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  1. Bryce Harper’s minor league at-bats will have a sponsor

    Mar 16, 2011, 11:16 AM EDT

    miss utility

    After spending a couple weeks in big-league camp Bryce Harper was optioned to high Single-A Hagerstown, where each of his at-bats will apparently be sponsored by “Miss Utility,” which is a service for construction workers to contact for information before digging into underground utility mains. Seriously. Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post passes along the…

  2. Luis Salazar loses his left eye

    Mar 16, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Luis Salazar

    Bad news from Orlando: Doctors were unable to save Braves minor league manager Luis Salazar’s left eye.  They had put off surgery on it until yesterday to allow swelling to go down, but the damage, it seems, was just too extensive. This is awful, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not the worst…

  3. Casey Blake “expected to miss minimal time” with back injury

    Mar 16, 2011, 10:48 AM EDT

    casey-blake-dodgers-spring

    Casey Blake underwent a “precautionary” MRI exam on his injured back and the results showed lower thoracic spine inflammation, with Tony Jackson of ESPNLA.com reporting that “he’s expected to miss minimal time.” There’s no timetable yet for his return, but Blake reported feeling some improvement yesterday and is officially listed as day-to-day. Blake struggled with…

  4. Baseball’s official historian slams statistical analysis

    Mar 16, 2011, 10:31 AM EDT

    John Thorn

    What’s more unexpected: me linking a Bleacher Report column or baseball’s official historian — and sometime sabermetrician — John Thorn talking about how apocryphal tales are preferable to the actual nuts and bolts of what happened on the baseball diamond? For a whole generation of fans and fantasy players, stats have begun to outstrip story and that…

  5. Joe Mauer makes his spring training debut at designated hitter

    Mar 16, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    Minnesota Twins Workout Sessions

    Joe Mauer is making his spring training debut this afternoon, batting third and starting at designated hitter after mostly sitting out the first two weeks of camp following offseason knee surgery. Mauer has already begun catching bullpen sessions and has repeatedly said that he has no doubts about being ready for Opening Day, so presumably…

  6. Buster Olney needs a new “evaluator”

    Mar 16, 2011, 9:58 AM EDT

    Medlen_Kris

    Buster Olney spoke with “an evaluator” about the Atlanta Braves and included his comments in his column this morning: “It’s a very deep club, beyond their 25-man roster. If they have an issue with the rotation, they’ve got Kris Medlen and [either] Mike Minor or [Brandon] Beachy as backup, depending on who wins the No. 5 spot.…

  7. Great Moments in fact checking the headline

    Mar 16, 2011, 9:32 AM EDT

    In which, in the space of only a couple of lines, I take a swipe at Tony La Russa and a newspaper and get to have fun with Charlie Manuel anachronisms!

  8. The Phillies’ injuries mount: Placido Polanco tweaks his elbow

    Mar 16, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

    Placido Polanco on bases

    Phillies’ third baseman Placido Polanco injured his left elbow yesterday, hyperextending it during a swing.  This is the same elbow on which he had surgery back in November.  He says it’s not serious, though, and it’s suspected that he’ll only miss a few days. I think most people agree that injuries are the only thing that…

  9. Few fans line up for Mets tickets. So what?

    Mar 16, 2011, 8:46 AM EDT

    Billy Joel's "The Last Play At Shea" Premieres At Citi Field

    The Bergen Record reports on the first day of Mets single-game ticket sales and paints a gloomy picture: There was no wait at all until 10:25, when a line of just eight people formed. No one camped out overnight like years past; no one spent hours waiting. And plenty of good tickets still are available, as…

  10. Springtime Storylines: Is character and passion enough for the Arizona Diamondbacks?

    Mar 16, 2011, 8:23 AM EDT

    Colorado Rockies v Arizona Diamondbacks

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2011 season. Next up: The new-look Arizona Diamondbacks. The Big Question: Is character and passion enough for the Diamondbacks? This is Kirk Gibson’s team now, and it…

  11. Brian Sabean: “the game is East Coast-centric”

    Mar 16, 2011, 6:16 AM EDT

    Brian Sabean phone

    An article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat catches up with Giants GM Brian Sabean, who notes that life hasn’t changed all that much for the World Series champs in terms of hype or outside media interest or anything like that.  Part of that may be, he explains, because of the dreaded east coast bias:…

  12. Ian Stewart to return to Rockies’ lineup Wednesday

    Mar 15, 2011, 9:23 PM EDT

    Stewart_Ian

    We heard last week that Ian Stewart was a “longshot” to be ready for Opening Day, but it turns out he may cut things pretty close. According to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, Stewart is scheduled to start at third base tomorrow against the Rangers. It will be his first Cactus League action since…

  13. Andrew Bailey diagnosed with strained right forearm

    Mar 15, 2011, 7:45 PM EDT

    Andrew Bailey Getty

    It was easy to think the worst when Andrew Bailey crumpled down in pain on the mound yesterday, but a release from the Athletics this afternoon actually brings some good news. Bailey was diagnosed with a strained right forearm following an examination by renowned orthopedist Dr. James Andrews. In other words, no structural damage was…

  14. It doesn’t sound like Carlos Beltran is going to be ready for Opening Day

    Mar 15, 2011, 6:29 PM EDT

    Carlos Beltran

    Carlos Beltran told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York earlier this afternoon that while he has been cleared for some baseball activities, he will be limited to hitting and other non-running activities for the time being. Beltran reports that his knee currently feels “60 percent better” than it did one week ago and according to…

  15. Ryan Zimmerman to be shut down for a few days

    Mar 15, 2011, 5:26 PM EDT

    zimmerman_ryan

    I can’t remember who said it on Twitter yesterday, but someone said that the first two weeks of spring training are spent talking about how everyone is in such great shape and the next two weeks are spent talking about injuries.  Seems that way.  All of the injury news is starting to blend together for…

  16. Wojciechowski: the Giants won the world series because Barry Bonds was gone

    Mar 15, 2011, 4:57 PM EDT

    Barry Bonds first pitch NLCS

    ESPN’s Gene Wojciechowski has made a mini-career out of moralizing about steroids in baseball.  Sure, lots of guys do that, but Wojciechowski isn’t exactly the straightest shooter in the bunch. Indeed, between Wojciechowski’s crocodile tears and his casual intellectual dishonesty, he’s basically the Glenn Beck of the steroids beat. Once he beat up on steroids users, equating…

  17. Ian Snell retires after being sent to minors by Cardinals

    Mar 15, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT

    snell1

    Not so long ago Ian Snell was a promising young starter for the Pirates, throwing 208 innings with a 3.76 ERA and solid 177/68 K/BB ratio as a 25-year-old in 2007. Unfortunately it’s been all downhill since then, as Snell pitched his way out of Pittsburgh and then failed to resurrect his career in Seattle,…

  18. Springtime Storylines: Will the Royals avoid a third straight 95-loss season?

    Mar 15, 2011, 3:50 PM EDT

    billy-butler-and-ned-yost-royals

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2011 season. Next up: The perpetually rebuilding Kansas City Royals. The Big Question: Can the Royals avoid a third straight 95-loss season? Relative to the past 15…

  19. The NPB is undecided on when to start the season

    Mar 15, 2011, 3:35 PM EDT

    This photo taken on March 14, 2011 shows

    Japan obviously has bigger problems than when to start the baseball season, but the Central and Pacific Leagues of the NPB met today to discuss when they should begin the 2011 baseball season in the wake of the tsunami and the mounting nuclear crisis. The NPB blog Yakyubaka reports that no decision has been made…

  20. Kendrys Morales “more and more likely” to begin year on DL

    Mar 15, 2011, 3:15 PM EDT

    Kendry Morales

    Initially there was talk that Kendrys Morales would be limited to designated hitter duties early on as he recovers from last season’s broken leg, but now Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times writes that “it appears more and more likely Morales won’t be ready for the opener” at all. If he does play in…

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