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  1. Reds winging it with Micah Owings

    Apr 6, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Jon Fay points out that the Reds seemingly had the perfect chance to deploy their pinch-hitter/middle reliever Micah Owings in Monday’s Opener. It had become clear during the top of the fifth that Aaron Harang wouldn’t be coming back out for another inning, and his spot was due up to start the…

  2. The Cubs praise Greg Maddux

    Apr 6, 2010, 5:45 PM EDT

    Lots of love from the Cubs about all the help Greg Maddux have them as a special assistant/jack-of-all-trades in Mesa this spring: The former Cubs and Braves pitcher dabbled in a variety of duties this spring, from watching pitchers to scouting to even throwing a little batting practice. One day this past spring, Minor League…

  3. Breaking down the Beckett deal

    Apr 6, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    With nothin’ but night games and not enough of the season behind us for it to have yet created its own newsy momentum, today is a bit slow. So let’s go back to yesterday and look a bit more closely at the Josh Beckett deal. Pfun Pfacts: The team had asked Beckett to include a…

  4. Yankees bench Brett Gardner for Marcus Thames against Jon Lester

    Apr 6, 2010, 4:48 PM EDT

    Brett Gardner is the Yankees’ starting left fielder, but after playing the opener against right-hander Josh Beckett he’s on the bench tonight against left-hander Jon Lester. Marcus Thames takes Gardner’s place, which makes a lot of sense if the Yankees are willing to live with the massive defensive downgrade in left field. Thames has a…

  5. Brewers owner, Yankees president having a delicious little spat

    Apr 6, 2010, 4:15 PM EDT

    In that USA Today salary piece I linked yesterday, Brewers’ owner Mark Attanasio complained thusly: “We’re struggling to sign (first baseman Prince Fielder) and the Yankees infield is making more than our team.” Yankees’ President Randy Levine fired back today: “I’m sorry that my friend Mark continues to whine about his running the Brewers. We…

  6. 27.7 percent of players on Opening Day rosters are foreign born

    Apr 6, 2010, 3:46 PM EDT

    Major League Baseball released some interesting data regarding player birth places, noting that the number of foreign-born players on Opening Day rosters is at a four-year low. Of course, “four-year low” is probably misleading given that this year’s rate of 27.7 percent isn’t all that far from the all-time high of 29.2 percent in 2005.…

  7. I'm not the only guy down on the Phillies

    Apr 6, 2010, 3:17 PM EDT

    The good Mr. Neyer posted his projected standings at ESPN yesterday.  He has the Yankees, Twins, and Rangers winning their divisions and the Red Sox taking the wild card in the AL and the Phillies, Cardinals and Rockies taking the divisions and the Braves taking the wild card in the senior circuit. Rob’s a lot…

  8. Alex Gordon ready to begin rehab assignment

    Apr 6, 2010, 2:47 PM EDT

    On the disabled list with a broken right thumb suffered early in spring training, Alex Gordon is now scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Thursday at Single-A. Gordon is eligible to return from the disabled list Saturday, but MLB.com’s Dick Kaegel reports that he won’t be ready quite that soon. Willie Bloomquist filled in…

  9. Orlando Hudson still has a banner in Dodger Stadium

    Apr 6, 2010, 2:15 PM EDT

    The Sons of Steve Garvey blog has a photo up, which was apparently taken last week, showing an Orlando Hudson banner still hanging on the wall in Dodger Stadium. This despite the fact that they non-tendered him he left via free agency and signed with the Twins back in February. Maybe Jamie got custody of…

  10. Yankees at 3-to-1 lead World Series odds

    Apr 6, 2010, 1:50 PM EDT

    One of the few things I like more than gambling is baseball, so the “futures” odds on teams winning the World Series are always interesting. Here’s what Bodog is offering right now (for entertainment purposes only, of course): AMERICAN LEAGUE ODDS NATIONAL LEAGUE ODDS New York Yankees 3-1 Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 Boston Red Sox 6-1…

  11. Agents hate hate hate the Adam Lind deal

    Apr 6, 2010, 1:15 PM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal reports that agents — or, at least the one agent that would allow Rosenthal to quote him — hates the deal Adam Lind signed with the Blue Jays: “Three club options? The union hates those deals and understandably so. He should have gotten those numbers without the options. The arbitration process rewards offensive…

  12. Rays start Dioner Navarro over Kelly Shoppach

    Apr 6, 2010, 12:49 PM EDT

    When the Rays acquired Kelly Shoppach from the Indians this offseason I wondered what type of role that left for Dioner Navarro, because while the two catchers could form a platoon Tampa Bay seemingly paid too high a price for Shoppach to play him just 2-3 times per week. The jury is still out in…

  13. Phillies fans absolutely took over Washington yesterday

    Apr 6, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    Anyone who was at the Phillies-Nationals game or watched it on TV yesterday was well-aware that the joint was overrun by Philly fans, but I hadn’t realized how overrun until I read some of the commentary about it all this morning: “tens of thousands” of Philly fans came to Washington yesterday, many as the part…

  14. Scott Kazmir on track to return next week, but will his raw stuff come back?

    Apr 6, 2010, 11:42 AM EDT

    Scott Kazmir admitted to being “very surprised” by the Angels’ decision to place him on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. Instead of beginning the season in the rotation Kazmir threw 77 pitches in a minor-league game and reported afterward that he felt “real good.” Kazmir is scheduled to start another minor-league game Friday…

  15. Comment of the Day: blown calls are part of the game

    Apr 6, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    Our friend Old Gator has made a disturbing (or refereshing, depending on your point of view) transition into lucidity since the season started. This morning he had some interesting things to say about the whole replay thing. The upshot: bad calls by umpires are plays that happen in games just like groundouts and unassisted triple…

  16. Carlos Zambrano is supposed to be a cow. Or a bell. Or a lawnmower. Or something.

    Apr 6, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times has been saving his metaphors up all winter and was really excited to get them all out at once this morning: Being the Opening Day pitcher is supposed to mean something.You’re the tone setter, the bell cow, the big swinging medallion chosen by the manager as the symbol of…

  17. The 2010 Yankees are better than the 1998 Yankees: discuss

    Apr 6, 2010, 10:45 AM EDT

    That’s the discussion they’re having over at IIATMS this morning. First up is the case for the 2010 Yankees, presented by Will.  Our friend The Common Man will be handling the case for the 1998 team a bit later today (UPDATE: TCM’s defense of the 1998 Yankees is now live). I’d rather have The Common…

  18. Government subsidies to corporate fat cats raise your ticket prices

    Apr 6, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Yeah, the headline was a bit much, but I like saying “fat cats” whenever I can. This is a story about why tickets to ballgames cost so much: There are many reasons for the price explosion, but a critical factor has been the ability of businesses to write off tickets as entertainment expenses — essentially…

  19. The Cardinals are complaining about slick balls again

    Apr 6, 2010, 9:44 AM EDT

    Last October John Smoltz and the Cardinals complained mightily about the balls being used in Great American Ballpark. The beef: that the Reds don’t properly rub them down with Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud to remove the gloss as God and Major League Baseball rule 3.01(c) intends. They’re at it again, with Chris Carpenter saying…

  20. The umps blow a would-be replay moment in the Cubs-Braves game

    Apr 6, 2010, 9:15 AM EDT

    I’ve noticed a lot of great camera work in the first two days of the baseball season. That ESPN matrix-vision thing they used to show the double-steal on Sunday night was pretty spiffy. That Mark Buehrle gem was covered from a zillion angles. Also captured really well?  Nate McLouth having the ball pop out of…

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