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  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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,…

  7. 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.…

  8. Mariano Rivera could pass Trevor Hoffman for all-time saves lead this season

    Jan 12, 2011, 12:47 PM EST

    Mariano Rivera

    Trevor Hoffman announced his retirement yesterday, calling it quits after an amazing 18-year career that saw the future Hall of Famer rack up an MLB record 601 saves. To put that staggering total in some context, consider that only one other pitcher in baseball history has even 500 career saves and with Billy Wagner joining…

  9. The Rays sign Kyle Farnsworth

    Jan 12, 2011, 12:19 PM EST

    Kyle Farnsworth

    UPDATE:  Several other reporters including Buster Olney and Marc Topkin are now following up on DRaysBay’s report, an expanded version of which you can see here.  Of course none of these other people are actually crediting DRaysBay from what I’ve seen because bloggers apparently don’t know nothin’ never, but it does appear that their report…

  10. Twins are “optimistic” that Justin Morneau “will be ready for spring training”

    Jan 12, 2011, 11:44 AM EST

    Morneau catch

    Initially expected to be sidelined for less than a week, Justin Morneau ended up missing the final three months of the season and the playoffs after suffering a concussion from a knee to the helmet while trying to break up a double play on July 7. There’s been little said about his status since the…

  11. Carlos Santana has resumed baseball activities

    Jan 12, 2011, 11:30 AM EST

    Carlos Santana

    Paul Hoynes says that Sandy Alomar says that  Carlos Santana feels “great” and is currently doing baseball activities.  Given the nature of that grapevine, it’s safe to assume that Paul also says that Sandy says that Carlos likes Heather, but that he doesn’t like-like her, but that could all change at the Snowball Dance next…

  12. Armando Galarraga could be odd man out for Tigers’ rotation

    Jan 12, 2011, 10:41 AM EST

    Armando Galarraga

    Armando Galarraga might be the most well known starting pitcher without an actual rotation spot this season, as the Tigers signing Brad Penny to a one-year, $3 million contract yesterday likely pushes Galarraga out of the starting five. Galarraga is famous for his imperfect perfect game last year and will forever be linked to umpire…

  13. Once again: baseball has greater parity than the NFL

    Jan 12, 2011, 10:38 AM EST

    Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Bartlett tags out Texas Rangers' Andrus as he attempted to steal in the sixth inning during their MLB baseball game in St. Petersburg

    There are some beliefs people hold in their heads and hearts that are simply immune to reasoning. You can’t change someone’s religion via logic and reason (and don’t ever try). It seems that most political beliefs these days are articles of faith rather than fact-based positions. So too is the concept that the NFL has…

  14. The owners are meeting, the owners are meeting!

    Jan 12, 2011, 9:53 AM EST

    Selig hands up

    The most important part of all of this is that Bud Selig and the owners are meeting in some posh resort just outside of Phoenix while most of you are up to your neck in snow. They just don’t care about us fans, do they? Shame. Shame, I say. Oh, they’re doin’ other stuff too:…

  15. Charlie Manuel is due for an extension

    Jan 12, 2011, 9:24 AM EST

    Charlie Manuel

    Charlie Manuel’s contract is up after this season. I think the likelihood of Manuel not being extended or this actually turning into some kind of controversy or distraction is somewhere on the order of “bupkis,” to put it in Manuel-speak. Doesn’t mean that it won’t give some folks something to talk about.  Cholly isn’t worried,…

  16. Pitchers and catchers report in 33 days. Or thereabouts.

    Jan 12, 2011, 8:50 AM EST

    Use Your Illusion

    The league released the complete list of spring training reporting and workout dates yesterday. To see when your rooting interest gets underway, click here. Pitchers and catchers report as early as February 14th for some teams and as late as February 17th for others. Likewise, full-squad workouts begin as early as February 19th for some teams and as…

  17. Conlin: lose the Hall of Fame morals clause

    Jan 12, 2011, 8:25 AM EST

    cooperstown

    I’m often dismissed as an extremist-nutjob when it comes to PEDs and the Hall of Fame, but Bill Conlin just won the Hall of Fame’s J.G. Taylor Spink Award and will be honored at the induction ceremonies in Cooperstown next summer for cryin’ out loud. Maybe someone will listen to him: I am increasingly uncomfortable determining who is…

  18. Predicting the Hall of Fame ain’t easy

    Jan 12, 2011, 6:20 AM EST

    Joe Carter homer

    Back in 1995 Bill James wrote a book about the Hall of Fame.* In that book, he tried to predict who would be elected to the Hall between the years 1995-2019.  In that such an exercise is (a) fun; (b) impossible; and (c) intriguing, it was right up James’ alley. Yesterday Bill from The Platoon…

  19. Video: This wiffle ball king can sling it

    Jan 11, 2011, 11:28 PM EST

    I’m probably not alone in thinking that I had some pretty mean wiffle ball pitches back in my day. My screwball caused hitters to tornado themselves into the ground, my knuckler put Bugs Bunny to shame, and my rising fastball not only came in deceptively hot, but was the one pitch I could put wherever…

  20. Twins invite top pitching prospect Kyle Gibson to spring training

    Jan 11, 2011, 8:54 PM EST

    Kyle Gibson throws

    The Twins announced a list of 19 non-roster invitees to spring training this afternoon, including top prospect pitcher Kyle Gibson. Gibson was considered one of the most polished pitchers in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, but fell to No. 22 overall due to concerns about a stress fracture in his forearm. He made his professional…

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