Greetings from the 2011 Winter Meetings

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If it’s 7:30 AM and the only people awake are you and Ned Yost — having a cup coffee and looking deep in thought about 20 feet from me — it must be the Winter Meetings.

I’m in Dallas this week, reporting, more or less, live, more or less, from the 2011 Winter Meetings.  Things got started off with a bang last night with Jose Reyes signing with the Marlins. It’s going to be hard to top that unless the deal involves a fellow named Pujols, but if we learned anything last year it’s that you can expect the unexpected. Although I don’t think it’s possible for anyone to give ridiculous money to Jayson Werth again, so maybe not that unexpected.

As we have the past couple of years, we’ll be posting like crazy, so tune it to HBT and rip off the dial. Well, as long as you can still refresh. If your dial does that, don’t rip it off.

I’m going to go get into trouble and/or talk cordially with baseball people. Back with dish shortly.

Brian Dozier, Todd Frazier, and Didi Gregorius say teams should expand protective netting

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Earlier, a young fan was struck by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium and had to be carried out before being taken to a hospital. Fortunately, it seems that the fan is okay.

As usual, when a scary incident such as today’s occurs, players come out in full support of expanding the protective netting at ballparks. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier as well as Yankees third baseman Todd Frazier and shortstop Didi Gregorius all said as much after Wednesday afternoon’s game.

Phillies shortstop Freddy Galvis has also been a very vocal proponent of increased netting. For the most part, the players are pretty much all in agreement about the subject. It’s only a vocal minority of fans who seem to think that their ability to snag a random souvenir or have an unimpeded view supersedes the safety of their neighbors.

Video: Giancarlo Stanton hits a laser for his 56th home run

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Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton continued his march towards 60 home runs, hitting No. 56 in Wednesday afternoon’s win against the Mets. The Marlins, leading 7-2 prior to Stanton’s two-run blast in the bottom of the eighth, didn’t need the extra run support but welcomed it all the same. Mets reliever Erik Goeddel tossed a 1-1, 78 MPH curve that caught too much of the plate.

After Wednesday’s action, Stanton is batting .279/.378/.634 with 120 RBI and 116 runs scored along with the 56 dingers in 646 plate appearances. The last player to hit at least 56 home runs in a season was Ryan Howard (58) in 2006. Stanton’s is the 19th player-season of at least 56 homers.