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  1. Rays opt not to keep Hank Blalock for bench job

    Apr 2, 2010, 4:44 PM EDT

    Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that the Rays have chosen Reid Brignac over Hank Blalock for their final bench spot, so Blalock “will assess his other major-league options for a few days” after saying earlier this week that he’d refuse an assignment to the minors. Topkin speculates that Blalock “could end up…

  2. Heyman: the Mariners are "lowballing" Jarrod Washburn

    Apr 2, 2010, 4:10 PM EDT

    It’s one thing for Scott Boras to use Jon Heyman to drum up a market for one of his clients where one does not exist, but we now seem to have crossed over into a world where Heyman is actually handling the negotiations for Jarrod Washburn. From his latest column: 1. Jarrod Washburn. Washburn thrived…

  3. So much for the committee: Gardenhire picks Jon Rauch as closer

    Apr 2, 2010, 3:40 PM EDT

    Earlier this week Ron Gardenhire announced that the Twins would use a closer-by-committee approach to replace Joe Nathan initially, but the manager has apparently already changed his mind. Gardenhire said this afternoon that Jon Rauch will begin the season at closer, which is actually what I was expecting all along until the closer-by-committee curveball. Rauch…

  4. Springtime Storylines: I am obliged to ask if Brandon Webb can help the Diamondbacks

    Apr 2, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2010 season.  Next up: The Diamondbacks. The big question: Brandon Webb, of course. This is my 29th preview in the space of just over…

  5. Yankees limping to the spring training finish line

    Apr 2, 2010, 2:44 PM EDT

    Injuries are piling up for the Yankees with about 55 hours to go before their Opening Night matchup against the Red Sox. Jorge Posada sat out his second straight game today with a sore neck. Damaso Marte is unavailable out of the bullpen because of what manager Joe Girardi describes as “cranky left shoulder.” And…

  6. Babe Ruth and President Bush

    Apr 2, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    The first President Bush, that is, with the only Babe Ruth. There some other fun politics-meets-baseball pics in that slide show. I’m kinda partial to Jimmy Carter taking a hack while wearing a baseball cap that appears to be official apparel from the Rebel Alliance’s baseball team. Jimmy really looks like he got out way…

  7. This is going to be Andy Pettitte's last year

    Apr 2, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    Not that this is shocking news or anything, but in an interview with YES , Andy Pettitte has all but announced that he’s done after 2010: “I can’t just keep on playing,” Pettitte said. “I need to get back home . . . There are so many things going on back home and I’m not…

  8. Brandon Webb gets cortisone shot after setback

    Apr 2, 2010, 1:45 PM EDT

    Brandon Webb recently got a cortisone injection in his surgically repaired right shoulder and will take several days off before resuming his rehab program, according to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com. Webb began throwing bullpen sessions in January, but experienced multiple setbacks and hasn’t pitched off a mound for several weeks. Here’s what the former Cy…

  9. Springtime Storylines: Is there a snowball's chance that the Giants' offense will improve?

    Apr 2, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2010 season.  Next up: Los Gigantes The big question: Is there a snowball’s chance that the Giants’ offense will improve? The Giants had the…

  10. Matt Stairs sheds 40 pounds, makes Padres

    Apr 2, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

    Officially the Padres haven’t announced their Opening Day roster yet, but MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer reports that Matt Stairs has made the team as a left-handed bench bat. Stairs is one of my favorite players in part because he takes every swing like he’s trying to murder the baseball, in part because he’s fearlessly sported a…

  11. The Red Sox are all about second chances

    Apr 2, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    As Drew wrote last night, the Sox gave Scott Schoenweis a job in the bullpen after less than a week in camp. Is this evidence that, as I mentioned in my preview, that the Sox’ bullpen is an area of concern, or are they merely taking a chance in the hopes of redeeming an obviously…

  12. Nick Adenhart murder suspect wants to move trial

    Apr 2, 2010, 11:44 AM EDT

    Andrew Gallo, the man charged with killing Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart and two friends last year, has requested a change of venue for his upcoming trial because “the publicity surrounding the April 9, 2009 crash will make it hard for Gallo to get a fair trial.” Gallo has pleaded not guilty to three counts of…

  13. Did the Yankees rig the fifth starter's race?

    Apr 2, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    That’s what Joel Sherman of the Post says. Except, contrary to what I thought when I read his headline, he doesn’t think it was Joba Chamberlain who got short shrift, it was Sergio Mitre. Sherman suggests that Mitre’s superior spring training stats would have won him the fifth starter’s job over Hughes had things been…

  14. John Smoltz: "I just don't miss playing"

    Apr 2, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    John Smoltz hasn’t made his retirement official, but between accepting the broadcasting job and the following quote, there ain’t no way he’s coming back: “I think my desire to come back last year was to show myself I can still play. I proved that to myself, and I think I’m ready to move on with…

  15. Springtime Storylines: Will the McCourt divorce impact the Dodgers on the field?

    Apr 2, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2010 season.  Next up: The Rockies. The big question: Will the McCourt divorce impact the Dodgers on the field? Frank and Jamie have obviously…

  16. Yankees-Red Sox Opening Night game to be broadcast in China

    Apr 2, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

    I was thinking about doing a live chat of the Yankees-Sox game on Sunday night. If I do, I had better not ask readers to Google anything for me: For the first time, Major League Baseball’s season opener will be televised live in China, broadcast by five outlets reaching nearly 300 million viewers, MLB announced…

  17. Quote of the Day: Omar Minaya is optimistic

    Apr 2, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    “I am optimistic that we’re going to be healthy. I’m optimistic that we are going to compete. I am optimistic about some of our young players. I think what stands out about this camp is that some of our young players have come to the front. I think that’s exciting for the fan base in…

  18. Springtime Storylines: Are the Rockies the best team in the National League?

    Apr 2, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    Between now and Opening Day, HBT will take a look at each of the 30 teams, asking the key questions, the not-so-key questions, and generally breaking down their chances for the 2010 season.  Next up: The Rockies. The big question: Are the Rockies the best team in the National League? I’m going to say no…

  19. Everything you ever wanted to know about HGH but were afraid to ask

    Apr 2, 2010, 8:28 AM EDT

    Jason at IIATMS has expanded his writing roster recently, and one of his additions is Larry, a lawyer/executive with significant experience in all matters relating to HGH and PED testing.  Last night he wrote an extensive and quite entertaining Q&A regarding HGH testing, use and effects that is must-read material for anyone who tries to…

  20. There is nothing to suggest that the Royals are interested in Jarrod Washburn

    Apr 2, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star responds to Heyman’s rumors regarding the Royals’ alleged interest in Jarrod Washburn: Reports persist of the Royals’ interest in free-agent pitcher Jarrod Washburn without any apparent substantiation from club officials. Further, one top club official says the Royals are $1.5 million over budget for their major-league payroll. Personally,…

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