

    The Irish influence on 19th century baseball can’t be overstated. Indeed, in his “Historical Baseball Abstract,” Bill James wrote this: “Baseball in the 1890s was dominated by Irish players to such an extent that many people, in the same way that people today believe that blacks are born athletes, thought that the Irish were born…

  9. Angel Pagan: don’t count the Mets out!

    Jan 13, 2011, 9:13 AM EDT

    Angel Pagan homer

    Angel Pagan is waxing optimistic about the Mets’ chances in 2011: “Everyone is counting on Philadelphia, but they have to do it. I got my money on my team, bro. I love challenges and that’s why I’m looking forward to it. I believe in surprises.” Immediately after that statement, Pagan was banned from baseball for…

  10. Kerry Wood: Cub for life

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

    New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6

    Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Kerry Wood was told by Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts that he has a job with the Cubs for as long as he likes after he retires.  One radio report yesterday said that Wood was specifically promised a broadcasting job, but Carrie Muskat of MLB.com says that’s baloney. That…

  11. Don’t count on Josh Beckett bouncing back

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:25 AM EDT

    Josh Beckett

    John Tomase of the Boston Herald has some bad news for Sox fans who are counting on Josh Beckett bouncing back in 2011: Virtually every pitcher to struggle like Beckett did last season not only was never the same, but almost to a man failed to produce a single, solitary above-average season thereafter. … ……

  12. Andruw Jones is in demand

    Jan 13, 2011, 6:25 AM EDT

    Andruw Jones

    Jon Heyman reports that, in addition to the Yankees and the Rockies, the Tampa Bay Rays are now talking to Andruw Jones. Jones hit  .230/.341/.486 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI for the White Sox last season, but is line against lefties — .256/.373./.558 — is pretty attractive for a lot of teams. He’d certainly…

  13. Hamilton still in hospital with pneumonia, but improving

    Jan 12, 2011, 10:15 PM EDT

    San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 4

    Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was hospitalized earlier this week with what was being termed “an early case of pneumonia.” Now we have an update. Hamilton is still in the hospital and isn’t expected to get out until the weekend, but the Rangers are saying that he has shown “significant improvement” and that he is only…

  14. UPDATE: Pettitte still undecided about pitching in 2011

    Jan 12, 2011, 9:34 PM EDT

    Texas Rangers v New York Yankees, Game 3

    9:34 PM: Scratch that.  Chad Jennings of The Journal News spoke with Cashman just moments ago and the general manager said that he was misquoted.  Pettitte is still in decision mode for 2011 and the Yankees have heard nothing new. 9:02 PM: The Yankees are going to be just fine, let’s get that out of…

  15. Angels, Mathis avoid arbitration with $1.7M agreement

    Jan 12, 2011, 8:31 PM EDT

    Cleveland Indians v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    Baseball’s salary arbitration process is generally a good thing in that it can help young and productive players get the money they deserve well before they are allowed to test the free market. It also presents some hilarious situations. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels avoided arbitration Wednesday with catcher…

  16. Cardinals CEO: Pujols talks “not that far along”

    Jan 12, 2011, 7:08 PM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers

    You’ve all heard the details by now. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will make $16 million this season via a club option.  It’s a bargain rate, but this is also his last year under contract with the club and he will become a free agent if he is not locked up by next winter. The…

  17. Hoffman: 300 saves is like 3000 hits

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:59 PM EDT

    trevor hoffman padres

    Trevor Hoffman is all over the news today, having given his farewell press conference and all of that stuff.  He was asked about the role of the closer today too, and to comment on what makes an elite one. His comments: “The 300 (save) mark hasn’t been done by a lot of people,” says Hoffman,…

  18. Must-Click Link: Hank Aaron, Atlanta and integration

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:30 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    Howard Bryant wrote a fantastic book on Henry Aaron last year.  Today he has a fantastic column about Aaron’s political awakening in the early 60s, the Braves’ move to Atlanta and what both of those things meant for integration and the dawning of the “New South”: 1963 represented the convergence of Henry’s athletic skill and…

  19. Reed Johnson rejoins the Cubs on a minor league contract

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    Reed Johnson, Russell Mitchell

    Reed Johnson, who spent 2008 and 2009 with the Cubs before playing last season with the Dodgers, has returned to Chicago on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. Johnson struggled for the Dodgers last season and has always been stretched as a regular, but he’s a good fit as a fourth outfielder…

  20. Quote of the Day: Larry King on Barry Zito

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Larry King

    Larry King has more time on his hands now that he’s quit doing that show of his.  For example, he’s going out to eat with innings eaters: Had dinner last night with Barry Zito – famed Giants pitcher. He does everything right handed except pitch! Barry! Try the right arm! Actually, I just posted this…

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