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  1. Greetings from Spring Training

    Mar 8, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    My plane landed in Miami on Saturday morning and after lunch and some sightseeing with a mystery person I’ll tell you about later, I booked it up I-95 to Port St. Lucie, or as it may be more aptly called, Long Island South. Yes, there are a few Mets fans here. Tradition Field and the…

  2. Ellsbury open to long-terms talks with Red Sox

    Mar 7, 2010, 6:11 PM EDT

    Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury told WEEI.com’s Alex Speier on Sunday that he is open to long-term contract negotiations with the Red Sox, but has not been approached yet. “I’m going to play this year. When the Red Sox talk with my agent, I guess that’s when that ball starts rolling. As a ballplayer, you…

  3. Maybin departs spring game with groin strain

    Mar 7, 2010, 5:40 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Maybin told MLB.com after the game that he believes the injury is minor: “My legs have felt great all spring,” Maybin said. “I was working out my lower body [in the offseason]. I felt fast all spring. Hopefully, it’s just a day-to-day thing. I don’t think it was bad. I think I pulled up…

  4. Cubs' Castro to begin season with Triple-A Iowa

    Mar 7, 2010, 4:53 PM EDT

    Cubs manager Lou Piniella told the Chicago Tribune’s Paul Sullivan on Sunday that shortstop prospect Starlin Castro will kick off the 2010 season with the club’s Triple-A affiliate in Iowa.  It’s the right move, no matter how you slice it.  Castro needs playing time more than anything right now and the Cubs’ infield, while not…

  5. Dice-K cruising toward mid-March spring debut

    Mar 7, 2010, 4:02 PM EDT

    Daisuke Matsuzaka looked strong during a lengthy bullpen session on Sunday afternoon and the Red Sox are beginning to map out a schedule for his spring game debut.  Dan Barbarisi of the Providence Journal believes that debut may come on March 17 against the Mets or March 19 against the Pirates.  Either way, it’s good…

  6. UPDATE: Hank Blalock, Rays in serious talks

    Mar 7, 2010, 2:36 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times confirms that the Rays and Blalock are sorting out a minor league contract, though Topkin adds that “Nothing is done yet.” SATURDAY, 10:22pm: We’re well into the month of March, and yet free agent first baseman Hank Blalock remains unsigned.  That could change soon. According to SI.com’s…

  7. The Rangers love, miss Kevin Millwood

    Mar 7, 2010, 2:08 PM EDT

    MLB.com’s Britt Ghiroli picked up on something adorable down in spring training this weekend.  According to several Rangers, 23-year-old right-hander Tommy Hunter included, veteran starter Kevin Millwood is sorely missed in the Texas clubhouse. “I miss him,” Hunter said Saturday. “I’m not going to lie, I miss him. I might give him a call this…

  8. Hunter aggravates surgically-repaired groin

    Mar 7, 2010, 1:23 PM EDT

    Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Angels outfielder Torii Hunter has aggravated his surgically-repaired groin.  For now, it sounds minor. “It’s nothing serious, but when he slid into second base, he felt a little tightness in his groin,” manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday. “It’s in the same area of the surgery, but…

  9. Jim Riggleman can probably kick your butt

    Mar 7, 2010, 12:44 PM EDT

    One more random picture before I actually go and watch a game. There was talk that the Nats would replace Riggleman after last season. I can only assume he won the permanent job in an arm wrestling contest.  Dude looks like he could play right now.

  10. UPDATE: Russell Martin has MRI, out 4-6 weeks

    Mar 7, 2010, 12:34 PM EDT

    UPDATE: Dodgers manager Joe Torre told Hernandez this afternoon that Martin is out four-to-six weeks.  It’s highly doubtful that he will be recovered in time for Opening Day. 10:25am: Hernandez hears that Martin’s MRI showed a “little strain” in his lower abdominal area.  He’s expected to sit out the next few spring games. 9:14am: Dylan…

  11. Twins ink Nick Blackburn to four-year extension

    Mar 7, 2010, 12:15 PM EDT

    According to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier (via Twitter), the Twins have signed right-hander Nick Blackburn to a four-year, $14 million contract extension with an $8 million club option for 2014. Blackburn, 28, compiled an 11-11 record, 99 strikeouts, 4.03 ERA and 1.37 WHIP over 33 starts last season.  He has a 4.14 career ERA over 410…

  12. Jeff Francoeur is learning

    Mar 7, 2010, 11:51 AM EDT

    I’m at Mets camp in Port St. Lucie. And for all of the garbage I’ve spewed at that team in the past, everyone has been super duper nice to me so far. Almost makes me want to rethink how I write about them.  Almost. Anyway, I’ll be checking in with real posts and stuff tomorrow,…

  13. Alex Gordon out 3-4 weeks with broken thumb

    Mar 7, 2010, 11:22 AM EDT

    According to the Kansas City Star’s Bob Dutton, Royals third baseman Alex Gordon has been diagnosed with a broken thumb and will be sidelined for the next three-to-four weeks.  It’s not clear how or when the injury happened, but it’s safe to say he won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Gordon,…

  14. You can vote on Kevin Youkilis' Opening Day facial hair … seriously

    Mar 7, 2010, 11:20 AM EDT

    Aw, crap.  Alex Speier of Boston-based WEEI.com passes along word that Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis is throwing together a charity-backed vote to decide the style of his Opening Day facial hair.  The choices are: goatee, mustache, fu manchu or clean shaven. The $1 to vote benefits underprivileged children in the Boston area, which…

  15. UPDATE: Guzman has ligament tear in shoulder

    Mar 7, 2010, 11:06 AM EDT

    UPDATE: Muskat says that Guzman is leaning toward having surgery on the shoulder, which would surely sideline the right-hander for most — if not all — of the 2010 season. SATURDAY, 2:40pm: Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune confirms that shoulder surgery could be career-threatening. As such, Guzman is currently mulling his options. If he…

  16. Cardinals closer Ryan Franklin wants us to forget about his '09 collapse

    Mar 7, 2010, 10:40 AM EDT

    Ryan Franklin had a pretty exceptional 2009 season, all things considered.  He finished with a 1.92 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 38 saves in 43 chances, filling a role for the Cardinals that looked to be a major question mark this time last year.  But reporters this spring have decided to focus instead on the four…

  17. Chipper out a few games with jammed thumb

    Mar 7, 2010, 10:08 AM EDT

    Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that veteran third baseman Chipper Jones has a jammed right thumb and will sit out the next few spring games.  For now, it doesn’t sound like anything to worry about.  Jones, who turns 38 in April, posted a relatively disappointing .264/.388/.430 batting line and 18 homers in…

  18. UPDATE: Nathan headed for MRI on elbow

    Mar 7, 2010, 9:52 AM EDT

    UPDATE: Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that Nathan is headed back to the Twin Cities to have an MRI on the elbow. SATURDAY, 3:12pm: Luckily the Twins are saying it was only for “precautionary reasons,” but closer Joe Nathan was removed from Saturday’s game against the Red Sox due to some elbow tightness.…

  19. Duchscherer hopes to be ready by Opening Day

    Mar 7, 2010, 9:38 AM EDT

    Justin Duchscherer didn’t throw a pitch last season and is making his way back from a complex procedure that burned the nerve endings around his sacroiliac joint.  And yet, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea, the right-hander is still optimistic about being fully healthy for baseball’s opening week. “The Duke of Hurl” will…

  20. Mets passed on Jason Marquis pretty early

    Mar 7, 2010, 8:54 AM EDT

    Jason Marquis, 31, turned in an impressive 15-13 record, 4.04 ERA and 1.38 WHIP last season in 33 starts for the Rockies and set out in search of a lucrative free agent contract this winter.  He made it known early on — in mid-November, in fact — that he wanted to play for the Mets,…

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