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  1. Ryan Howard, Phillies sign a five year, $125 million contract extension

    Apr 26, 2010, 2:28 PM EST

    UPDATE:  Done deal. 5 years, $125 million. It kicks in starting in 2012.  This seems like a really bad, really unnecessary move for the Phillies. More later on this, of course. 2:20 P.M.: Part of what we do here is pass along rumors. When it’s one that I’m really dubious about, I make extra sure…

  2. Going crazy about Javy Vazquez

    Apr 26, 2010, 2:13 PM EST

    Earlier today I made a comment about how talk radio would go crazy on Javier Vazquez. I haven’t listened to any New York talk radio today to see if they have, but regardless, I owe the radio people an apology for suggesting that they have a monopoly on overreaction. Web writers are just as capable…

  3. Alan Embree will opt out of Red Sox deal if not called up this week

    Apr 26, 2010, 1:45 PM EST

    When he signed a minor-league contract with the Red Sox during spring training Alan Embree had the right to opt out of the deal if he wasn’t on the major-league roster by April 15. Once that date arrived and the Red Sox had no plans to promote him Embree extended the deadline to April 30,…

  4. Your Monday Afternoon Power Rankings

    Apr 26, 2010, 1:16 PM EST

    1. Rays:  Ho-hum, another two of three in each of their series last week. It’s exactly that kind of tick-tock boredom that is the stuff of division titles. 2. Yankees:  If one bum starting pitcher is your biggest problem, you’re doing pretty well. 3. Twins: Beating up on the Indians and the Royals may not…

  5. Joe Blanton set to make final rehab appearance

    Apr 26, 2010, 12:45 PM EST

    Sidelined since the end of spring training with an oblique injury, Joe Blanton is scheduled to make his third and final minor league rehab start Wednesday. Blanton threw just three innings in his previous outing, so he’ll need to increase his pitch count significantly in order to rejoin the Phillies’ rotation as planned next week.…

  6. The Yankees will visit the White House this afternoon

    Apr 26, 2010, 12:15 PM EST

    It’s the only time Bombers are allowed there: Jeter and his teammates will make the trip from Baltimore to Washington to visit wounded veterans Monday morning at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, then proceed to the White House to meet with President Obama Monday afternoon. My understanding is that only those players who were…

  7. Red Sox sign Cuban catcher Adalberto Ibarra for $4.3 million

    Apr 26, 2010, 11:40 AM EST

    Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox have signed Cuban catcher Adalberto Ibarra for $4.3 million. According to Abraham he gets a major-league deal, which means the 22-year-old Ibarra will immediately be placed on the 40-man roster and his options clock will start ticking. I haven’t been able to find much…

  8. Is Andruw Jones back?

    Apr 26, 2010, 11:16 AM EST

    The White Sox’ Andruw Jones has gotten off to a fantastic start: .292/.404/.708 with six home runs, including the walkoff job on Friday night.  Is the guy who once wowed us with his defense back to being a productive player after years in the wilderness? Not so fast says FanGraph’s R.J. Anderson, who notes that…

  9. Tensions escalate between MLB and Dominican scouts

    Apr 26, 2010, 10:49 AM EST

    MLB Trade Rumors’ Nick Collias continues to stay on top of the increasingly strained relationship between Major League Baseball and various baseball factions in the Dominican Republic. The latest: scouts have barred members of the Major League Scouting Bureau from watching players at several recent exhibitions on the island. In apparent retaliation, Major League Baseball…

  10. MLB-licensed tools? Sure, why not?

    Apr 26, 2010, 10:27 AM EST

    Usually when we talk about “tools” on this blog, we’re talking about those players who are able to run fast, throw hard, hit the ball far and be almost completely unable to actually play the game of baseball. Sports Business Journal has an article up about tools today, however, and they sound like something that…

  11. Cubs, White Sox to play for a trophy

    Apr 26, 2010, 10:11 AM EST

    The Mediocrity Cup? Multiple sources tell the Tribune that during a Monday morning news conference, the Cubs and White Sox will announce a new tradition — a trophy (and the public bragging rights) to the club which wins the annual city series between them. We’re told a tiebreaker is in place should the teams split…

  12. Despite solid start, Wakefield still bullpen bound

    Apr 26, 2010, 9:43 AM EST

    In his final start before giving way to Daisuke Matsuzaka in the Red Sox’s rotation, Tim Wakefield held the Orioles to two runs over 6.2 innings Sunday and afterward indicated that he’s unhappy about the impending move to the bullpen. Terry Francona quickly tried to bring some calm to the situation by saying: “This is…

  13. Chris Jakubauskas released from hospital, flies with team

    Apr 26, 2010, 9:28 AM EST

    Here’s some good news: Pirates pitcher Chris Jakubauskas was released from from the hospital yesterday and was able to fly with his team from Houston to Milwaukee.  He’s on the 15-day disabled list, however, diagnosed with a concussion and head contusion. In case you missed it, Jakubauskas was nailed in the side of the head…

  14. Former Nats pitcher Mike Bacsik is a racist

    Apr 26, 2010, 9:12 AM EST

    Remember Mike Bacsik? He was the guy who served up home run number 756 to Barry Bonds back in 2007. Back in January he was accused by former teammate Tim Redding of grooving the pitch to Bonds, which caused a minor dustup. Bacsik came out of that looking OK, though, because it turns out that…

  15. Chad Billingsley bounces back versus Nationals

    Apr 26, 2010, 8:44 AM EST

    Chad Billingsley seemed to be in danger of losing his rotation spot after an ugly outing last week, but Joe Torre stuck with him and the 25-year-old right-hander bounced back with six innings of one-run ball Sunday. Billingsley actually took the tough loss in a 1-0 game as Scott Olsen surprisingly shut out the Dodgers…

  16. A-Rod is the slowest home run trotter on the Yankees

    Apr 26, 2010, 8:30 AM EST

    Friend of the blog lar from Wezen-Ball has been keeping track of how long it takes hitters to circle the bases after hitting home runs. The feature — The Tater Trot Tracker — is all kinds of fun, and since he started it I find myself mentally timing home run trots and then going and…

  17. Joe Girardi's indecision leads to Kendry Morales' game-icing homer

    Apr 26, 2010, 8:12 AM EST

    A curious thing happened in Anaheim yesterday, as Joe Girardi decided to have Damaso Marte pitch to Kendry Morales in the bottom of the seventh with two on and two out, the Bombers down by one.  Fair enough. I hate intentional walks anyway, but especially hate them when first base isn’t open or when the…

  18. And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

    Apr 26, 2010, 5:31 AM EST

    Cubs 12, Brewers 2: The Cubs sweep the Brewers in convincing fashion, outscoring them 25-4. It’s like they’re the Pirates’ older brother or something, kicking the bully’s butt after that 20-0 beatdown. Astros 10, Pirates 3: Of course at some point the best way to defend your little brother is to let him get his…

  19. The Week Ahead: Cliff Lee to make Mariners debut

    Apr 26, 2010, 1:12 AM EST

    Cliff Lee was dominant in his rehab start on Sunday for Triple-A Tacoma, tossing six shutout innings against Salt Lake. The former AL Cy Young winner threw only 68 pitches, allowing three hits and no walks while striking out four. Two of the hits were a bunt single and a fly ball that the center…

  20. Giants' Freddy Sanchez finally nearing return

    Apr 25, 2010, 6:11 PM EST

    Freddy Sanchez has played only 25 games in a Giants uniform despite being with the club since July 29 of last year.  It was a shoulder injury that kept him sidelined in 2009 and knee surgery has him on the disabled list this month.  Well, we finally have some good news on the 32-year-old second…

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