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  1. How will the Twins replace Joe Nathan at closer?

    Mar 9, 2010, 11:40 AM EDT

    Joe Nathan is likely headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery and suddenly the Twins are faced with replacing a closer who’s converted 91 percent of his save chances with a 1.87 ERA during six seasons in Minnesota. Truly replacing Nathan will be impossible, because few closers in baseball history have had a six-year stretch that…

  2. Hello Joe Mauer

    Mar 9, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    You can get close to ballplayers in spring training.  Get really close to your monitor. You can almost smell the sideburns!

  3. Happy Stephen Strasburg Day

    Mar 9, 2010, 10:50 AM EDT

    I’m loving it here in Fort Myers, but I’m wondering now why I’m not across the state in Viera, watching Stephen Strasburg’s debut. Guess it’s time to activate that MLB.tv account, huh?

  4. Nice press box you have there, Yankees

    Mar 9, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

    I was a little bummed because the Yankees have been the only team thus far to deny my press credentials for spring training.  I didn’t take it personally — there are about 1,380 reporters who want to cover the Yankees, and at some point it’s a numbers game — but I wasn’t pleased either.  Bright…

  5. A-Rod may be in hot water with the Yankees

    Mar 9, 2010, 9:59 AM EDT

    When the news hit last week that the feds wanted to talk to Alex Rodriguez about Anthony Galea, the Canadian doctor in the cross-hairs of an HGH investigation, A-Rod said “this was about someone else.”  The impression which was created, whether A-Rod intended to create it with those words or not, was that he never…

  6. So what do the Twins do now?

    Mar 9, 2010, 9:36 AM EDT

    With the news that Nathan is staring Tommy John surgery in the face, what happens to the Twins?  Gardenhire suggested that they’d look in house.  Maybe, but of course he was standing three feet from a dejected Joe Nathan when he said that, so it’s not like it was the right setting to say “we’re…

  7. BREAKING: Joe Nathan has a torn UCL

    Mar 9, 2010, 8:55 AM EDT

    Just got out of the Twins clubhouse, where Joe Nathan, Ron Gardenhire and team trainers revealed that Nathan has a torn UCL.  Your UCL, of course, is your ulnar collateral ligament, which is the ligament that made Tommy John famous and makes everyone else cringe. They’re not certain if it’s a full tear or a…

  8. The Rangers sale hits a snag. Again.

    Mar 9, 2010, 8:40 AM EDT

    I reported way back in December that Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan’s purchase of the Rangers was no done deal, that there were serious concerns that their offer was cash-light and debt-heavy, and too many people were owed too much by Tom Hicks to simply let the deal go through on the power of wishes,…

  9. Greetings from Fort Myers

    Mar 9, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    Pro tip: when the GPS in your car tells you to take a boring interstate and the map in your hand shows you a nice, winding rural route, follow the map every time. Interstates are death. The trip across the state to Fort Myers was a lot of fun. No traffic, nice weather, a big…

  10. Pat Burrell is pining for Phillies boo birds

    Mar 8, 2010, 10:14 PM EDT

    Pat Burrell misses getting booed. Really. The former Phillies slugger, who spent last season doing next to nothing for the Tampa Bay Rays, sounds in this interview as if he’s pining for the passionate hatred of Philadelphia fans. “I don’t know if there is any way of saying this without getting myself in trouble,” Burrell said.…

  11. UPDATE: Hank Blalock signs minor league deal with Rays

    Mar 8, 2010, 9:43 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Blalock has agreed to a minor league contract with the Rays, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. He’ll receive a $925,000 base salary if he makes the team plus $350,000 in performance incentives. Monday 11:58am: MLB.com’s Bill Chastain reports that “the Rays appear to be close to signing Hank Blalock to a minor-league deal.”…

  12. Jair Jurrjens to make spring debut on Thursday

    Mar 8, 2010, 8:31 PM EDT

    Good news from David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as Jair Jurrjens is scheduled to make his exhibition debut against the Yankees on Thursday. Jurrjens gave Braves fans quite the scare upon arriving to camp last month after he experienced some soreness in his pitching shoulder. After an MRI revealed only mild inflammation, Jurrjens was…

  13. Marlins' Tucker diagnosed with Raynaud's Syndrome

    Mar 8, 2010, 6:17 PM EDT

    After pitching two innings Monday in his spring debut, Marlins right-hander Ryan Tucker announced that he had been diagnosed with Raynaud’s Syndrome, a condition that causes numbness in the hands. Tucker, 23, told the Miami Herald he especially has problems pitching in the cold. “I can’t get my hands warm ever,” he said. “If you…

  14. Reds' Chapman tosses two scoreless in debut

    Mar 8, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT

    While 2009 No. 1 pick Stephen Strasburg is set to throw his first pitch in a Nationals uniform on Tuesday, Cuban left-hander Aroldis Chapman made his Cactus League debut earlier this afternoon. Appearing in relief of Bronson Arroyo, Chapman tossed two scoreless frames, allowing only one hit while striking out three. 15 of his 26…

  15. Cubs looking for relief help, interested in Frasor

    Mar 8, 2010, 5:08 PM EDT

    ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Cubs are “urgently seeking relief help” following Angel Guzman’s latest injury setback and have shown interest in Jason Frasor of the Blue Jays. Frasor is technically in a three-way battle for closing duties with Kevin Gregg and Scott Downs, but will almost surely begin the season in his usual…

  16. Mariners may use Figgins at second base, with Lopez at third

    Mar 8, 2010, 4:16 PM EDT

    When the Mariners signed Chone Figgins to a four-year, $36 million contract this offseason the assumption was that he’d play third base after manning the position in 96.7 percent of his defensive innings with the Angels over the past two seasons. However, early in camp Don Wakamatsu has frequently used Chone Figgins at second base…

  17. The legend continues: Heyward hits a bomb

    Mar 8, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    Jason Heyward continues to defy superlatives. In the first inning of this afternoon’s game against the Tigers, Heyward battled Max Scherzer from 0-2 to a full count only to launch an epic two-run blast. How mammoth was it, you ask? The ball hit the metal roof that covers the batting cages beyond the right field…

  18. Aaron Cook is in the best shape of his life

    Mar 8, 2010, 2:44 PM EDT

    We can add Aaron Cook to the ever-expanding “best shape of his life” list, because the 31-year-old right-hander shed 20 pounds during the offseason and Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post is now calling him “Aaron Cook Lite.” Armstrong notes that Cook lost so much weight that he actually “planned to gain a few pounds…

  19. Meeting Old Gator

    Mar 8, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

    Anyone who spends any time in the comments around here knows Old Gator.  He of the “Feesh,” “Macondo,” and the “horse meat and Velveeta sandwiches.”  I know he’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but as commenters go I love him. He’s smart. He stirs up trouble. He throws bombs once in a while.  All kinds…

  20. Sandy Alderson hired to 'reform' MLB's office in Dominican Republic

    Mar 8, 2010, 1:44 PM EDT

    ESPN.com’s Jorge Arangure reports that former A’s general manager and MLB vice president of baseball operations Sandy Alderson has been hired to “reform the league’s Dominican Republic office.” According to Arangure the job’s focus will be “further preventing age and identity fraud and performance-enhancing drug use” among the prospects who can begin signing with big-league…

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