- Obama not worried about Ebola at upcoming African summit in D.C.
- Obama: ‘We tortured some folks’ after 9/11
- Obama administration asked whole D.C. Circuit to take on major Obamacare case
- Mark Levin: Topple GOP leadership or country will ‘unravel’
- Massachusetts to let police chief deny gun buys to those deemed unfit
- John Kerry condemns attack on Israeli soldiers, kidnapping
- U.S. starts to evacuate American Ebola patients from West Africa: Report
- Geraldo slammed as ‘dummy’ for backing Clinton’s bin Laden claim
- Israeli spokesman: No need to debate who broke the cease-fire
- 35 Palestinians killed; Israeli officer missing
American League capsules
Question of the Day
Capsules of American League teams, listed in order of finish last year:
Tampa Bay Rays
2010: 96-66, first place, lost in first round.
Manager: Joe Maddon (6th season).
He’s Outta There: LF Carl Crawford, 1B Carlos Pena, SS Jason Bartlett, RHP Matt Garza, RHP Rafael Soriano, RHP Joaquin Benoit, RHP Grant Balfour, RHP Dan Wheeler, LHP Randy Choate, RHP Chad Qualls, C Dioner Navarro, OF-1B Brad Hawpe, OF Rocco Baldelli.
Projected Lineup: 2B Ben Zobrist (.238, 10 HRs, 75 RBIs, 23 stolen bases), LF Johnny Damon (.271, 8, 51 in 145 games with Detroit), 3B Evan Longoria (.294, 22, 104), DH Manny Ramirez (.298, 9, 42 in 90 games with Dodgers and White Sox), RF Matt Joyce (.241, 10, 40 in 77 games), 1B Dan Johnson (.198, 7, 23 in 40 games), CF B.J. Upton (.237, 18, 62), C John Jaso (.263, 5, 44 in 109 games) SS Reid Brignac (.256, 8, 45 in 113 games).
Rotation: LH David Price (19-6, 2.72 ERA, 188 Ks), RH James Shields (13-15, 5.18, 187 Ks), RH Wade Davis (12-10, 4.07), RH Jeff Niemann (12-8, 4.39), RH Jeremy Hellickson (4-0, 3.47 in 10 appearances, four starts).
Key Relievers: RH Andy Sonnanstine ( 3-1, 4.44 ERA), RH Kyle Farnsworth (3-2, 3.34 in 60 games with Kansas City and Atlanta), RH Joel Peralta (1-0, 2.02 in 39 games with Washington), LH Jake McGee (0-0, 1.80 in 8 appearances), RH Adam Russell (0-0, 4.02 in 12 appearances with San Diego), LH J.P. Howell (injured all last season, 7-5, 2.84 in 69 appearances in 2009), RH Juan Cruz (0-0, 3.38 in 5 appearances with Kansas City).
Hot Spots: Bullpen. The defending AL East champions are rebuilding one of baseball’s top bullpens almost from the ground up after losing six relievers, including Soriano, the All-Star closer, to free agency. Sonnanstine, slated for the long relief role, is the only holdover and Howell, a key performer in 2008 and 2009 before missing all of 2010 following shoulder surgery, is not expected to return until May at the earliest. That leaves Maddon to try to reconstruct the unit around newcomers Farnsworth, Cruz, Peralta and McGee, a rookie. With no proven closer on the roster, Maddon plans to fill the role by committee.
Outlook: Despite losing Crawford, Pena, Garza and Bartlett via free agency or trades while trimming payroll, the Rays believe they can remain competitive with the big-spending Red Sox and Yankees in baseball’s toughest division. The biggest reason is a strong young nucleus of talent that includes Longoria, Upton, and well as a solid pitching rotation featuring 2010 AL Cy Young runnerup Price, Shields, Davis, Niemann and Hellickson, a rookie, whose development is why the Rays were comfortable with parting with Garza, last year’s No. 2 starter. The offseason acquisition of Damon and Ramirez fill the need for a left fielder and cleanup hitter. Maddon is counting on them to provide veteran leadership in the clubhouse, too.
2010: 95-67, second place, wild card.
By Isaac Orr
New carbon-dioxide rules would put America in the dark
- House GOP resurrects border bill, predicts successful Friday vote
- U.N. condemns Israel, U.S. for not sharing Iron Dome with Hamas
- Border agents cleared of civil rights complaints from illegal immigrant children
- Obama military strategy too weak for future security, panel reports
- Porn-surfing feds blame boredom, lack of work for misbehavior
- Ben Carson takes major step toward presidential campaign
- Feds raid S.C. home to seize Land Rover in EPA emission-control crackdown
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Ted Nugent slams 'lying freaks' at liberal media: I'm 'doing God's work'
- Pentagon wants extra $19M to equip, train Ukrainian troops
Top 10 U.S. military helicopters
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors