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  1. NBC Sports' NCAA tournament bracket contest

    Mar 17, 2010, 1:01 PM EDT

    According to an annual report on workplace productivity the NCAA tournament is expected to cost the United States’ economy approximately $1.8 billion in lost production. Yes, that’s “billion” with a “b.” Oh, and that total only accounts for the first week of March Madness. We here at NBCSports.com would really like to see that number…

  2. Street has setback, likely to begin season on DL

    Mar 17, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that Huston Street has been shut down indefinitely and will likely begin the season on the disabled list after experiencing shoulder soreness while playing catch today. Street was sidelined early in camp with what the Rockies deemed shoulder inflammation, but had progressed to throwing regularly before this setback.…

  3. Nats' GM Mike Rizzo to blog

    Mar 17, 2010, 12:10 PM EDT

    Well, he’s going to be on a blog — Ben Goessling’s MASN blog — doing Q&As, taking reader questions and stuff like that.  It will be a weekly feature. The only interesting front office blog or blog-like experience I’ve really ever seen was Padre assistant GM Paul DePodesta’s, which was kind of interesting for a…

  4. Marlins release Turnbow and his exploding toe

    Mar 17, 2010, 11:43 AM EDT

    Last week Derrick Turnbow’s big toe “exploded” into “a bloody mess” before he took the mound, yet he still threw a bullpen session moments later because … well, that’s what you do when you’re trying to salvage your career on a minor-league contract. Unfortunately his comeback attempt hit another snag yesterday when Turnbow’s shoulder began…

  5. Looks like Carlos Silva will make the Cubs' rotation

    Mar 17, 2010, 11:17 AM EDT

    From the Department of Stuff You Never Expected a Few Months Ago comes Carlos Silva: starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. Looks like it’s gonna happen, as Silva threw four scoreless innings yesterday. In fact, he hasn’t allowed a run in his last seven innings. Ted Lilly’s injury is obviously a contributor here, but between…

  6. The Nationals release Elijah Dukes

    Mar 17, 2010, 11:07 AM EDT

    11:07:  A couple of conflicting reports are emerging regarding Dukes. A few minutes ago former Nats’ GM and current XM radio host Jim Bowden said “After latest incident, credit Nats for making right decision.” No mention of what the “incident” was. Bowden can be a tremendous tool at times, but he also still has some…

  7. They want to put a big old billboard in Wrigley Field

    Mar 17, 2010, 10:46 AM EDT

    When the Ricketeseses took over a few months ago they said that they were going to ensure that Wrigley Field maintained “it’s essential character.”  Apparently part of that character — in addition of the urinal troughs, which will not be touched — includes a big billboard above the left field bleachers: The Cubs filed a…

  8. Jed Lowrie has mono

    Mar 17, 2010, 10:03 AM EDT

    Jed Lowrie has been suffering from fatigue lately. Turns out it was for good reason:  he has mono. No word on who he was kissing to get it. Between this and K-Rod’s pinkeye we’ve had a couple of illnesses this spring that are usually associated with youngins. Next up: someone on the Dodgers gets hand,…

  9. Francoeur's arm is pretty awesome

    Mar 17, 2010, 9:45 AM EDT

    I slam Jeff Francoeur a lot for the things he does poorly, but I should be fair and note one thing he does really well, and that’s kill runners from the outfield.  MLB.com has a feature on that today.  Most interesting quote comes from Andre Dawson, who was rumored to have a bit of his…

  10. Scout: Mike Lowell not moving well

    Mar 17, 2010, 9:20 AM EDT

    Gordon Edes passes along word that scouts are saying that Mike Lowell “isn’t moving well.”  Edes notes, however, that Mike Lowell never really moved well anyway.  Edes has a point. For his part, one Miami writer thinks the Feesh should bring back Lowell.  I suppose warm and fuzzy memories count for something, but unless the…

  11. Domonic Brown impresses, departs

    Mar 17, 2010, 8:58 AM EDT

    There was a reason the Phillies didn’t want to include Domonic Brown in the Roy Halladay trade. He’s really good, see, as evidenced by the fact that he went 3-for-3 with two home runs and four RBIs against the Tigers yesterday. One of the homers came off Justin Verlander. Big celebration after the game? Nah:…

  12. Chuck Knoblauch pleads guilty to spousal abuse

    Mar 17, 2010, 8:41 AM EDT

    An ugly scene involving the former Twins and Yankees second baseman comes to a close: Former New York Yankees star Chuck Knoblauch pleaded guilty today to a misdemeanor charge of assaulting of a family member in exchange for a year of deferred adjudication, according to court records. The Houston native was accused of choking his…

  13. Scout: Joe Mauer will be the next Yankees catcher

    Mar 17, 2010, 8:20 AM EDT

    Reporters like to talk to scouts before games. They’re more available than front office people, usually just sitting out in the stands or walking around the ballpark before games. They’re less guarded, too. Like the reporter they’re kind of out there on their own on the road a lot, and when you engage them they’re…

  14. Phil Hughes out front in fifth starter's race

    Mar 17, 2010, 7:58 AM EDT

    That seems to the be the consensus after last night’s game anyway, in which he blanked the Astros over four innings. It wasn’t a start — he got the four inning save — and it wasn’t really against major league hitters, but Joe Girardi and the gang were pleased with his command, the fact that…

  15. Rays have a fresh, creative marketing plan

    Mar 16, 2010, 11:53 PM EDT

    You have to admire the Tampa Bay Rays. They are the little engine that could, the young kid who stood up to the neighborhood bullies of the AL East and delivered a few bloody noses on the way to the 2008 World Series. But despite the team’s recent run of success, the Rays have had…

  16. Ackley to continue playing second base in the minors

    Mar 16, 2010, 9:14 PM EDT

    Dustin Ackley, the No. 2 pick in last year’s First-Year Player Draft, was among six roster cuts the Mariners made on Tuesday morning. And according to what general manager Jack Zduriencik told Jim Street of MLB.com, Ackley, who was drafted as an outfielder, will continue his transition to second base with Double-A West Tennessee. “He…

  17. Peavy reportedly OK after car accident

    Mar 16, 2010, 8:46 PM EDT

    Hold the panic White Sox fans, Jake Peavy says he’s OK after he was involved in a car accident on Tuesday. The right-hander, who is looking forward to having a full, healthy season in Chicago, told the Chicago Tribune that he was barely “tapped” by a driver who didn’t brake in time. Earlier in the…

  18. UPDATE: Westmoreland undergoes brain surgery

    Mar 16, 2010, 8:40 PM EDT

    Update: Alex Speier of WEEI.com passes along a statement from the team: Following the five-hour procedure, Westmoreland remains in the intensive care unit but has come through the surgery well. Due to the complexity of this surgery, Ryan will face a difficult period initially before beginning his recovery. 7:54 PM: According to Gordon Edes of…

  19. Quote of the Day: Jamie McCourt

    Mar 16, 2010, 6:55 PM EDT

    “I’m Jewish. I can be bought. But he likes litigation. We’ll see what happens.” – Jamie McCourt, joking about the ongoing saga over the ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers during a Monday luncheon put on by Women’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Orange County, California. In other news, Jamie McCourt’s publicity campaign in…

  20. Did the Royals just cut their second best reliever?

    Mar 16, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    It’s still pretty early on in the spring for notable cuts, but one from Tuesday will force me to revise my projections a bit, as the Royals optioned right-hander Carlos Rosa to Triple-A. Now, I’m sure most won’t care about such a move. Rosa was, at best, going to be a setup man for one…

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