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  1. Must-Click Link: Ryan Westmoreland’s long road back

    Mar 18, 2011, 5:02 PM EST

    Click Here large

    Charles Pierce has a major piece on Ryan Westmoreland, the Red Sox farmhand who last year was diagnosed with a congenital condition that led to brain surgery and a long, long road back to baseball: Over the past year, Ryan Westmoreland had to teach himself how to relearn all the most basic things that made…

  2. HBT Extra: Previewing the NL Central

    Mar 18, 2011, 4:40 PM EST

    Dare I … Dare I … Dare I pick the Cubs?

  3. Pirates claim Garrett Olson off waivers from Mariners

    Mar 18, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

    garrett-olson-mariners-spring

    One of the benefits of finishing with the worst record in baseball last season is that the Pirates still have the No. 1 waiver priority and they used it today to claim Garrett Olson after he was let go by the Mariners. I once thought Olson had a future as a solid mid-rotation starter for…

  4. Terry Cashman’s “Talkin’ Baseball” to be honored by the Hall of Fame

    Mar 18, 2011, 4:05 PM EST

    Terry Cashman

    Ron Santo and Alan Trammell can’t sniff the Hall of Fame, but the Hall is going to honor this treacly, nostalgic wreck of a song: Thirty years ago singer/composer Terry Cashman displayed his love for the national pastime with his song, “Talkin’ Baseball.”  Now baseball is showing its love for Cashman and his composition, with the Hall…

  5. Scot Shields retires after 10 years as elite, underrated reliever

    Mar 18, 2011, 3:20 PM EST

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees

    Scot Shields was said to be pondering retirement throughout the offseason and the longtime Angels setup man officially called it quits today after a 10-year career in which he threw 697 innings with a 3.18 ERA. Because he never got a chance to be a full-time closer Shields was almost always overlooked during discussions of…

  6. Is Aroldis Chapman the Reds’ future closer?

    Mar 18, 2011, 3:06 PM EST

    Aroldis Chapman

    Reds GM Walt Jocketty told John Fay yesterday that Aroldis Chapman may one day be the Reds’ closer: “We would still leave (starting) as an option,” Jocketty said. “He definitely could be a top-of-the-rotation guy. He’s either going to have to do that or be a closer. I don’t see him being a set-up guy…

  7. Ryan Raburn in the mix for Tigers’ starting job at second base

    Mar 18, 2011, 2:14 PM EST

    ryan-raburn-tigers

    Carlos Guillen‘s slower than expected recovery from knee surgery has opened the door for Scott Sizemore and Will Rhymes to compete for the Tigers’ starting job at second base, but Jason Beck of MLB.com writes that Ryan Raburn has emerged as a contender for the gig as well. Raburn has never started more than 15…

  8. Kudos to Rafael Belliard. For two reasons.

    Mar 18, 2011, 2:00 PM EST

    Detroit Tigers Photo Day

    There are two notable things about this article in the Detroit Free Press: It catches us up with former Pirates and Braves shortstop Rafael Belliard, who is friends and neighbors with Luis Salazar. Belliard passes along some encouraging words Salazar told him during a recent hospital visit; and There’s a picture of Belliard — who…

  9. Ichiro Suzuki donates $1.2 million to Japanese relief efforts

    Mar 18, 2011, 1:18 PM EST

    Image (1) ichiro_090906-thumb-223x298-1785.jpg for post 5121

    Ichiro Suzuki hasn’t talked to the media about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times reports that he donated 100 million yen to the Red Cross’ relief efforts. That works out to around $1.2 million, depending on the current conversion rate. According to Baker the Mariners have also announced…

  10. When baseball teams started wearing green

    Mar 18, 2011, 1:08 PM EST

    Green Phillies

    A lot of teams wear green caps and jerseys and stuff for spring training games around St. Patrick’s Day. I assumed this was hatched as a marketing thing. A way to sell more merch.  It may be now, but apparently is started with a bit of a prank by Tug McGraw. You can read the…

  11. Astros pick Brett Myers over Wandy Rodriguez as Opening Day starter

    Mar 18, 2011, 12:45 PM EST

    Brett Myers

    Today the Astros announced that Brett Myers, not Wandy Rodriguez, will start on Opening Day against Roy Halladay and the Phillies. Myers is coming off a career-year that saw him post a 3.14 ERA and 180/66 K/BB ratio in 224 innings to earn a two-year, $23 million contract extension, but Rodriguez was also plenty effective…

  12. Great Moments in Chutzpah: Heyman on Luis Castillo

    Mar 18, 2011, 12:34 PM EST

    New York Mets v Atlanta Braves

    Well, it’s either chutzpah or it’s deliciously but somewhat cruelly tongue-in-cheek.  Here’s Heyman on Twitter a few minutes ago, talking about Luis Castillo: not sure castillo gets a job. backup 2b aren’t in demand, even for the minimum. bad pub doesn’t help either.   Gee, I wonder where that “bad pub” came from. If only…

  13. Andy Martino asks: Was Luis Castillo hate a racial thing?

    Mar 18, 2011, 12:05 PM EST

    luis-castillo-mets2

    You can’t really win when it comes to talking about race on the record.  Even if there’s something to a charge of racism it’s always denied. Denied so often that, if you take people’s word for it, you’d have to conclude that there are no racists in this country anymore, the last of their kind…

  14. Jake Fox has an MLB-high seven homers, but do spring stats really matter?

    Mar 18, 2011, 11:50 AM EST

    Fox_Jake

    Yesterday my Twitter feed lit up with Orioles writers marveling at Jake Fox hitting his sixth and seventh homers of the spring, which is good for the MLB lead and suddenly makes his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster a popular topic. While no doubt impressed by the power display, manager Buck Showalter explained…

  15. And now for another episode of “Hitting Made Easy” with Nate McLouth

    Mar 18, 2011, 11:30 AM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves

    Buster Olney discusses the key to Nate McLouth‘s hitting success this spring training: Nate McLouth has never discussed hitting mechanics with the Braves’ new hitting coach, Larry Parrish. The only thing they’ve talked about getting McLouth back to being aggressive at the plate, and so in his at-bats this spring, he’s gone to the plate…

  16. C.J. Wilson on extension talks: “It doesn’t look like a deal is going to get done”

    Mar 18, 2011, 11:16 AM EST

    CJ Wilson pitching

    C.J. Wilson dramatically altered the course of his career last year by requesting a chance to move from the bullpen to the rotation and after thriving as a starter he’s potentially now just one season from a big payday as a free agent. Wilson and the Rangers have had some talks about a contract extension,…

  17. The Mets release Luis Castillo

    Mar 18, 2011, 11:01 AM EST

    Castillo_Luis

    Sandy Alderson is about to have one less thing to be bewildered about.  WFAN is reporting that the Mets are about to release Luis Castillo. UPDATE: Adam Rubin says it’s done. If true, some people will be really happy.  Jon Heyman.  Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Luis Hernandez. People who won’t like it: folks who have spent…

  18. Brad Lidge hoping for return to game action next week

    Mar 18, 2011, 10:47 AM EST

    Image (1) lidge%20throwing.jpg for post 6330

    Brad Lidge threw a problem-free bullpen session this morning and afterward told Todd Zolecki of MLB.com that he’s hoping to return to game action within 3-4 days. Lidge has been sidelined for a week with right biceps tendinitis, but said his arm “felt really good” while throwing 35 pitches today and is scheduled for another…

  19. Photo of the day: Leprechaun National Anthem

    Mar 18, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    Yeah, this actually happened.

  20. DL bound Kendrys Morales “still isn’t running full speed”

    Mar 18, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    Morales_Kendry

    Mike Scioscia has said that Kendrys Morales needs to see game action by Sunday if he’s to have any chance of being on the Opening Day roster, but there’s almost zero chance of that happening with Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reporting that Morales “still isn’t running full speed.” Morales is 10 months…

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