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  1. Shin-Soo Choo is trying to slug his way out of the army

    Nov 15, 2010, 10:33 AM EDT

    Shin-Soo Choo

    As we’ve mentioned before, Shin-Soo Choo is up against South Korea’s mandate that all able-bodied men must serve in the armed forces for two-years prior to turning 30. Choo is 28, and his military obligation is falling concurrently with his arbitration and free agency years. The straight-from-Hollywood-twist: if he can lead the Korean national baseball…

  2. Cuban center fielder Yasiel Balaguer defects with eye on MLB

    Nov 15, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

    Yasiel Balaguer

    Yasiel Balaguer, a 17-year-old center fielder considered one of the top prospects in Cuba, has defected to Nicaragua in order to become a free agent and sign with an MLB team, according to Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald. Ebro reports that Balaguer is now being represented by the Miami Sports agency and calls him…

  3. Teams should stick with their managers longer

    Nov 15, 2010, 9:44 AM EDT

    Ted Turner manager

    Buster Olney sought a comment from Rockies’ GM Dan O’Dowd on the Pirates hiring of former Rockies manager Clint Hurdle: “The Pirates are getting a leader who brings a positive, passionate energy everyday, and someone who handles every situation with honesty and integrity!” Obviously O’Dowd is not gonna bury the guy in such a situation,…

  4. Carl Crawford = Roberto Clemente, and more of the latest buzz from Rosenthal

    Nov 15, 2010, 9:15 AM EDT

    carl crawford rays

    Ken Rosenthal has a new column up.  Nothing outrageously juicy in it, but several thought-provoking items: Carl Crawford’s career to this point looks a lot like Roberto Clemente’s. A flawed comparison, no question, but an interesting one anyway. If the second half of Crawford’s career follows Clemente’s pattern anyone who signs him will be happy.…

  5. Why Clint Hurdle took the Pirates job

    Nov 15, 2010, 8:47 AM EDT

    Clint Hurdle

    In the weekend wrap this morning I had a joke in there about Clint Hurdle taking the Pirates’ job on the basis of “hey, how could I do any worse than the last guy?”  I deleted that, though, because the real reason he took the Pirates job — aside from wanting to continue his managerial…

  6. Must-Click Link: The Periodic Table of Hall of Famers

    Nov 15, 2010, 8:22 AM EDT

    Click Here large

    Every week or two, Larry Granillo at Wezen-Ball comes up with something that can only be classified as pure genius. This time I think he’s topped himself: the Periodic Table of Hall of Famers.  The table is here.  The explanation, here. Short version: Willie Mays is boron, Cap Anson is rubidium Tom Seaver is ununoctium,…

  7. HBT Weekend Wrapup

    Nov 15, 2010, 6:27 AM EDT

    Midwest Snowstorm

    If you blog about your own blogging, I’m pretty sure you create a rift in the space-time continuum. It’s kind of like dividing by zero or putting Minute Rice in the microwave.

  8. Phillies close to two-year extension with Jose Contreras

    Nov 14, 2010, 10:14 PM EDT

    contreras throwing

    From Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes comes word that the Phillies are close to re-signing reliever Jose Contreras to a two-year contract worth around $5 million.  The deal also comes with a third year option and performance incentives. Handing a multi-year contract to a reliever can be problematic, but the Phils had to buck up…

  9. Sandy Alderson’s father killed in pedestrian accident

    Nov 14, 2010, 7:20 PM EDT

    A bit of rough news here. Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that the father of new Mets GM Sandy Alderson died on Saturday night due to injuries sustained upon being struck by a vehicle in St. Petersburg, Florida.  Authorities are investigating the incident, but no charges have yet been filed against the 21-year-old…

  10. Jays and Uggla seem an unlikely match

    Nov 14, 2010, 4:57 PM EDT

    Dan Uggla

    Not to say it couldn’t work out.   But Buster Olney’s report that the Jays, according to rival executives, have emerged as the favorites to acquire Dan Uggla strikes an odd chord. The Jays not only led the majors in homers last season, but they did it with a total nearly 20 percent greater than any…

  11. 2008 first overall pick Tim Beckham becomes a long shot

    Nov 14, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

    tim beckham 2

    As the St. Petersburg Times’ Marc Topkin points out here, the first overall pick in the 2008 draft, Tim Beckham, was left off Baseball America’s list of the Rays’ top 10 prospects when it was announced last week. Beckham, a shortstop taken out of a Georgia high school, was ranked by BA as the Rays’…

  12. Fake trade: Dan Uggla to Rays for B.J. Upton, Jason Bartlett

    Nov 14, 2010, 2:30 PM EDT

    B.J. Upton

    The following scenario is completely hypothetical and should not be taken as an actual rumor, much less a completed deal. Rays acquire second baseman Dan Uggla from the Marlins for outfielder B.J. Upton and shortstop Jason Bartlett. Why it works for Tampa Bay: The Rays finished third in the AL in runs scored last season, but the team was…

  13. Jose Guillen drug case: HGH was signed for by wife

    Nov 14, 2010, 1:40 PM EDT

    San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants

    With the investigation ongoing, some new details came to light Sunday. A shipment of 50 pre-loaded syringes was sent to Jose Guillen’s house and signed for by his wife in September, a source close to the investigation told the New York Daily News. According to the report, DEA agents, monitoring the activies of the alleged…

  14. Sad-sack Indians to sport sub-$50 million payroll in 2011

    Nov 14, 2010, 1:00 PM EDT

    According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes, the Indians’ 2011 payroll is expected to fall in the $40 million-$50 million range, potentially making the team baseball’s thriftiest. The Indians opened 2010 with a $61.2 million payroll, down from $81.6 million to begin 2009.  That ranked them 24th among the 30 teams.  The only two…

  15. Pirates get their man, hire Clint Hurdle as new manager

    Nov 14, 2010, 11:52 AM EDT

    Clint Hurdle

    Clint Hurdle has clearly been atop the Pirates’ manager wish list all offseason, but the Mets expressing interest in the former Rockies skipper threatened to ruin Pittsburgh’s plans. However, according to Jon Heyman of the Pirates have agreed to a contract with Hurdle, who’ll replace John Russell as manager of a team that hasn’t…

  16. Cardinals looking for upgrade over Brendan Ryan at shortstop

    Nov 14, 2010, 11:44 AM EDT


    Brendan Ryan is one of the elite defensive shortstops in baseball, but he followed up a solid 2009 season at the plate by hitting just .223 with a lowly .573 OPS this year and general manager John Mozeliak told Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the Cardinals will look to upgrade the…

  17. Rosenthal: The Marlins could trade Dan Uggla within the week

    Nov 14, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Dan Uggla

    Ken Rosenthal reports that the Dan Uggla saga — in which he says he wants to stay but has rejected a big offer, and the Marlins say they want to keep him but have cut off negotiations — may be concluded this week. How? With a trade, which he reports the Marlins are “down the…

  18. Your Awards Week Preview

    Nov 14, 2010, 10:26 AM EDT

    Mariners' Hernandez throws against the Blue Jays in their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto

    Starting tomorrow, the Baseball Writers Association of America will announce the winners of the major postseason awards. Tomorrow is Rookie of the Year Awards (both of them), Tuesday is the NL Cy Young Award, Wednesday is both Manager of the Year Awards, Thursday is the AL Cy Young Award, next Monday is the NL MVP…

  19. And then there were two: Collins, Melvin appear to be finalists for the Mets job

    Nov 14, 2010, 9:41 AM EDT

    Terry Collins

    With Clint Hurdle looking more and more like he’s destined for Pittsburgh, it’s being reported that the Mets have narrowed their managerial search down to two men: Terry Collins and Bob Melvin. While Jose Oquendo is on Sandy Alderson’s interview schedule, the New York Times is saying that he’s not “a serious contender.”  Same with…

  20. Kirk Gibson’s 1988 home run bat sells for $575,912

    Nov 14, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    Kirk Gibson Dodgers home run

    I can’t believe what I just saw! Is it just me, or does over half a million bucks for a bat from 1988 seem excessive? Because that’s what the bat Kirk Gibson used to hit his famous walkoff homer in the 1988 World Series went for last night.  $575,912 to be exact.  Other items sold:…

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