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  1. Rays designate Dan Johnson for assignment, activate J.P. Howell from DL

    May 20, 2011, 1:18 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers, Game 3

    Tampa Bay did some roster shuffling, designating first baseman Dan Johnson for assignment and optioning reliever Rob Delaney back to Triple-A while calling up outfielder Justin Ruggiano and activating reliever J.P. Howell from the disabled list. Howell’s return is the most interesting development, as he had back-to-back impressive seasons as a reliever before blowing out…

  2. To long toss or not to long toss, that is the question

    May 20, 2011, 1:02 PM EST

    Long toss

    Jeff Passan of Yahoo! has an interesting story up today about long-tossing for pitchers. The upshot: two of the top prospects in this year’s draft are warning teams that ban their pitchers from long-toss drills against selecting them, because they’re all about long-tossing.  Included in the anti-long toss crowd: the Royals and Pirates and, according…

  3. Oliver Perez notches win in Double-A debut for Nationals

    May 20, 2011, 12:46 PM EST

    Oliver Perez AP

    Signed to a minor-league contract by the Nationals after being released by the Mets during spring training, Oliver Perez made his Double-A debut yesterday and picked up a victory with five innings of one-run ball. Perez, who’s being paid $12 million by the Mets this season, allowed just one run against the Twins’ affiliate and…

  4. Diamondbacks owner calls for a ban on smokeless tobacco

    May 20, 2011, 12:30 PM EST

    Nellie Fox

    We’ve heard from outside advocacy groups, politicians and basement bloggers on the matter of smokeless tobacco in baseball — and Bud Selig has said he would propose a ban in the upcoming labor negotiations — but this USA Today editorial by Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick may be the first time someone who actually has a seat…

  5. Justin Morneau got cortisone injection for shoulder and neck pain last week

    May 20, 2011, 11:51 AM EST

    Justin Morneau

    I wrote recently that Justin Morneau has been totally healthy this season, but it turns out that’s not entirely true. He’s been free of any post-concussion symptoms and has been in the lineup just about every day, but LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Morneau got a cortisone shot for…

  6. Great moments in taunting: Kansas City vs. St. Louis edition

    May 20, 2011, 11:30 AM EST

    Don Denkinger call

    OK, there’s one more fun interleague rivalry: Cardinals vs. Royals. And actually, it’s less fun for the baseball than it is for the wonderful St. Louis-baiting done by Sam Mellinger today in the pages of the Kansas City Star. Makes my Philly-baiting look like child’s play: Crime •Kansas City: Was a well-known mafia hub and…

  7. Mike Gonzalez apologizes for beaning that left Chris Dickerson with concussion

    May 20, 2011, 11:19 AM EST

    chris-dickerson-mike-gonzalez

    Mike Gonzalez sought out Chris Dickerson prior to yesterday’s game, apologizing to the Yankees outfielder for hitting him in the helmet with a pitch Wednesday night and asking how he was physically after suffering a concussion: I just wanted to make sure that he was OK. Obviously, it wasn’t my intention. I wasn’t trying to…

  8. Say what you want about interleague play, but the Cubs vs. the Red Sox is pretty cool

    May 20, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

    1918 Cubs

    I’ve said enough about the blahness of interleague play. Let’s be done with that. Because, as Tiffany noted at the end of the video, there are some redeeming matchups that generate some actual organic fan interest, and the top of that list this season is the Red Sox vs. the Cubs. These two storied franchises…

  9. Padres’ new television deal worth $25-30 million per season

    May 20, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    television money

    Three weeks ago Padres chief executive officer Jeff Moorad revealed that the team had “several active discussions going on at the moment” for a new television contract and now John Maffei of the North County Times has the details. According to Maffei the Padres are close to signing a new deal with FOX “that will…

  10. Madoff trustee throws some new stuff at Wilpon and Katz

    May 20, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

    Both the New York Times and the Post today run with the latest filing in the Bernie Madoff/Wilpon/Mets case. The allegation: in 2001 Wilpon and Katz went shopping for “fraud insurance,” and that by doing so it shows that they had reason to believe that Madoff was, in fact, a fraud, it says. For those…

  11. No timetable yet for Jonathan Broxton’s return to Dodgers

    May 20, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    broxton getty

    Yesterday the Dodgers placed closer Vicente Padilla on the disabled list, but don’t expect the man he’s filling in for in the ninth inning, Jonathan Broxton, to return any time soon. Trainer Stan Conte told David Ely of MLB.com that there’s still no timetable for Broxton’s comeback from elbow problems, but did say that the…

  12. HBT Daily: Three “mehs” for interleague play

    May 20, 2011, 10:00 AM EST

    I’m not going to join the “let’s see how much we can overstate how bad interleague play is” contest, but I’m not all that excited about it either.

  13. Asdrubal Cabrera makes an insane flip to start a double play

    May 20, 2011, 9:39 AM EST

    Asdrubal Cabrera DP.bmp

    One of the big reasons the Indians have been winning this year is their defense. One of the reasons their defense has been good is because Asdrubal Cabrera plays some sharp shortstop.  And here’s a great play he made last night that most guys aren’t gonna make. It helps if you whistle “Sweet Georgia Brown”…

  14. The memorable homers I missed

    May 20, 2011, 9:13 AM EST

    Nelson Cruz home run

    As I suspected, I missed the most memorable home runs by a number of teams yesterday.  Here, based on reader feedback, are the most egregious oversights and a few other random observations: Yankees There wasn’t strong dissent here, probably because there was so much to choose from, but there were some interesting alternative suggestions. One…

  15. Mike Rizzo is in trouble for going after an ump

    May 20, 2011, 8:46 AM EST

    Nationals Rizzo Baseball

    This play, in the ninth inning of yesterday’s Nationals-Mets game, is a blown call.  The throw from Justin Turner clearly pulled Daniel Murphy off the bag and Jayson Werth should have been safe at first. Given that it was a 1-0 game, that was pretty important. Given that the call was so obviously blown, you…

  16. Oh my stars and garters, Andre Ethier flipped a photographer the bird

    May 20, 2011, 8:25 AM EST

    St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers

    Andre Ethier flipped the bird: During batting practice before Monday’s game against the Brewers, Ethier was snapped givin’ the finger to a photographer. And actually, the AP story uses the phrase “flipping  his middle fingers at a photographer,” so it may have been the rare but always impressive double-barrel salute. I like that kind of moxy.…

  17. And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

    May 20, 2011, 5:56 AM EST

    Chicago Cubs v Colorado Rockies

    Rockies 7, Phillies 1: In yesterday morning’s recaps I slammed Jason Giambi and declared him dead. Last night he hit three homers and drove in seven.  I see my little foray into reverse psychology worked. Don’t thank me now, Jason. Just let me know where to send my bill. Mets 1, Nationals 0: Sucks to…

  18. Red Sox acquire Franklin Morales from Rockies for PTBNL

    May 19, 2011, 10:47 PM EST

    morales purple

    From Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe comes word that the Red Sox are working on a trade for Rockies left-hander Franklin Morales. Morales has displayed significant control problems this season out of the Rockies’ bullpen and is currently the owner of a poor 11/8 K/BB ratio. But he has allowed just six runs in…

  19. Red Sox sign Kevin Millwood to minor league contract

    May 19, 2011, 9:39 PM EST

    Veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood has found a new home in the American League East. According to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, Millwood and the Red Sox agreed to terms on a minor league contract late Thursday evening. Millwood opted out of his minor league deal with the Yankees on May 1 after posting a 4.50…

  20. Carlos Gonzalez pulled from game after tweaking left groin

    May 19, 2011, 9:01 PM EST

    carlos gonzalez groin

    Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com passes along word that Rockies left fielder Carlos Gonzalez had to be lifted from Thursday night’s game in Philadelphia after tweaking his left groin while chasing down a fly ball on a wet field surface at Citizens Bank Park. Gonzalez has been diagnosed with left groin tightness and will likely be…

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