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Baseball Insider: March 15, 2009 - March 21, 2009

Shawn Hill's New Home: Toronto?

Well, at least that's what it looks like. According to the Globe and Mail's Jeff Blair, the Blue Jays are already in serious negotiations with the former Nats starter, a move that makes a lot of sense both for Hill and Toronto. Why does it make sense for both sides?...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 21, 2009; 9:13 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Blue Jays  
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The Dontrelle Willis Problem

Here at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Fla., the Detroit Tigers made a new round of roster cuts this morning, evicting a would-be catcher, right-handed pitcher and utility infielder from the clubhouse, trimming their roster to 45. Forty-four of the survivors are players for whom the Tigers have high hopes...

By Dave Sheinin  |  March 20, 2009; 5:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
 
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

LOOK AT THAT CHILI DOG! Red Sox outfielder Jason Bay is awfully surprised -- and probably impressed -- with something. Whether the item in question is a particularly nasty cutter or an oversized food item is up to you. When faced with that quandary, we always choose oversized food...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 20, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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More Positive Fallout From Dutch WBC Run

It was almost an eventuality that someone would take a shot with former Orioles ace Sidney Ponson after the Netherlands' shocking run in the recent World Baseball Classic. That anyone else would get a chance was much less clear. Yet, that's exactly what seems to be happening. According to Globe...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 20, 2009; 10:23 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Blue Jays  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

POP UP OR NUCLEAR SAFETY DRILL? Twins third baseman Brendan Harris made this grab against the Marlins last week, but the way he and catcher Drew Butera were scampering low to the ground, they easily could have been running off to "duck and cover", couldn't they? (Charles Krupa/AP)...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 19, 2009; 4:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Twins  
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Orioles Want Guthrie Back

As much time as we've spent talking about trying to fill out the bottom of the Orioles rotation, little time has been spent talking about the team's de facto ace Jeremy Guthrie. But with the pitching situation looking bleaker by the day, and Guthrie not figuring to pitch this weekend...

By CJ Holley  |  March 19, 2009; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Orioles  
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Bard Gets Deja Vu, Four Years On

Pity poor Josh Bard. The man never did anything to hurt Red Sox nation, but he keeps getting burned by Boston nonetheless. For the second time in four years, the backup catcher was sent packing from the Red Sox, this time even less honorably than the first time: He was...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 19, 2009; 2:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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We Should Be Talking About Korea

Somewhere, obscured by the madness inducing run of the Netherlands and the U.S.'s inspiring ninth-inning rally to stave off elimination, an Asian baseball team was taking the World Baseball Classic by storm. Sure, it's just the incredibly efficient Japanese again, right? Nope, not this time. Instead, South Korea is suddenly...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 19, 2009; 12:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Who Will Sign Shawn Hill?

When the Nationals pulled the trigger on Wednesday's surprising Joe Beimel signing, someone had to go. As Chico reported yesterday, when the guy to go became Shawn Hill, a lot of people were surprised or upset, not least of all Nationals manager Manny Acta himself. That says a lot about...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 19, 2009; 10:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Nationals  
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Rain Further Muddles Arms Race

"Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains. Think about that for a while." - Nuke LaLoosh, Bull Durham Of course, in the Orioles case, you can get a couple of those things to happen on the same day. Such was the situation Wednesday when the Orioles saw...

By CJ Holley  |  March 19, 2009; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles  
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Odd Man Out in Mets' Competition: Freddy Garcia

At least that's the story coming from Bart Hubbach of the New York Post. Of course, Hubbach is just the first to say what most writers covering the Mets have seen coming for most of spring training. Garcia has been rocked in each and every one of his starts this...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 18, 2009; 5:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mets  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

CUBAN BASEBALL: NOW WITH YOGA! OK, so these pitching drills aren't quite yoga, but they fall safely under the category of an "alternative practice" workout, don't you think? Also, there's this: What did the two guys who are without towels do wrong? Please say it was something about Castro...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 18, 2009; 2:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
 
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Why Pudge Is a Huge Step For Houston

On Monday, the Astros reached agreement on a one-year, $1.5 million deal with veteran catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez. On Tuesday, they rested. Just as significantly, members of the Astros organization raved about what Rodriguez might bring to the team, adding veteran leadership and a more reliable bat. All the hype...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 18, 2009; 12:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Astros  
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Sir Sidney Now a Royal

Just last week we were wondering if former Oriole (and Giant and Yankee and Cardinal and Twin and Ranger) Sidney Ponson was going to get another shot in the majors after a good showing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. The answer turned out to be yes. The...

By CJ Holley  |  March 18, 2009; 10:19 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Orioles , Royals  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

HEY! I STILL GOT IT! Hall of Fame inductee Rickey Henderson has never been bashful about his talents, though he may have gone a bit too far by stripping off his pants and his button down to try and convince A's manager Bob Geren to put him in. Then...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 17, 2009; 4:29 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Athletics  
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Spun Out Rotation

For a team that once sported over 30 pitchers vying for spots, the Orioles' competition for the starting rotation has certainly thinned out. At this point the only pitchers locked in to the rotation are Jeremy Guthrie and Koji Uehara. Of course, Uehara is nursing an injured hamstring that has...

By CJ Holley  |  March 17, 2009; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Orioles  
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Too Many Injuries, Too Early

If you're a fan of the following teams, the past couple weeks has been a little rough: The Cubs, Red Sox, Phillies, Marlins Brewers, Dodgers ... or forget it. If you're a baseball fan, your team probably has a big gun who's nursing an injury right now. I'm not exaggerating...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 17, 2009; 12:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
 
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Brian Roberts: American Hero

Okay, perhaps that's a stretch but Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts was pretty effective in his first game as a member of Team USA. Roberts, called to play in the WBC after Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia strained his oblique, went 3 for 3 with two walks and...

By CJ Holley  |  March 17, 2009; 10:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Orioles  
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Pudge to Sign With Houston

In the midst of an impressive showing in the World Baseball Classic, free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez has finally landed a new major league deal. Rodriguez and the Houston Astros have reportedly come to terms on a one-year, $1.5 million contract that could pay an additional $1.5 million based upon...

By CJ Holley  |  March 16, 2009; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Astros , Marlins , Tigers , Yankees  
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Moment of Levity: The Big Picture

OK, SO WHOSE TOES ARE THIRD BASE? Cuba's Alfredo Dispaigne Rodriguez, bottom, and Hector Olivera Amaro are unwittingly creating a model baseball diamond, though it's uncertain whether we're starting down over home plate or center field. (KC Alfred/Associated Press)...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 16, 2009; 3:21 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
 
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Despite Success, Venezuelan Heat On Ordonez

Magglio Ordonez never did anything to Venezuela to upset the general populace. Or at least he never meant to. Instead, because of a commercial he appeared in that is running in Venezuela right now, he's getting booed incessantly whenever he comes to the plate. Ordonez, who has long held a...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 16, 2009; 11:52 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Tigers  
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Padres, Not Nats, Sign Sanchez

When the Mets released Duaner Sanchez last week, there was plenty of scuttlebutt that the Nationals would love to add him. It's a move that made sense; when his velocity is there, Sanchez can be a dominant back-end relief option. Unfortunately for the Mets and Sanchez himself, the velocity has...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 16, 2009; 9:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Nationals , Padres  
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Lugo Injury Could Set Boston Infield

UPDATE: Well, Mass General wasn't sure what precisely was wrong with Julio Lugo's knee, either, so he's going to have exploratory arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday, according to Dan Barbarisi of the Providence Journal The team still expects that Lugo has torn meniscus, but they just don't don't know how...

By Cameron Smith  |  March 15, 2009; 5:51 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Red Sox  
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Top Pitching Prospects Among First Cuts

Some of the Orioles' best young pitchers are included in the first wave of cuts made by the team Saturday. Jake Arrieta, Brian Matusz and Chris Tillman were among the 12 Orioles sent down to the minors with Matusz likely headed to Class A Frederick, Arrieta to Class AA Bowie...

By CJ Holley  |  March 15, 2009; 12:09 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Orioles  
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