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  1. Sandy Alderson hired to 'reform' MLB's office in Dominican Republic

    Mar 8, 2010, 1:44 PM EST

    ESPN.com’s Jorge Arangure reports that former A’s general manager and MLB vice president of baseball operations Sandy Alderson has been hired to “reform the league’s Dominican Republic office.” According to Arangure the job’s focus will be “further preventing age and identity fraud and performance-enhancing drug use” among the prospects who can begin signing with big-league…

  2. It's tough out there for a Rule 5'er

    Mar 8, 2010, 1:20 PM EST

    There were two great stories about Rule 5 draft pics over the weekend.  First comes Tyler Kepner’s profile of Zach Kroenke, a Yankees’ pick from 2005 who has played the Rule 5 game two years running, first being picked by the Marlins last year and now trying to latch on to the Diamondbacks after being…

  3. Baseball and movies: Renner looks like Peavy, Hill doesn't look like DePodesta

    Mar 8, 2010, 12:42 PM EST

    Jeremy Renner was seemingly the only person involved with The Hurt Locker not to take home an Oscar last night, but as seemingly everyone in my Twitter feed pointed out at least he still looks like a dead ringer for Jake Peavy (or perhaps at this point Peavy looks like a dead ringer for him):…

  4. Scenes from Spring Training: Meet The Mets Part 4

    Mar 8, 2010, 12:20 PM EST

    Ever been to a gang bang? I hadn’t until yesterday.  What is it? It’s what beat writers call it when five or six of them gather around a single interview subject, usually in the locker room and just fire the questions.  My first gang bang was with Jim Riggleman after the game.  A most peculiar…

  5. Pujols sitting out today's game with sore back

    Mar 8, 2010, 11:40 AM EST

    Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that Albert Pujols has been scratched from today’s lineup after receiving chiropractic treatment on his sore lower back. Pujols remained at the Cardinals’ spring training complex and told reporters that he feels good enough to potentially be back in the lineup as soon as tomorrow. “It’s…

  6. Scenes from Spring Training: Meet The Mets Part 3

    Mar 8, 2010, 11:20 AM EST

    Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Times’ Dylan Hernandez said that he overheard another reporter in the press box of the Dodgers’ game say “I hate this job. I want to go work in a factory.”  I suppose it’s possible to get tired of anything, but I’m not sure how you can get tired of…

  7. Our long national K-Rod-pinkeye nightmare is over

    Mar 8, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    Apparently Franscico Rodriguez is back in the Mets’ clubhouse today, out of quarantine and shaking hands with people.  That either means (a) the pink eye has cleared up; or (b) the Mets’  doctors have just decided “the hell with it; our reputations are already shot, so who cares if everyone gets the damn pinkeye?”

  8. Scenes from Spring Training: Meet The Mets Part 2

    Mar 8, 2010, 10:30 AM EST

    After walking the grounds I went to the media work room. Same setup as the Winter Meetings, writ-small: tables with outlets and internet connections, a lot of handouts with lineups and player facts written on them, and a bunch of working reporters who looked at me like I was from Mars. I knew most of…

  9. Yeah, Kelvim Escobar is hurt

    Mar 8, 2010, 10:00 AM EST

    I took no joy in being the first guy to report a few weeks ago that Kelvim Escobar had more wrong with him than a mere “tired shoulder,” and I take even less joy in having that essentially confirmed by Adam Rubin this morning: Kelvim Escobar (shoulder) halted throwing even on flat ground. “When I…

  10. Scenes from Spring Training: Meet The Mets Part 1

    Mar 8, 2010, 9:28 AM EST

    Sunday was spent at Tradition Field for the Mets-Nationals game. There’s so much more going on than just a game, however, so why don’t we run it down.  Lots of bite-sized observations, so this will be in multiple parts throughout the day. I arrived at the ballpark early, hoping to get my bearings before it…

  11. Morgan Ensberg has a blog and it's pretty good

    Mar 8, 2010, 9:00 AM EST

    The former Astros’ third baseman has a blog and some pretty interesting insights about Barry Zito plunking Prince Fielder — Ensberg lists his own rules for hitting a guy — as well as the strike zone.  Here’s Ensberg after noting that Bud Selig is against automating the calling of balls and strikes because he likes…

  12. "Everybody else gets screwed" except the Yankees and Red Sox

    Mar 8, 2010, 8:30 AM EST

    Bud Selig has his little committee to talk about speed of the game, the postseason schedule and other rules changes.  The USA Today put their own committee together — including guys like Dusty Baker, Torii Hunter, Scott Boras and former umpire Steve Palermo — to talk about many of the same things, and unlike Bud’s…

  13. Greetings from Spring Training

    Mar 8, 2010, 7:57 AM EST

    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…

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

    Mar 7, 2010, 6:11 PM EST

    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…

  15. Maybin departs spring game with groin strain

    Mar 7, 2010, 5:40 PM EST

    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…

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

    Mar 7, 2010, 4:53 PM EST

    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…

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

    Mar 7, 2010, 4:02 PM EST

    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…

  18. UPDATE: Hank Blalock, Rays in serious talks

    Mar 7, 2010, 2:36 PM EST

    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…

  19. The Rangers love, miss Kevin Millwood

    Mar 7, 2010, 2:08 PM EST

    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…

  20. Hunter aggravates surgically-repaired groin

    Mar 7, 2010, 1:23 PM EST

    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…

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