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  1. Sign stealing: a waste of time, but easy enough to defend against

    Nov 13, 2009, 10:55 AM EDT

    ESPN’s Buster Olney reproduces an email he received from former major league catcher Brent Mayne talking about sign stealing and mound visits and stuff. It’s pretty illuminating.  Among the the tidbits he offers are that most hitters don’t want stolen signs flashed to them by their teammates anyway. I can see that: how much time…

  2. John Wetteland released from the hospital, cites blood pressure and heart rate as the problem

    Nov 13, 2009, 10:25 AM EDT

    Following up on John Wetteland’s hospitalization yesterday, MLB.com is now reporting that Wetteland was released last night.  Yesterday, the local sheriff called it a “mental health issue.”  It’s also been reported that he was complaining of being depressed and contemplating suicide. Meanwhile, anonymous sources in the Mariners organization dispute the notion that there was a…

  3. The Nats get smart: they move Guzman to second and seek a glove for short

    Nov 13, 2009, 9:55 AM EDT

    The Nationals have made a lot of smart moves since tossing Jim Bowden over the side last year. Giving the reins to Mike Rizzo is one. Setting aside their Boras-phobia and paying for Strasburg was another.  Sticking with Jim Riggleman was the right move in my mind as well.  The latest?  Making it clear that Cristian Guzman…

  4. Shin-Soo Choo gets boned, and other thoughts on the Silver Slugger Awards

    Nov 13, 2009, 9:20 AM EDT

    The Silver Slugger Awards were announced last night. Like the Gold Gloves, the Silver Slugger is voted on by managers and coaches and stuff. Which makes little damn sense. We’ve long been in a world where offensive contributions can be quantified objectively — especially compared to defense — so why there’s a vote involved is…

  5. The Rangers are interested in Vlad

    Nov 13, 2009, 8:50 AM EDT

    Ken Rosenthal reports that the Texas Rangers are interested in Vlad Guerrero. Makes all kinds of sense. The Rangers obviously want and need a DH, as evidenced by their recent flirtation with the idea of bringing back Milton Bradley.  Also, as Rosenthal notes, Vald has killed the ball in Texas. Of course, a lot of…

  6. Johnny Damon is pricing his way out of New York

    Nov 13, 2009, 8:20 AM EDT

    SI’s Jon Heyman listened to Scott Boras hold court up at the GM meetings in Chicago, and reports that (a) Boras thinks that Damon should get a four-year deal; (b) Damon doesn’t want less than his current $13 million; (c) the Yankees are saying that they are “absolutely not” going to offer him four years …

  7. Free Agency Preview: First base & DH

    Nov 13, 2009, 1:37 AM EDT

    Free Agency Preview – Catchers This is part two in a series of columns looking at this winter’s free agents, trade candidates and non-tender possibilities. I’ll be making predictions for the key free agents, but try not to take them too awfully seriously. Here are the first basemen and designated hitters. Adam LaRoche (Braves) –…

  8. Inside look at the intangibles of catching

    Nov 12, 2009, 11:27 PM EDT

    Matthew broke down the free agent catchers last night, giving detailed predictions into where they are likely to go, and for how much money. It all gets one to thinking about what you should value most in a catcher: Is it offense? Defense? Calling a game? Handling pitching staffs and dealing with umpires? They’re the…

  9. Wetteland hospitalized for mental health issue

    Nov 12, 2009, 6:29 PM EDT

    Mariners bullpen coach John Wetteland was taken to Denton Regional Medical Center in Texas and hospitalized for a mental health issue on Thursday afternoon after police were called to his house. A call concerning a possible suicidal person brought officers to Wetteland’s home just after noon Thursday. As the CBS 11 report states: “When officers…

  10. Sifting through the rumors: Braves – Lowe, Uggla and Soriano

    Nov 12, 2009, 5:43 PM EDT

    *With Tim Hudson re-signed to a bargain three-year deal, the Braves are likely to step up efforts to move Derek Lowe, Javier Vazquez or Kenshin Kawakami, according to the AJC’s David O’Brien. It’s a given. Hudson, Jair Jurrjens and Tommy Hanson are all locks for the rotation next year, meaning that one of the expensive…

  11. Spared one tough decision on Owings, Reds still have another

    Nov 12, 2009, 4:35 PM EDT

    As mentioned last night, Micah Owings lost the tiebreaker that would have gained him super-two eligibility and increased his 2010 salary from $500,000 to likely around $1 million or so. Had Owings been made arbitration eligible, it’s possible that the Reds would have non-tendered him. The 27-year-old went 7-12 with a 5.34 ERA last season…

  12. Link-O-Rama: Valentine, Tigers, Schmidt, Griffey

    Nov 12, 2009, 3:01 PM EDT

    * Bobby Valentine revealed that he was “baffled” by the Nationals’ interview process and decision to choose Jim Riggleman over him for the manager job. “I’m pretty sure they had Jim in their back pockets the whole time,” Valentine said. * Asked about rumors that the Tigers are being forced to shop Curtis Granderson and…

  13. Free agency on a budget: Troy Glaus

    Nov 12, 2009, 2:10 PM EDT

    Struggles returning from offseason shoulder surgery followed by back problems left Troy Glaus on the sidelines until September and he played just 14 games overall this season, basically making 2009 a lost year for the four-time All-Star. His health remains a huge question mark, but Glaus batted .270/.372/.483 with 27 homers in 151 games for…

  14. Hudson, Braves make three-year deal official

    Nov 12, 2009, 1:22 PM EDT

    In a deal that was agreed upon weeks ago and delayed by the need for a pre-signing physical exam, the Braves and Tim Hudson have officially completed a three-year contract extension that includes a fourth-year team option for 2013. Atlanta held a $12 million option or $1 million buyout on Hudson for 2010, but the…

  15. Lidge's nightmare year now includes arm surgery

    Nov 12, 2009, 12:35 PM EDT

    What do you do after blowing an MLB-high 11 saves with a 7.21 ERA during the regular season and coughing up three runs to take the loss in your final postseason outing? Well, if you’re Brad Lidge you have your arm operated on. Lidge underwent surgery yesterday to repair the flexor pronator tendon in his…

  16. Link-O-Rama: Webb, Strasburg, Perkins, Pitt, Moneyball

    Nov 12, 2009, 11:50 AM EDT

    * Brandon Webb threw yesterday for the first time since August shoulder surgery, playing catch on flat ground from 60 feet for about 15 minutes. “No problems and no pain,” Webb said afterward. “I was very encouraged.” Last week the Diamondbacks exercised their $8.5 million option on Webb for 2010 and the hope is that…

  17. The Clemens-McNamee case gets even more pathetic

    Nov 12, 2009, 11:19 AM EDT

    You know you’ve done something wrong in this world when a guy who is famous for being (1) an admitted liar; (2) an admitted drug dealer; and (3) who was once implicated in an alleged date-rape drug incident (and lied to police about it) sues YOU for defamation of character . . . and HAS THE STRONGER CASE!…

  18. OK, so maybe the Twins and Mauer aren't talking yet

    Nov 12, 2009, 10:44 AM EDT

    Yesterday the Pioneer Press reported that contract talks between the Twins and Joe Mauer had begun. Joe Mauer, on the phone to the Star-Tribune last night: “I’ve been thinking about things like that, but to tell you the truth, we haven’t really started [negotiating with the Twins].” I suppose we could parse the definition of…

  19. Zambrano's mother recovered, but everyone's still antsy about Venezuela

    Nov 12, 2009, 10:01 AM EDT

    Victor Zambrano’s mother was recovered from kidnappers in Venezuela on Tuesday.  That’s good.  The threat to anyone connected with Major League Baseball, however, remains the same: if they think you can pay a ransom, your family is subject to kidnappers.  That’s bad!  So bad that the Mets are considering asking their catching prospect Josh Thole to return…

  20. Don't count the Angels out on Lackey and Figgins

    Nov 12, 2009, 9:25 AM EDT

    CBS’s Scott Miller talks to Angels’ GM Tony Reagins who says that we shouldn’t assume that John Lackey and Chone Figgins have played their last games in Anaheim: While that still could happen, Angels GM Tony Reagins said Wednesday that there’s “no question” the club intends to attempt to retain Lackey, as well as leadoff man Chone Figgins.…

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