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  1. Francisco Liriano is "throwing the living fire out of the ball"

    Jan 5, 2010, 9:25 AM EDT

    And with this quote from Ron Gardenhire about Francisco Liriano, we officially begin to transition from the hot stove season to the “Player X is in the best shape of his life” season: “I just got a report that he’s throwing the living fire out of the ball down in the Dominican (Republic). He threw…

  2. Is Mike Lowell-to-the-Rangers once again possible?

    Jan 5, 2010, 8:55 AM EDT

    The first thought in most people’s minds after the Adrian Beltre deal was reported last night was what the Red Sox were going to do with Mike Lowell. OK, my first thought was “wow, Boras really misread the market for his dude,” but my next thought definitely was what to do about Mike Lowell. Almost…

  3. Matt Holliday and Cardinals are "on the brink of a deal"

    Jan 5, 2010, 8:25 AM EDT

    Joe Strauss of the Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. and GM John Mozeliak met with Scott Boras over the weekend, and that the team and Matt Holliday are “on the brink of a deal.” Tony La Russa acknowledged that a deal should be done this week, though he did say “At some…

  4. Beltre allegedly turned down richer offers to come to Boston

    Jan 5, 2010, 7:55 AM EDT

    It’s probably rather galling to the rest of baseball that, in addition to being able to outbid just about everyone for any free agent, the Red Sox also get big discounts on guys who simply want to go there. That seems to be the case with Adrian Beltre: Beltre turned down more money from at…

  5. Mets 'very interested' in bringing back Delgado

    Jan 5, 2010, 2:37 AM EDT

    This morning, Craig touched on Carlos Delgado’s return to action in the Puerto Rican Winter League, mentioning that the Mets could be interested in bringing the slugging first baseman back to New York. Turns out that they are, indeed, interested. From’s Alden Gonzalez: One day after Carlos Delgado made his return from hip surgery…

  6. Vegas club-hoppers are sources you can trust

    Jan 5, 2010, 12:23 AM EDT

    Jason Giambi is considering re-signing with the Colorado Rockies. We know this because a source said as much to Troy Renck of The Denver Post. Giambi opened up his new club “Vanity” at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas this week. He’s a part owner in the venture, and lives in Vegas during the offseason.…

  7. Matt Kemp dating Rihanna? Now he's really big-time

    Jan 4, 2010, 8:45 PM EDT

    In just his second full season in the majors, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp blossomed into a star. He hit .297, smashed 26 home runs, drove in 101 runs, and stole 34 bases. He earned both Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards. It doesn’t get much better than that. Or does it? Now, according to…

  8. Report: Adrian Beltre signs with Boston

    Jan 4, 2010, 7:42 PM EDT

    Peter Gammons tweets:  1 year deal for $9 million and a player option for $5 million. There’s also a $1 million buyout, presumably so everyone can say he got $10 million. Physical pending, announcement to come later. Gut reaction: something of a comedown for the Boras-represented Beltre who, in addition to wanting $10 million, most…

  9. Because it worked so well with Van Benschoten…

    Jan 4, 2010, 6:33 PM EDT

    Anyone else see anything wrong here?

  10. Great Moments in Random Cool Stuff Sent to Me

    Jan 4, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

    Normally if you get an unsolicited package in the mail from a group called “The National Ethnic Heritage Foundation in partnership with the Order of Sons of Italy in America,” you’re going to want someone else to open it. I got such a package today, but figuring that I have neither told anyone what I…

  11. UPDATE: At this point who the hell knows what's going on with Beltre?

    Jan 4, 2010, 5:37 PM EDT

    7:51 P.M.: OK, now we do know what the hell is going on: Beltre to Boston, one year, $9 million, with a player option for $5 million. 5:37 PM: First the Sox were in, then out, and now they’re apparently in again, as Gordon Edes at ESPN Boston is reporting that the Sox have actually…

  12. Transaction of the day

    Jan 4, 2010, 5:15 PM EDT

    MLB Trade Rumors passes this one along: The Royals signed lefty John Parrish to a minor league deal, according to a team press release.  Parrish, 32, missed all of ’09 with a shoulder injury . . . He has not had success against lefties in recent years. Hurt lefty who can’t get lefties out? Go…

  13. Hall of Fame 2010: Jack Morris

    Jan 4, 2010, 4:35 PM EDT

    Now that the “most feared hitter” of the late-70s is in the Hall of Fame, the anti-stats crowd has found a new champion, moving right from Jim Rice to Jack Morris. Morris first appeared on the ballot in 2000 and received 22.2 percent of the vote. After a slight dip in 2001, he’s climbed steadily…

  14. At least Dan Shaughnessy is honest

    Jan 4, 2010, 3:52 PM EDT

    Unlike Heyman, Dan Shaughnessy admits that he just goes with his gut when it comes to the Hall of Fame: Each Hall voter applies his own standards, and mine often references the famous line that Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart applied to pornography. Stewart argued that he might not be able to define what was…

  15. If you're a Nats fan, you probably want to buy Matt Capps a cheeseburger

    Jan 4, 2010, 3:24 PM EDT

    New Nats’ closer Matt Capps, in an interview with the Washington Post, talking about offseason conditioning: I try not to put too much emphasis on weight. A lot of it goes on how I feel. I’ve had two pretty rough years in my career, one in 2004 and one last year. And the one common…

  16. Jon Heyman defends his Hall of Fame ballot

    Jan 4, 2010, 2:21 PM EDT

    Last week I mentioned the little tweet-storm Jon Heyman set off when he announced his Hall of Fame ballot.  To review, he had Robbie Alomar, Andrew Dawson, Barry Larkin, Dave Parker, Jack Morris and Don Mattingly.  Many people took issue with this ballot, myself included. It’s a pretty awful one all things considered. Parker? Morris?…

  17. Jason Bay has passed his physical

    Jan 4, 2010, 12:32 PM EDT

    SNY has learned — shocking, seeing as though they are owned by the Mets — that Jason Bay has passed his physical and now nothing aside from the creeping realization that he’s going to spend the next five years in New York stands in the way of him finalizing his deal.  But he’ll probably get…

  18. REPORT: Holliday, Cards closing in on a $98.5 million deal

    Jan 4, 2010, 12:11 PM EDT

    Not sure who died and made Jim Bowden smart, but he tweets “The Holliday may be over for most, but not St.Louis……Cards – Holliday closing in on 98.5m dollar deal.” We will update when the story is confirmed by persons who are not Jim Bowden.

  19. Dave Parker: Hall of Fame afterthought

    Jan 4, 2010, 12:01 PM EDT

    Buster Olney doesn’t actually endorse Dave Parker’s Hall of Fame candidacy, but he does throw out a morsel to chew on, courtesy of the ESPN stats department: If you go on the idea of a player being a dominant player in his era being an important qualification: Dave Parker finished in the top five of…

  20. Ronan Tynan has had a bad couple of months

    Jan 4, 2010, 11:25 AM EDT

    You’ll recall Ronan Tynan, the Irish tenor who used to sing “God Bless America” during the seventh inning stretch at Yankee Stadium.  You’ll also recall that Tynan ran into some trouble back in October, getting sacked from his Yankees gig as the result of some comments he made to a realtor about Jews looking at…

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