Kendry Morales is Kendrys Morales

It’s not uncommon for a rookie to break into the national spotlight and hear his name spelled or pronounced incorrectly. Jonathan Papelbon was referred to as “Jon” Papelbon for a few months before promptly correcting the media. UConn’s Niels Giffey was called “Nyles Giff-ee” for a few games before broadcasters were informed it should be pronounced “Neels Giff-ay.” For Kendrys Morales, the mistake lasted seven years.

According to Kevin Baxter of the L.A. Times, via Hardball Talk, there is an “s” at the end of Morales’ first name that was left off when he signed with the Angels in 2004.  Since his name was spelled correctly on his birth certificate and all other legal documentation, Kendrys decided to leave it alone.  When asked about it on Wednesday, Morales spoke like a man who wants order restored.

“No, no, no, no, no,” he said in Spanish. “They’ve been spelling it wrong.”

Better late than never, right? The real bonus for me here is that the correction comes at a time when Jon Miller will no longer be calling ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.  In fact, I’m surprised Miller didn’t catch the error himself given his rich background in the Spanish language.  Fortunately, we won’t have to listen to him explain why there is an “s” at the end of Kendrys for three hours every time the Angels appear on Sunday Night Baseball this season.

Raheem Morris Doubles as Rays Manager for a Day

After stumbling to a 3-13 season in his debut as an NFL head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Raheem Morris went 10-6 in his second year. The sophomore campaign for the young head coach inflated his sense of self to the point where he thinks he can be an effective coach in two sports now. OK that was just a joke, but Morris is actually good friends with Rays manager Joe Maddon and he and his staff were invited to spend the day with the Rays on Tuesday.

“It was all about Raheem,” said Rays manager Joe Maddon, who invited the Buccaneers coach and his staff to spend a day in spring training with the AL East champions.

“I gave him the game ball,” Maddon said. “He did a great job with the pitching change. … There was nice conversation during the course of the game. It was a fun day.”

The pitching change to which Maddon referred was when he pulled James Shields in the 4th inning. Shields described what happened, saying “He walked to the mound, and he’s like, ‘So, what do we do now?'” Shields relayed. “I was like, ‘You’re supposed to get the ball from me.’ And he’s like, ‘Oh, okay, then hand me the ball.’ Then he’s like, ‘So, what are we doing after the game? Is this what we’re supposed to talk about out there?’ It was pretty funny.”

Here’s a video of both Morris and Maddon talking about the experience, including Maddon saying he wanted his players to gain some football toughness.

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Baltimore Orioles 2011 MLB Preview: No Hope for Immediate Future

Previewing the 2011 MLB season, we’ve already named the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox the top World Series favorites. We’ve already looked at the NL Central and NL East and this week we’re analyzing the AL East teams not based in New York or Boston. We looked at the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday and the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday. Today we’ll wrap up the division with the Baltimore Orioles.

The Afterthoughts: Baltimore Orioles

Off-Season Moves: The Orioles had a relatively quiet off-season as compared to the rest of the AL East. They brought in third baseman Mark Reynolds — he of the major league-leading 211 strikeouts in 2010 — from Arizona in exchange for two right-handed pitchers. They also traded for shortstop J.J. Hardy and acquired first baseman Derrek Lee, designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero, and right-hander Justin Duchscherer via free agency. Baltimore lost second baseman Julio Lugo, left fielder Corey Patterson, first baseman Ty Wigginton and rightie Kevin Millwood to free agency. Finally, the team re-signed reliever Koji Uehara and signed reliever Kevin Gregg.

Strengths: Three of the team’s four 2010 leaders in home runs and RBI — plus the top three batting averages — make up this year’s starting outfield; left fielder Luke Scott (.284, 27, 72), center fielder Adam Jones (.284, 19, 69, pictured above) and right fielder Nick Markakis (.297, 12, 60). The fourth member of that group is the departed Wigginton (.248, 22, 76).

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Barry Bonds’ Increased Head and Foot Size Part of Prosecution’s Perjury Case

I know Barry Bonds is old news and hardly relevant in sports discussions these days, so I post this only because of its element of humor. Court papers were filed on Monday including the witness list federal prosecutors will use in their case to prove Barry Bonds lied under oath, and a few of them are just too funny to ignore.

First off, the prosecutors will run with what we all saw using the ‘ol eye ball test: Barry Bonds’ melon grew to humongous sizes. Recent pictures of Bonds revealed that Baroid has shrunk like a deflated balloon from the days when he was ruling baseball. He went from a skinny kid who could hit to a superhuman baseball cartoon version of the Incredible Hulk, complete with a gigantic melon. Prosecutors are expected to have Mike Murphy, the Giants clubhouse manager, testify that Baroid’s hat size increased during his time in San Francisco — and not because of his increased ego.

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Zack Greinke’s Cracked Rib Is Enough to Throw Off Milwaukee’s All-in Effort

A bad fall in a pickup basketball game could be enough to derail Milwaukee’s go-for-broke season. The Brewers, who are facing the reality of losing Prince Fielder after the year, decided to trade several prospects to acquire pitching help this off-season. They reeled in Zack Greinke from Kansas City and Shaun Marcum from Toronto to bolster their effort to win it all. But their plan can already be in trouble before the season has even started.

Greinke suffered a cracked rib after falling while chasing after a rebound during a pickup basketball game. He didn’t think he was hurt too badly when it happened two weeks ago so nothing went reported, but a recent MRI revealed the crack. Typical healing time is 4-6 weeks and Greinke is two weeks into the process. Another two weeks off would be the best-case scenario, but Greinke is already expected to miss the first few weeks of the season. Once you factor in the arm strength he needs to rebuild and stamina that is generally gained during spring training, it puts Greinke even further behind schedule.

In a competitive NL Central where the Reds are poised to repeat, the Cubs look better, and the Cardinals are always difficult, it’s not the start Milwaukee wants. Dropping a few extra games in April that they might not have had Greinke been healthy could be enough to keep them out of the post-season. Hopefully they will play well enough to keep the injury from being an issue. But if we see Yovani Gallardo or Shawn Marcum go down next, we’ll know it’s not their year much like it doesn’t seem to be St. Louis’.

Milwaukee Brewers Fan Gets Logo in Hair

It’s nowhere near as hardcore as this when it comes to putting team logos on your dome, but this is pretty strong by Milwaukee Brewers fan Brock Mahoney:

The ball in the center of the glove was a little off and so was the detail, but that’s still pretty solid. Even Ron Artest should be impressed.

Toronto Blue Jays 2011 MLB Preview: Big Changes Lead to Big Questions

Previewing the 2011 MLB season, we’ve already named the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox the top World Series favorites. We’ve already looked at the NL Central and NL East and this week we will analyze the AL East teams not based in New York or Boston. On Monday we looked at the Tampa Bay Rays and today we’ll cover the Toronto Blue Jays; Wednesday: Baltimore Orioles.

The Unknown: Toronto Blue Jays

Off-Season Moves: Toronto had about as busy an off-season as any team in baseball, most notably trading away center fielder Vernon Wells — and all but $5 million of the $86 million he’s owed over the next four years — to the Angels for catcher Mike Napoli and outfielder Juan Rivera. Napoli was almost immediately sent to Texas in exchange for right-handed reliever Frank Francisco. Along with Wells, the Jays lost last year’s primary left fielder, first baseman and catcher in Fred Lewis, Lyle Overbay and John Buck, respectively.

Outfielder Rajai Davis (pictured below) was acquired from Oakland for two minor leaguers as an economical replacement for Wells. They also traded rightie Shawn Marcum to the Brewers in exchange for highly-touted second base prospect Brett Lawrie. Finally, Toronto appeared to do as much as possible to bolster the bullpen, signing righties Chad Cordero, Octavio Dotel and Jon Rauch.

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