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By Patrick Smith
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January 26, 2015 at 5:30 am ET
Negatory on That: Duquette stays put

Toronto-dan-LogoWord from Toronto is that the Jays are ending their weird pursuit of Orioles GM Dan Duquette. Toronto couldn’t stomach the steep package of prospects Baltimore wanted in exchange for its top baseball guy.

TORONTO: Dear Baltimore, we want to make your GM our CEO.

BALTIMORE: Sure. And we’ll take the Buffalo Bisons, Tim Horton’s, Lake Ontario, Neil Young and the CN Tower.

Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Dividi wrote Sunday that negotiations between the teams have ended and the Jays don’t want to part with the Orioles’ demands of Jeff Hoffman, Max Pentecost and Mitch Nay and more, according to Dividi.

Why shouldn’t the O’s gut Toronto’s farm system in exchange for the exec who led the team out of the ...

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By Landon Evanson
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January 25, 2015 at 3:06 pm ET
We lost another one

BanksWhen a friend of mine messaged me to say that Ernie Banks had passed on Friday, I was floored. Didn’t see it coming, even though Mr. Cub was 83 years old.

I’m not a Cubs fan and never saw Banks play, but more than any other sport, baseball celebrates the past and keeps the spirit and importance of its titans alive.

And Banks was most certainly a giant....

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By Wayne Laufert
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January 21, 2015 at 4:24 pm ET
Time Off: See You in 1 Minute, 45 Seconds

baseball clockWhen you invite a group of people to dinner, there’s always one guy you have to lie to. If you want everyone to show up by 7 p.m., you tell him the reservations are for 6:45. Everyone gets the 6:45 e-mail. Everyone but that guy gets the follow-up message saying that, shhh, it’s really 7:00.

That’s what Major League Baseball wants, I’ve concluded after reading an ESPN report by Jayson Stark. An MLB proposal, he writes while citing unnamed sources, would require “pitchers … to finish their warm-up pitches and be ready to make their first pitch of an inning 30 seconds before the end of all between-inning commercial breaks [and hitters] to be in the batter’s box, ready to ...

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By Landon Evanson
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January 20, 2015 at 11:14 pm ET
Royals Redemption: A B&C Interview with Willie Mays Aikens

Aikens eye blackWillie Aikens was tabbed “the next Willie McCovey” by then Kansas City Royals manager Jim Frey, and the slugging first baseman’s prodigious power didn’t disappoint. Aikens slammed four home runs in the 1980 World Series, but was soon derailed by cocaine addiction that would end a promising baseball career and land Aikens in prison.

Aikens’ story did not end there, however, it was merely the beginning. After finding his faith while incarcerated, Aikens went on to write a book that is not only can’t-put-it-down good, but also one of redemption. Aikens is now a coach with the Royals organization and travels to speaking engagements to tell his story and deter other people from making the same mistakes he made....

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By Duke Jackson
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January 20, 2015 at 5:55 am ET
Elderly Owner + MASN Dispute – Impending Free Agents = The Max Scherzer Contract

c06-v3-scherzer-16-1024x657Ted Lerner, principal owner of the Washington Nationals, is 89 years-old. Mr. Lerner, a man worth north of $4B, is probably like a lot of rich old people: hyper-competitive and used to getting what he wants when he wants it, especially when it comes to business.

But man, I have to be honest: I did NOT see this one coming. The details are incredible: $210M for seven years of Max Scherzer, to be paid out over 14 seasons. It’s a creative deal that controls costs for the foreseeable future, ensures the Nats will maintain a top-line rotation beyond 2015, and gives the team the “proven Ace” Jordan Zimmermann and Steve Strasburg were supposed to become when they were drafted by ...

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By Patrick Smith
1 Comment
January 19, 2015 at 4:30 pm ET
Dead to Me: The Toronto Blue Jays
I don't like it. I don't like it one bit.

I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

Sniff, sniff. Hey what stinks?

It seems to be coming from up there. No, not New York; higher. Not Boston, either. It’s up that way, but a little higher.

I can’t believe it: it’s coming from Toronto.

The Blue Jays, owned by the goddamn Canadian phone company, have decided they want Baltimore GM Dan Duquette to be their president and CEO.

Since when it is OK to start poking around other teams’ – teams in your own division, even – executives, four years before their contracts expire?

The Blue Jays are dead to me. Dead!

Seriously, is there a more bloodless, soulless franchise in pro sports than the Toronto Blue Jays? ...

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By Drew Perry
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January 15, 2015 at 12:30 pm ET
How Can I Just Let You Walk Away?

GattisOnce, in my not-so-distant youth, I traded an almost-perfectly functioning 1992 Saturn to my landlord’s shade-tree mechanic in exchange for him—the mechanic—failing to repair the rear main seal on a 1981 Chevy half-ton pickup that reeked of mouse urine on humid days. Mice had once lived in the heater core; to get to the heater core was worse, even, than the smell. My landlord sold me that truck for $1100. I wanted a truck. An old truck. A lot. The Saturn got 40 highway mpg before an in-town mechanic replaced a wiring harness backwards and made the car smoke. I did not know about the backwards harness. I did not know the rear main seal on the truck was not ...

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By Duke Jackson
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January 15, 2015 at 5:47 am ET
Tyler, We Hardly Knew Ye

ClippardWell, I guess we saw this coming. Ever since last year’s Winter Meetings, rumors have run hot and heavy that Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was looking to unload set-up man (and free agent to-be) Tyler Clippard. While Nats fans may have hoped Clippard’s 2.18 ERA in 2014 might fetch an intriguing young prospect or a second baseman who can actually get on base, the team instead received Yunel Escobar: a 32 year-old malcontent coming off his worst season as a Major League shortstop. Did I mention he might also be a homophobe (or at the very least, an idiot) and is owed $13M over the next two seasons?...

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By Keith Good
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January 14, 2015 at 9:05 am ET
Ken Tremendous Strikes Again!
"Better law through advanced statistics since 2010."

“Better law through advanced statistics since 2013.” Image courtesy of reddit user /u/broadcastterp

There’s been a small hole in our hearts (no, not the hole torn by our strict diet of Polish sausage–the other one) ever since FireJoeMorgan.com went dark. Lucky for us, the site’s soul lives on in the television work of Ken Tremendous, aka Mike Schur. As producer of TV comedies The Office, Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Schur often puts on his Ken Tremendous hat to slip FireJoeMorgan gems into his shows.

Last night’s season premiere of Parks and Recreation saw Pawnee, Indiana’s premiere law firm add to its roster of lawyers. In 2013, Parks and Rec  introduced us to Babip, Pecota, Vorp and Eckstein, Atttorneys at Law, LLP. David Eckstein even made ...

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By Landon Evanson
1 Comment
January 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm ET
So long, Johnny Mac

MacThe journey of cult heroes never end at Cooperstown, but they certainly make a lasting impression along the way with the fans who adored, and I do mean adored, watching them play.

As a Twins fan, Nick Punto has always fit that bill for me. However, I spent a couple of years north of the border and discovered a utility infielder named John McDonald, who retired on Wednesday after more than a decade-and-a-half in the majors.

Johnny Mac was the most spectacular shortstop I’ve seen not named Ozzie or Omar. Night after night, McDonald made dazzling plays look routine. It was worth tuning in to Rogers Sportsnet to see what Rey Ordonez-level jaw-dropper McDonald would unleash on the assembled throng at Rogers ...

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