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  1. Picture of the Day: Alex Rodriguez goes paddleboarding with Cameron Diaz

    Dec 23, 2010, 2:15 PM EST

    Via the fine folks at People magazine: “Alex Rodriguez and Cameron Diaz enjoyed this week while on vacation with his two kids in Los Cabos, Mexico”: Sorry. It’s a really, really slow news day. I can only write so many posts about Rusty Ryal.

  2. The Rays hire ex-Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland

    Dec 23, 2010, 2:00 PM EST

    dave-eiland-and-joe-girardi-yankees

    This had been rumored for a while, but it’s now official: the Rays have hired former Yankees pitching coach Dave Eiland. Eiland was named as a special assistant to Rays’ GM Andrew Friedman. He’ll some scouting and handle special assignments. Eiland left the Yankees under somewhat clouded circumstances. Apparently only Murray Chass knows what those…

  3. Comment of the Day: The Mariners don’t need Felix Hernandez

    Dec 23, 2010, 1:30 PM EST

    Felix Hernandez

    Reader ufy1950 would like to disabuse Seattle Mariners fans of the notion that they really need Felix Hernandez around: Well my friend.  It’s you who are delusional.  In a team sport no one player is any more valuable then his teammates.  Unless the Mariners are successful King Felix will be nothing more then a footnote…

  4. Brian Cashman on Johnny Damon: “There’s not a clear role for him here”

    Dec 23, 2010, 1:17 PM EST

    Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

    Yankees general manager Brian Cashman confirmed reports that he’s been in touch with Johnny Damon‘s agent, but called it “just part of our canvassing process” and downplayed the outfielder’s chances of returning to New York. “It’s something we do with every free agent,” Cashman told Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com. “I can’t tell you if anything’s…

  5. The City of Oakland decides to flush $750,000 down the toilet

    Dec 23, 2010, 1:00 PM EST

    Oakland Coliseum

    Earlier this month we passed along word that the City of Oakland was developing a ballpark plan for the A’s. It was facing a dilemma, however because of Major League Baseball’s continued dithering on the whole can-the-A’s-play-in-San Jose issue.  Should the city spend the money for an environmental impact assessment when it’s unclear whether the…

  6. The Tigers are starting an “energy squad”

    Dec 23, 2010, 12:30 PM EST

    Comerica Park

    Corporate marketing and cheerleading! Two things that baseball doesn’t need more of, together at last! The Tigers are looking for fun, energetic fans to be part of the DTE Energy Squad — a promotion, entertainment and fan-interaction team. The squad will help rile up the crowd at Comerica Park. Members of the DTE Energy Squad…

  7. Bob Uecker prepping for 41st season after two heart surgeries

    Dec 23, 2010, 12:18 PM EST

    Bob Uecker

    Adam McCalvy of MLB.com caught up with legendary Brewers announcer Bob Uecker, who’s spending the offseason in Arizona resting up after undergoing two heart surgeries this year and plans to return to the broadcast booth for his 41st season in 2011. At age 75 he “plans to work a full schedule” of games and Uecker…

  8. Looks like the Phillies rotation is going to be “R2C2″ whether we like it or not

    Dec 23, 2010, 12:00 PM EST

    Phillies' Hamels, Halladay and Howard watch as the Giants celebrate their victory in Game 4 of their Major League Baseball NLCS playoff series in San Francisco

    I linked the Stan Hochman column in which he solicited ideas for nicknames for the Phillies’ rotation the other day (recall that he wanted it to be “Un-Four-gettables”).  Well, the mob has spoken and Stan delivers the news: The winner, by a squeaky margin, was R2C2, a spinoff of the smart-aleck “Star Wars” robot. Good…

  9. Russell Martin will be in the best shape of his life

    Dec 23, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

    Russell Martin mask

    Not even Christmas yet and we’ve had a bunch of these already: A two-time All-Star and former Gold Glove winner, Martin slipped offensively the last two seasons. He feels a new workout regimen will greatly benefit his hitting. “I’m probably going to be in the best shape of my life going into spring training,” said…

  10. Diamondbacks sell Rusty Ryal to Japanese team

    Dec 23, 2010, 11:19 AM EST

    Rusty Ryal

    Rather than give him a shot to earn a bench job, the Diamondbacks have sold 27-year-old utility man Rusty Ryal to Yomiuri Giants in Japan. He was released last week in preparation for the move. Ryal debuted in 2006 by batting .271 with 11 extra-base hits and a .946 OPS in 68 plate appearances and…

  11. The best Hall of Fame column I’ve read so far

    Dec 23, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    mcgwire-101020

    It’s Ken Davidoff’s.  And while I really like his selections — Roberto Alomar, Jeff Bagwell, Bert Blyleven, Kevin Brown, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Mark McGwire, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker — I like his reasoning and explanation better. Among many other bits of goodness, Davidoff points out how important the five-year waiting period…

  12. The Nats sign Sean Burnett to a two-year extension

    Dec 23, 2010, 10:30 AM EST

    Atlanta Braves v Washington Nationals

    The Nats signed lefty Sean Burnett two a two-year, $3.7 million contract with a $3.5 million mutual option for 2013. The contract covers his final two years of arbitration and the option is for his first year of free agency. He’ll make $1.4 million next season and $2.3 million in 2012. Burnett is a really…

  13. Assistant general manager leaves Cardinals for Padres

    Dec 23, 2010, 10:15 AM EST

    john Abbamondi cardinals

    Assistant general manager John Abbamondi has left the Cardinals to become a vice president with the Padres, making him the second prominent member of St. Louis’ front office to depart this winter after manager of professional scouting Matt Carroll took a job with the Braves. Abbamondi had been with the Cardinals for three years, but…

  14. Carl Crawford treats Rays employees to lunch

    Dec 23, 2010, 10:01 AM EST

    Carl Crawford swinging

    Carl Crawford is so nice: The four-time All-Star who agreed to a $142 million, seven-year deal with the Red Sox this month picked up the tab Wednesday for lunch at Tropicana Field, where about 150 Rays employees feasted on a barbecue meal the Gold Glove left fielder arranged to have delivered to the home of the…

  15. The Padres are considering Russell Branyan

    Dec 23, 2010, 9:37 AM EST

    Cleveland Indians v Detroit Tigers

    Buster Olney says that the Padres — the odd men out on Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee, it seems — are considering signing Russell Branyan and using him in a platoon at first base.  Olney mentions Kyle Blanks as a potential platoon partner but he’s going to miss a good chunk of next season due…

  16. The Reds are interested in Scott Podsednik

    Dec 23, 2010, 9:14 AM EST

    scott-podsednik-dodgers-swinging

    Adrian Beltre and Rafael Soriano are still on the market with only vague interest, but two teams are after Scott Podsednik. Ken Rosenthal reports that the Reds have joined the Angels as a team interested in the limited leadoff man. Podsednik, turns 35 in March. He hit a respectable .297/.342/.382 with six homers and 51 RBI between…

  17. Jack Morris + Mariano Rivera = Bert Blyleven

    Dec 23, 2010, 8:46 AM EST

    Jack Morris

    This is fun: Bill at the Platoon Advantage engaged in a little alternate history exercise. He pretended that, rather than retire, Jack Morris came back in 1995 as a knuckleball-throwing closer and tacked the entire career of Mariano Rivera onto his career stat line. Aside from that being the most awesome thing that would have ever…

  18. You know Yankees fans are kind of nuts when …

    Dec 23, 2010, 8:20 AM EST

    Felix Hernandez crop

    … The Daily News actually feels it necessary to get comment from Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik that, no, he does not plan on trading their young, reasonably-priced reigning Cy Young Award winning ace to the Yankees: “I have no interest in trading Felix,” Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik told the Daily News Wednesday. “He’s a true ace, a…

  19. The Yankees have spoken with Johnny Damon, but it’s “unlikely” he’d return to the Bronx

    Dec 23, 2010, 6:34 AM EST

    Detroit Tigers v New York Yankees

    UPDATE:  The Daily News is reporting that, despite the contact between Damon and the Yankees, Damon in New York is “unlikely” and that “there just isn’t enough playing time” for him in the Bronx. Wednesday, 6:58 PM: Ken Davidoff of New York’s Newsday heard from a source Wednesday that the Yankees have spoken with the…

  20. Mariners just about ready to finalize Miguel Olivo deal

    Dec 22, 2010, 9:37 PM EST

    Miguel Olivo

    The Mariners agreed to a two-year, $7 million contract with catcher Miguel Olivo back on December 9 — almost 14 days ago. For whatever reason, it has taken close to two weeks for the parties involved to take care of all the necessary paperwork that goes along with a free agent signing, including the transferring…

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