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  1. The “Michael Corleone” contraction theory

    Mar 18, 2011, 8:20 AM EST

    Michael Corleone

    Let’s be clear at the outset: contraction is not happening. Even in the articles that talk about people talking about contraction — like Joel Sherman’s from yesterday — it is stipulated that, no this is a non-starter. So what I’m saying is, don’t cite this post or the Sherman column I’m linking as “continuing contraction…

  2. Joe Torre to attend Yankees Old-Timers Day

    Mar 18, 2011, 6:02 AM EST

    Joe Torre

    Jim Bouton wrote a tell-all book that angered the Yankees. They kept him away from Old Timers Day for close to 30 years and, if it wasn’t for an emotional plea in the New York Times by one of his sons following the tragic death of Bouton’s daughter, they may not have even invited him…

  3. Sizemore to make Cactus League debut this weekend

    Mar 17, 2011, 9:23 PM EST

    sizemore spring

    Grady Sizemore is back. Well, kind of. According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the oft-injured outfielder is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut on Sunday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. Sizemore won’t play center field, but he’ll see two at-bats as the Tribe’s designated hitter in what will be a significant step…

  4. Shaun Marcum pulled from start with shoulder tightness

    Mar 17, 2011, 7:59 PM EST

    Milwaukee Brewers Workout Sessions

    The Brewers will already be without Zack Greinke for the first couple weeks of the 2011 season because of a fractured rib. Might another one of their top starters be on the sidelines for Opening Day? According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, right-hander Shaun Marcum was pulled after just three innings Thursday…

  5. Lance Berkman returns to the outfield, has “no problems”

    Mar 17, 2011, 6:45 PM EST

    Lance Berkman

    Talk to just about anyone who follows baseball with a level head and they’ll tell how unlikely it is that 35-year-old Lance Berkman is going to be able to maintain good health all season while playing regularly in right field for the Cardinals. He hasn’t made starts in the outfield on a daily basis since…

  6. For American ballplayers in Japan: uncertainty

    Mar 17, 2011, 5:11 PM EST

    Randy Ruiz

    The crisis in Japan is not a baseball story, but baseball is Japan’s biggest sport and this is a baseball blog so to the extent there is anything worthwhile about those two worlds intersecting, I’m inclined to link it. The latest: a story about former Blue Jay Randy Ruiz, who plays for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden…

  7. What do the Twins really think of Delmon Young’s defense?

    Mar 17, 2011, 4:50 PM EST

    delmon-young-twins

    Kelsie Smith of the St. Paul Pioneer Press did a terrific job incorporating advanced defensive metrics into a recent article about Delmon Young. She spoke to sabermetricians Bill James and John Dewan while noting that the 30 pounds Young lost last offseason didn’t actually lead to major improvement in his fielding numbers and then used…

  8. No surprise: judge bars profane voice mails from Barry Bonds trial

    Mar 17, 2011, 4:29 PM EST

    Barry Bonds suit

    Judge Susan Illston ruled earlier this afternoon that the profanity-laced voice mail messages Barry Bonds left with his ex-girlfriend will not be allowed into evidence. She said that they are “unattractive,” and  “that’s the only reason they could be used … They are at most very marginal in terms of any relevance to this case.” Which…

  9. Great Moments in accurate yet embarrassing stereotypes

    Mar 17, 2011, 3:39 PM EST

    Peter Buck

    I may or may not have written about The Baseball Project before. It’s a supergroup of sorts led by R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, which only performs songs that are baseball related.  Last night they played in Austin, and this blog post about it in Rolling Stone pretty much hits the nail on the head. On the…

  10. Andrew Bailey gets positive news on elbow, but status for Opening Day still uncertain

    Mar 17, 2011, 3:19 PM EST

    Andrew Bailey

    Andrew Bailey gave the A’s a scare when he left Monday’s game grabbing his surgically repaired elbow, but Dr. James Andrews found no structural damage and Bailey said today that the “ripping” sensation he felt was likely just scar tissue breaking up. Bailey told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he hopes to…

  11. Omar Minaya “antsy” to return to baseball, has offer from Mets

    Mar 17, 2011, 2:47 PM EST

    Omar Minaya

    “An industry source” told Mike Puma of the New York Post that former general manager Omar Minaya is “antsy” to find another job in baseball after being fired by the Mets. However, according to Puma he “still is exploring options” while being paid $2 million this season as part of his contract with the Mets.…

  12. Michael Young is having a tough time, is killing the baseball

    Mar 17, 2011, 2:30 PM EST

    Michael Young dugout

    I don’t feel terrible for Michael Young. He got a wonderful, wonderful contract a couple of years ago and, even if he’s not playing the position he wants to be playing and would prefer to be traded, he’s still getting the money. Yes, even rich people have problems and they can be legitimate ones, but…

  13. Chase Utley is visiting with a “rehabilitation specialist” today

    Mar 17, 2011, 2:16 PM EST

    Utley_Chase

    General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. revealed that Chase Utley and Phillies trainer Scott Sheridan are spending today visiting with a “rehabilitation specialist.” Amaro declined to give any other details, but told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Utley and the Phillies are “trying to exhaust all ways not to have surgery” for the patellar tendinitis in…

  14. HBT Extra: Previewing the AL Central

    Mar 17, 2011, 2:03 PM EST

    Tiffany and I waltz through the Midwestern portion of the Junior Circuit

  15. Sandy Alderson doesn’t understand why people pay attention to Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo

    Mar 17, 2011, 1:37 PM EST

    Sandy Alderson Citi Field

    Bewildered Sandy Alderson is bewildered: So the new GM conceded he is bewildered by the attention fans and the media have heaped on the second base and lefty specialist competitions – and the two least popular entrants. “It’s a little odd,” Alderson said. “I think it does distract one from taking a look at the…

  16. The Padres may go retro with their uniforms in the future

    Mar 17, 2011, 1:00 PM EST

    Padres

    At least sort of retro. They won’t bring back anything that looks like the handsome ensemble this man is wearing, but they may bring back that old quasi-Pac Man font from the mustard and brown jerseys while retaining the white and blue color scheme they currently have. A glimpse of it — with a suggestion…

  17. Springtime Storylines: How soon can Buck Showalter turn the Orioles into AL East contenders?

    Mar 17, 2011, 12:32 PM EST

    buck-showalter-orioles-spring

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2011 season. Next up: Buck Showalter and the optimistic Orioles. The Big Question: How soon can Buck Showalter turn the Orioles into AL East contenders? I tend…

  18. The push for Brandon Belt to break camp with the Giants is on

    Mar 17, 2011, 12:00 PM EST

    San Francisco Giants Photo Day

    As I sit here today I will still be rather surprised if the Giants don’t send first base prospect Brandon Belt down to Fresno to start the year, but that hasn’t stopped the Bay Area press from beating the drum for Belt. Here’s the Chronicle: “After Brandon Belt’s big day, where does he start?”  Here’s the…

  19. Chris Coghlan on injury: “My arm is just not ready to go”

    Mar 17, 2011, 11:20 AM EST

    chris-coghlan-marlins

    All offseason I’ve been wondering if the Marlins are nuts for thinking Chris Coghlan can hack it defensively as an everyday center fielder, but it may be a while before we find out. Coghlan has been sidelined by a inflammation and tendinitis in his rotator cuff and recently suffered a setback, with Joe Capozzi of…

  20. GQ names Phillies fans “The Worst Sports Fans in America”

    Mar 17, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

    Phillies fans AP

    It’s actually a tie between Phillies and Eagles fans as the worst — the subheading to their ranking being “the meanest fans in America” — but I imagine there’s substantial overlap.  GQ: All told, Philadelphia stadiums house the most monstrous collection of humanity outside of the federal penal system. “Some of these people would boo…

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