2009 March

1stThe Athletics agree to terms on a one-year deal with free agent SS Orlando Cabrera.

5thAs expected, Japan defeats China in opener of the World Baseball Classic, but only by a score of 4-0. Ichiro is 0-for-5 as Japan manages just 5 hits. Young ace Yu Darvish throws 4 shutout innings for Japan before a crowd of 43,428 at the Tokyo Dome.

Canada defeats the Yankees, 6-0, as Joba Chamberlain fails to record an out in the 1stinning. Meanwhile, the Mets edge Italy, 3-2.

Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez has a cyst and torn labrum in his right hip. The team is hoping he can put off surgery, which would sideline him for 4 months, until the offseason.

Just signed to a two-year $45 million contract, Manny Ramirez arrives in the Dodgers camp.

17thI guess we’ll wait for Cherry Garcia. The Mets release pitcher Rocky Cherry.

18thThe Nationals sign free agent P Joe Beimel to a one-year contract.

20thThe Astros sign free agent C Ivan Rodriguez to a one-year contract. They’ll end up sending him to the Rangers in late August.

22nd  The Angels (17-4) prevail in spring training over Kansas City 18-12, as Matt Brown goes 6-for-6.  He is hitting .538 for the spring. Brown has two of the 15 homers hit in the game.

In Kissimmee, the Astros edge the Nationals, 1-0, when Michael Bourn scores in the 9th.  Washington has just two hits.  For the Astros, it is their 3rdspring training victory in a row: their record is now 4-16-3.

23rdThe Miami-Dade County commission votes to approve the deal that will finally bring the Florida Marlins a new retractable-roof ballpark. The team will be renamed the Miami Marlins when the stadium opens in 2012.

Japan defeats South Korea, 5-3, in 10 innings to win its second consecutive World Baseball Classic.

24thRafael Palmeiro, Joe Carter, Darren Dreifort, Kirk Dressendorfer, Barry Larkin, Keith Moreland, Todd Walker, Ron Polk, Gordie Gillespie, and Branch Rickey are elected to the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

25thThe Marlins trade P Eulogio De La Cruz to the Padres in exchange for a player to be named or cash.

Orioles SS Miguel Tejada receives a sentence of one-year probation for misleading Congress about the use of performance-enhancing drugs.

27th17-year-old Eri Yoshida, Japan’s first female professional baseball player, makes her debut for Kobe 9 Cruise. She faces 2 batters, walking the first and striking out the second, before being replaced in the Kansai Independent League game against the Osaka gold Villicanes.

Not so fast. The Phillies trade catcher Ronny Paulino to the Giants for pitcher Jack Taschner. Hours later, the Giants send Paulino to the Marlins for pitcher Hector Correa.

29thThe first game at Citi Field takes place, not between the Mets and another ML team, but with St. John’s and Georgetown battling. Though 30,000 tickets are sold at $5 apiece, and another 12,000 given away, only 22,397 are on hand in the mist and fog. John Franco throws out the first pitch, Georgetown’s Sean Lamont hits the first homer, and the Hoyas win, 6-4.

30thThe Braves send OF Josh Anderson to the Tigers for P Rudy Darrow.

31stThe Reds trade SS Jeff Keppinger to the Astros for a player to be named.

The Tigers release veteran Gary Sheffield, eating his contract of an additional $13.7 million. Manager Jim Leyland tells the 40-year-old that the team is opting for more flexibility. After overtures from the Reds, Sheff will sign with the Mets for $400,000. He won’t start on Opening Day, after 20 straight. The new leader is Ivan Rodriguez who will make his 18thstart.