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  1. Rangers: we weren't blackmailed

    Mar 18, 2010, 2:45 PM EDT

    Randy Galloway of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the Rangers were blackmailed over the Ron Washington stuff.  The Rangers say it’s not so. As related by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning news, today Jon Daniels denied that a former Rangers employee ever tried to use knowledge of Ron Washington’s drug test as leverage to…

  2. Ozzie: 'As long as they don't check for Vodka and Corona I'll be fine'

    Mar 18, 2010, 1:46 PM EDT

    Ozzie Guillen, on Ron Washington testing positive for cocaine: One thing about it, it ain’t going to happen to me, I guarantee you that. I grew up in some bad stuff, I know how that stuff is so bad. I support him. He made a mistake. I’m not saying he did the right thing, but…

  3. Bradley ejected for what seems like a dumb reason

    Mar 18, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    Milton Bradley was ejected from the Mariners-Rangers game last night after taking a called strike three and then dropping his bat and taking off his batting gloves.  The video can be seen here.  Don Wakamatsu protested, claiming that, to him anyway, it appeared as though Bradley, while a bit miffed, simply thought the inning was…

  4. Street's injury has Rockies interested in Beimel

    Mar 18, 2010, 12:43 PM EDT

    Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies have “expressed interest” in free agent reliever Joe Beimel following yesterday’s news that closer Huston Street will likely begin the season on the disabled list. Last month the Mets were said to be making a run at Beimel, but he remains unsigned deep into spring…

  5. Ron Washington's statement: video version

    Mar 18, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

    Because it’s the only thing anyone is talking about in baseball today, here’s the full Ron Washington statement, along with some comments from Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels.  

  6. Beyond Yo La Tengo: The Padres are teaching their employees Spanish

    Mar 18, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    Lots of teams teach English to Latin players. Not too many teach Spanish to the English speakers. The Padres do, however, and it seems like a great idea: “It’s something I thought was important to make us efficient when dealing with players when we’re going to the Dominican or with our players who are just…

  7. Matt Holliday still sidelined by strained rib cage

    Mar 18, 2010, 11:45 AM EDT

    Matt Holliday was scratched from the Cardinals’ lineup last Wednesday, with manager Tony La Russa explaining that he “felt something in his rib cage.” Eight days later he’s still on the sidelines. La Russa replied “not yet” when asked by Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch if he’s worried about Holliday’s status, adding: “He’s…

  8. This is why the slotting system is stupid

    Mar 18, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

    Paul Hoynes of the Plain-Dealer has a story I’ve never heard before: the Indians drafted Tim Lincecum in the 42nd round of the 2005 draft.  Ok, I knew that part. He demanded $1 million to sign, which is really high.  The Indians offered $700,000, he said no, and went back to college and the rest…

  9. Andrew Bailey shut down for 5-7 days

    Mar 18, 2010, 11:04 AM EDT

    Bad news for Oakland: Athletics closer and rookie of the year Andrew Bailey has been shut down for five to seven days with tennis elbow. In other news, the Athletics have fired their pitching coach, Ivan Lendl.

  10. Buster Posey: Giants' first baseman?

    Mar 18, 2010, 10:55 AM EDT

    That sound you hear is Aubrey Huff grinding his teeth in anxiety: When spring training began, manager Bruce Bochy said the 2008 first-round draft pick would take some grounders at first and maybe play a few innings there. But the Giants are giving Posey a longer look at first as they try to gauge what…

  11. Buster Olney isn't letting the "internal conversations" thing go

    Mar 18, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

    From his latest column: The Cardinals have dropped hints that if Albert Pujols wants to become the game’s highest-paid player, it won’t be able to afford him, writes Joe Strauss within this Q and A. That would be based on internal conversations. Hee hee. Oh, in that Q&A, Strauss says that he thinks that Pujols’…

  12. I don't think Nolan Ryan is big on P.R.

    Mar 18, 2010, 9:57 AM EDT

    I was on Sirius XM’s MLB Home Plate this morning and I was asked something I hadn’t considered before that moment:  In light of the Rangers’ decision to give Ron Washington a second chance, will it now be harder to fire him for poor performance than it would be to fire any other manager? I…

  13. The Yankees won't make a serious play for Mauer even if he's available

    Mar 18, 2010, 9:29 AM EDT

    I had some fun tweaking fans of small market teams with that scout’s quote about the Yankees and Joe Mauer yesterday, but RAB’s Joe Pawlikowski is having none of that: As it stands, the Yankees have $144 million locked into the 2011 payroll before they work out contracts for Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera. They’ll…

  14. Joba has a strong day, quiets the naysayers . . . for now

    Mar 18, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    I don’t recall a spring training game being talked up as much as yesterday’s Yankees-Phillies tilt, which the New York press breathlessly reported as Joba Chamberlain’s make-or-break day.  Certainly Chamberlain needed a good outing — he’s been pitching terribly so far this spring — but it’s not like the Yankees are so shortsighted that they’d…

  15. What they're saying about Ron Washington

    Mar 18, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    Some assorted Internet, newspaper and Texas Ranger player reaction to the Ron Washington cocaine news: Jeff Passan: “By treating Washington’s incident as a slip-up and allowing MLB to investigate whether he had any sort of a drug problem, the Rangers did a disservice to their players, fans and anyone else with a vested interest in…

  16. Report: Ron Washington was being blackmailed

    Mar 18, 2010, 7:18 AM EDT

    Randy Galloway of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram drops a bomb in last night’s column: Ron Washington and the Rangers were being blackmailed over his positive cocaine test. Galloway reports that numerous team sources have confirmed that the blackmailer — a team employee who was fired in the offseason — was making “strong demands.” The obvious…

  17. Pelfrey strives to become an "actual pitcher"

    Mar 17, 2010, 8:59 PM EDT

    Wednesday has been an incredibly busy day on the MLB news front, so much so that one of my favorite quotes of the afternoon got lost among the abundance of noise. Here’s Mike Pelfrey, as quoted by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com, after allowing one run on four hits over four innings against the Red Sox…

  18. Blue Jays' closer competition may be a two-horse race

    Mar 17, 2010, 7:14 PM EDT

    We’ve been under the impression that Kevin Gregg, Jason Frasor and Scott Downs were all competing for the closer role in Toronto, and that may still be the case, but according to what Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com on Wednesday, Downs’ odds of winning the job may have been downgraded…

  19. Cliff Lee suspended for five games

    Mar 17, 2010, 6:48 PM EDT

    Cliff Lee has been suspended for five games and fined an undisclosed amount for intentionally throwing at Chris Snyder’s head during Monday’s game against the Diamondbacks. Seems a bit on the harsh side to me. I’m no fan of headhunting, but he didn’t hit him and I don’t recall Lee ever getting in trouble over…

  20. The case for the Mets signing Elijah Dukes

    Mar 17, 2010, 6:15 PM EDT

    As soon as Elijah Dukes was released today people starting snarking “just watch, the Mets will sign him.”  Howard Megdal of the New York Baseball Digest doesn’t consider that to be snark at all.  The upshot: Dukes is better than Gary Matthews, who the Mets will probably start, so at the very least he’d fit…

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