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12/29/2013 | Minnesota says goodbye to Metrodome with NFL game

The Metrodome, home of the Twins for 28 seasons, hosted its final game Sunday, a 14-13 Minnesota Vikings win against the Detroit Lions. While the downtown Minneapolis dome may have continued to host the Vikings after the Twins moved to Target Field in 2010, plenty of baseball memories also occurred there since it opened in 1982.

12/29/2013 | Suggestions to change Votto's approach unwarranted

Some people think it would be a good idea for Reds first baseman Joey Votto to make more outs. To get on base less. To help out the opposition. At least, I think that would be the intent. Friends, you can't make this stuff up.

12/29/2013 | Postseason aspirations return with new year

Every team in baseball entered 2013 with sights set on making it a better year than the one before. Some obviously had higher hopes than others, aspirations that included the promise of a trip to the postseason. As demonstrated by a few of those with seemingly all the right tools to make 2013 a special year, high hopes can sometimes be sent on a detour.

12/28/2013 | Hot Stove roundup: Tanaka a hot commodity

These days, the Hot Stove is all about Masahiro Tanaka. Now officially the hottest commodity on the market after being posted by his Japanese club, the Rakuten Golden Eagles, Tanaka "finds himself in the perfect storm," as Major League clubs vie for his services, writes our Tracy Ringolsby.

12/28/2013 | Tanaka latest player trying to live up to hype

Masahiro Tanaka is worth every syllable of his hype, because his brilliant right arm says so. He was 24-0 last season with a 1.27 ERA. Not bad, and the same goes for his lifetime numbers.

12/28/2013 | Royals sign Donald, Mesa to Minor League deals

The Royals on Saturday signed former Indians utility man Jason Donald and former Yankees outfielder Melky Mesa to Minor League contracts.

12/28/2013 | Report: Puig arrested in Florida for reckless driving

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was arrested on Saturday morning in Florida on a charge of reckless driving, according to a report from the Naples Daily News.

12/28/2013 | Notre Dame tops Rutgers in Pinstripe Bowl

There was no Knute Rockne moment, but Notre Dame didn't need one. The Fighting Irish made a statement with simplicity Saturday at the Pinstripe Bowl, when they emerged from a halftime tie and dominated the rest of the game. Notre Dame wore down Rutgers down-by-down and drive-by-drive and held the ball for 20 minutes in the second half en route to a 29-16 win.

12/28/2013 | Padres finalize two-year contract with Benoit

Ten days after agreeing to a two-year contract with free-agent relief pitcher Joaquin Benoit, the Padres officially consummated the deal on Saturday. In addition, the club designated right-handed pitcher Adys Portillo for assignment.

12/28/2013 | Yankees among first clubs to contact Tanaka

The Yankees have taken their first steps in pursuit of Japanese standout Masahiro Tanaka, touching base with the right-hander's representatives, according to multiple reports.

12/28/2013 | Crush thrilled in '13 with monster numbers for O's

Chris Davis seemed headed for a journeyman career prior to being acquired by Baltimore in 2011. He then turned his career around in 2012, producing an .827 OPS and 33 home runs. And while some might have suspected that performance to be a fluke, it actually turned out to be a warmup act for one of the most prolific power displays in recent memory.

12/28/2013 | Stars aligned for Tanaka to receive mega pay day

Masahiro Tanaka finds himself in the perfect storm. Never has a foreign player had the leverage Tanaka has now that the Rakuten Golden Eagles posted him for Major League teams to bid on.

12/28/2013 | Winter League roundup: Peguero leads Gigantes

Orioles prospect Francisco Peguero had an RBI single as Gigantes topped Escogido, 2-0, on Friday in Dominican Winter League action.

12/27/2013 | Hot Stove roundup: Pitching market focuses on Tanaka

The starting-pitching market has focused on Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, whose recent posting opened up what is sure to be a hotly contested bidding war. The 25-year-old is expected to command at least $17 million per season, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

12/27/2013 | Angels to release Korea-bound Volstad

The Angels plan to release right-hander Chris Volstad from his Minor League contract so he can pursue an opportunity to pitch in Korea. Meanwhile, buzz begins to build around Halos-target Mark Mulder's potential return to baseball.

12/27/2013 | Rangers expect Cruz to sign elsewhere

The Rangers not only signed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, they also gave him the No. 17 jersey. That was Nelson Cruz's number during his time with the Rangers. Cruz remains a free agent, and Choo's signing makes it a near certainty that he is not returning to the Rangers.

12/27/2013 | Signing Tanaka would be 'tough thing' for Rangers

Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has just emerged as the top prize on the free-agent market, but Rangers co-chairman Bob Simpson said, "I guess I should never say never, but at the moment, we're more interested in just rounding out our team than marquee players."

12/27/2013 | Angels finalize deal with veteran Ibanez

The Angels' one-year contract with Raul Ibanez became official Friday, when the 41-year-old outfielder/designated hitter passed his physical. Ibanez will be paid a base salary of $2.75 million, plus another $2.25 million in incentives.

12/27/2013 | Mariners expected to be involved in Tanaka bidding

While it seems logical and likely that the Mariners will be one of the primary pursuers of Japanese free-agent pitcher Masahiro Tanaka over the next month, general manager Jack Zduriencik declined comment Friday when asked if Seattle has put in a bid for the talented 25-year-old.

12/27/2013 | Notre Dame, Rutgers ready to clash in Pinstripe Bowl

Call it a cold-and-dry run for the Super Bowl. New York and New Jersey, hosts of the ultimate game in pro football this season, will also stage the fourth annual Pinstripe Bowl, which pits Jersey-based Rutgers against national behemoth Notre Dame at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.

12/27/2013 | Schumaker discusses life away from field

New Reds utility man Skip Schumaker talked to's Meggie Zahneis about his life away from the field.

12/27/2013 | Cubs announce deal with righty closer Veras

On Friday, the Cubs announced they have signed right-hander Jose Veras to a one-year, $3.85 million contract with a club option for 2015. There is a $150,000 buyout for 2015.

12/27/2013 | Moustakas gets running start on 2014 season

Even though Mike Moustakas is entrenched as the Royals' third baseman, he sacrificed some of his "me'' time this December for something a little less glamorous -- winter ball, that is.

12/27/2013 | Tanaka's legend already approaching mythic levels

Now Masahiro Tanaka is the latest Roy Hobbs wannabe. Actually, if you go by his otherworldly credentials as a pitcher in Japan, the man they call "Ma-kun" is sprinkled with more pixie dust than that.

12/27/2013 | Rays release Minor League first baseman Anderson

The Rays released Minor League first baseman Leslie Anderson on Friday.

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