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  1. Yikes! Sheets Shelled

    Mar 15, 2010, 4:40 PM EDT

    Don’t pay attention to spring training stats, blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, but it’s probably worth noting that Ben Sheets just got knocked out of the game against the Reds. His line: 10 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk, no one retired. Repeat: no one retired. Of course, only nine of those runs were earned…

  2. Washupdate: Benson signs with Dbacks; Villone released by Nats

    Mar 15, 2010, 4:12 PM EDT

    And now the latest from the world of pitchers who people kinda thought were good a few years ago: Kris Benson has signed with the Diamondbacks. It’s a minor league deal. If he makes the club he’ll get $650,000 plus games-started incentives.  This is obviously Brandon Webb insurance. Which is probably a better situation for…

  3. Reynolds, Diamondbacks agree to three-year deal with option for 2013

    Mar 15, 2010, 3:38 PM EDT

    Mark Reynolds and the Diamondbacks were said to be in contract talks for months now, and Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides have finally agreed to a three-year, $14.5 million contract with an $11 million team option for 2013. Reynolds is coming off a career-year that saw him hit .260/.349/.543…

  4. The Ethics of Nomar Garciaparra's one-day contract

    Mar 15, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    Friend of the blog and professional ethicist Jack Marshall has put some thought to Nomar Garciaparra’s one-day contract/retirement with the Red Sox. After registering his surprise and displeasure with Dan Shaughnessy’s highly negative reaction, Jack throws an interesting idea out for consideration, that applies to sports and beyond: When an organization has parted ways with…

  5. Phillies' Polanco: day-to-day with a sprained knee

    Mar 15, 2010, 2:56 PM EDT

    2:25 P.M.:  Latest update: the Phillies are calling it a “sprained knee.”  Polanco says “I don’t think it’s too bad.”  Phillies say he’s day to day and suspect that he’ll miss 2-3 days.1:59 P.M.: The word from the Phillies on Polanco is “strained right knee.” Maybe I mentioned Cody Ransom too soon.  Bad news from…

  6. Dodgers re-assign Gagne to minor-league camp

    Mar 15, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

    This morning the Dodgers re-assigned Eric Gagne to minor-league camp, removing whatever slim chance he had of claiming an Opening Day bullpen spot. Gagne hasn’t been an effective major-league pitcher since mid-2007 and spent last year pitching poorly in an independent league, so his demotion is certainly no surprise. He chose a minor-league deal from…

  7. MLB and Victoria's Secret team up to bring you silly clothes

    Mar 15, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    MLB and Victoria’s Secret are teaming up to sell licensed clothing to young women under the “Pink” label.  As Maury describes: “The collection showcases VS PINK’s highly recognizable brand iconography with fun sayings like “I only kiss Padres fans” or “Love Love Love Twins”, and boasts cute zip-pocket tees, crystallized caps, baseball jerseys, as well…

  8. Hoping to avoid surgery, Nathan will 'test' injured elbow Saturday

    Mar 15, 2010, 1:42 PM EDT

    Joe Nathan is still likely headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery, but Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that the Twins’ closer will give his injured elbow “a vigorous test” by playing catch Saturday. Complicating matters is that Nathan was “bedridden Saturday and Sunday with a virus and still had a sore throat…

  9. Spring Training trip wrap-up

    Mar 15, 2010, 1:16 PM EDT

    My spring training trip ended with a flight back home yesterday afternoon.  The tale of the tape: Five games, one rainout; One meal with my mother-in-law; One meal with, and four pieces of new media from, Old Gator; A couple dozen awkward conversations with ballplayers who didn’t know me from Adam; A dozen or so…

  10. So far, so good for Dustin McGowan's comeback

    Mar 15, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

    Dustin McGowan missed all of last season following shoulder surgery, but manager Cito Gaston reports that he “looked good” during a two-inning simulated game yesterday. McGowan tossed 44 pitches, after which Gaston noted that “he threw well, free and easy.” He’s now scheduled to appear in a minor-league game Friday and if that goes well…

  11. The Red Sox steal a member of the Yankee Universe

    Mar 15, 2010, 12:17 PM EDT

    Thinking of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry as the Cold War, this little episode doesn’t exactly rank up there with the formation of the Warsaw Pact or the Cuban Missile Crisis. As far as provocations go it’s somewhere between Lyndon Johnson sending the Marines to the Dominican Republic to fight communists in 1965 and the North…

  12. Blue Jays sign 19-year-old Cuban shortstop for $10 million

    Mar 15, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

    No official announcement has been made, but various sources report that the Blue Jays have signed 19-year-old Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechevarria for $10 million. Hechevarria headed to the Dominican Republic after defecting from Cuba and held workouts for at least a half-dozen teams last month. He must have impressed, because he ended up with nearly…

  13. Lowell gets some work in at first

    Mar 15, 2010, 11:18 AM EDT

    Down in Fort Meyers, Mike Lowell will be getting a start against the Orioles this afternoon.  As will Adrian Beltre. How? Mike Lowell is starting at first base. It’s his first action at first since he played in the minors in 1998. Who knows how he feels about it, but whether this is to hone…

  14. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 4

    Mar 15, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

    Remember that thing Tom Verducci wrote back in December about how the Phillies are turning into the Yankees?  I thought that probably overstated things, but there is at least one thing they have in common: Obstructed press box views in their spring training ballparks: I was able to position myself to where I could see…

  15. Mauer talks are still progressing

    Mar 15, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal writes that, despite the fact that things have been quiet on the Joe Mauer front, negotiations are still progressing and that the lack of any public talk about it doesn’t mean that there’s an impasse or anything close to it, as some have suggested. There was some chatter in the press box at…

  16. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 3

    Mar 15, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    After the clubhouse I made it out to the field and scoped the scene: The Phillies take a much more casual approach to stretching than the circle-em-up Pirates do. At the risk of best-shape-of-his-life cliches, I really can’t impress upon you just how good Ryan Howard looks. He has absolutely transformed himself over the past couple…

  17. GM demographics aren't changing all that much

    Mar 15, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    Alex Speier of WEEI debunks the notion that GMs are younger and better-educated today than they used to be: . . .there is a belief that GMs are younger than ever before, drawn from a pool of graduates of elite, liberal arts colleges and universities where they learned to value the sort of interdisciplinary analysis…

  18. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 2

    Mar 15, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    I went into the Phillies clubhouse. Charlie Manuel was there. As was Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley, Jayson Werth and all the other guys which make the Phillies perhaps the most recognizable team in baseball. Yes, even more so than the Yankees. Quick: describe Brett Gardner’s facial features. Now tell me if there’s any…

  19. News flash: Mike Lupica takes cheapshots at A-Rod

    Mar 15, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    Mike Lupica’s latest column about A-Rod and the Dr. Galea investigation stands as proof that he’s never been involved in a federal investigation: Come on, there are more things fishy about all this than the old Fulton Fish Market. If the whole thing is so easily explained, if Rodriguez is “at ease” with the whole…

  20. Scenes from Spring Training: Phun with the Phillie Phanatics Part 1

    Mar 15, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

    After  a stormy Thursday night and Friday, I woke up to a bright, clear and crisp Saturday morning. It would be my last day of baseball on this trip, and the fates smiled upon me, not only with the weather, but with a good game at a great spring training park. Phillies vs. Twins at…

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