D12: Alfredo Simon says shooting 'happened by accident'

It's back! 'Duk's Dozen, a selection of 12 morning-fresh links and items, has returned in 2011 to start your baseball news day. Got links? Send 'em here or via Twitter.

1. Baltimore Orioles reliever Alfredo Simon(notes) surrendered himself to Dominican Republic police on Monday, but insisted the shooting that left a 25-year-old man dead on New Year's Eve was an accident.

"It wasn't a thing like we began arguing and I started shooting. It was some accident; it happened by accident," Simon said, speaking at the police station where he turned himself in. "That's why I came here — to open my soul."

Simon's lawyer says that the dead man is Simon's cousin. In other news, the O's are sending a rep down to the Dominican Republic to gather facts before making a decision while the public prosecutor is pushing for a year of "preventive detention" for Simon as the case prepares to reach trial.[Britt Ghiroli]

2. FanHouse's Ed Price somehow comes to the conclusion that it's OK to suspect Hall of Fame-eligibles of steroid use without any real evidence, so long as it's done in private. [Fanhouse]

3. Tyler Kepner pulls the Internet equivalent of yelling "fire!" in a crowded movie theater, posts his Jack Morris Hall of Fame case before the jackals of the Internet. [NY Times]

4. Dirk Hayhurst(notes) riffs on his split with the Toronto Blue Jays, ends by reminding us that aloha means hello where social media and a thoughtful Garfoose is concerned. [Dirk Hayhurst]

5. Walkoff Walk, however, sees the opposite meaning and is announcing that it'll be shutting down North American operations at the end of the month. Was it something we said, @iracane? [Walkoff Walk]

6. It was only a matter of time until somebody started about holding a soccer match at Wrigley Field. I'm only in if Karl Heinz-Granitza is playing. [Bleed Cubbie Blue]

7. You think this tattoo of the Phillie Phanatic being assasinated by Mr. Met is demented? The guy's other leg features a toaster being thrown into Billy The Marlin's tank. [@darrenrovell]

8. Chad Cordero's(notes) flat brim will continue its comeback north of the border. [MLBTR]

9. Did Bryce Harper change his batting stance? [Nats Enquirer]

10. More than you ever wanted to know about the Cincinnati Reds new batting practice uniforms, the ones with the old-school script on the front. [OMG Reds]

11. So who has the unenviable task of replacing Dave Niehaus in the Seattle Mariners broadcasting booth? John Hickey throws out a couple of candidates. [Sportspress Northwest]

12. The New York Yankees still haven't heard from Andy Pettitte(notes) and will continue to assume he's retiring. [Bats Blog]

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