Have a happy new year, HBT Nation

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The wife and I are taking the kids to a party soon.  Really: a kid-friendly New Year’s Eve party with a couple other families. It runs from 6PM to 9PM and all the kids blow their noisemakers at 9.  I know it sounds lame to a lot of you, but we’ll still have fun. I mean, that pic to the right was taken ten minutes ago as Mrs. C. and I got ready, so things are going great already.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you all for a great 2010 at HardballTalk.  This has easily been the best year of my professional life, and it obviously wouldn’t have been possible if you guys didn’t come-a-clickin’ every day.

Be safe tonight. See you in 2011.

Craig

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.