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  1. The Cuban government's futile attempt to erase defecting ballplayers from history

    Apr 8, 2010, 10:46 AM EDT

    Missed this one the other day, but the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Kat O’Brien reports on the efforts the Cuban government takes to erase from history those ballplayers who defect to the U.S.: Another taxi driver, Jose, said: “When the players go, then we don’t have any more news about them.” A waiter at the upscale Havana…

  2. Ricky Nolasco runs afoul of the new finger licking rule

    Apr 8, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

    There’s a new rule in place this year that, for the first time, allows pitchers to lick their fingers while on the mound as long as (a) they’re not on the rubber when you do it; and (b) they wipe their hand on their shirt or their pants or something before they grab the ball.…

  3. Umpire Joe West calls the Red Sox and Yankees "pathetic" and "embarrassing"

    Apr 8, 2010, 9:57 AM EDT

    I said I’d stop complaining about Yankees-Red Sox game times, but that doesn’t mean I can’t quote other people who are doing it. Especially when they’re the ones in charge of moving the game along. Veteran crew chief Joe West, who had the plate for Sunday Night’s game: “They’re the two clubs that don’t try…

  4. UPDATE: I got suckered by T.J. Simers

    Apr 8, 2010, 9:44 AM EDT

    UPDATE: OK, pretty much ignore everything that follows. I didn’t read all the way to the end and thus didn’t realize that the “Manny Ramirez” The Los Angeles Time’s T.J. Simers interviewed was not, in fact, the Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez. It was a jockey who is also named Manny Ramirez who works at the race…

  5. Kyle Blanks, Troy Glaus wear the golden sombrero

    Apr 8, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    Stuff I missed in the recaps this morning: both the Padres’ Kyle Blanks and the Braves’ Troy Glaus went 0 for 4 with four strikeouts last night. I always like to see the clean statistical purity of a hitless, walkless four K performance. So clean, so satisfying on a perverse level. I’ve only witnessed the…

  6. Bad call leads to a strange double play in the Rays-Orioles game

    Apr 8, 2010, 9:14 AM EDT

    Carl Crawford was up with Reed Brignac at first in the Rays-Orioles game last night. Crawford quite obviously checked his swing at what appeared to be ball four. Brignac begins trotting down to second base as is right and proper. Except home plate umpire Kerwin Danley quite slowly and quite incorrectly ruled that Crawford went…

  7. Jose Reyes could be back in action as early as Saturday

    Apr 8, 2010, 8:43 AM EDT

    The earliest possible day the Mets’ Jose Reyes could be activated is for Saturday’s game against the Nats. Based on how well his extended spring training is going, it’s looking more and more likely that, yes, he will be activated and back in the lineup that day. “Barring setbacks,” Jerry Manuel says. Given that Reyes’…

  8. And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

    Apr 8, 2010, 5:56 AM EDT

    Giants 10, Astros 4: Edgar Renteria and Aaron Rowand combine to go 9 for 11 with four RBI. Nineteen hits in all for San Francisco, who pretty much abused the Astros for the past three days. And they didn’t care how they looked doing it, as infielder Eugenio Velez took the field wearing a jersey…

  9. Daily Dose: All's Wells for Vernon Again?

    Apr 8, 2010, 1:32 AM EDT

    Vernon Wells went 3-for-4 with a homer on Opening Day and followed that up with two more homers Wednesday, showing some serious signs of life after a terrible 2009. Last year was either the worst or second-worst of Wells’ career, with the other forgettable campaign being 2007, and he bounced back from that to hit…

  10. Trey Hillman's money isn't near his mouth

    Apr 8, 2010, 12:48 AM EDT

    Here’s Royals manager Trey Hillman on Mitch Maier, as quoted in the Kansas City Star on March 30. “Full package. Honestly, no reservation saying this: I know I’ve never seen this much development at this level in one year for a position player.” And here’s Mitch Maier’s batting line two games into the 2010 season:…

  11. Curtis Granderson's homer propels Yankees to season-opening series win in Boston

    Apr 8, 2010, 12:17 AM EDT

    In the 10th inning of a 1-1 game on Wednesday night, Curtis Granderson did something no other major leaguer has ever done before. He hit his second career homer off Jonathan Papelbon. The shot to right on a 94-mph fastball provided the Yankees with a 2-1 lead in a game they ended up winning 3-1,…

  12. How soon can we get rid of the human element?

    Apr 7, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    Anyone who followed along during our postseason in-game chats last year knows I’m strongly in favor of using technology to aid umpires. Someday in the not-so-distant future, it’s going to be feasible to do balls and strikes by computer, and who knows, maybe 20 or 30 years after that, MLB might actually come around to…

  13. Cubs overtake Yankees for highest-priced tickets… kind of

    Apr 7, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    In its annual study released Wednesday, the Team Marketing Report concluded that the Cubs have overtaken both the Yankees and Red Sox for baseball’s highest-priced ticket. The average ticket for non-premium sections at Wrigley Field now costs $52.56, a 10.1 percent increase over last year. Boston’s Fenway Park is just behind at $52.32, a 4.1…

  14. Oh no! David Ortiz is done!

    Apr 7, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    Here we go again. On the heels of a rather unimpressive spring (.226/.284/.419 with three homers in 62 at-bats), David Ortiz has opened the 2010 season 0-for-7, already leading to a string of articles that he’s done. Last year saw the same thing, though I think it took at least a week. And Ortiz really…

  15. Just what the heck is a "simulated game" anyway?

    Apr 7, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    Gentlemen: let’s broaden our minds. All spring you heard about pitchers throwing “simulated games.” Today Amalie Benjamin reports that Clay Buchholz, who won’t get his normal turn in the rotation for a while, is throwing a simulated game.  So, just what is a “simulated game?” A lot of fun from the sound of it. Pitchers…

  16. Scouts: Raul Ibanez's bat speed is way down

    Apr 7, 2010, 4:47 PM EDT

    One of the reasons I am a bit less optimistic about the Phillies this year? Given his age, Raul Ibanez is way more likely to put up a full season of his second half production from last year than he is to put up even a half season of what he did in April and…

  17. Jason "Heymaker" Heyward is catching on

    Apr 7, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    It seems that the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Dave O’Brien reads HardballTalk: The Bravos and their faithful have a bonafide superstar on their hands in the young Heymaker, J-Hey, Joltin’ Jason, the kid too big for one nickname. I first suggested “Heymaker” as a nickname for the young Mr. Heyward yesterday, passing along the idea from Twitter…

  18. Lance Berkman now aiming to return from knee surgery next week

    Apr 7, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    Lance Berkman said this afternoon that he’s hoping to return from knee surgery for the Astros’ six-game road trip that begins Monday. “I had it in my mind I would like to be back in that series, anyway,” Berkman told MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart. “I’m not guaranteeing it … but I’m starting to feel better and…

  19. Your annual (erroneous) "baseball needs a salary cap" column

    Apr 7, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    The venerable Frank Deford writes the same column that has been written every year since time immemorial: baseball needs a salary cap if it wants to stay competitive: Because baseball begins as life afield is renewed, tra-la, you can always count on two things this time of year. One: In trees, the sap is rising.…

  20. Mets lose Nelson Figueroa to Phillies on waivers

    Apr 7, 2010, 2:55 PM EDT

    Wanting some extra pitching depth with Joe Blanton hurting and both Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick in the rotation, the Phillies claimed right-hander Nelson Figueroa off waivers from the Mets. Figueroa had a 4.28 ERA in 115.2 innings for the Mets over the past two seasons, but his 95/50 K/BB ratio was sub par and…

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