Big League Stew - MLB

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

1. Hey, hey! It's not even the first of February and we already have rumors of an offseason weight gain. According to Paul Ladewski of Pirates Report, Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez(notes) packed on 15 pounds this offseason when he was off getting married to a marathon runner. 

Losing 15 pounds is nothing when you're 23 years old, but there's no doubt that Pirates fans would rather see the report of a player ready for his breakout season. You know, rather than someone who's prepping to be Pittsburgh's version of Pablo Sandoval(notes). Rum Bunter

2. "It hurts like hell": Dallas Green grants his first interview after the tragic shooting of his granddaughter in Tucson earlier this month. Chicago Tribune 

3. Adam Kennedy(notes) called up some Seattle Mariners beat writers to say that getting tabbed for a DUI probably isn't the best way to ingratiate yourself to a new set of fans. Seattle Times   

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4. Middle-aged Mets fans beware: Sandy Alderson says he expects Francisco Rodriguez to be 100 percent by the start of spring training. Mets Blog 

5. Suddenly flush with cash, a Toronto Blue Jays fan weighs the prospects of Yu Darvish becoming a very expensive Blue Jay in 2012. Jays Journal

6. Nick Swisher(notes) never wants to leave the New York Yankees. LoHud Yankees

7. "Nothing to see here folks, nothing at all": Hal Steinbrenner comes out to say that Brian Cashman has his support and that he even blessed Cashman's behavior at the Rafael Soriano(notes) press conference. Lisa Swan isn't buying it, though. Subway Squawkers 

8. We're currently drowning in review of the Royals top prospects, but there's one notable absence that might be getting close to a total writeoff: Pitcher Aaron Crow(notes), the team's top pick in the 2009 draft. Royals Review 

9. Andrew Simon selects the 10-worst seasons posted by good players. Hitting The Cutoff Man

10. Death, taxes and the Chicago White Sox looking at Freddy Garcia(notes) as a No. 5 starter. FanHouse 

11. Just when I thought I was the only one who would tab Daniel Hudson(notes) as a fantasy sleeper, two dudes over at Razzball say they own the copyright. Ah, the fine line between a sleeper and a steal. Razzball 

12. How long must I wait before the Tampa Bay Rays cut their prices and I'm able to carpet the entire BLS office in old turf from Tropicana Field? Rays Report 

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