07:47 AM ET 04.03 | Brian Wilson became the first to say it publicly. The Dodgers' stint as baseball ambassadors is probably responsible -- directly or indirectly -- for the injuries that have landed both Wilson and Clayton Kershaw on the disabled list. Wilson admitted as much Wednesday when he said the nerve irritation in his surgically repaired elbow started bothering him in spring training, most likely as a result of trying to ramp up his throwing program in anticipation of the early start to the season March 22 in Australia. "The other day should have been March 15 for me and a spring training game and no one would have cared," said Wilson, who blew the save in the Dodgers' loss Sunday night in San Diego. "It would have been fine and I'd still have two weeks and this wouldn't be happening."
07:24 AM ET 03.20 | Tick-tock. It's getting close to decision time in the Mets bullpen. When the Mets reconvene Thursday at Tradition Field after a day off, manager Terry Collins will have an eye on finding the final pieces to a bullpen that has provided plenty of headaches in recent seasons. As it stands -- barring injuries -- Bobby Parnell, Jeurys Familia, Jose Valverde, Scott Rice and Carlos Torres have footholds on jobs, with Vic Black and John Lannan the favorites to claim the final two spots. But Kyle Farnsworth and Gonzalez Germen remain in contention for jobs, with Jenrry Mejia expected to stay a starter and begin the season at Triple-A Las Vegas. "Nine guys vying for those [seven] spots, and they're going to be getting a lot of pitching," Collins said. "It's time to play it like we're getting ready for the season."
07:23 AM ET 03.13 | Ryne Sandberg may be trying to send veteran Jimmy Rollins a little message this spring. Sandberg was asked whether anything was going on with Rollins after Wednesday's game in Sarasota. "No, he's fine," Sandberg said. Freddy Galvis started at shortstop and had a triple. He is 4 for 27 (.148) on the spring with a triple and a homer. Rollins is 2 for 15 (.133). Sandberg likes competition within a team. Given that, he was asked whether Galvis could be creeping up on Rollins, the Phillies starter at shortstop for 13 seasons. "Freddy's a guy that will get playing time at various positions," Sandberg said. ... "The biggest thing I like is his energy and his positive influence, his positive influence on everyone around him." Sandberg was asked what he would say about Rollins in that regard. "No comment."
07:55 AM ET 03.06 | Spring, in addition to being a time for optimism, is also a time for some experimentation. As a way to maximize David Wright's run-producing chances and generally stimulate the Mets' offense, Terry Collins told The Post he is considering hitting his pitchers eighth on occasion. "I think both [Wright and Curtis Granderson] are RBI guys," Collins said. "My thought is: How do we get them more RBI chances and also give David, in particular, chances to drive in runs. It is a possibility I might try [hitting the pitcher eighth.] I don't know that I will, but I might." Collins talked about the strategy with Tony La Russa, who while managing deployed it most often. The philosophy: You want your best hitter to bat in the first inning, so you install him third rather than cleanup.
Gomes points out Yankees' remaining flaws
07:36 AM ET 01.23 | Jonny Gomes has taken the occasion of a wide-ranging interview to give his take on the Yankees' $500 million offseason shopping spree, which included Masahiro Tanaka. "People can go out and sign whoever they want right now. I mean, boxing rules, we still have the belt. ... I tell you what, (Yankees GM Brian) Cashman and (manager Joe) Girardi are about as professional as they get in the pinstripe organization. They run a pretty tight camp. It's kind of interesting, though -- $500 million and still, some questions. You've got (catcher Brian) McCann who hasn't been in the American League before. The pitcher (Tanaka) who hasn't pitched a game over here. They've got some guys playing different positions. They've got some true professionals over there. They've got some guys coming back."
07:35 AM ET 01.16 | On
Wednesday, Hal Steinbrenner said he has spoken recently with Casey Close, the
agent for Masahiro Tanaka, to express the Yankees' interest,
and he knows he's not alone. "I think a lot of teams are interested,"
Steinbrenner, the Yankees' managing
general partner, said at the Major League Baseball quarterly owners meetings.
"This is a great, young pitcher. I'm sure he'll come here and do great
things with someone. We certainly have an interest. I believe we need another
starter. But we'll see what happens." Close, who also represents Yankeescaptain Derek Jeter, has ordered clubs to maintain virtual
radio silence; Steinbrenner wouldn't even address the question of whether Yankees officials
met with Tanaka during his visit to the United States last week.