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  1. What can we learn from the Hall of Fame voting this year?

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:36 PM EST

    Barry Larkin

    I’m not one of those people who go crazy at the actual vote totals. You’re either in or you’re out, and if someone got 53.4% of the vote as opposed to 66.2% I’m not going to blow a gasket. That said, there are a lot of things we can learn from the vote totals. So,…

  2. Lack of standout first-timers on next year’s HOF ballot is good news for Larkin and Bagwell

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:23 PM EST

    bernie-williams-yankees

    Deserving players like Barry Larkin, Tim Raines, and Jeff Bagwell fell short of reaching the 75 percent of the votes required for Hall of Fame induction this year, but they’ll have a good chance to increase their totals in 2012 as the pool of first-year eligible players doesn’t include anyone likely bound for Cooperstown. Here’s…

  3. Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven elected to the Hall of Fame

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:02 PM EST

    Roberto

    The votes are in, and two have been chosen for immortality: Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are Hall of Famers. Alomar received an even 90%.  Blyleven got 79.7%. Just short: Barry Larkin with 62.1% and Jack Morris with 53.5%. Other notables include Lee Smith (45.3%); Jeff Bagwell (41.7%); Tim Raines (37.5%) Edgar Martinez (32.9%), Mark…

  4. Must-click link: What the writers were saying about PEDs in 1998

    Jan 5, 2011, 1:32 PM EST

    Click Here large

    As we await the Hall of Fame voting results — due in just under a half-hour now — you would be wise to click over to TYU, where Moshe Mandel has hopped into the wayback machine to find what baseball writers — the notable ones, many of whom are now leading the anti-steroids crusade —…

  5. Albert Pujols re-starts contract negotiations with Cardinals

    Jan 5, 2011, 1:18 PM EST

    Albert Pujols

    Albert Pujols and the Cardinals have “resumed” contract negotiations, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Strauss reports that general manager John Mozeliak and agent Dan Lozano agreed last month “to keep talks confidential,” but quotes “several sources familiar with the process” as saying the talks have a “positive” tone. Pujols will…

  6. Nationals general manager downplays interest in Carl Pavano

    Jan 5, 2011, 12:40 PM EST

    Carl Pavano pitching

    Carl Pavano has been linked to the Nationals for nearly the entire offseason, with recent reports suggesting that he’s basically narrowed his choices down to Washington or Minnesota, but in talking to Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post yesterday general manager Mike Rizzo surprisingly downplayed the Nationals’ interest: I hear we are “the finalist” along…

  7. And the Steroids McCarthyism gets even more odious

    Jan 5, 2011, 12:36 PM EST

    Jeff Bagwell

    SI’s Tom Verducci on Jeff Bagwell: Bagwell’s numbers look worthy of Cooperstown, but he has been tied to steroid speculation enough that he “defended” himself in an ESPN.com interview last month. His defense? “I have no problem” with a guy juicing up, he said. To take such a position today is wildly irresponsible. It also…

  8. Congratulations HBT readers: you’re officially my minions

    Jan 5, 2011, 11:53 AM EST

    Dr. Evil

    Jeff Pearlman unleashes a new load of incoherence over at SI today, explaining that it’s totally OK to ignore the concept of innocent until proven guilty when it comes to PEDs. Why? Because finding evidence of PED use is hard, man.  At least that’s what I take from it.  And he may be right.  Indeed,…

  9. Yankees “have shown interest in” Jeremy Bonderman

    Jan 5, 2011, 11:17 AM EST

    Jeremy Bonderman

    While the Yankees wait for Andy Pettitte to decide if he wants to play in 2011 or retire, Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that they “have shown interest in” former Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman. Once upon a time Bonderman was a very promising young starter, going 14-8 with a 4.08 ERA and 202 strikeouts…

  10. Quote of the Day: Jim Caple of ESPN rips the writers

    Jan 5, 2011, 11:06 AM EST

    Jim Caple

    This is fun: I have a message for BBWAA members who continue to withhold votes from players who used, or are suspected of using, performance enhancers: Get off your @#*& high horse. And that’s not from a godless blogger, mind you, it’s from ESPN’s Jim Caple.  It comes at the start of a vitriol-filled rant…

  11. Will things get easier for PED guys in the Hall of Fame voting over time?

    Jan 5, 2011, 10:34 AM EST

    syringe

    I tend to think that as the BBWAA gets younger and as more and more steroid era candidates come on the ballot, the writers will ease up a bit and start letting players associated with PED-use — or merely suspected of it — into the Hall.  Buster Olney writes something this morning, however, that gives…

  12. Mariners re-sign catcher Josh Bard to minor league deal

    Jan 5, 2011, 10:16 AM EST

    josh-bard-mariners

    Seattle has signed Josh Bard to a minor-league contract for the second straight offseason. Last year he spent most of the first half at Triple-A before joining the Mariners for good in early July and hitting .214 with a .634 OPS in 39 games while backing up Adam Moore. This time around he’ll compete with…

  13. Olney: The Rays would prefer to trade Garza next summer

    Jan 5, 2011, 9:46 AM EST

    Matt Garza throwing

    After the back-and-forth on the Adrian Beltre deal I’m not 100% inclined to believe those who naysay a potential transaction, but this is worth noting: contrary to reports last night, Buster Olney says that the Rays are not close to trading Matt Garza and would rather trade him next summer at the deadline instead. We’ve…

  14. Even after Boras was cleared, the New York Times continues to pound him

    Jan 5, 2011, 9:25 AM EST

    Boras sulking

    Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times was fed a line by Major League Baseball sources over the Scott Boras loans to Edward Salcedo. He was told that they were scandalous and wrong and that they violated union rules and he reported the daylights out of it. Yesterday, the union said, nope, no rules…

  15. On Hall of Fame day, the BBWAA site got hacked

    Jan 5, 2011, 8:58 AM EST

    BBWAA site.bmp

    This is what the BBWAA website looked like as of a couple of minutes ago.  I’m assuming that they’ve dispatched a crack team of technical experts to fix the problem and restore order. Of course since, by definition, the IT experts are computer geeks I’m guessing half the BBWAA membership is leaning over their shoulders…

  16. Congressman doesn’t believe Palmeiro lied

    Jan 5, 2011, 8:46 AM EST

    Palmeiro Orioles

    Rafael Palmeiro’s positive drug test may forever doom his Hall of Fame case, but to the extent that those who would vote against him do so by virtue of his finger-wagging performance in front of Congress, this may be of interest: The former head of the Congressional subcommittee that Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Jose…

  17. Getting a late start this morning. Please blame football.

    Jan 5, 2011, 6:47 AM EST

    Allstate Sugar Bowl - Ohio State v Arkansas

    Because I still have a soft spot for my alma mater despite its many trespasses (and the fact that it’s freakin’ football) I stayed up late last night watching the Sugar Bowl. Go Bucks. A couple of observations: Anyone who complains about baseball being a slow, draggy sport should just can it. This was a…

  18. Cubs reportedly close to acquiring Matt Garza

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:18 AM EST

    garza-nohitter-100726

    The Chicago Cubs are close to making a deal to acquire starting pitcher Matt Garza from the Tampa Bay Rays, according to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. The report, which did not mention what players the Rays might be seeking in such a deal, said that the Cubs became frontrunners to acquire Garza after…

  19. Report: Preliminary forensics test could clear Alfredo Simon in shooting

    Jan 5, 2011, 12:28 AM EST

    File photo of Baltimore Orioles' Alfredo Simon pitching against the New York Yankees during a MLB spring training baseball game in Tampa

    Take this news with a grain of salt, but Alfredo Simon’s lawyer told CNN tonight that a “preliminary forensics test” could clear the pitcher in the shooting death of 25-year-old Michael Esteban Castillo. “The ballistics tests have been favorable,” lawyer Carlos Olivares told CNN in a telephone interview. “We are waiting for the formal report.”…

  20. UPDATE: Adrian Beltre took physical with Rangers today

    Jan 4, 2011, 11:07 PM EST

    Adrian Beltre swinging

    UPDATE: According to Jon Heyman of SI.com, Adrian Beltre took his physical with the Rangers earlier today. The contract will be officially announced during a press conference tomorrow. 9:41 PM: It’s almost a done deal. According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Adrian Beltre will be in Texas tonight in order to undergo…

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