“Friends of Cody Ross” say the Red Sox are in the lead for his services

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Adding to our list of favorite expressions from the offseason hot stove reports: “friends of [player] say …”

Which, by the way, I think it totally legit. Just often incomplete. Friends often know stuff. But how close are these friends? Is the player one of those guys with a close circle of trusted comrades, or a party guy with a hundred friends? Do Internet friends count? So many questions.

 

Also, are there ever implied air quotes? Because “friends” of Cody Ross is totally different than “friends of Cody Ross.”  I dunno. Just asking.

Brandon Belt, Jaime Barrios set new modern record with 21-pitch at-bat

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Angels starter Jaime Barrios and Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record with a 21-pitch at-bat in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Anaheim. Belt fell behind 1-2 and mostly kept fouling pitches off. The count ran full on the ninth pitch and Belt would foul off 11 more pitches before finally lining out to right field.

As Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, the previous record was set on June 26, 1998 when the Indians’ Bartolo Colon and the Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez battled for 20 pitches. Gutierrez eventually struck out.