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  1. Dontrelle Willis: "The issue is, I'm terrible"

    Feb 17, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    It has been extremely difficult to watch Dontrelle Willis struggle these past few years. When he was on, he was an exciting and downright endearing pitcher, with an infectious enthusiasm and unique style. Based on Lynn Henning’s report from Tigertown, however, it sounds like we’ll never see that pitcher again: “People see me smiling, but…

  2. Buster Posey won't really be playing the infield

    Feb 17, 2010, 4:50 PM EDT

    A couple of weeks ago we passed along word that the Giants were going to give Buster Posey looks all over the infield, possibly even at shortstop, in order to give him playing time.  Today Bruce Bochy seemed to walk that back a bit. A tweet from the Merc’s Andre Baggarly: Bochy clarifies on Buster…

  3. Jerry Manuel vows to make the Mets work on fundamentals

    Feb 17, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

    When it comes to spring training evergreen stories there aren’t many more venerable than “best shape of his life” and “Player X spent the winter working on a new arm angle to get on top of his breaking ball” pieces. After those, however, you have to go with “Manager X plans on emphasizing fundamental baseball…

  4. Mark McGwire speaks

    Feb 17, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    Earlier today he showed up. A few minutes ago he spoke: He spoke about the “learning curve” he’ll have with the hitters, specifically expanding his pool of pupils from two or three hitters to the 13 or more that he’ll have to work with here in spring. He spoke about the “regrets” he has from…

  5. Ishikawa tears ligaments 'slipping on a staircase'

    Feb 17, 2010, 2:46 PM EDT

    Travis Ishikawa showed up at Giants camp today wearing a protective boot on his left foot before revealing to reporters that he tore ligaments in his big toe three weeks ago from “slipping on a staircase.” Ishikawa was able to take batting practice while wearing the boot and Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle…

  6. Jim Bibby: 1944-2010

    Feb 17, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT

    Former Pirates (and Rangers and Indians and Cardinals) pitcher Jim Bibby passed away last night of an undisclosed illness.  Bibby pitched in the Majors for 12 seasons, winning 111 games, striking out 1079 guys and winning a World Series ring with the 1979 Pirates. He threw a no-hitter in 1973. He came in third in…

  7. Dayton Moore loves cliches, still doesn't get it

    Feb 17, 2010, 1:50 PM EDT

    Royals pitchers and catchers reported to spring training this morning and general manager Dayton Moore had this to say about the team’s offseason moves: I love the moves that we’ve made this offseason. We wanted to get more athletic, and we wanted more team speed. Guys who could play better defense. And for a little…

  8. Playing the "what if" game with Joe Mauer

    Feb 17, 2010, 1:20 PM EDT

    It’s Mauer day. In addition to this morning’s piece, USA Today ran a scary “what-if” article about the 2001 draft when, as most of you know, the Twins had to choose between Mark Prior and Mauer, with most people at the time thinking that Prior was the better choice. That’s certainly changed now: The Twins…

  9. Eric Gagne has 'pedestrian' tryout with Rockies

    Feb 17, 2010, 12:46 PM EDT

    Eric Gagne talked the Rockies into giving him a tryout yesterday: I basically called them up and said I’m ready. I want to find a place to play and see if you guys give me a shot. I have no expectation. I told them I can help this team. I’m healthy right now. If they…

  10. Where are those parks near Yankee stadium everyone promised?

    Feb 17, 2010, 12:20 PM EDT

    When some local residents challenged the plans for New Yankee Stadium in court a few years ago the judge threw it out because, according to the plans in place, the parkland and ballfields the citizens were losing was going to be replaced. Juan Gonzalez of the Daily News wants to know what ever happened to…

  11. Jose Reyes' hamstring is feeling 'normal' again

    Feb 17, 2010, 11:48 AM EDT

    Jose Reyes reported to Mets camp yesterday ahead of schedule, stepped onto a field for the first time since August, and declared himself back to “normal” again after missing all but 36 games last season with a torn hamstring. Reyes said that he’s “been feeling very good” lately and admitted that he “tried to come…

  12. Joel Zumaya is feeling good

    Feb 17, 2010, 11:30 AM EDT

    Between Guitar Hero and the San Diego wild fires, there haven’t been many pitchers more snakebit than Joel Zumaya has been these past few years.  But that’s all behind him now, he tells The Detroit News’ Lynn Henning. He’s been training in Florida since the beginning of January and . . . dare we say…

  13. Plenty of tickets available in Cleveland

    Feb 17, 2010, 11:15 AM EDT

    My friend Vince Grzegorek of the Cleveland Scene weekly passes along word that there are between 10,000 and 15,000 unsold tickets for the Indians’ Opening Day game right now.  This is unprecedented in recent history. Sure, attendance has been dropping these past couple of years, but after 15+ years of strong support for the Indians,…

  14. Jair Jurrjens MRI comes back negative; which is a positive

    Feb 17, 2010, 10:58 AM EDT

    Good news from Atlanta: Jair Jurrjens’ MRI results are back and there is no structural damage in his shoulder: Jurrjens said that the Braves doctors didn’t give him a specific timetable about when he could start pitching again.  But he’s under the impression that he could begin a throwing program within the next few days…

  15. Is Lew Wolff about to get what he wants?

    Feb 17, 2010, 10:30 AM EDT

    It’s been eleven months since Bud Selig announced that the Athletics’ future would be decided by a committee. Specifically, a committee that would determine whether Oakland remained viable, whether San Jose would be better and what in the world to do about the fact that the Giants claim Santa Clara County as their territory.  That…

  16. Mark McGwire shows up at Spring Training

    Feb 17, 2010, 10:14 AM EDT

    Derrick Goold reporting from Cardinals spring training: Hitting coach McGwire greeted by cheers from fans and asks media: “Where do I go?” Lucky Ken Rosenthal or Howard Bryant weren’t there. They would have told him exactly where he should go.

  17. Should the Brewers trade Prince Fielder?

    Feb 17, 2010, 10:00 AM EDT

    Dave Begel of On Milwaukee magazine thinks the answer is yes: If you think [The Brewers] are a team that should contend every year and expect that they will always be in the hunt for a playoff berth, then you say of course you have to sign Fielder. Both Braun and Fielder are better when…

  18. Papelbon talks about comebacks and contracts

    Feb 17, 2010, 9:30 AM EDT

    A Jonathan Papelbon interview always presents the chance for some crazy. He’s just one of those guys who — refreshingly I might add — doesn’t always revert to platitudes.  Sadly, he was pretty straight up and lucid yesterday in an extensive interview with WEEI’s Alex Speier, talking about going year-to-year with the Sox, his role…

  19. Joe Mauer is good at everything

    Feb 17, 2010, 8:57 AM EDT

    Bob Nightengale has a lengthy article on Joe Mauer in USA Today, um, today, painting a picture of a regular guy who, it seems anyway, wouldn’t quite know what to do with $200 million: On his way to the Sony Computer Entertainment studio in San Diego to do motion-capture work for the video game, Mauer’s…

  20. The Mets are making "a hard push" to get Rod Barajas

    Feb 17, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    So much for Josh Thole: starting catcher.  Rosenthal: The Mets are making “a hard push” for free-agent catcher Rod Barajas and negotiating with him on a one-year deal, according to major-league sources. Little known fact: the name “Rod Barajas” is the California-ized version of “Bengie Molina.” Both roughly translate to “decent power, awful on-base skills.”…

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