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  1. Bryce Harper’s spring debut: Seven pitches, two strikeouts

    Feb 28, 2011, 4:16 PM EDT

    bryce-harper-nationals

    Bryce Harper made his spring training debut today, coming off the bench against the Mets, and … well, it wasn’t pretty for the 18-year-old No. 1 overall pick. In his first at-bat Harper struck out on three pitches against left-hander Taylor Tankersley and in his second at-bat he whiffed on four pitches against right-hander Ryota…

  2. Bob Howry retires after 13 seasons in the majors

    Feb 28, 2011, 3:33 PM EDT

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    Bob Howry has announced his retirement at age 37 after spending 13 seasons as a reliever for the White Sox, Cubs, Red Sox, Indians, Diamondbacks, and Giants. Howry was drafted by the Giants in 1994 and came to the White Sox in the infamous “white flag” trade in mid-1997. He finally wound up in San…

  3. Photo of the Day: God Bless Midwesterners

    Feb 28, 2011, 3:10 PM EDT

    I encountered these fine women just outside of the main concourse. From afar I assumed they were Brewers fans, by virtue of the hats. When I told them this, they were mildly offended.  I salvaged the situation by noting that the hats actually undermine the Brewers’ stranglehold on beer iconography, appropriating the meme for Cubs…

  4. Josh Beckett sent home with “mild concussion symptoms” after being struck by ball

    Feb 28, 2011, 2:40 PM EDT

    josh-beckett-red-sox-spring

    Josh Beckett was struck on the head by an errant batting practice ball this morning and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that he’s been “sent home to rest” with “mild concussion symptoms.” According to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com, the incident occurred when batting practice pitcher Ino Guerrero attempted to hit a shagged ball…

  5. Scenes from Spring Training: Where’s the press box again?

    Feb 28, 2011, 2:17 PM EDT

    IMG_1551

    I went down to the field to check out the Cubs’ BP.  As the pic suggests, it’s a damn fine day here in Mesa.  A little cold this morning, but it doesn’t take much sun to warm it up, and there is much sun today. Frank Lloyd Wright was right: wintering in Chicago is for…

  6. Ozzie Guillen fires back at Bobby Jenks: “He did a lot of bad things … we lied for him, we protected him”

    Feb 28, 2011, 1:50 PM EDT

    bobby-jenks-and-ozzie-guillen-white-sox

    After being non-tendered by the White Sox and signing with the Red Sox as a free agent Bobby Jenks commented that he’s “looking forward to playing for a manager who knows how to run a bullpen.” Ozzie Guillen remained remarkable silent after that, instead letting his son Oney Guillen rip Jenks repeatedly via Twitter, but…

  7. Ian Stewart sprained knee in collision with Carlos Gonzalez

    Feb 28, 2011, 1:13 PM EDT

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    Ian Stewart is expected to be out for 5-6 days with what Thomas Harding of MLB.com calls “a low-grade sprain of the medial collateral ligament in his right knee.” Stewart suffered the injury Saturday during an outfield collision with Carlos Gonzalez, who escaped with merely a bruised right shin. He initially didn’t think much of…

  8. Scenes from Spring Training: It’s hard not to like Mike Quade

    Feb 28, 2011, 12:43 PM EDT

    Mike Quade

    I got down to the clubhouse a little late — and entered through the wrong door, oops! — but my timing ended up being pretty good, as manager Mike Quade was just opening up his office for the media gaggle.  I walked in and, as I usually do, hung in the back to take it…

  9. Must-click link: Derrick Goold on Bill James

    Feb 28, 2011, 12:19 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch is one of my favorite beat reporters and he’s even better when he stretches his writing legs a bit for a story like this one on Bill James: Goold: Stats don’t tell the whole story of who Bill James is James’ legend has grown to the point…

  10. Brandon Phillips wants a long-term contract extension, but do the Reds?

    Feb 28, 2011, 11:43 AM EDT

    Brandon Phillips

    Brandon Phillips said yesterday that he’d “love to get an extension” from the Reds, telling John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that “it would be nice to be here for the rest of my career” and “I want to know a guarantee instead of a possibility.” So why haven’t the two sides worked something out…

  11. Wanna be the P.A. announcer at Wrigley Field?

    Feb 28, 2011, 11:29 AM EDT

    Wrigley Field

    I just got back from the Cubs’ clubhouse — more on that later — and sitting on my laptop was a press release from the team announcing a partnership between the Cubs and CareerBuilder.com to find the next public address announcer at Wrigley Field. Really: they’re taking applications right on the web. Candidates, we’re told, should…

  12. Scenes from Spring Training: Greetings from HoHoKam Park

    Feb 28, 2011, 11:12 AM EDT

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    Or is it HoHoKam Stadium?  And is that capitalization correct?  Really, I can’t tell you because I’ve seen it written differently in different places.  I think “Stadium” is correct but Park rolls off the tongue better. Probably doesn’t matter considering that they’re building a new place a couple miles from here and will thus be…

  13. Carlos Beltran is moving to right field full time

    Feb 28, 2011, 10:48 AM EDT

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    Two weeks ago new Mets manager Terry Collins said of Carlos Beltran: “When he walks in the first day, he’s the center fielder.” Beltran may have walked into camp as the center fielder, but those plans have apparently already changed, as Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com reports that Beltran will be moved to right field full…

  14. J.J. Putz won’t make Diamondbacks debut before March 7

    Feb 28, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

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    J.J. Putz signed on to be the Diamondbacks’ closer with a two-year, $10 million deal this offseason, but the veteran right-hander won’t make his spring training debut until March 7 despite nothing being wrong with him physically. Arizona manager Kirk Gibson explained to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Putz will focus on building up his…

  15. Be happy that Oliver Perez got rocked over the weekend, Mets fans

    Feb 28, 2011, 9:12 AM EDT

    New York Mets Workout Sessions

    Oliver Perez worked in the Mexican League this winter and he showed up early to spring training.  Didn’t help, though, as he made his spring training debut against the Braves over the weekend and gave up four runs in two innings, walked three guys and only got the ball up to 86 m.p.h.  Once, that…

  16. Welcome to St. Jetersburg

    Feb 28, 2011, 8:48 AM EDT

    Derek Jeter smiling

    The New York Times has a feature on the outrageously large house Derek Jeter has built down in Tampa. Cost?! No man can say! The 30,875-square-foot mansion, which overlooks Hillsborough Bay, features seven bedrooms, nine bathrooms, a pool, two boat lifts, a drive-through portico and a pair of three-car garages flanking the north and south…

  17. Bobby Valentine would like to buy into the Mets

    Feb 28, 2011, 8:22 AM EDT

    Bobby Valentine horizontal

    Bobby Valentine wants to buy into the Mets’ ownership group? Wow, Stamford, Connecticut must really overpay their civil servants: Valentine has spoken with serious financial backers about lining up a bid to buy at least a portion of the Mets, a baseball official told ESPNNewYork.com. “I’’ve talked to a number of people interested in purchasing…

  18. HBT Weekend Wrapup

    Feb 28, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

    Arizona

    You suckers missed the fact that I was blogging spring training all weekend. Don’t try to deny it. I see the web traffic stats. You were spending time with your families or watching that godforsaken Oscars show or something instead of reading my dispatches from Arizona. Shame on you. But I now give you a…

  19. Scenes from Spring Training: No, Marty Brennaman is not Bob Uecker

    Feb 27, 2011, 6:12 PM EDT

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    This morning’s fears of severe cloudiness notwithstanding, it ended up being a very nice day at the ballpark. A bit cool, but not too bad. And a ton of sun, so take that weatherman. The game: OK. Not great, but OK, which is as good as we can hope this time of the year.  Early…

  20. Scenes from Spring Training: What the heck is a feetlong hot dog?

    Feb 27, 2011, 5:22 PM EDT

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    I met a cool guy today. That’s him. His name is Kwang Min Park, a baseball journalist from South Korea.  His nickname, however, is Agassi.  Yes, because he likes Andre Agassi. As you might expect, Agassi was here today to cover Shin-Soo Choo.  I saw him interviewing Choo in the clubhouse, and he sat next to…

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