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  1. Oakland wants to use federal funds to help the A's

    Dec 16, 2009, 6:00 PM EST

    Missed this the other day, but the excellent Field of Schemes blog reports that Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums has suggested using federal stimulus funds to help build a ballpark for the A’s: The City of Oakland would not spend any public money on constructing a new ballpark in Jack London Square for the Oakland A’s,…

  2. Sidney Ponson: the anti-Cy Young

    Dec 16, 2009, 5:31 PM EST

    There are few players I find more loathsome than Sidney Ponson. He’s really the worst of all worlds as a pitcher and a human being. If you’re going to be a drunk, at least be an amiable one. If you’re going to be a jackass, don’t be a drunk. No matter what you do, at…

  3. Tigers give Santiago a two-year extension

    Dec 16, 2009, 5:05 PM EST

    As if losing Roy Halladay wasn’t bad enough, another potential 2010-11 free agent went off the board on Wednesday, as the Tigers signed shortstop Ramon Santiago to a two-year, $2.5 million deal. The 30-year-old Santiago would have been eligible for major league free agency for the next time next winter. Santiago hit .267/.318/.386 with a…

  4. Eri Yoshida is coming to America

    Dec 16, 2009, 4:40 PM EST

    Eri Yoshida, for those of you who don’t know, is the Female knuckleballer who played for the Kobe 9 Cruise of the Japanese independent leagues last year. She went 0-2 in 11 games.  Having obviously conquered Japan, she’s now aiming her flutterball at the United States, saying on her blog that she’s going to pitch…

  5. Rockies backing away from Yorvit Torrealba over $400,000?

    Dec 16, 2009, 4:10 PM EST

    Reports last week had the Rockies offering Yorvit Torrealba a two-year, $5.6 million deal to re-sign while the veteran catcher asked for a total of $6 million. At the time I commented that “only $400,000 stands in the way of a seemingly inevitable agreement,” but the two sides look increasingly unlikely to bridge that relatively…

  6. Signing Lackey doesn't mean the Sox won't extend Beckett

    Dec 16, 2009, 3:40 PM EST

    There has been speculation that the Red Sox’ signing of John Lackey was just as much about providing a hedge against the departure of Josh Beckett after next season as it was about winning next season. That’s not so according to Theo Epstein, who said this at the John Lackey press conference: “I sent Josh…

  7. UPDATE: OK, maybe the Mets aren't "close" on Bay

    Dec 16, 2009, 3:25 PM EST

    UPDATE: OK, people are now saying that the Lupica Twitter page is fake.  This would crush my dreams, because the one thing I’ve always wanted was instant access to Mike Lupica’s opinions. 3:54 P.M.  Mike Lupica tweets — a phrase I never thought I’d say — that the Mets are “close” with Jason Bay and…

  8. UPDATE: flunked physical report debunked; Halladay-Lee deal final; press conferences scheduled

    Dec 16, 2009, 3:01 PM EST

    UPDATE:  All of that business about the flunked physicals from a couple of hours ago is totally bogus. Everyone is fine, Selig still has to sign off on the $6 million going to Philly, but  the deal is done and the Phillies and Mariners are going to have press conferences announcing the deals later this…

  9. Pirates interested in Kelly Johnson as outfielder

    Dec 16, 2009, 2:43 PM EST

    Non-tendered by the Braves last week, Kelly Johnson is said to be drawing serious interest from the Pirates, but Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports that they view him as a corner outfielder rather than a second baseman. Pittsburgh has previously been linked to free agents like Rick Ankiel and Hank Blalock, so…

  10. Johnny Damon: "I can't wait forever"

    Dec 16, 2009, 2:20 PM EST

    On the New York Yankees, that is: “I am going to start looking around. Teams are getting better and there are teams interested. I can’t wait forever and I am sure [the Yankees] are trying to figure things out. I have to be ready . . . Matt Holliday, the stuff on him is starting…

  11. Diamondbacks looking for closer, but reunion with Valverde too costly

    Dec 16, 2009, 1:48 PM EST

    Jose Valverde spent the first five years of his career in Arizona and the Diamondbacks are in the closer market with an eye toward sliding Chad Qualls back into a setup role, but Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that “it appears his asking price puts him out of their budget.” There was speculation…

  12. Jamey Carroll to chose between his multiple offers today

    Dec 16, 2009, 1:20 PM EST

    As I said the other day, it’s quite something that a utility infielder has multiple multi-year contracts from which to choose. Guys like Jamey Carroll are practically disposable. But at least a couple of teams don’t think so, and Buster Olney tweets that Carroll is expected to choose between the offers sometime today. Buster says…

  13. Are the Red Sox gearing up for Adrian Gonzalez?

    Dec 16, 2009, 12:51 PM EST

    Boston signing John Lackey and Mike Cameron has Bill Center of the San Diego Union Tribune thinking that the Red Sox are preparing to make another run at Adrian Gonzalez. And sure enough’s Ken Rosenthal wrote this morning that they’re “working hard to obtain” the Padres first baseman. Center tosses out Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay…

  14. The hockey rink in Fenway Park

    Dec 16, 2009, 12:40 PM EST

    If you’re curious what the ice rink for that New Year’s Day game between the Bruins and Flyers in Fenway Park is going to look like, here’s a pic, courtesy of Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe. I hope that the guys have a pool set up that will pay out for shots off the…

  15. The Blue Jays on Broadway

    Dec 16, 2009, 12:23 PM EST

    The Blue Jays may have lost Roy Halladay, but at least they found someone with a better name to fill the roster slot: Lance Broadway!  Oh wait. It’s a minor league deal, so it doesn’t even fill the roster slot. Still a cool name, though! Even if he’s a really poor pitcher who was just…

  16. Details on Cameron's contract and likely role

    Dec 16, 2009, 11:50 AM EST

    Mike Cameron is meeting the Boston media any second now and Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald sheds some light on his contract details and likely role with the Red Sox. According to Silverman … * Cameron has limited no-trade protection as part of his two-year, $15.5 million deal, which further shows that the Red…

  17. David Freese was REALLY drunk

    Dec 16, 2009, 11:30 AM EST

    On Monday we noted that Cardinals’ third baseman David Freese was charged with DWI.  We didn’t know then just how drunk he was. The answer: really, really drunk: Cardinals third baseman David R. Freese was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.232 — almost three times the legal limit in Missouri — when he…

  18. Jason Marquis is interested in helping the Nats

    Dec 16, 2009, 11:00 AM EST

    Even if Jason Marquis isn’t a great pitcher, he’s definitely a great pitchman.  When the Mets had some interest in him he went all-in on his “I’m a New York guy” spiel. Now that the Mets’ interest has cooled, he has launched straight into “I can help the Nats” mode: Marquis said he can be…

  19. The Mets go to five years on Bay, to meet with Boras on Holliday

    Dec 16, 2009, 10:30 AM EST

    Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are getting aggressive on Jason Bay, upping their offer to five years, while also inquiring about Matt Holliday. This is interesting in terms of leverage. On the one hand, it’s strange to see the Mets go an extra year on Bay a day after the Red Sox cut the…

  20. Aroldis Chapman's old agents sue his new ones

    Dec 16, 2009, 10:00 AM EST

    That little workout in Houston wasn’t the only thing happening in Aroldis Chapman land yesterday. The other thing: Athletes Premier International and Edwin Mejia — his original agents —  sued his new agents, Hendricks Sports Management, claiming that they illegally lured him away after API and Mejia went through all the trouble of helping Chapman…

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