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  1. Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar out with bug bite infection

    Mar 7, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    alcides-escobar-royals-spring

    Alcides Escobar was removed from yesterday’s lineup and is expected to sit out today’s game as well with an infection on his arm from a bug bite that he scratched. According to manager Ned Yost the shortstop “scratched it and now he’s got red streaks and it’s swollen and warm.” Yost added that it’s “nothing…

  2. The tyranny of the DH continues unabated

    Mar 7, 2011, 9:56 AM EDT

    Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants, Game 2

    No, I don’t want to rehash arguments for and against the DH. People are more likely to come to an agreement over religion than that. Let us just all agree that I’m right, the DH is an awful tool of communism/evil and that it should be abolished with righteous fury. But that’s another conversation we…

  3. Is Chase Utley’s knee worse than the Phillies are letting on?

    Mar 7, 2011, 9:35 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies  v Los Angeles Dodgers

    The Phillies have officially refused to press the panic button with respect to Chase Utley‘s wonky knee.  The official word: there may be something more going on than mere soreness and tendinitis, but they are hoping for some improvement soon. Today, however, Paul Hagen says that “the fret level around Bright House Field is a lot higher…

  4. The umpires, the MLBPA and MLB met yesterday

    Mar 7, 2011, 9:09 AM EDT

    Yost Estabrook

    Remember back in October how the players, umpires and Major League Baseball announced that they were going to meet in order to address the increasingly sorry state of umpiring?  OK, that’s my characterization, I suppose the umps viewed it differently.  Anyway, after a delay of several months they finally met yesterday. “We had a productive…

  5. Is this gonna happen every time the Yankees face a decent starter?

    Mar 7, 2011, 8:45 AM EDT

    Brett Myers

    Read the stuff about the Yankees rotation and you’d think that they were the first team to ever be a tad short on starters before. The tell: every time they face a half-decent one, there are stories about how that guy could fit in the Yankees rotation: Yesterday at Osceola County Stadium against the Astros,…

  6. Gregg Zaun to retire

    Mar 7, 2011, 8:22 AM EDT

    Gregg Zaun

    Spring Training is usually thought of as a time for renewal, but there are always a handful of downer stories too. I think “cool catcher like Gregg Zaun retiring” qualifies as a downer. Sportsnet Ontario: Sportsnet has learned that San Diego Padres catcher Gregg Zaun is set to retire from Major League Baseball. Zaun is…

  7. Brett Gardner could supplant Derek Jeter as the Yankees’ leadoff hitter

    Mar 7, 2011, 5:59 AM EDT

    Derek Jeter smiling

    Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that, despite Joe Girardi’s stated preference of keeping Derek Jeter as his leadoff hitter,  “some inside the organization” want to see Brett Gardner at the top of the order and Jeter moved down to the two-slot. There are two ways to look at this, I reckon. On the…

  8. Carpenter throws side session, says “I’ll be fine”

    Mar 6, 2011, 5:02 PM EDT

    Chris Carpenter

    Chris Carpenter seems to be making a quick and easy recovery from the left hamstring strain that he suffered in a game last week. According to Hall of Famer Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Carp threw a light side session off a mound Sunday afternoon in Cardinals camp and reported only mild discomfort…

  9. Corey Hart tweaked his strained side muscle on Saturday

    Mar 6, 2011, 3:35 PM EDT

    Milwaukee Brewers Photo Day

    Brewers outfielder Corey Hart might not be ready for the start of the 2011 season. According to Adam McCalvy of MLB.com, the right fielder suffered a setback Saturday with the strained muscle in his left side. He was participating in drills for the first time in a week or so and re-tweaked the muscle while…

  10. Neftali Feliz struck with line drive, should be fine

    Mar 6, 2011, 2:18 PM EDT

    Neftali Feliz

    The Rangers got a bit of a scare Sunday morning. Neftali Feliz, who is trying to prove that he is ready for a spot in the starting rotation, took a Craig Gentry line drive off his lower left shin while throwing a live round of batting practice. The 22-year-old crumbled to the ground, according to…

  11. White Sox ink Matt Thornton to two-year, $12M extension

    Mar 6, 2011, 1:23 PM EDT

    Matt Thornton

    According to Dave van Dyck of the Chicago Tribune, the White Sox agreed to a two-year, $12 million contract extension on Sunday morning with left-handed reliever Matt Thornton. The deal also carries a club option for 2014. The 34-year-old Thornton registered a strong 2.67 ERA and 1.01 WHIP across 60.2 innings for the Pale Hose…

  12. The Mariners take an easy step to prevent players driving drunk

    Mar 6, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

    Car Service

    By definition, a person who gets behind the wheel of a car while drunk isn’t operating at full mental capacity. I mean, even a guy who hired people whose job it is to keep him safe got behind the wheel while drunk, so you can see that even the outrageously well-reasoned notion of “driving drunk is…

  13. Frank Catalanotto retires

    Mar 6, 2011, 11:15 AM EDT

    Washington Nationals v New York Mets

    It’s not exactly major news, but Frank Catalanotto has announced his retirement. When last we heard from him he was being designated for assignment by the Mets to make room for Chris Carter after 25 dismal games last spring. But before that Catalanotto was the kind of player it was hard not to root for.  He…

  14. Phillies fans probably shouldn’t worry too much about Domonic Brown’s injury

    Mar 6, 2011, 10:40 AM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees

    I know that (a) Domonic Brown‘s broken hand is troublesome; and (b) spring stats should be given almost zero weight, but it’s probably worth noting that the guy who will likely start in right field for the Phillies — Ben Francisco — hit another home run yesterday and is now batting .421/.476/.947 in seven spring…

  15. In case you had any doubts: no, contraction isn’t happening

    Mar 6, 2011, 9:50 AM EDT

    michael-weiner-with-reporters

    Beyond some half-crazed ravings from Hank Steinbrenner and a speculative column by Ken Rosenthal, no one has seriously been discussing contracting any teams.  To the extent anyone is taking the ravings or the speculation at all seriously, however, MLBPA leader Michael Weiner put it to rest in an interview with the St. Pete Times yesterday:…

  16. Video of the Day: former ballplayer declines to overstate how good the game was back in his day

    Mar 6, 2011, 9:20 AM EDT

    When was the last time you heard an old retired ballplayer going on about how the game today is better than it was back in his day?  Ladies and gentleman, the intellectually honest Jerry Remy: Wait, I take it back. I can remember at least one instance of an old-timer talking about how the game…

  17. Miguel Olivo carted off field with groin injury

    Mar 6, 2011, 8:54 AM EDT

    Miguel Olivo injured

    Scary moment in yesterday’s Indians-Mariners game. Miguel Olivo, who scored a two-year, $7 million deal with the Mariners over the winter, had to be carted off the field after grabbing his left leg and falling face first onto home plate while scoring on a sacrifice fly in the second inning. The initial diagnosis was a…

  18. Dustin Pedroia grabs a hot dog

    Mar 6, 2011, 8:10 AM EDT

    Pedroia fist pump

    Did I mention that spring training is a bit different than the regular season?  I mean, I thought it was neat that some Dodgers players took a shortcut down the concourse at Tempe Diablo Stadium last weekend.  Turns out that was nothing: Dustin Pedroia went out onto the concourse at City of Palms Park and bought…

  19. The Braves aren’t sweating Craig Kimbrel’s slow start

    Mar 5, 2011, 6:01 PM EDT

    craigkimbrel

    It’s only the first week of March, but there are already questions about young fireballer Craig Kimbrel, someone who many expect to be closing games for the Braves this season. Or sharing the job with left-hander Jonny Venters, at the very least. Kimbrel has made three appearances so far during exhibition action. One good, two…

  20. UPDATE: Domonic Brown has fracture in right hand

    Mar 5, 2011, 4:35 PM EDT

    Domonic Brown swinging

    UPDATE: Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Domonic Brown has a fractured hook of the hamate bone in his right hand. Unbelievable. Surgery is likely, according to David Hale of the News Journal, and would likely sideline him for 3-to-6 weeks. In other words, Ben Francisco is your Opening Day right fielder. 4:17 PM: Domonic…

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