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  1. Baseball folks we lost in 2010

    Dec 29, 2010, 4:22 PM EDT

    Jose Lima

    Over at MLB.com Marty Noble writes the obligatory “remembering the baseball people who died in the past year” column. I sort of hate to see this column every year, but I’m glad we have it too. We need it. We remember guys like George Steinbrenner and Ernie Harwell because they were giants, but we so…

  2. Rafael Palmeiro insists he never took PEDs

    Dec 29, 2010, 3:03 PM EDT

    Rafael Palmeiro

    Mel Antonen conducted a long interview of Rafael Palmeiro over at SI.com.  Palmeiro says that he didn’t take steroids, that his positive test from 2005 was a mix-up and that getting elected to the Hall of Fame “would mean more than anything” to him. No one is going to believe him of course, and it’s…

  3. Orioles have “definite interest” in free agent Grant Balfour

    Dec 29, 2010, 2:36 PM EDT

    Grant Balfour

    There hasn’t been much speculation surrounding Grant Balfour, largely because he’s a Type A free agent and most teams aren’t keen on surrendering a first-round draft pick to sign a non-closer reliever. In fact, Balfour declining the Rays’ arbitration offer last month was viewed by many as a surprise because of how much the draft…

  4. The Angels are the front-runners for Adrian Beltre

    Dec 29, 2010, 2:24 PM EDT

    beltre batting

    Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels are now the front-runners for Adrian Beltre‘s services because (a) the Athletics have dropped out; and (b) the Rangers don’t feel comfortable making the commitment in dollars and years that Beltre seems to want. The A’s have been jerked around by Beltre for a long time, it seems. They…

  5. Must-click link: Joe Sheehan’s predictions for 2011

    Dec 29, 2010, 2:06 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    I’m in the process of writing up a bunch of phony, snarky predictions for 2011 for the Rotoworld annual.  It’s thus rather refreshing to read some actual predictions for 2011 that are backed by some genuine baseball thought.  The thinker is Joe Sheehan, and some of his predictions are going to rile some of you:…

  6. How Jack Morris came to be known as the best pitcher of the 1980s

    Dec 29, 2010, 1:03 PM EDT

    Jack Morris

    Larry Granillo of Wezen-Ball fame writes for The Hardball Times now. Two great things that go great together.  Today lar has a great post up in which traces the history of the “Jack Morris was the best pitcher of the 80s” meme.  Given that, at the time, most people when asked would have said that…

  7. Jeff Bagwell denies using PEDs

    Dec 29, 2010, 12:11 PM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick interviewed Jeff Bagwell. Bagwell flat denies ever using PEDs. He said he got big because of an almost obsessive weight-lifting regimen he began in the mind-90s.  He ads that he believes his weight-lifting was a mistake and that it contributed to his shoulder injuries that ended his career. At the same time…

  8. Mike Morse waiting to learn fate as Nationals’ fallback option

    Dec 29, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

    mike-morse-nationals

    On the strength of hitting .289 with 15 homers in 266 at-bats as a part-timer Mike Morse emerged as a possible everyday player for the Nationals in 2011, but Ben Goessling of MASNSports.com writes that his role hinges on whether they sign a veteran first baseman. Washington has been linked to just about every free…

  9. Your bi-weekly Oliver Perez update

    Dec 29, 2010, 11:28 AM EDT

    Oliver Perez Mets

    Resolved: if you can’t look good in the Mexican winter league, you’re not going to look good in the majors.  And Oliver Perez doesn’t look good. Adam Rubin: Overall, Perez is 3-3 with a 5.18 ERA in 11 appearances (six starts). In 33 innings, he has allowed 30 hits and 23 walks, struck out 26…

  10. Walking through the Tigers 1979 Yearbook

    Dec 29, 2010, 11:08 AM EDT

    Tigers yearbook

    That last post about Bill Lajoie caused me to reach for my favorite baseball yearbook of all time: the Tigers 1979 yearbook.  I used to get them every year — I have them all from ’78 through ’85 — but this one was my favorite because I distinctly remember bringing it home from the ballpark…

  11. Octavio Dotel promised the chance to be Blue Jays’ closer

    Dec 29, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    octavio-dotel-pirates

    It won’t be official until he takes a physical exam next week, but yesterday the Blue Jays signed Octavio Dotel to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with a $3.5 million option or $750,000 buyout for 2012. Dotel could have signed with any number of teams as a setup man, but according to his agent in…

  12. Former Tigers GM Bill Lajoie dies

    Dec 29, 2010, 10:08 AM EDT

    Bill Jajoie

    Sad news: Longtime baseball executive Bill Lajoie, whose eye for talent helped build the Detroit Tigers team that won the 1984 World Series championship, died Tuesday. He was 76. The key to that Tigers team’s success was not Lajoie’s general manager moves, however. It was the work he had put in the previous fifteen or sixteen…

  13. Posnanski takes on the Hall cases for Baines, Mattingly, Morris and … Charlie Joiner?

    Dec 29, 2010, 9:16 AM EDT

    Lee Smith

    We’ve been following Joe Posnanski’s week of Hall of Fame columns so far, so there’s no sense in stopping now.  Today he discusses the Hall of Very Good players on the ballot.  After his nice appreciations of Harold Baines and Don Mattingly — each of whom really should be appreciated, because they were darn good…

  14. Ozzie Guillen’s son needs a time out

    Dec 29, 2010, 8:36 AM EDT

    Don Corleone and Sonny

    In that MLB.com interview yesterday former White Sox’ closer Bobby Jenks said that he “was looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.”  Not the best thing to say about Ozzie Guillen — and probably not true, because I think Ozzie actually does a pretty good overall in terms…

  15. Yankees’ team president on Pettitte: “I think he knows we need him”

    Dec 29, 2010, 8:25 AM EDT

    Andy Pettitte

    Yankees president Randy Levine had this to say about Andy Pettitte yesterday: “Every day I hope Andy comes back.  Andy’s a great Yankee and a great person and I know he’ll give it thought and follow his heart and we’ll respect his decision. But we’re out there, all of us, hoping every day that he…

  16. The Orioles continue to target Derrek Lee

    Dec 29, 2010, 5:34 AM EDT

    Derrek Lee braves

    Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun first reported this back on the 21st, but Ken Rosenthal said again last night that the Orioles are continuing to target Derrek Lee.  They’re apparently not high on the idea of getting a DH and moving Luke Scott to first base, and with the rumored Adam LaRoche offer seemingly…

  17. Report: Octavio Dotel agrees to one-year deal with Blue Jays

    Dec 28, 2010, 9:57 PM EDT

    dotel-101226

    Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Blue Jays have signed Octavio Dotel to a one-year, $3.5 million contract with a club option for 2012. According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, he’ll make $2.75 million in 2011 with either a $3.75 million club option for 2012 or a $750,000 buyout, so he is…

  18. Joakim Soria says he wouldn’t block a trade to the Yankees

    Dec 28, 2010, 9:16 PM EDT

    Kansas City's Soria and Pena celebrate after the Royals' win over Tampa Bay during their MLB baseball game in Kansas City

    Amid speculation that he could the next Royal to be traded, Joakim Soria told Robert Espinosa of Mexican paper Vanguard that he wouldn’t block a deal to the Yankees, who are on his no-trade list. In fact, Soria said his no-trade list — which also consists of the Red Sox, Phillies, Tigers, Cardinals and Cubs…

  19. Craig Kimbrel confident he can close for Braves next season

    Dec 28, 2010, 7:47 PM EDT

    craigkimbrel

    Craig Kimbrel turned some heads during the NLDS against the Giants in October and now that Billy Wagner has retired, the 22-year-old right-hander is ready to compete with Jonny Venters for the closer role during spring training. Kimbrel told Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he is confident he can handle closing duties in…

  20. Mark Teixeira believes Andy Pettitte is leaning towards retirement

    Dec 28, 2010, 6:17 PM EDT

    Pettitte looks in

    Mark Teixeira told Ian Begley of ESPN New York today that through text messages with Andy Pettitte, he feels the veteran left-hander is leaning towards retirement. “I think, like everyone else [thinks], if he’s leaning one way, he’s probably leaning towards retiring,” Teixeira said on Tuesday at a press conference to kick off Thursday’s Pinstripe…

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