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  1. In case you were wondering, no the Marlins were not bombed

    Jan 26, 2010, 11:00 AM EDT

    Suicide bombers hit three hotels frequented by westerners in Baghdad yesterday. When I read about it, I’ll admit, my first thought wasn’t “Oh God, I hope Chris Coghlan is safe!”  Indeed, I had actually forgot all about the Marlins’ Iraq trip. Still, it’s good to hear this from Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald: Just…

  2. News Flash: the Rays need a new home

    Jan 26, 2010, 10:28 AM EDT

    That’s not really news, but it’s now an Official Finding of a committee put together by a coalition of St. Petersburg business and community leaders.  One would think that such a conclusion could be reached upon one or two visits to Tropicana Field, but these guys have been studying the matter for eighteen months.  Though…

  3. The looming battle over draft pick slotting

    Jan 26, 2010, 9:56 AM EDT

    Buster Olney relays the gist of conversations held during the recent General Managers meeting about fixing the draft.  Money quote: And there is a strong belief on the side of management that a slotting system can be completed, because the union will embrace the idea — so long as the Players Association is guaranteed, in…

  4. Report: the A's have made an offer for Ben Sheets

    Jan 26, 2010, 9:24 AM EDT

    The A’s have reportedly made a “competitive offer” for Ben Sheets. If this is as competitive as their offers for Marco Scutaro and Adrian Beltre, expect Sheets to sign with an east coast team by lunch.

  5. The Rangers deal is not a done deal

    Jan 26, 2010, 9:00 AM EDT

    Sure, Greenberg and Ryan have made a deal with Hicks, but they’re not the only ones that matter.  According to Sports Business Journal, a hedge fund called Monarch Alternative Capital — which came in late in the game and bought up a bunch of Hicks Sports’ Group’s debt when they nearly defaulted on their obligations…

  6. The Mets are still talking to Smoltz

    Jan 26, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

    A few weeks ago it was reported that the Mets were interested in John Smoltz for the rotation. The interest hasn’t flagged, apparently, as the Daily News says this morning that “the Mets have been particularly active in dialogue” with Smotlz.  That’s a fancy way of saying they’re talking.  Smoltz had previously been linked to…

  7. The dump-McGwire campaign intensifies

    Jan 26, 2010, 7:57 AM EDT

    Yesterday Ken Rosenthal gave Mark McGwire an ultimatum: repent or resign.  I had missed the fact that, earlier in the day, Peter Gammons had thrown a log on that same fire, calling McGwire a “distraction,” questioning whether his presence on the Cardinals is sustainable and, as a grand finale, saying “McGwire, La Russa, Mozeliak, DeWitt…

  8. A (very) brief moment to cut Mets some slack

    Jan 25, 2010, 11:53 PM EDT

    By my unofficial count, the two most entertaining pastimes these days are (a) spotting Tiger Woods lookalikes and (b) picking on the New York Mets. We’ve done plenty of the latter just today. Here, here and here, in fact, for those of you who missed out on the fun. But isn’t it all starting to get…

  9. Report: Thome won't be returning to White Sox

    Jan 25, 2010, 8:29 PM EDT

    The Chicago Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley reports that Jim Thome and the White Sox were unable to reach an agreement over the weekend and that Thome won’t be back in Chicago next year. The White Sox clearly had mixed feelings on whether it was in their best interests to bring back Thome as their primary DH.…

  10. Quote of the Day II: Have you taken your steroids today?

    Jan 25, 2010, 7:30 PM EDT

    “I’ve heard the point made that now you take urine samples to make sure you haven’t taken drugs, where in 20 years you might take urine samples to make sure you took your drugs. This idea is approaching. Attitudes are changing.” – Andrzej Bartke, one of the world’s leading experts on HGH, in a pretty…

  11. Angels give infielder Izturis $10 million deal

    Jan 25, 2010, 6:57 PM EDT

    The Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels and infielder Maicer Izturis have agreed to a three-year, $10 million contract through 2012. The deal comes after Izturis asked for $3 million in what was to be his last year of arbitration eligibility. The Angels proposed a $2.3 million salary. Assuming that the two sides would…

  12. Diving into the depths: Los Angeles Dodgers

    Jan 25, 2010, 6:51 PM EDT

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Los Angeles Dodgers Rotation 1. Hiroki Kuroda 2. Clayton Kershaw 3. Chad Billingsley 4. Vicente Padilla 5. James McDonald 6. Eric Stults 7. Scott Elbert 8. Russ Ortiz 9. Charlie Haeger 9. Josh Lindblom 10. Josh Towers 11.…

  13. Quote of the Day: Sports Illustrated on the Astros

    Jan 25, 2010, 6:30 PM EDT

    This is really a quote of yesterday — April 15, 1991 to be exact — that reader Christopher Modell dug up while trying to find some more info for me on Craig Biggio’s catching prowess.  The writers of the piece — William Oscar Johnson and Albert Kim — are concerned that the Astros are embarking…

  14. Nationals ink former Braves lefty James

    Jan 25, 2010, 5:47 PM EDT’s Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Nationals have signed former Braves left-hander Chuck James to a minor league deal. James, 28, will be attempted a comeback after undergoing shuolder and rotator cuff surgery in Sept. 2008 and missing all of last season. He was last seen going 2-5 with a 9.10 ERA in seven starts…

  15. When it comes to steroids, put Robin Yount in the "reasonable" camp

    Jan 25, 2010, 5:30 PM EDT

    Missed this from late last week, but Robin Yount has become the latest in a long line of Hall of Famers to weigh in on the Mark McGwire steroids stuff. When asked what he thought of Carlton Fisk and Rich Gossage and everyone taking shots at McGwire, he had this to say: “A number of…

  16. Rosenthal: McGwire needs to own up or resign

    Jan 25, 2010, 4:54 PM EDT

    I’m a huge fan of Ken Rosenthal the reporter. I think he works harder than anyone in the business and, more than anyone, when he passes on a nugget of news, you can bet that it’s going to pan out. Personally speaking, he’s always been gracious with me despite the fact that I’ve been critical…

  17. Biggio was no Buster Posey behind the plate

    Jan 25, 2010, 4:20 PM EDT

    This morning I compared Buster Posey and Craig Biggio, but lamented that I couldn’t find any scouting reports of what kind of catcher Biggio was. The lesson here: I’m really, really lazy and should leave the researching to people who know what they’re doing.  People like lar from Wezen-Ball, who tracked down this old story…

  18. Out of options McGowan 'remains a big unknown'

    Jan 25, 2010, 3:47 PM EDT

    Dustin McGowan missed all of 2009 following shoulder surgery and general manager J.P. Ricciardi went so far as to suggest that his career was in jeopardy, but now he’s former general manager J.P. Ricciardi and’s Jordan Bastian reports “the hope is that McGowan will be ready to join the rotation competition” in spring training.…

  19. Felix Hernandez and Cliff Lee need a nickname

    Jan 25, 2010, 3:20 PM EDT

    At least John McGrath of the Tacoma News-Tribune thinks they do. He starts with a couple of ideas: Is anybody pondering a nickname for the Mariners’ one-two punch? Hmmn. If Hernandez is “King Felix,” his counterpart should also own a title of distinction, something along the line of, say, “General Lee.” King Felix and General…

  20. Neshek on track to be ready for spring training

    Jan 25, 2010, 2:49 PM EDT’s Kelly Thesier reports that side-arming setup man Pat Neshek is “a little anxious” but “on track to be ready for the start of spring training” 14 months after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery. “I just want to face hitters to see where I’m at and get that in my head,” Neshek said. “I want…

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