Jamie Moyer still planning on making comeback in 2012

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Jamie Moyer still has his eyes on the prize.

According to Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com, the veteran left-hander is continuing to make steady progress in his ongoing recovery from Tommy John elbow surgery and remains focused on returning to the major leagues for the 2012 season.

Moyer, who turns 49 years old in November, plans to begin contacting big league clubs within the next couple of weeks to gauge interest. He’s unlikely to find any kind of guaranteed deal, but a number of teams should be open to inviting him to spring camp.

“There will be naysayers, but they’ve been there my whole career,” Moyer said last week. “I don’t let them affect me in a negative way. If anything, I turn it into a positive. If this were the middle of July, I’d be at the stage where one more good bullpen session and I’d be ready to go out on a [minor-league] rehab assignment. I’ve gone through this rehab knowing that my arm and body will stop me if they have to. So far they haven’t.”

The 24-year major league veteran posted a 4.84 ERA and 1.10 WHIP over 111 2/3 innings in 2010. He sat out the entire 2011 season, but he’s fully expecting to be back to 100 percent health by next February.

The Yankees and Red Sox will play on artificial turf in London

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Major League Baseball wants to give the United Kingdom a taste of America’s pastime when the Yankees and Red Sox visit next month. Based on the playing surface they’re going to use, however, they may as well have sent the Blue Jays and the Rays:

Major League Baseball has access to Olympic Stadium for 21 days before the games on June 29 and 30, the sport’s first regular-season contests in Europe, and just five days after to clear out. The league concluded that there was not enough time to install real grass.

Starting June 6, gravel will be placed over the covering protecting West Ham’s grass soccer pitch and the running track that is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics. The artificial turf baseball field, similar to modern surfaces used by a few big league clubs, will be installed atop that.

At least they will not use the old-style sliding pits/turf infield that you used to always see. That’ll all be dirt. There are comments in the article about how it’s a cost savings too since they’re going back next year and won’t have to bulldoze and re-grow grass. Aaron Boone and Xander Bogaerts were asked and they don’t seem to care since it’s similar to the surface they play on in Toronto or down in Florida against the Rays.

Still, this whole deal is not aimed at doing whatever is minimally necessary to pull off a ballgame. It’s supposed to be a showcase on a global stage in a world capital. I have no idea how anyone thinks that doing that on a surface everyone has decided is obsolete for baseball playing purposes unless the ballpark is either outdated or in an arid environment is a good idea.

It’s certainly not baseball putting its best foot forward. Major League Baseball could’ve avoided this by choosing a different venue or even building a temporary one like MLB has done on a few occasions in the past. That, I suppose, would limit the revenue-generation capacity of these games, however, that’s off the table in the Rob Manfred Era.

Yankees and Red Sox on turf. What a decision.