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  1. Mark Prior is "having a blast" playing independent league ball

    Aug 16, 2010, 3:45 PM EDT

    Mark Prior is making his latest and perhaps last comeback attempt with the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden League, and Tom Krasovic of Fanhouse caught up with the former phenom who said he’s “having a blast … just getting back out there and just playing the game.” Prior is seeing game action for…

  2. Comment of the Day: Manny Ramirez is no destructive force

    Aug 16, 2010, 3:29 PM EDT

    Today’s post about Manny Ramirez brought forth a handful of “who would want that guy bringing their team down” comments. And one comment, by reader bobr, wondering what on Earth those people are complaining about: I wonder which example of his destructive influence you are basing this statement on. Might it be the 11 post-seasons…

  3. Angels sign first-round pick Kaleb Cowart for $2.3 million

    Aug 16, 2010, 3:15 PM EDT

    There are going to be an absurd number of draft pick signings to announce today because midnight is the deadline for deals to be reached before teams cease controlling a player’s rights. This morning there were 17 unsigned first-round picks, but that number if now 16 with the Angels convincing Georgia high school infielder and…

  4. Firing up the Hot Stove: Starting pitchers

    Aug 16, 2010, 3:00 PM EDT

    This is the first article in an eight-part series examining this winter’s free agents and looking at potential trade candidates and non-tenders. I’m also predicting contracts and destinations for the major free agents, but given that it’s August, those are to be taken with a grain of salt. Starting Pitchers Cliff Lee (Rangers) – The…

  5. Bryce Harper and the Nats are making progress

    Aug 16, 2010, 2:34 PM EDT

    I don’t put a ton of stock in Jim Bowden: newsbreaker, but the guy still knows people with the Nats, so I’ll put some amount of stock in his latest report that the Nationals and Harper are “making progress” on a deal and should have things wrapped up before the midnight deadline. Bowden says it’s…

  6. Homer Bailey hurls six shutout innings subbing for suspended Johnny Cueto

    Aug 16, 2010, 2:16 PM EDT

    Johnny Cueto’s seven-game suspension meant he couldn’t make his scheduled start yesterday, so the Reds activated Homer Bailey from the disabled list to take his place and he shut out the Marlins for six innings in a 2-0 victory that completed a three-game sweep. Cincinnati is back alone in first place despite being swept by…

  7. Ichiro is pushing the Mariners to hire Bobby Valentine

    Aug 16, 2010, 2:02 PM EDT

    Peter Gammons is reporting that Ichiro is lobbying for the Mariners to make Bobby Valentine their new manager. Gammons calls Valentine “Suzuki’s preference.” It’s not clear why he’d be Ichiro’s favorite, but one can assume that it has something to do with Valentine’s track record in the NPB and word of mouth from friends, former…

  8. Kevin Slowey and the no-hitter that was never gonna happen

    Aug 16, 2010, 1:48 PM EDT

    Kevin Slowey was brilliant yesterday, no-hitting the A’s through seven innings, and many fans at Target Field in Minnesota booed when he didn’t come out for the eighth inning. And then they booed even louder when reliever Jon Rauch allowed a one-out hit on the way to giving up two runs. However, it was absolutely…

  9. HBT Daily: Bryce Harper and the Rangers visit the Rays

    Aug 16, 2010, 1:30 PM EDT

    Matt and I ponder the fate of Bryce Harper and look ahead to the Rangers and the Rays

  10. Your Monday Afternoon Power Rankings

    Aug 16, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    The Yankees are the Boyz II Men of the Power Rankings. That’s a good thing! At least I think it is.

  11. When he golfs, Ryan Franklin's crazy facial hair isn't even the thing that stands out

    Aug 16, 2010, 12:45 PM EDT

    Courtesy of MLB.com’s Matthew Leach, here is Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin’s fantastic golfing attire:

  12. Jordan Zimmermann on verge of completing comeback from Tommy John surgery

    Aug 16, 2010, 12:16 PM EDT

    Jordan Zimmermann turned in another impressive start yesterday in his comeback from Tommy John elbow surgery, tossing five innings of one-run ball at Triple-A. Zimmermann now has a 1.82 ERA, .208 opponents’ batting average, and 26/5 K/BB ratio in 34.2 innings split between four levels, and Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that he…

  13. Does any GM have the guts to take a chance on Manny Ramirez?

    Aug 16, 2010, 12:03 PM EDT

    Manny is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment this week, which means he should be activated and will return to the Dodgers before the August 31st waiver deal deadline. And if he’s back, you can bet the Dodgers will place him on waivers (as Ken Rosenthal and Buster Olney both note today).  So:…

  14. Bryan Bullington gets first career win eight years after being No. 1 overall pick

    Aug 16, 2010, 11:47 AM EDT

    Eight years and four teams after being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2002 draft, Bryan Bullington finally picked up his first major-league victory yesterday and did it in a big way, tossing eight shutout, two-hit innings against the Yankees in a 1-0 win. Bullington never really seemed capable of living up to the…

  15. Jason Bay's concussion opening the Mets' eyes

    Aug 16, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    Unlike the case with Ryan Church a couple of years ago, the Mets can’t really be blamed for mishandling Jason Bay. Bay made no complaints about a head injury and there were no concussion symptoms until he got on a plane a couple days later.  It was just one of those things. But it may…

  16. Cardinals "intensify search" for third baseman, reportedly eye Brandon Inge

    Aug 16, 2010, 11:18 AM EDT

    Yesterday the Cardinals moved Opening Day third baseman David Freese to the 60-day disabled list and gave 25-year-old rookie Allen Craig his first career start at the hot corner. And in related news, Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that they have “intensified a search for help at the position.” Tony La…

  17. The Rangers and Rays give us an ALDS preview tonight

    Aug 16, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    If the season ended today, two things would happen: (1) we’d all be really surprised and would demand explanations; and (2) we’d have the Rangers facing the Rays in the ALDS, just like they are tonight. And we’d likely have tonight’s matchup as well: Cliff Lee vs. David Price, which considering the struggles Tim Lincecum…

  18. High temps in Texas kept Jed Lowrie out of Red Sox's lineup

    Aug 16, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

    Nolan Ryan has tried to downplay the impact high temperatures have on the Rangers’ attendance since Mark Cuban suggested it hurt the team during his bid to buy the franchise, but this weekend at least the heat also had an impact on an opposing player. Jed Lowrie left Friday’s game due to heat exhaustion and…

  19. Stop me if you've heard this one: WADA hates baseball's drug testing program

    Aug 16, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    Ever notice that when pressed to explain the problem with baseball’s drug testing regime, the first reason cited by people from the World Anti-Doping Agency is that baseball doesn’t do business with the World Anti-Doping Agency? WADA chief John Fahey: “Baseball is the most recalcitrant,” he said, comparing MLB with the National Football League, National…

  20. Tim Lincecum on struggles: "I can't keep searching … I've just gotta go out and pitch"

    Aug 16, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Tim Lincecum went through a brief rough patch earlier this season, which he recovered from to go 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA and 53/19 K/BB ratio over an eight-start span. That stretch ended with a complete-game shutout of the Mets on July 15, but since then Lincecum is 1-3 with a 6.15 ERA in six…

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