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  1. The White Sox, Tigers court Johnny Damon

    Feb 18, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

    The White Sox and Tigers are getting down to brass tacks with Johnny Damon, and the lobbying has begun. The White Sox sent A.J. Pierzynski and Ken “Hawk” Harrelson out golfing with Damon yesterday. Despite the fact that most mortals probably couldn’t stand playing one hole of putt-putt with those two characters, multiple reports came…

  2. UPDATE: The Indians replacing Mark Shapiro as GM

    Feb 18, 2010, 10:03 AM EDT

    UPDATE: OK, so it wasn’t Manny Acta’s hat. The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting – albeit a bit speculatively — that the presser is to announce that Indians’ assistant GM Chris Antonetti is going to replace Mark Shapiro as GM, who will get kicked upstairs to be the team’s president.  The change, however, would not…

  3. The State of the Yankees

    Feb 18, 2010, 9:57 AM EDT

    Joe Girardi had his annual beginning-of-spring-training news conference yesterday. Marc Carig of the Star Ledger was there. The highlights: Nick Johnson and Curtis Granderson are the top candidates for the second slot in the order. I’d probably just plug Johnson and his uber-OBP into that slot, but I assume that Girardi is at least a…

  4. Create your own spring training story

    Feb 18, 2010, 9:28 AM EDT

    Captain there are massive amounts of win detected from Brew Crew Ball! Set phasers for awesome! This year, though, you don’t have to sit back and wait for a bland, uninspired spring training preview for your favorite team. With an assist from Mad Libs, you can create your own. Simply fill in the blanks on…

  5. They're still playing baseball in the Metrodome

    Feb 18, 2010, 8:58 AM EDT

    It has been established that ballparks which have recently died have been returning to life and committing acts of baseball murder. A widespread investigation of funeral homes, morgues, and domes has concluded that the unburied dead have been returning to life and seeking baseball victims. It’s hard for us here to be reporting this to…

  6. Barajas likely to accept Mets offer

    Feb 18, 2010, 8:45 AM EDT

    Heyman tweets that Rod Barajas is likely to accept a minor league offer from the Mets worth $1 million if he makes the team. Heyman also says that he’s likely to be the Mets starting catcher. If the Mets are so sure about him starting I’m not sure why it’s a minor league offer, but…

  7. The Giants wanted to keep Freddy Sanchez's surgery quiet

    Feb 18, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    Giants’ second baseman Freddy Sanchez had surgery on his shoulder in late December, but no one knew about it until late January. The Giants said at the time the news came out that they kept it secret at Sanchez’s request, with him not wanting people to make his health a topic of discussion. Sanchez, however,…

  8. Shocker: Kelvim Escobar has shoulder soreness

    Feb 17, 2010, 9:20 PM EDT

    The Mets tested fate by handing out a guaranteed $1.25 million contract to a pitcher who has only appeared in one major league game over the past two seasons because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder. So we really shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Kelvim Escobar experienced shoulder soreness recently and will…

  9. Dioner Navarro sued by former agent

    Feb 17, 2010, 7:34 PM EDT

    According to the St. Petersburg Times, Rays catcher Dioner Navarro is being sued by his former agent for breach of contract.  From the Times’ Marc Topkin: In the suit, filed last week in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Startrust claims Navarro and his wife owe fees and expenses dating back to 2005 and seeks reimbursement, including money…

  10. Reviewing my free agent predictions

    Feb 17, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

    It’s time to review my free agent predictions from back in November. For the second year in a row, the free agents who signed early did much better than those who waited to hold out for a better deal. Once again, the market dried up quickly, as a lot of teams have started to realize…

  11. So much for Camp Panda

    Feb 17, 2010, 5:50 PM EDT

    Courtesy of ‘Duk over at Big League Stew comes a photo of Pablo Sandoval at his first day of Giants’ spring training. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that — for all the talk of his offseason training regimen — Kung Fu Panda is not in the best shape of…

  12. Brian Bruney loses his arbitration

    Feb 17, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

    Nats’ reliever Brian Bruney got the decision in his arbitration this morning: he lost. He’ll make $1.5 million this year after asking for $1.85 million. The Washington Post reports that Washington’s case centered on Bruney’s recent injury history. The first trial I ever handled all by myself was a $350K case too. Like Bruney, I…

  13. Dontrelle Willis: "The issue is, I'm terrible"

    Feb 17, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    It has been extremely difficult to watch Dontrelle Willis struggle these past few years. When he was on, he was an exciting and downright endearing pitcher, with an infectious enthusiasm and unique style. Based on Lynn Henning’s report from Tigertown, however, it sounds like we’ll never see that pitcher again: “People see me smiling, but…

  14. Buster Posey won't really be playing the infield

    Feb 17, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

    A couple of weeks ago we passed along word that the Giants were going to give Buster Posey looks all over the infield, possibly even at shortstop, in order to give him playing time.  Today Bruce Bochy seemed to walk that back a bit. A tweet from the Merc’s Andre Baggarly: Bochy clarifies on Buster…

  15. Jerry Manuel vows to make the Mets work on fundamentals

    Feb 17, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

    When it comes to spring training evergreen stories there aren’t many more venerable than “best shape of his life” and “Player X spent the winter working on a new arm angle to get on top of his breaking ball” pieces. After those, however, you have to go with “Manager X plans on emphasizing fundamental baseball…

  16. Mark McGwire speaks

    Feb 17, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    Earlier today he showed up. A few minutes ago he spoke: He spoke about the “learning curve” he’ll have with the hitters, specifically expanding his pool of pupils from two or three hitters to the 13 or more that he’ll have to work with here in spring. He spoke about the “regrets” he has from…

  17. Ishikawa tears ligaments 'slipping on a staircase'

    Feb 17, 2010, 2:46 PM EDT

    Travis Ishikawa showed up at Giants camp today wearing a protective boot on his left foot before revealing to reporters that he tore ligaments in his big toe three weeks ago from “slipping on a staircase.” Ishikawa was able to take batting practice while wearing the boot and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle…

  18. Jim Bibby: 1944-2010

    Feb 17, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

    Former Pirates (and Rangers and Indians and Cardinals) pitcher Jim Bibby passed away last night of an undisclosed illness.  Bibby pitched in the Majors for 12 seasons, winning 111 games, striking out 1079 guys and winning a World Series ring with the 1979 Pirates. He threw a no-hitter in 1973. He came in third in…

  19. Dayton Moore loves cliches, still doesn't get it

    Feb 17, 2010, 1:50 PM EDT

    Royals pitchers and catchers reported to spring training this morning and general manager Dayton Moore had this to say about the team’s offseason moves: I love the moves that we’ve made this offseason. We wanted to get more athletic, and we wanted more team speed. Guys who could play better defense. And for a little…

  20. Playing the "what if" game with Joe Mauer

    Feb 17, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

    It’s Mauer day. In addition to this morning’s piece, USA Today ran a scary “what-if” article about the 2001 draft when, as most of you know, the Twins had to choose between Mark Prior and Mauer, with most people at the time thinking that Prior was the better choice. That’s certainly changed now: The Twins…

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