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  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. 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,…

  4. 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…

  5. 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…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. 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.”…

  15. 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…

  16. UPDATE: Mariners, Brendan Ryan still working on contract

    Jan 4, 2011, 9:54 PM EST

    Milwaukee Brewers v St. Louis Cardinals

    UPDATE: According to Greg Johns of MLB.com, the Mariners and Brendan Ryan have not officially agreed to a new contract, though a deal is believed to be close. 3:45 PM: Three weeks after acquiring Brendan Ryan from the Cardinals for pitching prospect Maikel Cleto the Mariners have avoided arbitration with the infielder by agreeing to…

  17. Report: Braves and Dan Uggla agree to five-year, $62 million extension

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:23 PM EST

    Florida Marlins v San Francisco Giants

    Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Braves and Dan Uggla have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a five-year, $62 million contract. Some thought Uggla may have been pushing his luck when he turned down a four-year, $48 million extension from the Marlins in November, leading to a trade to the Braves. But you see,…

  18. Report: Nationals sign Adam LaRoche to two-year deal

    Jan 4, 2011, 8:02 PM EST

    Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

    It was more of a matter of “when” than “if,” but according to Peter Gammons of MLB Network, the Nationals have signed Adam LaRoche to a two-year contract. He’s expected to take a physical on Thursday in order to finalize the deal. Terms aren’t yet known, but Jen Royle of MASNSports.com reported last week that…

  19. Report: Mets have offered Chris Young more than $1 million guaranteed

    Jan 4, 2011, 6:26 PM EST

    Chris Young throwing

    Shortly after the Mets added Chris Capuano as an option for their starting rotation last night, there were a few reports that suggested the club wasn’t done looking for additional help. With that in mind, Buster Olney of ESPN.com hears that the Mets’ offer to free agent right-hander Chris Young includes a guaranteed salary of…

  20. Must-click link: Adrian Beltre freaks out if you touch his head

    Jan 4, 2011, 5:19 PM EST

    Click Here large

    This probably qualifies somewhere between “weird” and “the greatest thing I’ve ever seen,” but apparently Adrian Beltre really, really hates when people touch the top of his head. So naturally his teammates on the Red Sox last season–and Victor Martinez, in particular–did it frequently to upset him in the dugout, hilarious evidence of which you…

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