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  1. Buck Showalter says that the reports of the offer to Adam LaRoche are not true

    Dec 23, 2010, 4:00 PM EDT

    Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

    I keep talking about the three-year, $21 million contract offer the Orioles have out to Adam LaRoche as if it’s written in stone someplace, but it’s not.  Yes, it’s been reported by multiple outlets, but today Buck Showalter was on MLB Network Radio and, while confirming that the Orioles are interested in LaRoche, he said…

  2. Padres interested in Brad Hawpe as cheap option at first base

    Dec 23, 2010, 3:46 PM EDT

    hawpe

    With the Nationals and Orioles seemingly fighting over Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee at first base the Padres have turned their attention to Brad Hawpe, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. After hitting at least .285 with 20-plus homers and an OPS above .875 in four straight seasons Hawpe struggled last year, getting released by…

  3. Lee Smith: the most dominant closer of his era?

    Dec 23, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    Lee Smith

    Here’s a fun Hall of Fame ballot:  Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven and … Lee Smith. Had me until Lee Smith. That’s from David Lariviere of Forbes, who refers to Smith as “the dominant reliever of his era.”  Smith pitched from 1980 through 1997.  That era, which saw the rise of the one-inning closer, included Rollie…

  4. “Mr. Lee — the Philadelphia Jewish community turned its lonely eyes to you”

    Dec 23, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee phillies throwing

    This is easily my favorite Cliff Lee column I’ve seen written by anyone anywhere. And I say that even though the writer seems to believe that Abner Doubleday invented baseball.  Just treat it like Belushi’s “the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor” speech in “Animal House.”  Forget it, he’s on a roll: Cliff Lee is more than…

  5. Pirates sign Garrett Atkins to minor league contract

    Dec 23, 2010, 2:49 PM EDT

    garrett-atkins-orioles

    Garrett Atkins flopped for the Orioles after signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal last offseason, so he’s had to settle for a minor-league contract with the Pirates this time around and will be reunited with former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. Atkins gets an invitation to spring training, but the Pirates have already inked fellow third…

  6. CC Sabathia is in the best shape of his life

    Dec 23, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    Sabathia fat

    This article — shot my way by Jason over at IIATMS — doesn’t have the magic words, but it’s close enough to qualify under my liberal definition of BSOML articles: “I’m feeling good,” Sabathia said. “I wasn’t really worried about the surgery because I had it before. It was just swelling up on me after…

  7. Picture of the Day: Alex Rodriguez goes paddleboarding with Cameron Diaz

    Dec 23, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    Via the fine folks at People magazine: “Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz enjoyed this week while on vacation with his two kids in Los Cabos, Mexico”: Sorry. It’s a really, really slow news day. I can only write so many posts about Rusty Ryal.

  8. The Rays hire ex-Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland

    Dec 23, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

    dave-eiland-and-joe-girardi-yankees

    This had been rumored for a while, but it’s now official: the Rays have hired former Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland. Eiland was named as a special assistant to Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman. He’ll some scouting and handle special assignments. Eiland left the Yankees under somewhat clouded circumstances. Apparently only Murray Chass knows what those…

  9. Comment of the Day: The Mariners don’t need Felix Hernandez

    Dec 23, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    Felix Hernandez

    Reader ufy1950 would like to disabuse Seattle Mariners fans of the notion that they really need Felix Hernandez around: Well my friend.  It’s you who are delusional.  In a team sport no one player is any more valuable then his teammates.  Unless the Mariners are successful King Felix will be nothing more then a footnote…

  10. Brian Cashman on Johnny Damon: “There’s not a clear role for him here”

    Dec 23, 2010, 1:17 PM EDT

    Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed reports that he’s been in touch with Johnny Damon‘s agent, but called it “just part of our canvassing process” and downplayed the outfielder’s chances of returning to New York. “It’s something we do with every free agent,” Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. “I can’t tell you if anything’s…

  11. The City of Oakland decides to flush $750,000 down the toilet

    Dec 23, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    Oakland Coliseum

    Earlier this month we passed along word that the City of Oakland was developing a ballpark plan for the A’s. It was facing a dilemma, however because of Major League Baseball’s continued dithering on the whole can-the-A’s-play-in-San Jose issue.  Should the city spend the money for an environmental impact assessment when it’s unclear whether the…

  12. The Tigers are starting an “energy squad”

    Dec 23, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    Comerica Park

    Corporate marketing and cheerleading! Two things that baseball doesn’t need more of, together at last! The Tigers are looking for fun, energetic fans to be part of the DTE Energy Squad — a promotion, entertainment and fan-interaction team. The squad will help rile up the crowd at Comerica Park. Members of the DTE Energy Squad…

  13. Bob Uecker prepping for 41st season after two heart surgeries

    Dec 23, 2010, 12:18 PM EDT

    Bob Uecker

    Adam McCalvy of MLB.com caught up with legendary Brewers announcer Bob Uecker, who’s spending the offseason in Arizona resting up after undergoing two heart surgeries this year and plans to return to the broadcast booth for his 41st season in 2011. At age 75 he “plans to work a full schedule” of games and Uecker…

  14. Looks like the Phillies rotation is going to be “R2C2″ whether we like it or not

    Dec 23, 2010, 12:00 PM EDT

    Phillies' Hamels, Halladay and Howard watch as the Giants celebrate their victory in Game 4 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in San Francisco

    I linked the Stan Hochman column in which he solicited ideas for nicknames for the Phillies’ rotation the other day (recall that he wanted it to be “Un-Four-gettables”).  Well, the mob has spoken and Stan delivers the news: The winner, by a squeaky margin, was R2C2, a spinoff of the smart-aleck “Star Wars” robot. Good…

  15. Russell Martin will be in the best shape of his life

    Dec 23, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    Russell Martin mask

    Not even Christmas yet and we’ve had a bunch of these already: A two-time All-Star and former Gold Glove winner, Martin slipped offensively the last two seasons. He feels a new workout regimen will greatly benefit his hitting. “I’m probably going to be in the best shape of my life going into spring training,” said…

  16. Diamondbacks sell Rusty Ryal to Japanese team

    Dec 23, 2010, 11:19 AM EDT

    Rusty Ryal

    Rather than give him a shot to earn a bench job, the Diamondbacks have sold 27-year-old utility man Rusty Ryal to Yomiuri Giants in Japan. He was released last week in preparation for the move. Ryal debuted in 2006 by batting .271 with 11 extra-base hits and a .946 OPS in 68 plate appearances and…

  17. The best Hall of Fame column I’ve read so far

    Dec 23, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    mcgwire-101020

    It’s Ken Davidoff’s.  And while I really like his selections — Roberto Alomar, Jeff Bagwell, Bert Blyleven, Kevin Brown, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker — I like his reasoning and explanation better. Among many other bits of goodness, Davidoff points out how important the five-year waiting period…

  18. The Nats sign Sean Burnett to a two-year extension

    Dec 23, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    The Nats signed lefty Sean Burnett two a two-year, $3.7 million contract with a $3.5 million mutual option for 2013. The contract covers his final two years of arbitration and the option is for his first year of free agency. He’ll make $1.4 million next season and $2.3 million in 2012. Burnett is a really…

  19. Assistant general manager leaves Cardinals for Padres

    Dec 23, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    john Abbamondi cardinals

    Assistant general manager John Abbamondi has left the Cardinals to become a vice president with the Padres, making him the second prominent member of St. Louis’ front office to depart this winter after manager of professional scouting Matt Carroll took a job with the Braves. Abbamondi had been with the Cardinals for three years, but…

  20. Carl Crawford treats Rays employees to lunch

    Dec 23, 2010, 10:01 AM EDT

    Carl Crawford swinging

    Carl Crawford is so nice: The four-time All-Star who agreed to a $142 million, seven-year deal with the Red Sox this month picked up the tab Wednesday for lunch at Tropicana Field, where about 150 Rays employees feasted on a barbecue meal the Gold Glove left fielder arranged to have delivered to the home of the…

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