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  1. So when will all of the European baseball players arrive?

    Sep 13, 2011, 5:30 PM EDT

    European Flag

    This is essentially a must-click link, though I offer it with the caveat that it is an ESPN Insider piece, so many of you won’t be able to click it.  My antipathy toward paywalls aside — and notwithstanding the fact that ESPN’s fortunes do not benefit me whatsoever — I believe that Insider subscription is…

  2. Josh Beckett will start for the Red Sox on Thursday or Friday

    Sep 13, 2011, 5:02 PM EDT

    Josh Beckett

    Josh Beckett missed his last turn in the Red Sox’s rotation with a sprained ankle suffered on September 5, but manager Terry Francona announced this afternoon that he’s slated to start Thursday or Friday. Beckett threw a bullpen session yesterday and reported no problems, but Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports that whether he returns Thursday…

  3. Bobby Jenks diagnosed with pulmonary embolism

    Sep 13, 2011, 4:47 PM EDT

    Bobby Jenks

    In the midst of having his injured back reexamined, right-hander Bobby Jenks was diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism (an arterial blockage in the lung), the Red Sox announced Tuesday. Jenks was already expected to have season-ending back surgery.  That figures to be delayed because of the embolism treatment, which will probably involve blood thinners.  Manager Terry Francona…

  4. Dusty Baker doesn’t expect Scott Rolen to play again this year

    Sep 13, 2011, 4:33 PM EDT

    Scott Rolen

    Scott Rolen has been out since mid-July following shoulder surgery and manager Dusty Baker told John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he doesn’t expect the veteran third baseman to play again this season. Rolen was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable and as recently as August 29 expressed optimism about being close to…

  5. The Pirates pull out of Venezuela

    Sep 13, 2011, 4:00 PM EDT

    Venezuela flag

    I wonder if this is something that extends beyond the Pirates and will have implications for other teams as well: The Pirates have notified their Venezuelan academy that the organization will be terminating its lease and no longer participating in the six-team Venezuelan Summer League. Though the Pirates have not commented publicly on the situation, the…

  6. Kevin Youkilis returns to Red Sox’s lineup

    Sep 13, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox Kevin Youkilis bats against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston

    Kevin Youkilis is back in the Red Sox’s lineup tonight after missing four games with a sports hernia that will eventually require surgery. Jed Lowrie and Mike Aviles played third base in Youkilis’ absence, but he’s back at the hot corner tonight and batting fifth against the Blue Jays. Youkilis previously spent two weeks on…

  7. Baseball announces Roberto Clemente Award nominees

    Sep 13, 2011, 3:00 PM EDT

    Clemente

    The Roberto Clemente Award goes to the Major Leaguer who “best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual’s contribution to his team.”  Tim Wakefield won it last year.  The 2011 nominees — one per team — were just announced. They are as follows: Arizona Diamondbacks – Joe Saunders Atlanta Braves – Tim Hudson…

  8. Phillies fans care more than fans of any other team

    Sep 13, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

    As a Braves fan, I often have the lack of enthusiasm of Braves fans thrown back in my face by Philly fans. “Why don’t they sell out their ballpark, even for playoff games?” I’m asked. “We may be overly enthusiastic,” they say, “but it’s just because we’re passionate.” And I can’t argue those points. Really,…

  9. Cardinals announce two-year, $21 million contract extension with Chris Carpenter

    Sep 13, 2011, 2:16 PM EDT

    Chris Carpenter

    Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported late Sunday night that Chris Carpenter and the Cardinals had agreed to a two-year, $21 million contract extension and now it’s official. General manager John Mozeliak has called a press conference to announce the deal, which takes the place of Carpenter’s $15 million team option or…

  10. Jered Weaver likely to start on short rest this weekend

    Sep 13, 2011, 1:44 PM EDT

    Jered Weaver

    Jered Weaver struggled working on short rest two weeks ago, giving up seven runs to the Rangers on August 28, but the Angels ace is going to give it another try. Weaver is scheduled to pitch tomorrow against the A’s and manager Mike Scioscia indicated to reporters that his next start will probably be Sunday…

  11. Stephen Strasburg drops some wisdom

    Sep 13, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

    Stephen Strasburg

    Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke with Stephen Strasburg recently, and Strasburg said something that — though no one has really mentioned it — seems super obvious the minute Strasburg says it: I just need to keep working to get into a routine to where it’s just auto-pilot. Answer the bell every fifth day.…

  12. A Negro Leagues database? Yes please!

    Sep 13, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

    Bingo DeMoss

    This is cool:  Seamheads.com has launched an effort to create the first comprehensive statistical encyclopedia of Negro Leagues baseball statistics.  It’s called the Negro Leagues Database, and it has just launched with the first three Negro Leagues seasons (1920-23) and some assorted Cuban winter league results of that era.  The site has biographical information as…

  13. Jair Jurrjens unlikely to pitch for Braves again this season

    Sep 13, 2011, 12:52 PM EDT

    Jair Jurrjens

    Jair Jurrjens is still trying to come back from a bone bruise in his right knee, but David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution writes that “the odds are long and he knows it.” Jurrjens is able to play catch while wearing a brace on the knee, but hasn’t been cleared to throw off a…

  14. Great Moments in Fan Fiction

    Sep 13, 2011, 12:40 PM EDT

    Misery

    Those of you who hang out in the comments are aware of poster FC and his recent foray into fan fiction. Basically, he imagines me in an underground lair, wearing a Braves bathrobe, smoking a bubble pipe, sitting before large TV monitors and basically treating baseball like a Bond villain treats the world. He has…

  15. Reds GM Walt Jocketty declines to discuss expiring contract

    Sep 13, 2011, 12:21 PM EDT

    Walt Jocketty

    Reds general manager Walt Jocketty’s four-year contract is up after this season, but Mark Sheldon of MLB.com writes that he “bristled” when asked about his future with the team and declined to discuss the topic: I don’t want to talk about my situation. It’s like any other contract. I don’t like talking about it. It’s…

  16. The ball that Juan Francisco hit last night: R.I.P.

    Sep 13, 2011, 12:00 PM EDT

    You never know when it’s gonna be your time. You just hope that you’ve made the most of your life that you could and that you left your family well provided-for.  As this ball came sailing in to Juan Francisco, I just hope it didn’t have any regrets. That it lived its last day on…

  17. Aaron at the movies: “Moneyball” review

    Sep 13, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

    moneyball poster

    Last night I attended an advance screening of the “Moneyball” movie, which is set for a wide release on September 23. I’ve read Michael Lewis’ book twice and consider it some of the best, most important baseball writing of all time, but I was never quite sure how exactly it could be turned into a…

  18. Tony La Russa with expanded rosters: “like handing him a blank check and the run of Home Depot”

    Sep 13, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    St. Louis Cardinals v Arizona Diamondbacks

    I didn’t watch the Cardinals-Pirates game last night, but my Twitter feed was full of references to Tony La Russa overmanaging the game. Which the Cardinals eventually lost.  Shocker, I know. I nearly dropped my bubble pipe I was so gobsmacked. Anyway, David Schoenfield has a great breakdown of the game over at ESPN’s Sweet…

  19. Impending free agent Aramis Ramirez wants multi-year deal

    Sep 13, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    aramis-ramirez-cubs-swing

    Aramis Ramirez is all but certain to become a free agent once the Cubs decline his $16 million option for 2012 and the 33-year-old third baseman told Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago that he’ll be seeking a multi-year deal: If I hit the marketplace I should end up with a two- or three-year deal. The…

  20. Pablo Sandoval appears to have regained most of the weight he dropped last winter

    Sep 13, 2011, 10:32 AM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

    Kung Fu Panda’s gut is making a comeback. Giants manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged to Chris Haft of MLB.com Monday that third baseman Pablo Sandoval has regained at least some of the 40 pounds that he dropped last winter in a hardcore conditioning and dieting program. Bochy didn’t seem bothered by the gain, telling Haft and…

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