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  1. Luis Castillo signed a minor league contract, but won’t be going to the minors

    Mar 21, 2011, 11:49 AM EDT

    Castillo_Luis

    As expected, general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. confirmed this morning that going to the minors isn’t actually a possibility for Luis Castillo even though he signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies yesterday. Instead, he’ll either convince the Phillies to put him on the Opening Day roster or become a free agent again in two…

  2. HBT commenters are on fire today

    Mar 21, 2011, 11:34 AM EDT

    megaphone

    It’s not even noon yet and we’ve already had a good half dozen stone cold awesome comments today.  Here are my two favorites so far. First, from commenter xnumberoneson in the Oliver Perez/Sandy Koufax thread, with a nod to the Wilpon/Maddoff story: So let me see if I understand this: the people who bought into the idea…

  3. Indians place reliever Jensen Lewis on waivers

    Mar 21, 2011, 11:18 AM EDT

    Lewis_Jensen

    Jensen Lewis has consistently been one of Cleveland’s best relievers since debuting in mid-2007, posting a 3.68 ERA and 177 strikeouts in 198 innings, but he’s been knocked around in a half-dozen appearances this spring and now Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians have placed him on waivers. Lewis is under contract for…

  4. UPDATE: Bryce Harper sprained his ankle; is day-to-day

    Mar 21, 2011, 11:04 AM EDT

    bryce-harper-nationals

    UPDATE: Ben Goessling updates us: Harper sprained his left ankle. He’s day-to-day.  Thank goodness it wasn’t worse. 11:04 A.M.: We don’t have any details yet, but The Nats Blog just tweeted that Bryce Harper hurt his ankle running down to first base and was “carted off the field.”  They have a pic of him on…

  5. Market research firm names Phillies fans the most loyal in baseball

    Mar 21, 2011, 11:00 AM EDT

    Phillies-Fans

    On Thursday, GQ opined that that Philly fans are the worst sports fans in America. Today a market research firm released its annual Sports Loyalty Index and named Phillies fans the most loyal in the game: The survey, conducted by market research firm Brand Keys, a company focused on customer and brand loyalty metrics, interviewed…

  6. Elbow injury may keep Jason Isringhausen from making Mets

    Mar 21, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

    jason-isringhausen-mets-spring

    Over the weekend Andy Martino of the New York Daily News wrote that Jason Isringhausen had emerged as a realistic bullpen option for the Mets–and perhaps even an eighth-inning setup candidate–after signing a minor-league deal following a tryout last month. Unfortunately injuries have once again threatened to derail Isringhausen’s career, as Andy McCullough of the…

  7. Remembering when Oliver Perez was Sandy Koufax

    Mar 21, 2011, 10:32 AM EDT

    New York Mets Workout Sessions

    As we bid our final farewell to Oliver Perez — I have this on constant repeat right now — let us recall what led to the big contract that contributed mightily to Perez’s massive disdain among the Mets’ faithful. You’ll remember that Perez is a Scott Boras client and you’ll remember that Boras makes big…

  8. End of the line at age 31? Pirates release Garrett Atkins

    Mar 21, 2011, 10:15 AM EDT

    garrett-atkins-pirates-spring

    Apparently feeling that their Garrett quota had been surpassed after claiming Garrett Olson off waivers last week, the Pirates have released Garrett Atkins. Atkins is just one season removed from being paid $4.5 million by the Orioles, but that was a terrible signing last winter and he appeared in all of 44 games before Baltimore…

  9. Joe Maddon has a racist fan ejected from yesterday’s Rays-O’s game

    Mar 21, 2011, 10:04 AM EDT

    maddon

    The beauty of spring training is that the ballparks are so cozy and intimate that you can hear conversations going in in the stands. That is also the curse. Marc Topkin of the St. Pete Times: Rays manager Joe Maddon summoned security to remove a fan – wearing an Orioles jersey – who he said…

  10. Springtime Storylines: Do the Yankees have enough pitching?

    Mar 21, 2011, 9:35 AM EDT

    Yankees' pitcher Burnett works from the mound against the Phillies during their MLB American League spring training baseball game in Tampa

    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 2011 season. Next up: A team you may or may not have heard of: The New York Yankees. The Big Question: Do the Yankees have enough starting…

  11. Wilpon and Katz fire back. Which provides an opportunity for perspective.

    Mar 21, 2011, 9:09 AM EDT

    Fred Wilpon, Jeff Wilpon

    Sticking with the legal beat, Fred Wilpon, Saul Katz and the Mets fired back at the bankruptcy trustee in the Madoff case yesterday, filing a 94-page brief  (a copy of which is available at their website if you’re curious) accusing Irving Picard of — and there’s really no other way to put this — of being a…

  12. The inevitable has happened: Oliver Perez has been released

    Mar 21, 2011, 8:31 AM EDT

    Oliver Perez Mets

    We’ve seen this coming all spring and, actually, I’m kind of surprised it took this long.  Oliver Perez has been released. His last outing as a Met came on Saturday against the Nationals, and it was pretty much standard-issue Oliver Perez: back-to-back home runs to a couple of anonymous hitters, a two-out walk to a lefty…

  13. Happy Barry Bonds Trial Day!

    Mar 21, 2011, 8:20 AM EDT

    Barry Bonds

    Barry Bonds’ trial begins today. It’s expected to last a two-to-four weeks. First up on the agenda is jury selection which, I assume anyway, will take up the whole day. I love jury selection in a high profile case, by the way. It’s always fun to see the folks who say they haven’t heard a…

  14. HBT Weekend Wrapup

    Mar 21, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

    Iron Eagle

    Stuff you missed while trying to make sense of this whole Libya thing by watching “Iron Eagle” over and over again. On VHS.

  15. Phillies sign Mets castoff Luis Castillo to minor league deal

    Mar 20, 2011, 10:49 PM EDT

    New York Mets v Atlanta Braves

    Cut loose by the Mets last week despite still being owed $6 million for this season, Luis Castillo has reportedly signed a minor-league contract with the Phillies. World-renowned Castillo hater Jon Heyman naturally hates the move and an awful lot of Phillies fans seem to agree, but given the injuries to Chase Utley and Placido…

  16. Nationals clear Ryan Zimmerman to resume baseball activites

    Mar 20, 2011, 5:49 PM EDT

    zimmerman nats

    The Nationals shut third baseman Ryan Zimmerman down last week due to a minor groin injury. According to Bill Ladson of MLB.com, they’re ready to get him active again. Zimmerman participated in routine baseball activities on Sunday in Nats camp and reported no lingering pain or discomfort. He will probably do a similar workout Monday…

  17. Peavy has sore rotator cuff, might miss start of season

    Mar 20, 2011, 4:22 PM EDT

    peavy white sox

    Troubling news here for the White Sox. According to Mark D. Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, right-hander Jake Peavy has been diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis and might not be able to make his scheduled Cactus League start Thursday against the Cubs. If he’s unable to make that outing, the White Sox will probably also…

  18. Padres claim righty Pat Neshek off waivers from Twins

    Mar 20, 2011, 3:13 PM EDT

    Boston Red Sox v Minnesota Twins

    Pat Neshek did his own reporting on this one. According to the sidearming right-hander’s Twitter account, the Twins put Neshek on outright waivers Sunday and he was quickly claimed by the Padres. The 30-year-old was a highly reliable setup man for Minnesota from 2006-2007, boasting a 2.68 ERA and a 127/33 K/BB ratio over 107-plus…

  19. Carlos Beltran runs and hits in return to practice

    Mar 20, 2011, 2:08 PM EDT

    beltran black

    Carlos Beltran is working out again. From Adam Rubin of ESPN New York comes word that the newly converted right fielder ran 100-foot sprints four times in camp on Sunday afternoon and also took batting practice. He even launched a home run off former bench coach Dave Jauss while hitting from the left side of…

  20. Beimel has elbow discomfort, doubtful for Opening Day

    Mar 20, 2011, 12:54 PM EDT

    beimel bigger

    It sounds like Pirates left-hander Joe Beimel is going to be unavailable when the Bucs’ regular season kicks off on April 1. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Beimel had to be scratched from a one-inning outing against the Red Sox on Sunday due to discomfort in his throwing elbow. This discomfort isn’t…

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