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  1. Joba Chamberlain was throwing a 96 m.p.h. fastball yesterday

    Mar 23, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    New York Yankees pitcher Chamberlain poses during media photo day at the team's spring training camp

    Whether it’s mechanical changes, good health after a long break or just because he got a good night’s sleep the night before, Yankees fans have to like this: Joba Chamberlain was throwing the ball 96 m.p.h yesterday, and was hitting his spots as he did it. “This is the best I’ve felt in spring training,”…

  2. Aaron Hill no sure thing to be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:48 PM EDT

    hill_aaron

    Aaron Hill returned from a quadriceps injury to make his spring training debut yesterday, but afterward expressed some doubt about his status for Opening Day: It was good to get out there and see what I’ve got. I can play but it’s going to be their decision. Hopefully it will be fine by then but…

  3. Roy Oswalt is smacked by a comebacker

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    Oswalt_Roy

    The Phillies really really need spring training to end. A couple days after Shane Victorino avoided disaster in an outfield collision, Roy Oswalt took a comebacker off the bat of Manny Ramirez a few minutes ago, knocking him to the ground. He got up and walked off under his own power and seemed OK.  Replays…

  4. Brandon Webb shut down again with more arm problems

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:14 PM EDT

    Brandon Webb workout

    Already slated to begin the season on the disabled list, Brandon Webb was scratched from his scheduled live batting practice session today and has been shut down indefinitely, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Webb last started a game on Opening Day of 2009, but his recovery from shoulder surgery has been full of slow…

  5. Luis Salazar returns to Braves camp

    Mar 23, 2011, 2:00 PM EDT

    Luis Salazar

    Luis Salazar is out of the hospital and on the mend following his awful injury in the Braves dugout a couple of weeks ago.  Mark Bowman of MLB.com has both the story and video of Salazar talking about his recovery. “I’d like to thank God that I’m talking to you guys and that I’m alive,”…

  6. Brandon Morrow to begin season on disabled list with right forearm inflammation

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:47 PM EDT

    Brandon Morrow

    I’m not sure if this qualifies as a jinx, since I haven’t actually posted the article yet, but Brandon Morrow is one of my “breakout” picks for this season (along with, among others, Carlos Santana) and … well, the Blue Jays just announced that he’ll begin the year on the disabled list with right forearm…

  7. A fine video for insecure Red Sox fans who like bad white boy rapping

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:35 PM EDT

    Sorry, but this NESN ad for Red Sox baseball is … well, it just is. All I’ll say is that (a) the guy “rapping” in this, if we can call it that, has to be the nephew of someone important because skills didn’t get him the gig; and (b) at some point I would hope…

  8. Heath Bell and the Padres are talking contract extension

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:19 PM EDT

    Heath Bell, Kyle Blanks, Jenny Cavnar

    Heath Bell has repeatedly made it very clear that he wants to stay in San Diego, saying that signing a long-term deal with the Padres “would be a dream” and then revealing that he’d “definitely take less” to get something done. Throughout all that the Padres’ interest in actually committing to an expensive closer into…

  9. How the Yankees train their players to be media savvy. Even A-Rod.

    Mar 23, 2011, 1:00 PM EDT

    Jeter media

    I’ve recently gone on about how teams are taking greater control of the media message by doing their own reporting via their websites and affiliated networks and by becoming increasingly restrictive with outside media. Well, there’s another part of this too: intensive training of players and team personnel in the ways of media relations. Today…

  10. Rangers decide to keep Alexi Ogando in the bullpen

    Mar 23, 2011, 12:47 PM EDT

    alexi-ogando-rangers

    No decision has been made yet regarding Neftali Feliz‘s role, but the Rangers announced today that Alexi Ogando will remain a reliever after trying out for a rotation spot alongside Feliz this spring. Feliz was a full-time starter for most of his minor-league career, whereas Ogando has started a grand total of three games as…

  11. HBT Extra: Previewing the AL West

    Mar 23, 2011, 12:30 PM EDT

    Tiffany and I break down the AL West. And at the end Tiffany makes a prediction that is going to make me some money come October.

  12. Next stop, stardom: 2011 breakout picks – Carlos Santana

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:50 AM EDT

    Carlos Santana

    Carlos Santana was in the middle of one of the best rookie seasons ever by a catcher when a gruesome home-plate collision on August 2 left him with a season-ending knee injury, but he’s healthy now and ready to make Dodgers fans miserable remembering the mid-2008 trade that sent Santana to Cleveland for Casey Blake.…

  13. Forbes’ annual franchise valuations are out

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:33 AM EDT

    Hal Steinbrenner

    Sticking with Forbes, we link for your pleasure its annual list of baseball franchise valuations.  You’ll be shocked to learn that the continued uncertainty at backup catcher and fifth starter has not negatively impacted the value of the New York Yankees. They’re still number one. When you combine the team’s revenues with it’s interest in…

  14. Brewers send former top prospect Mat Gamel back to Triple-A

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:18 AM EDT

    mat gamel brewers

    For the second straight spring injuries have ruined Mat Gamel’s chances of making the Brewers. Last year it was a torn shoulder muscle that kept him off the Opening Day roster and led to Gamel spending most of the season at Triple-A and this year an oblique strain did him in. Milwaukee has optioned Gamel…

  15. Baseball does not want you to know about its debt crisis

    Mar 23, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Tom Hicks

    There is an in-depth report at Forbes today about the debt crisis facing Major League Baseball that anyone who cares about the business of the game should read. The story focuses primarily on the well-known financial problems facing the Mets and Dodgers, with a shout-out to the Tom Hicks Rangers, but it suggests that teams taking on…

  16. Royals and Rays lead Baseball America farm system rankings

    Mar 23, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    Eric Hosmer

    Kansas City had a record nine players in Baseball America‘s annual ranking of the top 100 prospects, including three guys in the top 10, so it’s no surprise that BA‘s farm system rankings released today have the Royals in the top spot. It’s also no surprise that the Rays rank second, as Tampa Bay claimed…

  17. MLB releases the top 10 best selling jerseys

    Mar 23, 2011, 10:32 AM EDT

    Jeter Jersey

    CNBC’s Darren Rovell reports that, for the first time, Major League Baseball has divulged the list of their top selling jerseys, by player.  He has a story about it here and then lists the top 10 in a slide show, which is somewhat annoying. For what it’s worth, Derek Jeter is, not surprisingly, the top seller.…

  18. Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus set to claim Mets’ second base job

    Mar 23, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    brad-emaus-mets-spring

    By releasing Luis Castillo last week and optioning Justin Turner to Triple-A this morning the Mets have cleared the way for Rule 5 pick Brad Emaus to be their Opening Day starter at second base. Luis Hernandez and Daniel Murphy now stand as his only competition, but Hernandez is no one’s idea of an everyday…

  19. Your annual “Jeff Francoeur is working on his plate discipline” story

    Mar 23, 2011, 9:51 AM EDT

    Kansas City Royals Photo Day

    There has not been one offseason — literally, not one — since Jeff Francoeur broke into the majors when there hasn’t been a story in which he’s been reported to be working on pitch-recognition, plate patience and jacking up his on-base percentage.  Here’s last year’s. Not too long ago someone gathered links to all of…

  20. You’ll be shocked to hear that Adrian Gonzalez and the Red Sox are making progress on a deal

    Mar 23, 2011, 9:25 AM EDT

    Newly acquired Boston Red Sox player Adrian Gonzalez smiles during a news conference at Fenway Park in Boston

    It’s cute how we’re still pretending that Theo Epstein — after getting a negotiating window — traded away multiple top prospects for Adrian Gonzalez without having  a deal in place: An afternoon meeting between the Red Sox and the representatives of first baseman Adrian Gonzalez went “really well’’ yesterday, with all signs pointing toward a long-term…

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