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  1. Braves sign Rodrigo Lopez to a minor league contract

    Jan 31, 2011, 5:41 PM EST

    rodrigo-lopez-diamondbacks

    Last week Rodrigo Lopez was said to be “negotiating” with the Rockies, but instead the veteran right-hander has signed a minor-league contract with the Braves. Lopez’s deal includes an invitation to spring training, but it’s tough to see how the 35-year-old could make the team. Atlanta has five starters all but locked into the rotation,…

  2. Sandy Alderson speaks about the Wilpon-Madoff drama

    Jan 31, 2011, 5:30 PM EST

    Sandy Alderson Citi Field

    Sandy Alderson was on a conference call today to discuss the R.A. Dickey signing. Everyone knew about that a week ago, however, so inevitably the topic of conversation switched to the whole Wilpons-have-to-sell-a-stake-of-the-Mets business. Alderson’s highlights: “The plan and the course I’ve taken the last few months hasn’t been affected at all by any other…

  3. A.J. Pierzynski is friends with the guys from Creed, naturally

    Jan 31, 2011, 5:07 PM EST

    creed

    Joe Lemire of SI.com has a good article about the music baseball players choose to play at the ballpark as they come to the plate, which is always an interesting little glimpse into the personalities involved. Included in Lemire’s article is this passage, which perhaps qualifies as the least surprising news of all time: White…

  4. Jim Edmonds will probably retire next week

    Jan 31, 2011, 4:54 PM EST

    Jim Edmonds Cubs

    Jon Heyman tweets: jim edmonds’ agent paul cohen says edmonds will probably decide by early next week whether he’ll play in 2011 My guess that the deciding factor of whether or not Jim Edmonds plays next year is whether there is a team that actually wants to give him a roster spot.  Given that we…

  5. Freddy Garcia wants to play for the Yankees

    Jan 31, 2011, 4:26 PM EST

    Freddy Garcia

    The White Sox are apparently still interested in bringing back Freddy Garcia, but if you hear Freddy Garcia tell it, he’d rather be in New York. Courtesy of the translation services of one Nick Collias over at MLBTR: “My preference is to be with the New York Yankees, and it’s not unreasonable to have that in mind,…

  6. Comment of the day: an important note about smokeless tobacco

    Jan 31, 2011, 4:03 PM EST

    Nellie Fox

    You’ll recall in the linked article about smokeless tobacco earlier today that the reason Stephen Strasburg is quitting the stuff is because of Tony Gwynn’s recent cancer diagnosis.  Gwynn, it is noted, has blamed his years of smokeless tobacco use for the current state of his health. Following that post, I received an email from…

  7. Chipper Jones is dealing with tendinitis in his surgically repaired left knee

    Jan 31, 2011, 3:44 PM EST

    Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves

    David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution has an update on Chipper Jones, who “has been battling tendinitis in his surgically-repaired left knee.” Jones downplayed the significance of the tendinitis, pointing out that he went through something similar following knee surgery in 1994 and calling it just “one of the steps along the way”  to…

  8. Diving into the depths: Chicago Cubs

    Jan 31, 2011, 3:30 PM EST

    Geovany Soto, Carlos Marmol

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Rotation 1. Ryan Dempster 2. Matt Garza 3. Carlos Zambrano 4. Randy Wells 5. Carlos Silva 6. Andrew Cashner 7. Todd Wellemeyer 8. Braden Looper 9. Casey Coleman 10. Thomas Diamond 11. Jeff Samardzija 12. Jay Jackson 13.…

  9. Rob Neyer says goodbye to ESPN

    Jan 31, 2011, 3:02 PM EST

    Rob Neyer

    Rob Neyer has announced that after 15 years — which is about 300 in Internet years — he’s leaving ESPN.  Rob is going to keep writing, of course — we don’t know where, but a little bird tells me that we’ll hear more about that part tomorrow morning — but this is still pretty major…

  10. Ty Cobb’s great-grandson is a college basketball player and his name is Ty Cobb

    Jan 31, 2011, 2:48 PM EST

    ty cobb

    Bob Pool of the Los Angeles Times has an interesting article about Ty Cobb’s great-grandson, a 19-year-old college freshman with the same name who’s on the basketball team at Occidental College and turned down the chance to be a two-sport athlete because he’s just not all that into baseball. I’m not going to play baseball…

  11. Frank Viola is going to work for the Mets

    Jan 31, 2011, 2:05 PM EST

    Frank Viola

    Frank Viola — the best pitcher in the history of Long Island —  was all over the lobby down at the Winter Meetings last month.  I figured it was just because he lives down in Florida and was meeting and greeting, but maybe he was there on the make for a job. He just got…

  12. Orioles re-sign Mark Hendrickson to minor league deal

    Jan 31, 2011, 1:46 PM EST

    mark-hendrickson-orioles

    After weighing a similar offer from the Rockies left-hander Mark Hendrickson has decided to re-sign with the Orioles on a minor-league contract, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. Hendrickson spent the past two seasons in Baltimore, making 12 starts and 93 relief appearances while posting a 4.74 ERA and 116/53 K/BB ratio in…

  13. Shawn Green dropped the asking price on his California home by $7 million

    Jan 31, 2011, 1:14 PM EST

    shawn green house

    Shawn Green had been trying to sell his home in Shady Canyon, California for $17.5 million, but the former Blue Jays, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, and Mets outfielder couldn’t find a taker and has now re-listed the property for the low, low price of … $10.9 million. According to Marilyn Kalfus of the Orange Country Register the…

  14. If baseball handled its All-Star Game like hockey does

    Jan 31, 2011, 1:00 PM EST

    Philadelphia Phillies v San Francisco Giants, Game 5

    I am not a hockey fan — I knew very little about it actually — but I am fascinated with the way they’ve handled their All-Star Game in recent years.  They used to do that North America vs. the World thing.  Now they pick a couple of captains who choose their squads, playground style.  Very…

  15. Hitters complained, so the Twins are getting rid of the center field trees at Target Field

    Jan 31, 2011, 12:19 PM EST

    target-field-trees

    One of the misconceptions about park factors is that the dimensions of the field determine if a ballpark skews pitcher-friendly or hitter-friendly. In reality the dimensions definitely play a big role, but the run-scoring environment is also greatly impacted by other stuff like wind patterns, humidity, playing surfaces, and hitting backgrounds. Target Field in Minnesota…

  16. Martin Luther King III confirms his interest in the Mets

    Jan 31, 2011, 12:00 PM EST

    Martin Luther King III

    Over the weekend we learned that Martin Luther King III is interested in becoming one of Fred Wilpon’s “strategic partners.”  Last night he released a statement confirming this interest: “I believe in the merit and American value of creating an example, and if I personally, or as part of a collective, can advance the vision…

  17. Cuban defector Jose Ruiz signs with the Rangers after being released by the Rays

    Jan 31, 2011, 11:17 AM EST

    jose ruiz cuba

    Cuban first basemen Jose Ruiz, who was released by the Rays in November as part of a unique contract stipulation, has signed a new deal with the Rangers. Ruiz’s original agreement with the Rays was a minor-league deal that would become a four-year, $4 million contract if the Rays exercised that option by mid-November. They…

  18. Baseball should ban smokeless tobacco

    Jan 31, 2011, 11:00 AM EST

    Francona tobacco

    After Tony Gwynn — Stephen Strasburg‘s college coach — was diagnosed with parotid cancer, Stephen Strasburg decided to give up smokeless tobacco: “I’m still in the process of quitting,” Strasburg, 22, said. “I’ve made a lot of strides, stopped being so compulsive with it. I’m hoping I’m going to be clean for spring training. It’s going…

  19. The Rangers and Josh Hamilton are making progress

    Jan 31, 2011, 10:30 AM EST

    File photo of Texas Rangers' outfielder Josh Hamilton waiting to hit during workouts in preparation for Major League Baseball's World Series in San Francisco

    A week ago we mused about whether the Rangers will play the drug addict card in an arbitration with Josh Hamilton.  Most signs, however, are pointing to us never finding out, as the Rangers and him are making progress on a deal.  Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine: “I would characterize our communication as very open…

  20. LaTroy Hawkins expects to be ready for Opening Day after shoulder surgery

    Jan 31, 2011, 10:15 AM EST

    latroy-hawkins-brewers

    Last offseason LaTroy Hawkins signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Brewers and then went 0-3 with an 8.44 ERA in 16 innings while trying to pitch through shoulder pain. He was eventually shut down and underwent surgery on his labrum and rotator cuff in August. Yesterday the 38-year-old reliever told Tom Haudricourt of…

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