Big League Stew - MLB

Duk's Dozen is a selection of 12 morning-fresh links and items that will start your baseball news day off right. Got links for us? Send 'em here or via Twitter.   

1. Before you ask Joe Blanton(notes) about that long face, know this: You'd also probably look a little distant upon realizing that your name is being changed to "And Joe Blanton" for 2011.

As in, the four aces of the Philadelphia Phillies and Joe Blanton met with the media in Clearwater on Monday, a press conference that produced this funny exchange: 

Reporter: "Cole, you're the only one at this table with a ring. Looking to the guys to your right..."

Cole Hamels(notes): "Joe's got one."

Blanton: "I know you forget about me, but it's okay."

Of course, Blanton has nothing to be ashamed of. While he isn't the true peer of Roy Halladay(notes), Cliff Lee(notes), Roy Oswalt(notes) or Cole Hamels, he's a league average pitcher — his career ERA+ is 99 — that most teams would love to have as a fourth or fifth starter. 700 Level

2. Anthony SanFilippo jumps aboard the Blanton bandwagon, too. Delco Times 

3. Jose Bautista(notes) and the Toronto Blue Jays postpone their arbitration hearing so they can work toward a multi-year deal. Stoeten, meanwhile, tries to figure out the terms that would be palatable when it comes to signing a heretofore one-year wonder. Drunk Jays Fans 

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4. The full-blown conversion to George is coming, folks. Hank Steinbrenner surfaced again on Monday to speak with the media. Pinstripe Alley

5. Oliver Perez(notes) tells the New York Mets he wants to start instead of being a relief specialist. As if he's in the position to make such a request. New York Times 

6. Those of you who doubt this story about two Orioles fans getting locked into Camden Yards have never filed a story 3-4 hours after the final pitch and had to jump an eight-foot fence in order to get back to a rental car because all of the gates were chained shut. It's happened to me before — I got locked in the Metrodome after a Bears-Vikings game — and I'd estimate that it happens to a beat writer about once a year. Deadspin

7. Someone just uploaded the apex of American pop culture: The Kansas City Royals vs. the Dallas Cowboys in a canoe race during a 1978 episode of SuperTeams. Dennis Leonard wielding a paddle at 3:22 looks like one bad mother. YouTube

8. No word on if they also kicked sugary cereals, but Jair Jurrjens(notes) and Peter Moylan(notes) showed up to Atlanta Braves camp sporting slimmer selves. Atlanta Journal-Constitution 

9. Sad news for mustache lovers everywhere: Clay Zavada(notes) missed his physical exam on Sunday night and didn't report to D'Backs camp on Monday. He's apparently having second thoughts about his career after Tommy John surgery last spring. AZ Snakepit 

10. Can Mike Leake(notes) earn a spot in the Cincinnati Reds rotation and keep his goal of never pitching an inning in the minor leagues? Redleg Nation

11. Here's an encouraging story about the recovery that Marty Cordova's daughter is making after a car accident last December. Salt Lake Tribune

12. To paraphrase Ben Affleck's O'Banion character from Dazed and Confused: What are Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers doing down by that river? Picking up trash? Vin Scully Is My Homeboy 

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