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  1. Scot Shields still unsure about retirement

    Jan 5, 2011, 7:52 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v New York Yankees

    Veteran setup man Scot Shields told reporters in late September that he was considering calling it quits at the conclusion of the 2010 season in order to spend more time with his family.  He also left open the possibility of returning “if the right situation comes up.” Today, he’s pretty much of the same exact…

  2. Padres sign Kevin Frandsen to minor league contract

    Jan 5, 2011, 6:18 PM EDT

    Los Angeles Angels Kevin Frandsen slides across home plate to score against Seattle Mariners during American League baseball game in Anaheim

    From ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick comes word that the Padres have agreed to terms on a minor league contract with infielder Kevin Frandsen. Frandsen, 28, can make $575,000 if he lands on San Diego’s Opening Day roster and manages to hang around for the entire 2011 season. Our guess is he will kick off the year…

  3. Rafael Palmeiro: “voters are putting too much weight on the one incident”

    Jan 5, 2011, 5:23 PM EDT

    Palmeiro Orioles

    Mel Antonen caught up with Rafael Palmeiro today after the Hall of Fame vote was announced. Palmeiro is understandable disappointed with his vote total. After saying some nice things about Roberto Alomar and saying that he thought he himself would get more support than he did, Palmeiro made an appeal to the voters: “I hear…

  4. An alleged age-fraudster is arrested in the Dominican Republic

    Jan 5, 2011, 5:04 PM EDT

    dominican republic flag-thumb-175x116-6120

    Lost in all of the Hall of Fame hubbub is a story that has some pretty big implications for baseball on-the-field: An influential baseball scout who was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday allegedly gave new identities to his players to make them appear younger – and therefore more appealing to major league teams – to obtain…

  5. Red Sox claim Max Ramirez off waivers from Rangers

    Jan 5, 2011, 4:42 PM EDT

    max-ramirez-rangers

    Last year at this time the Red Sox and Rangers were close to a deal that would have sent Mike Lowell (and some salary relief) to Texas for minor leaguer Max Ramirez, but the trade was nixed because Lowell needed thumb surgery in addition to his hip problems. Lowell ended up staying in Boston and…

  6. So, what are Jeff Bagwell’s chances for the future?

    Jan 5, 2011, 4:06 PM EDT

    Bagwell

    You can look at Jeff Bagwell’s measly 41.7% vote total in a couple of ways. On the one hand, it’s a big insult for a guy who was one of the best first basemen ever and you can assume he’s getting jobbed. Another way to look at is with some optimism of eventual induction. That’s what Chris…

  7. Rangers “out” on Vladimir Guerrero after signing Adrian Beltre

    Jan 5, 2011, 3:44 PM EDT

    World Series Rangers Giants Baseball

    Michael Young is expected to become Texas’ primary designated hitter after the Rangers signed Adrian Beltre to a five-year, $80 million contract to replace him at third base, so not surprisingly today general manager Jon Daniels said the team is “out” of the mix to re-sign Vladimir Guerrero. Guerrero out-produced Young by a wide margin…

  8. Minions: stand down

    Jan 5, 2011, 3:36 PM EDT

    Nixon China

    Jeff Pearlman wrote something reasonable and reflective over at his personal blog in the wake of this morning’s nonsense. Go read it. Jeff: you have no need to apologize to me, though I do appreciate the gesture. You believe what you believe and I believe what I believe and the last thing I think anyone…

  9. What can we learn from the Hall of Fame voting this year?

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:36 PM EDT

    Barry Larkin

    I’m not one of those people who go crazy at the actual vote totals. You’re either in or you’re out, and if someone got 53.4% of the vote as opposed to 66.2% I’m not going to blow a gasket. That said, there are a lot of things we can learn from the vote totals. So,…

  10. Lack of standout first-timers on next year’s HOF ballot is good news for Larkin and Bagwell

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:23 PM EDT

    bernie-williams-yankees

    Deserving players like Barry Larkin, Tim Raines, and Jeff Bagwell fell short of reaching the 75 percent of the votes required for Hall of Fame induction this year, but they’ll have a good chance to increase their totals in 2012 as the pool of first-year eligible players doesn’t include anyone likely bound for Cooperstown. Here’s…

  11. Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven elected to the Hall of Fame

    Jan 5, 2011, 2:02 PM EDT

    Roberto

    The votes are in, and two have been chosen for immortality: Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven are Hall of Famers. Alomar received an even 90%.  Blyleven got 79.7%. Just short: Barry Larkin with 62.1% and Jack Morris with 53.5%. Other notables include Lee Smith (45.3%); Jeff Bagwell (41.7%); Tim Raines (37.5%) Edgar Martinez (32.9%), Mark…

  12. Must-click link: What the writers were saying about PEDs in 1998

    Jan 5, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

    Click Here large

    As we await the Hall of Fame voting results — due in just under a half-hour now — you would be wise to click over to TYU, where Moshe Mandel has hopped into the wayback machine to find what baseball writers — the notable ones, many of whom are now leading the anti-steroids crusade —…

  13. Albert Pujols re-starts contract negotiations with Cardinals

    Jan 5, 2011, 1:18 PM EDT

    Albert Pujols

    Albert Pujols and the Cardinals have “resumed” contract negotiations, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch. Strauss reports that general manager John Mozeliak and agent Dan Lozano agreed last month “to keep talks confidential,” but quotes “several sources familiar with the process” as saying the talks have a “positive” tone. Pujols will…

  14. Nationals general manager downplays interest in Carl Pavano

    Jan 5, 2011, 12:40 PM EDT

    Carl Pavano pitching

    Carl Pavano has been linked to the Nationals for nearly the entire offseason, with recent reports suggesting that he’s basically narrowed his choices down to Washington or Minnesota, but in talking to Thomas Boswell of the Washington Post yesterday general manager Mike Rizzo surprisingly downplayed the Nationals’ interest: I hear we are “the finalist” along…

  15. And the Steroids McCarthyism gets even more odious

    Jan 5, 2011, 12:36 PM EDT

    Jeff Bagwell

    SI’s Tom Verducci on Jeff Bagwell: Bagwell’s numbers look worthy of Cooperstown, but he has been tied to steroid speculation enough that he “defended” himself in an ESPN.com interview last month. His defense? “I have no problem” with a guy juicing up, he said. To take such a position today is wildly irresponsible. It also…

  16. Congratulations HBT readers: you’re officially my minions

    Jan 5, 2011, 11:53 AM EDT

    Dr. Evil

    Jeff Pearlman unleashes a new load of incoherence over at SI today, explaining that it’s totally OK to ignore the concept of innocent until proven guilty when it comes to PEDs. Why? Because finding evidence of PED use is hard, man.  At least that’s what I take from it.  And he may be right.  Indeed,…

  17. Yankees “have shown interest in” Jeremy Bonderman

    Jan 5, 2011, 11:17 AM EDT

    Jeremy Bonderman

    While the Yankees wait for Andy Pettitte to decide if he wants to play in 2011 or retire, Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that they “have shown interest in” former Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman. Once upon a time Bonderman was a very promising young starter, going 14-8 with a 4.08 ERA and 202 strikeouts…

  18. Quote of the Day: Jim Caple of ESPN rips the writers

    Jan 5, 2011, 11:06 AM EDT

    Jim Caple

    This is fun: I have a message for BBWAA members who continue to withhold votes from players who used, or are suspected of using, performance enhancers: Get off your @#*& high horse. And that’s not from a godless blogger, mind you, it’s from ESPN’s Jim Caple.  It comes at the start of a vitriol-filled rant…

  19. Will things get easier for PED guys in the Hall of Fame voting over time?

    Jan 5, 2011, 10:34 AM EDT

    syringe

    I tend to think that as the BBWAA gets younger and as more and more steroid era candidates come on the ballot, the writers will ease up a bit and start letting players associated with PED-use — or merely suspected of it — into the Hall.  Buster Olney writes something this morning, however, that gives…

  20. Mariners re-sign catcher Josh Bard to minor league deal

    Jan 5, 2011, 10:16 AM EDT

    josh-bard-mariners

    Seattle has signed Josh Bard to a minor-league contract for the second straight offseason. Last year he spent most of the first half at Triple-A before joining the Mariners for good in early July and hitting .214 with a .634 OPS in 39 games while backing up Adam Moore. This time around he’ll compete with…

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