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  1. Angel Pagan: don’t count the Mets out!

    Jan 13, 2011, 9:13 AM EST

    Angel Pagan homer

    Angel Pagan is waxing optimistic about the Mets’ chances in 2011: “Everyone is counting on Philadelphia, but they have to do it. I got my money on my team, bro. I love challenges and that’s why I’m looking forward to it. I believe in surprises.” Immediately after that statement, Pagan was banned from baseball for…

  2. Kerry Wood: Cub for life

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:48 AM EST

    New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6

    Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that Kerry Wood was told by Cubs’ owner Tom Ricketts that he has a job with the Cubs for as long as he likes after he retires.  One radio report yesterday said that Wood was specifically promised a broadcasting job, but Carrie Muskat of MLB.com says that’s baloney. That…

  3. Don’t count on Josh Beckett bouncing back

    Jan 13, 2011, 8:25 AM EST

    Josh Beckett

    John Tomase of the Boston Herald has some bad news for Sox fans who are counting on Josh Beckett bouncing back in 2011: Virtually every pitcher to struggle like Beckett did last season not only was never the same, but almost to a man failed to produce a single, solitary above-average season thereafter. … ……

  4. Andruw Jones is in demand

    Jan 13, 2011, 6:25 AM EST

    Andruw Jones

    Jon Heyman reports that, in addition to the Yankees and the Rockies, the Tampa Bay Rays are now talking to Andruw Jones. Jones hit  .230/.341/.486 with 19 home runs and 49 RBI for the White Sox last season, but is line against lefties – .256/.373./.558 — is pretty attractive for a lot of teams. He’d certainly…

  5. Hamilton still in hospital with pneumonia, but improving

    Jan 12, 2011, 10:15 PM EST

    San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 4

    Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton was hospitalized earlier this week with what was being termed “an early case of pneumonia.” Now we have an update. Hamilton is still in the hospital and isn’t expected to get out until the weekend, but the Rangers are saying that he has shown “significant improvement” and that he is only…

  6. UPDATE: Pettitte still undecided about pitching in 2011

    Jan 12, 2011, 9:34 PM EST

    Texas Rangers v New York Yankees, Game 3

    9:34 PM: Scratch that.  Chad Jennings of The Journal News spoke with Cashman just moments ago and the general manager said that he was misquoted.  Pettitte is still in decision mode for 2011 and the Yankees have heard nothing new. 9:02 PM: The Yankees are going to be just fine, let’s get that out of…

  7. Angels, Mathis avoid arbitration with $1.7M agreement

    Jan 12, 2011, 8:31 PM EST

    Cleveland Indians v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

    Baseball’s salary arbitration process is generally a good thing in that it can help young and productive players get the money they deserve well before they are allowed to test the free market. It also presents some hilarious situations. According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, the Angels avoided arbitration Wednesday with catcher…

  8. Cardinals CEO: Pujols talks “not that far along”

    Jan 12, 2011, 7:08 PM EST

    St. Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers

    You’ve all heard the details by now. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols will make $16 million this season via a club option.  It’s a bargain rate, but this is also his last year under contract with the club and he will become a free agent if he is not locked up by next winter. The…

  9. Hoffman: 300 saves is like 3000 hits

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:59 PM EST

    trevor hoffman padres

    Trevor Hoffman is all over the news today, having given his farewell press conference and all of that stuff.  He was asked about the role of the closer today too, and to comment on what makes an elite one. His comments: “The 300 (save) mark hasn’t been done by a lot of people,” says Hoffman,…

  10. Must-Click Link: Hank Aaron, Atlanta and integration

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:30 PM EST

    Click Here large

    Howard Bryant wrote a fantastic book on Henry Aaron last year.  Today he has a fantastic column about Aaron’s political awakening in the early 60s, the Braves’ move to Atlanta and what both of those things meant for integration and the dawning of the “New South”: 1963 represented the convergence of Henry’s athletic skill and…

  11. Reed Johnson rejoins the Cubs on a minor league contract

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:16 PM EST

    Reed Johnson, Russell Mitchell

    Reed Johnson, who spent 2008 and 2009 with the Cubs before playing last season with the Dodgers, has returned to Chicago on a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training. Johnson struggled for the Dodgers last season and has always been stretched as a regular, but he’s a good fit as a fourth outfielder…

  12. Quote of the Day: Larry King on Barry Zito

    Jan 12, 2011, 4:00 PM EST

    Larry King

    Larry King has more time on his hands now that he’s quit doing that show of his.  For example, he’s going out to eat with innings eaters: Had dinner last night with Barry Zito – famed Giants pitcher. He does everything right handed except pitch! Barry! Try the right arm! Actually, I just posted this…

  13. Ryan Raburn and Tigers avoid arbitration with two-year deal

    Jan 12, 2011, 3:41 PM EST

    ryan-raburn-tigers

    Ryan Raburn and the Tigers have agreed to a two-year, $3.4 million contract, avoiding arbitration in his first season of eligibility. After three years as a bench player Raburn received a career-high 410 plate appearances last season while starting games in all three outfield spots plus second base and first base. He hit .280 with…

  14. The Phillies are interested in John Maine

    Jan 12, 2011, 3:35 PM EST

    John Maine

    ESPN is reporting that the Phillies are talking to John Maine.  You’ll recall that he was non-tendered by the Mets.  I guess not every pitcher the Phillies go after can be an ace.  Although, given how stealthy Ruben Amaro has been this winter, this is probably just a cover story as he secretly plots to…

  15. ESPN releases the first-half Sunday Night Baseball schedule

    Jan 12, 2011, 2:58 PM EST

    dan shulman espn

    The Sunday Night Baseball schedule for the first half of the season has been released, and it breaks down thusly: April 3:   San Francisco at Los Angeles Dodgers (ESPN2) April 10:  N.Y. Yankees at Boston April 17:  Texas at N.Y. Yankees April 24:  Cincinnati at St. Louis May 1:  N.Y. Mets at Philadelphia May…

  16. Koyie Hill and Cubs avoid arbitration with one-year deal

    Jan 12, 2011, 2:48 PM EST

    koyie-hill-cubs

    Koyie Hill was arbitration eligible for the second time after earning $700,000 last season, but he’s avoided the process by agreeing to a one-year, $850,000 deal with the Cubs. Hill has spent the past four seasons with the Cubs after previously being let go by the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Yankees, but has hit just .211…

  17. If they can’t get Thome, the Twins have a plan B

    Jan 12, 2011, 2:28 PM EST

    Troy Glaus third base

    Actually, it’s a plan B, C, and D, I think. Jerry Crasnick says that if the Twins don’t get Jim Thome, they’ll either go after Troy Glaus, Jorge Cantu or just buy some bullpen depth. Glaus wouldn’t bring what Thome brought to the table in terms of mashing right-handers — he’s a righty after all. Cantu…

  18. Kevin Kouzmanoff thought “where do I fit?” while A’s pursued other third basemen

    Jan 12, 2011, 1:46 PM EST

    kevin-kouzmanoff-as

    Last offseason the A’s acquired Kevin Kouzmanoff from the Padres in the hopes he’d be their long-term answer at third base, but after a career-worst season that saw him hit just .247 with a measly .679 OPS the team claimed Edwin Encarnacion off waivers and made a big offer to free agent Adrian Beltre. Oakland…

  19. Vernon Wells agrees: he’s not worth his contract

    Jan 12, 2011, 1:32 PM EST

    Vernon Wells

    But also doesn’t care. And he actually makes a half-decent case for not really caring: “I think the most important thing about getting contracts like this is you get to go out and do so many different things in the community. “You get to go out and impact lives. The way I feel about it,…

  20. Lew Wolff is not interested in the Dodgers, thank you very much

    Jan 12, 2011, 1:06 PM EST

    Oakland A's Press Conference

    Yesterday Buster Olney mused — and explicitly said he was musing, not reporting — that Bud Selig could fix it that A’s owner Lew Wolff could end up owning the Dodgers. In response, the Athletics have released a statement declaring that owner Lew Wolff “has no interest whatsoever in purchasing the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise.” Wow.…

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