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  1. UPDATE: The Jays sign Shawn Marcum; Five arbitration eligible player to go

    Jan 18, 2010, 2:27 PM EST

    UPDATE: One down, five to go, as Shawn Marcum signs, avoiding arbitration. The deal is for $850,000, which ain’t bad for your top starter.  Now, whether having Shawn Marcum as your top starter is another question . . . 1:25 P.M.: Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star reports that the Blue Jays have decided to…

  2. Bobby Valentine was done dirty by the Chiba Lotte Marines

    Jan 18, 2010, 2:25 PM EST

    Robert Whiting wrote one of my favorite baseball books ever in You Gotta Have Wa.  Now he has the inside story of Bobby Valentine’s final days as the manager for the Chiba Lotte Marines. On level it wasn’t personal, it was just business: the team and the parent company was losing money and they just…

  3. Riggleman talks Capps, Guzman, and Dukes

    Jan 18, 2010, 1:51 PM EST’s Ben Goessling “caught up with Nationals manager Jim Riggleman” for an interview this morning and the lengthy Q&A session included some noteworthy tidbits: Matt Capps will enter spring training as the clear favorite for closer duties, but Brian Bruney may also get some ninth-inning chances and Riggleman “might” use Eddie Guardado or Sean Burnett…

  4. Geovany Soto looks . . . interesting

    Jan 18, 2010, 1:10 PM EST

    Aaron’s last post was great and all, but it left out one of the most important things about the Cubs’ chances this coming season:  the impact of Geovany Soto’s waxed eyebrows. Dear Lord. I think those are worth 3 points of WARJC alone (Wins Above Replacement Joan Crawford).

  5. Jose Offerman (still) has anger-management issues

    Jan 18, 2010, 1:10 PM EST

    Monday update: Offerman has been “suspended for life” by the Dominican Republic’s winter league.5:50 PM: Update: A group of American umpires working in the Dominican winter league, including the one who was attacked by Offerman, have decided to leave the country for fear of their safety, reports Enrique Rojas of Hard to blame them…

  6. Piniella announces Cubs batting order with Byrd fifth, Soriano sixth

    Jan 18, 2010, 12:50 PM EST

    Speaking at the annual Cubs convention over the weekend, manager Lou Piniella revealed that new center fielder Marlon Byrd has been penciled into the No. 5 spot in the batting order and Alfonso Soriano will remain in the No. 6 spot that he filled during the second half of last season. Soriano spent his first…

  7. Is Omar Minaya finally about to get the axe?

    Jan 18, 2010, 12:24 PM EST

    Everybody is still up in arms with the way the Mets handled the thing with Carlos Beltran’s surgery, but the conventional wisdom — stoked by the fact that assistant GM John Ricco, and not Minaya, gave the team’s public comments on the matter — is that Omar Minaya is most responsible for the screwup, having…

  8. Matt Kemp is having a pretty decent month

    Jan 18, 2010, 11:48 AM EST

    Some guys have all the luck. Last week Matt Kemp signed a deal with the Dodgers that buys out his first two seasons of arbitration eligibility for $11 million and then over the weekend he watched LeBron James from his courtside seat at a Los Angeles Clippers game. Oh yeah, and seated next to him…

  9. What if Cal Ripken came clean?

    Jan 18, 2010, 11:30 AM EST

    No one’s accusing him, but Dan LeBatard is wondering what would happen if Cal Ripken was found to have used steroids and had a press conference of his own, and quotes at length from Ripken’s imagined speech.  It’s long and worth a full read so I won’t block quote it here. Go read it. I’ll…

  10. Please, leave the Yankees caps alone

    Jan 18, 2010, 11:15 AM EST

    I know it’s just a spring training cap and that they make the players wear them simply so that goobers like me will buy them, but if I assumed power of this country via a bloodless coup I’d outlaw this kind of thing. Not that it’s the worst offender I’ve ever seen. It’s quite conservative,…

  11. Miguel Tejada goes to Haiti

    Jan 18, 2010, 11:00 AM EST

    Sometimes it seems like 90% of what we write about players off-the-field is negative. Thank God for that other 10%: Free-agent shortstop Miguel Tejada has traveled to Haiti to help the victims of last week’s devastating earthquake. Tejada, a six-time All-Star and former Oriole, arranged for a van full of food, water and medicine to…

  12. What would you do with a 26-man roster?

    Jan 18, 2010, 10:30 AM EST

    Jonah Keri speculates that when the labor deal is revisited after the 2011 season the owners may offer up a 26th roster spot to the union in exchange for one thing or another.  Seems totally plausible to me. He also assumes that rather than do something useful such as add a position player and increase…

  13. Babe Ruth should have gone in to Cooperstown as a Brave

    Jan 18, 2010, 9:58 AM EST

    I realize that it’s a holiday and the day after a big football weekend and that we’re really in the doldrums of the offseason, but can someone tell me if there’s a less compelling question in baseball than whether Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine will go into the Hall of Fame wearing Braves caps? I…

  14. The Yankees are selling more of their old junk than the Mets are

    Jan 18, 2010, 9:28 AM EST

    The Mets are selling old Shea Stadium seats for $869. The Yankees are selling old Yankee Stadium seats* for $1,499.  Despite this, the Yankees have outsold the Mets 15,000 to 10,311.  I’d be curious to hear New Yorkers’ take on the subject, but given that the Yankee Stadium seats only date back to the mid-70s…

  15. Darren Daulton talks some sense

    Jan 18, 2010, 8:58 AM EST

    Retired Phillies catcher Darren Daulton believes in alchemy, auras, telepathy, energy transfers, astral planes, planetary ascension, and parallel universes.  He believes that he had an had out of body experiences while playing at Wrigley Field one day. He believes that the universe is created and sustained by numerical synchronicities — the number 11 is particularly…

  16. Jim Edmonds and the Cardinals bury the hatchet

    Jan 18, 2010, 8:30 AM EST

    Things got a bit testy between Jim Edmonds and Tony La Russa when Edmonds wore a Cubs uniform.  Base on his appearance at La Russa’s animal rescue benefit yesterday, it seems as though at least Edmonds is willing to put those few months in a Cubs uniform behind him: Upon arriving to the stage as…

  17. Is Mark McGwire being treated differently than other PED confessors?

    Jan 18, 2010, 8:00 AM EST

    As Mark McGwire continues to be called a liar and a fraud for his claim that he took steroids because he was injured and not because he thought they’d enhance performance, it’s probably worth remembering another player’s comments about his PED use: “I was injured . . . I felt an obligation to get back…

  18. Miss baseball? Spring training is a month away

    Jan 18, 2010, 2:41 AM EST

    With apologies to the likes of Joel Pineiro and Johnny Damon, who are still looking for work, the hot stove has pretty much cooled down to a slow, dull simmer. These are the dog days of the offseason. But for those of you – like myself – who are missing baseball, we have some good…

  19. Diving into the depths: Oakland Athletics

    Jan 17, 2010, 6:04 PM EST

    This is part of a 30-article series looking at each team’s depth chart headed into spring training. Oakland Athletics Rotation 1. Justin Duchscherer 2. Dallas Braden 3. Brett Anderson 4. Trevor Cahill 5. Gio Gonzalez 6. Dana Eveland 7. Vin Mazzaro 8. Clay Mortensen 9. Lenny DiNardo 10. James Simmons Particularly since Duchscherer is such…

  20. "Three or four teams" interested in Jim Thome

    Jan 17, 2010, 4:20 PM EST

    Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe went over the wealth of free agents left on the market earlier this morning. We’ve covered a couple of them here today, including Joe Crede and Joel Pineiro, but Scott Merkin of passes along word that three or four teams — including the Rays — have contacted free…

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