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  1. Some umpiring changes in store for 2010

    Mar 6, 2010, 5:31 PM EST

    The umpires took a well-deserved public flogging during the postseason, so much so that rotations were switched up during the World Series. Some called it mere window-dressing at the time, but some significant institutional changes are already underway for the 2010 season. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Randy Marsh and Charlie Reliford have retired…

  2. Quote of the day: Charlie Manuel

    Mar 6, 2010, 3:47 PM EST

    Here’s Phillies manager Charlie Manuel (yes, that slim fella on the right) on the status of Shane Victorino, who has been sidelined in the early part of the Grapefruit League schedule due to some shoulder tightness: “He’s all right,” Manuel said this morning. “I didn’t even ask him today. He’s going to be well when we…

  3. Derek Lowe unveils new delivery

    Mar 6, 2010, 1:04 PM EST

    Steve Henson of Yahoo! Sports has the details on Derek Lowe’s new delivery: Lowe used to hunch over and keep his hands near his chest as he turned into the balance position before striding toward the plate. Now he brings his hands above his head and stays as tall as possible over the rubber, increasing…

  4. Mets (thankfully) weren't serious about Jason Marquis, either

    Mar 6, 2010, 11:56 AM EST

    A day after Bengie Molina said he felt the Mets weren’t actually interested in him comes this from Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News: “Jason Marquis says he doesn’t know what Mets offered him, because he told agent to share only “serious” offers. … Marquis faces Mets Sun.“ Gotta find storylines somewhere, I…

  5. Nats thinking about naming Ryan Zimmerman captain

    Mar 6, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

    It’s ridiculous. It’s absurd. But the Nationals are considering it. Here’s general manager Mike Rizzo: “I think already he’s a leader of the club and kind of a pseudo-captain already,” Rizzo said. “We’ve kicked around the premise of making somebody the captain of the team, with a ‘C’ on their jersey. I haven’t come to…

  6. "No chance" Flores plays before end of spring

    Mar 6, 2010, 10:25 AM EST

    That’s what Jesus Flores told Mark Zuckerman of Nats Insider when asked if he’d be ready to appear in a game before the end of the spring. Flores is currently rehabbing from offseason shoulder surgery and has only progressed to playing catch from 120 feet. As the Grapefruit League schedule begins, he’s understandably deflated: “It’s…

  7. Lance Berkman debuts as designated hitter

    Mar 6, 2010, 9:50 AM EST

    Lance Berkman, who missed the Thursday’s Grapefruit League opener due to a bruised left knee, made his exhibition debut against the Tigers on Friday night. Functioning as the club’s designated hitter, Berkman was 1-for-2 with a double and a strikeout: “You can only do so much in the cage,” Berkman said. “You need to go…

  8. Are the Yankees upset with A-Rod?

    Mar 6, 2010, 9:30 AM EST

    Yes, this story is a day old, but I couldn’t resist the temptation to point out a piece that will get everyone worked up over nothing. Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that the Yankees are furious that Alex Rodriguez did not immediately inform them that he had been contacted by the…

  9. Cuban shortstop free to sign with any team

    Mar 6, 2010, 8:45 AM EST

    According to his agent Bart Hernandez, Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria is now able to sign with any team. Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com tweeted the news last night. Hechavarria was temporarily blocked as the Office of Foreign Assets Committee verified his age, identity and residency. Many scouts like the 21-year-old Hechavarria better than Jose Iglesias, who…

  10. Jimenez makes spring debut after traffic jam

    Mar 5, 2010, 9:59 PM EST

    Ubaldo Jimenez was scheduled to make his Cactus League debut during Friday’s split-squad game against the Angels, but was delayed nearly two hours because of a traffic jam following a fatal bus crash that killed more than six people and left more than 15 people injured in an area just south of Tempe. Jimenez elected…

  11. Jenrry Mejia impresses in spring debut

    Mar 5, 2010, 7:34 PM EST

    Don’t tell Craig, but there are some other exciting prospects playing in the Grapefruit League besides Jason Heyward. One of them is Mets right-hander Jenrry Mejia. The 20-year-old Dominican has generated some considerable buzz, most notably from Darryl Strawberry earlier this week: “I went to Omar and told him, ‘You’ve got to make this guy…

  12. Royals could go to Kendall in No. 2 spot

    Mar 5, 2010, 6:00 PM EST

    Not that manager Trey Hillman’s lineup is going to make or break the Royals offense this year — it’s already obviously broken — but Jason Kendall has hit second the last two days and could be an option there in the regular season. For what it’s worth, Hillman told the Kansas City Star that no…

  13. Catching up with Bryce Harper

    Mar 5, 2010, 5:40 PM EST

    Phenom Bryce Harper has been on a parental-imposed media blackout for much of the winter. He emerges a bit today with a profile in the Las Vegas Review-Journal.  It’s a good read if for no other reason than it reminds you that Harper is painfully, painfully young to be going through what he’s been going…

  14. Quote of the Day II: Jon Heyman

    Mar 5, 2010, 5:10 PM EST

    bengie molina homers. regardless, what were Mets thinking? this guy can play. – Jon Heyman tweeting after Bengie Molina hit a home run in the second game of spring training. Heyman is seemingly overlooking the fact that Molina is a career .276/.308/.418 hitter — coming off a worse year than that — and is on…

  15. Specialist says thyroid imbalance 'should have no long-term affect on' Reyes

    Mar 5, 2010, 4:40 PM EST

    Brian Costa of the Newark Star Ledger talked to New York Thyroid Center co-director Robert McConnell about Jose Reyes’ overactive thyroid gland: I wouldn’t think he should be inconvenienced for more than a few weeks or a month or so. This should have absolutely no long-term affect on his career. Depending on the level of…

  16. The fruits of monopoly: Topps needs Photoshop lessons

    Mar 5, 2010, 4:15 PM EST

    Take some time to look at this new Cliff Lee card from Topps and tell me if you see anything wrong with it:And no, it’s not just the fact that he has never pitched a game for the Mariners. You figured they’d Photoshop that. It’s the poor job they did that irks. I mean, why…

  17. Looper at home, 'waiting for an acceptable offer'

    Mar 5, 2010, 3:46 PM EST

    MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that Braden Looper “is doing all he can to stay in shape at home near Chicago, waiting for an acceptable offer” from the Dodgers (or another team, in theory). Los Angeles was linked to Looper throughout the offseason, particularly once their other starter targets like Joel Pineiro and Jon Garland signed…

  18. Why the Yankees won't repeat

    Mar 5, 2010, 3:30 PM EST

    The Yankees look good, but they can be beat this year. Easy? No. Only a precise hit will set up a chain reaction and the shaft is ray-shielded, so you’ll have to use proton torpedoes, but FOX’s Dayn Perry says it can be done: So the Yankees are bound to repeat, right? No, actually they’re…

  19. Why Prince Fielder may sign early with the Brewers

    Mar 5, 2010, 3:15 PM EST

    The fact that Boras — a dude who hardly ever has elite clients sign early — would talk to the Brewers about Prince Fielder two years before free agency was something of a head scratcher when we learned about it yesterday. But then I read Heyman’s column today (don’t think I enjoy it; I have…

  20. One practice, two leg injuries for Grilli, Brown

    Mar 5, 2010, 2:49 PM EST

    Today’s practice was a costly one for the Indians, who lost both reliever Jason Grilli and outfield prospect Jordan Brown to leg injuries during the same workout. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that “Grilli’s leg was immobilized as he was taken off the field” after suffering the injury during an agility drill.…

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